Breaking up can seem so final – the end of a relationship. But in some cases, breakups are just the beginning of a long pattern of breaking up and getting back together. It’s emotionally challenging and it can be confusing. But as confounding as it seems, you could be living out this pattern for four simple reasons.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D., is a relationship expert and best-selling author, who’s been featured on Oprah. Paul has helped many clients work through relationship challenges, and she’s had a chance to observe this on-again, off-again phenomenon in many couples.

According to Paul, here are some of the major reasons why couples keep breaking up and getting back together.

You’re still hopeful

Normally, an individual returns to a relationship, clinging to the hope that their partner will actually change this time. And maybe they even think that they can help them change. But only you can change yourself – you can’t change anyone else.

The vicious pull-resist cycle

In the pull-resist cycle, one individual is needy and controlling, and their partner resists and eventually has to break free. But because this pull-resist cycle is what you’re both used to, you’ll return to each other again.

Fear of being alone

Once you break up, you might try to find someone new or just go solo for a while. But if it doesn’t work out, you figure it’s best to be with your ex than to be alone. And so, you get back together.

You’re ignoring your own inner healing

We all carry some degree of emotional baggage. However, if you don’t address your issues, and ultimately heal from them, your relationship will suffer.  So, even if your relationship could work, it won’t if you’re not emotionally available for it. And this can lead couples to break up and then reunite.

5 reasons not to be afraid of aging

You walk into a room and realize you’re older than most of the other women. You’re styling your hair and you find that one, obstinate gray hair. In short, you’re getting older. And when these little reminders pop up again and again, it can fill you with worry and anxiety. So, if you’re afraid to get older, keeping read for five simple reasons why aging might not be so bad after all.

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