Emma is a 15 – year – old from Londonderry, NH. She will be a sophomore this fall and is on the school newspaper, the swim team and is class treasurer. She loves to write about all different topics and is anticipating a fun time interning for Radical Parenting!
My boyfriend and I recently broke up and got back together – for the second time. Not such a bad score compared to some teens stuck in yo-yo relationships. Simply put, a ‘yo-yo relationship’ is one that ends only to begin again – up and down, like a yo-yo. Teen dating is the farthest thing from easy. Break-ups seem inevitable and love is easy to fall into, but at what point is it necessary to take a step back from your on-again off-again relationship to look at the big picture? How do you solve the problems facing you and your relationship?
My boyfriend and I first started dating in March. Our one-month came and went and everything had me on Cloud 9. Until one day, he abruptly broke it off. He said he didn’t feel a connection anymore. I was crushed and confused, so I had him over to talk about it. His decision was rash and mixed with my crying, he felt awful. A couple of weeks later, we were back together. Another perfect two months passed and again – out of the blue – he dumped me, saying that his feelings had changed – again. I’d had it… or so I thought. We met up a week after not seeing or hearing from each other and he admitted to making the wrong choice. I don’t know why (trust me, I wish I could explain), but I took him back willingly and we agreed we’d try it again. No more mixed feelings or confusion or heartbreak… for now.
It’s hard to understand the ride you seem to be stuck on in a yo-yo relationship until you’ve been in one, but one thing that’s vital to keep in mind is yourself. Not how the other person is feeling, or how the two of you are together, but your own feelings about him and the relationship, etc. It’s important to remember the damage that has been done in the past in order to make better decisions in the future. Never let him feel that you’re just ‘somewhere to park when he’s not traveling anywhere else’. Value the beautiful person you are, and the love you deserve and that he has to earn. Make positive that you’re sticking to the relationship because it’s worth it still, not because (like many teens find hard to admit) you feel the need for a boyfriend or girlfriend, and will accept anything to get, or keep one.
You aren’t the only one having to restrain yourself from ripping his head off. Your parents probably feel that way too, if they’re aware of the situations arising. I’ve talked to my parents countless times about the relationship I’m in, and they bring up some fresh perspectives I don’t always see. Parents are just as confused as you are, but they have to keep in mind that their teens are in earlier stages of relationships. Every relationship is different; so it’s not fair to compare the two, especially different spectrums of teen dating and adult relationships. Parents are mostly concerned with the respect (or lack of) their child is getting in the relationship. Your parents are worried about your happiness and they want to feel secure that you haven’t lost it. Everyone (family and friends also) have opinions, therefore advice. Be sure to listen to it! It may seem like they don’t understand, but all I’m advising is to listen to the advice, not necessarily take it. Take it as suggestions and seriously consider what they’re saying with an open mind, because these people aren’t invested emotionally like you. Therefore, they’ll have a more impartial viewpoint.
Yo-yo relationships are easy to get tangled up in. Long-term damage can occur and impact how you handle your future relationships. So you’re stuck, spinning on the end of a string. When is the time right to cut the string? Love shouldn’t be a game of ‘he loves you, he loves you not’. Something to keep an eye out for is if he seems to be taking advantage of your feelings – this could be early signs of an uncaring or even abusive person. If you feel anxious this could be the case at all, don’t take any chances. Abusive teenage relationships shouldn’t be given second chances. The minute abuse happens, get out of the relationship! If that doesn’t seem to be the case, but the break-ups continue for the same reason, there’s a pattern that isn’t being fixed, and it might be time to get out permanently. You could ask yourself, have you both tried to go over what to do to make it work? But if he’s commitment phobic, don’t run after him. Remember, if you’rechasing him, he’s already running away. Most importantly, don’t settle for light-switch dating (on/off). You’re just beginning to understand this concept called love, and if you know there are boys out there that could treat you better, why would you go choose to go “around the world” again and again?