Hot & cold

Jenna Staul

Students are split on the merits of off-and-on romances

Sophomore nursing major Lindsey Eble has been involved in a committed, loving relationship with her boyfriend for the past three years – sort of.

“Right now we’re dating,” Eble said. “We’re on-again at the moment.”

Eble and her boyfriend ended their relationship twice and decided to reconcile with each other – twice. They, like many, have found themselves entangled in an on-again, off-again relationship.

“If you have strong feelings for each other, the first break-up doesn’t take,” said Eble, who cites immaturity and petty fights as the cause of her relationship’s previous break-ups. “I think we’re stronger because we’ve both admitted we made mistakes, and we’ve tried to stay together.”

Others, however, feel that a pattern of make-ups and break-ups spells only disaster for indecisive couples.

“Make a clean break,” said Cedric Mims, sophomore integrated health science major. “It just doesn’t work.”

Mims was on the receiving end of a break-up after his former girlfriend of a year cheated on him. The two managed to patch things up, only to separate again one year later, raising the question: Why make-up after a break-up?

“I was still in love. I don’t know – it was hard to not be with her,” said Mims. “I didn’t really plan on us getting back together, but it was in the back of my mind.”

Freshman marketing major Ali Troyan fell into an on-again, off-again cycle with her former boyfriend of three years after he went to college.

“I broke up with him because I didn’t trust him at school,” said Troyan, whose yo-yo like relationship underwent several new beginnings and endings. “You get back together because you look at what you had and think it could work again. But then you realize why you broke up in the first place.”

No one-size-fits-all remedy for the on-again, off-again relationship exists, says Michael Moore, psychological clinic assistant director.

“I don’t think there is a single reason behind on-again, off-again relationships,” Moore said. “It could very well be that two people are simply not well suited for each other and have difficulty admitting it.”

Moore also said there is hope for couples who wish to add consistency to the unstable nature of their relationships.

“It depends on the reason that they are constantly breaking-up,” said Moore. “If it is a temporary circumstance – just a bump in the road, then it probably isn’t that serious. Couples really need to identify what is causing them to separate.”

Justine Stump, freshman interior design major, winced as she reflected on a former relationship that went from hot to cold to hot again. For her part, only one thing is clear: “It is definitely stressful to be in an on-again, off-again relationship.”

Contact features correspondent Jenna Staul at [email protected]du.