How To Stop Making The Same Dating Mistakesby Jonathan Alpert on November 12, 2012
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I am a 30 year old female, and I dated this guy for two years. We broke up several times but kept getting back together — and are back together now. It seems no matter how crazy it gets I always go back to him, even though I know it’s not a healthy relationship. I feel like a year from now I will still be with him. Why do I keep making the same mistakes?
If you looked into a crystal ball, you’d probably see that the problems you have now will occur in the future. As long as you continue to create the same conflict with no new resolution, you’ll continue to get the same result. Hence the on-again, off-again relationship.
Here’s what to do: identify the issues that seem to keep popping up. Sit with your boyfriend and explain that you want to be with him, that you are willing to look at the issues, and are open to compromise and new ways of handling conflict. Generating fresh ideas and having a new perspective on the relationship may inspire you and your boyfriend to view it in a different light and not get back together out of what I suspect has been desperation up to this point.
See any differences you might have as an opportunity to gain a deeper, richer understanding of the other person. No two people are entirely alike and the differences can sometimes be refreshing. Make productive use of them. For example, I often see couples where one half of the couple is a type-A personality and really intense, while the other person is much more laid back. Over time they complement each other nicely as each person learns to be a little more like the other person. Stability will likely follow and your relationship will be more on-again than off-again.
Jonathan Alpert is a Manhattan psychotherapist and author. He appears on national TV commenting on sex and relationship issues as well as lifestyle, mental health, and hot-button issues. Get more of Jonathan’s great advice in his new book, Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days.