While Ross and Rachel may have won a million hearts with their endearing (not!) on-again-off-again relationship, it clearly didn’t do their mental health any favours.
According to a new research published in the journal, Family Relations, people who repeatedly break up only to get back together with the same person or people who experience “ relationship cycling” potentially raise risk for depression and anxiety.
For the study, 500 individuals were studied. Those in hot-and-cold relationships experienced heightened symptoms of anxiety and depression — an uptick that researchers attribute to the ongoing stress of their break-up-make-up sagas.
If you think about it, breakups are difficult to deal with. If you make them fleeting and multiply them several times over, the pattern starts to have “more pervasive implications” on your overall mental health.
But what turns out to be the breaking point would be the failure of the relationship, despite the extreme highs and lows. The study’s co-author, Kale monk says, Cycling was “linked to poor relationship quality, including impairment in satisfaction, commitment, and communication,”
One would wonder, why do people get stuck in dysfunctional relationships?“Some people might be drawn to the dramatic and passionate excitement of this pattern,” Monk explains. “But primarily, we see that people return to a relationship that ended because they have lingering feelings for their former partners.”
So should people never get back together with their partners? Monk says people need to address the factors that caused them to split in the first place. Otherwise, they’ll likely just repeat past mistakes.
We quite agree!