Stop the Roller Coaster
Q: My (ex)-girlfriend and I have broken up for about the sixth time, and I'm kind of lost. We've been together about two years not counting break-ups, and we both know that there's something special. When we are apart it only lasts about a week. It seems like we're meant for each other or we're both suckers for getting back with each other time after time. We're total opposites compared to the previous people we had both dated. I didn't fit the mold for who her parents wanted her to date but somehow we made it through the first breakup about 18 months ago. We had never cheated but I had sexual encounters with another woman at breakup # 3 which she knew very soon after. She recently asked me to come over for Christmas but I told her I felt very disrespected every time I had gone to their house and said no. She then told me it was over--again. Would we be stupid if we got together again, or are we just in love and ready for a way to somehow confirm our love and stop this roller coaster by possibly sharing a place to live?-- Robert, 22
Dr. Susan: Six break-ups in two years sounds the opposite of "ready to confirm your love." If you can't deal with your differences, and apparently there are plenty of those, then you're not ready to take things to the next level. The only thing "special" about this relationship, I'm afraid, is that you're like so many other young couples who expect things to go smoothly and bail out the minute you have problems. But life itself is going to present you and her with so many problems in the future. The least you can do is learn how to get along with each other. (Or better yet, with someone else!) Made for each other? Only as a lesson in what NOT to do in a relationship.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.