Some of us have had those on-off relationships where a big break up occurs and then a dramatic make up where all is forgiven ... or not. If we're not the ones in these kinds of relationships, most of us have a friend or acquaintance who is.
They get together then break up, giving all the reasons why. Suddenly, those reasons no longer exist or can be worked out and they are back together again. Sometimes it works, a lot of the time it doesn't.
Kansas State University studied what are called "cyclical relationships" -- ones that make and break up. They compared couples in these relationships to couples in non-cyclical relationships that stay together during the tough times.
While it's sometimes a good idea to take a break during tough times, the study showed that reunited couples don't fare as well as those who don't separate. They tend to communicate less, be less trustful and make poor decisions in the relationship without much thought to the consequences.
Cyclical couples are more likely to separate if they live together and if they go on to get married, they are also more likely to separate.
Amber Vennum, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor at the University, said analysis of the study shows that "most people have been dumped and can relate to that longing for an ex and the dream of a second chance. But in real life, as much as it hurts, maybe there are relationships that are better off left as memories."
Some relationships begin at a bad time, where people are suddenly traveling for work or are facing a move, a job loss or other life-changing event shortly after starting to date. Getting together at a better time is sometimes a good idea, so reuniting couples shouldn't be put off by a study like this.
But break ups usually happen for good reasons and make ups can happen for bad reasons -- simply through loneliness, a refusal to admit defeat, rose-colored glasses after a separation, missing a partner's company or for financial reasons.