On-again off-again relationship: the dangers

The dangers of on-again off-again relationships

By Sarah Moses July 23, 05:48 am
Physical violence and verbal abuse are more common in on-again off-again relationships, a recent US study found...

Think about your current sweetheart or your last relationship. If the going ever got tough, what did you do? Did you talk about the problems with your partner or did you call it quits only to decide that you couldn’t stand to be apart? 
Breaking up, getting back together, and doing it all over again might not be uncommon among young adults – almost 45 per cent have been in an on-again-off-again relationship, according to the results of the study.

Researchers asked 792 young adults aged 17 to 24 about their most recent or current relationship, including whether they’d experienced physical violence or verbal abuse.


Half reported verbal abuse in the relationship – for example being criticised by their partner about their beliefs or appearance. For 40 per cent, physical violence, including being pushed or shoved, hit, or slapped had taken place during the relationship.

Relationship status – whether a couple was on-again-off-again, permanently broken up, or happily together – really affected patterns of abuse, the researchers found.

Being in an on-again off-again relationship had serious consequences – physical abuse was twice as likely and verbal abuse also more common compared to couples in both a stable relationship and to those that had ended their relationship for good.

The researchers also looked at what other characteristics besides relationships status were linked to abuse. Not trusting their partner was a major one, predicting both physical violence and verbal abuse in a relationship.

Dealing with conflict

Violent behaviour and verbal abuse might go hand in hand with on-again-off-again patterns if a young couple doesn’t have good communication and relationship skills. When conflict comes up, they may not know how to deal with it and small issues can blow up into something far worse, like abuse. This could also lead to a cycle of separating and getting back together.

And though young adulthood is a time of learning what works and what doesn’t with a partner, and it’s no surprise that on-again-off-again relationships are common, the abuse that seems to go along with them should be a warning sign, believe the study’s authors. Patterns of abuse and breaking up and making up, they say, might lead to problems with romantic relationships in the future.

Have you ever been in an on-again-off-again relationship? Tell us about your experiences. Leave a comment here or on Facebook.

Did you learn something new?

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 09:19 am
The guy am dating changes his line and didn't want me to call him.he only talk to me on Facebook and I don't believe he still loves me, but he told me he loves me.
nonye shola
Fri, 01/13/2017 - 11:26 am
I have been dating my bf since July 2015 and I found out DAT he lied to me about an ex,he told me he has cut all ties with her but she still calls him day and night I had to tell him to choose between me and d girl he had to tell d girl to stop calling him DAT its causing issues of which she did,den he went for service and I would call to find out what he was doing and sometimes ask y he didn't pick his call he would say am suspecting him a lot but y I suspect him much was bcos he had lied before but he tried all his best to make me believe he was cheating den DEC 2016 we had serious issues I called and shouted on him on phone when he told me he was driving and I said he should either call me back now or do not call me again,he got so offended and said we should end d relationship since I dont trust him after two weeks he called and said he wanted to see me and we saw,we talked about things DAT made us break up and all DAT but he hasnt talked about we dating again all he just said is we are still together even if we re not having anything intimate DAT he wants me to get a job finish up my school like he has always been saying and I ignored him DAT he wants me to be creative so I should find myself but we are still together plsss what do I do
Heloo i have been dating this guy for fours years now..We have been in an on-again offs again relationship ...Last year sometimes in august i tried another relationship but he came back and since i loved him we made up but after sometime He saw my conversation with the guy i tried to date and he cant trust me any longer,i love him and want a life with him wat should i do to win his trust back
Hi Nelie, Yo should probably talk to him about that and find out from him how you can work out through that issue and rebuild the trust. He would be in a good position to help you know how you can rebuild the trust.
Merceline Igongo
Thu, 11/16/2017 - 08:55 pm
My first boyfriend has a way of always popping up all the time sometimes he even calls at 1pm in the night I usually abuse him thoroughly and regret later.
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