On-Again Off-Again Relationship? What Should You Do?

Hi Mark,

I was going through some sites and came across yours and found yours very practical and realistic. I would like to share my story as well, if you don’t mind taking some time to give me your thoughts on this.

I just recently broke up with my ex bf of 1.5 years, we were friends before for almost 3 years. We started this relationship on a wrong note, i moved on too quickly from my previous relationship, and I was not treating him special or made him felt loved.

We broke up recently because he felt that he has been giving in too much in this relationship, I am a Korean, not learning German for him, not doing the little things naturally for him because he feels that these actions would show that i think of him and care about him but I feel that my ways of expressing love is just different from how he wants it.

I am also very hot tempered and easily riled up and because he likes to joke very often and does not know when to stop, I end up being very aggressive in the relationship.

We had this on and off relationship for about 5 times and this time he was very serious and said he didn’t want this anymore, he wanted someone who will naturally fit him, doing things that will make him happy without being asked to do so.

I want this relationship back, and I want to make an effort to make changes, but I know forcing it right now is useless since he is already so negative about the relationship. I think he does not want this break up (maybe) as he was crying very badly when I moved all my things out, he wrote me he missed me that night I moved out my things, still asking me what I am doing the night we broke up and on Saturday (He is sending me mixed signals – I am not sure).

We have a holiday planned in September, and that was supposed to be our 2 year anniversary celebration. I want to do the right things during this time, leading up to the holiday, can you please advise? Thanks for your time!



My Answer:

You know what?

When it comes to an on-again off-again relationship, most people will probably advice you to move on, especially when you have broken up for a total of 5 times.

But as someone who runs a get your ex back website, I believe that most relationships (except for the very toxic ones) are worth saving.

For your situation, it is definitely worth a shot.

Here’s why.


1. You Have Been Friends With Him For Almost 3 Years.

There is this saying, “Friends make the best couple”. In fact, there have been research done that back this up. Personally, some of the most loving couples I know are best friend with each other.

Therefore, if you can save this relationship, I will definitely encourage you to do so.


2. You Seem To Be The Main Cause of the Break Up.

Obviously, a breakup is seldom the fault of one person alone. Both of you are responsible to a certain extent. But sometimes, one person contributes more to the breakup than the other.

From what you have written so far, you seem to be the main person at fault.

Now please don’t feel bad or guilty about it.

Let me explain why this is actually a good thing for you.

I always believe that when it comes to saving a relationship, you need to pay close attention to this equation.


You + Your Ex = Relationship Dynamics


The reason why your ex broke up with you is because he didn’t like the Relationship Dynamics.

He broke up with you again and again because every time he got back together with you, he realized that the Relationship Dynamics didn’t improve.

That is why he decided to leave again.

Therefore, if you want to get him back permanently and keep him, and stop this On-Off cycle, you have to improve the Relationship Dynamics.

Obviously, on the left hand side of the equation, you have no control over “Your Ex”. You only have control over “You”.

That is why I said it is a good thing for you if you are the main person at fault.

Since you can always work on yourself, there is a lot of room for you to improve the Relationship Dynamics.

On the other hand, if your ex is the main person at fault, then there is really nothing much you can do about him. You can still try to work on “You” but the improvement in Relationship Dynamics is going to be very minimal.

In fact, if your ex is the main person at fault and he is not willing to change, I wouldn’t even encourage you to get back together with him.

Anyway, I just want to mention this again.

Please don’t feel bad or guilty that you are the main cause of the break up. Feeling bad or guilty is counter productive and is not going to help you get your ex back.

Let go of the past. Focus on what you can do now instead.

I am pointing this out to you to show you how much control you have over the situation. You certainly have control over yourself. So take full advantage of it and focus on personal development.


3. You Have Been On Off With Him For 5 Times

As mentioned earlier, I believe most people will simply tell you to move on for your situation.

After all, you have already broken up for 5 times. It must be a very toxic relationship right?

No doubt, some on-off relationships are really not worth saving. But after looking at your story, I do think it is worth trying at least one more time.


Because you haven’t tried your best yet. He hasn’t got a chance to see the improved version of you.

You got back together with him 5 times before you have done some serious work on yourself. That’s why there was no change in Relationship Dynamics which resulted in the inevitable break up.

This time round, make sure you really work on yourself and fixed your own issues first before trying to get back together with him.

If after becoming a much better version of yourself and the relationship still can’t work, then maybe it is really time to move on.

Although he has broken up with you 5 times, that is not necessary a bad thing.

If you look at it from a different angle, it means there must be something he really likes about you.

That was why he was willing to give you 5 chances.

However, do be prepared. He is probably going to be a little bit more cautious this time round. Most probably, he needs to see some real changes in you before he will even consider getting back together with you for the 6th time.


You Need To Learn How To Speak His Love Languages

You mentioned that your way of expressing love is just different from how he wants it.

Well, if you really want to have a long term relationship with him, then it is time for you to learn how to speak his love languages.

According to Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages, people feel loved in different ways.

They are

1. Words of Affirmation

2. Acts of Service

3. Receiving Gifts

4. Quality Time

5. Physical Touch

Apparently, it seems like your ex’s love language is Acts of Service.

You may not understand the importance of speaking your ex’s love language.

So let me reverse the situation for you.

Obviously, I don’t know your love language but let’s assume that your love language is Physical Touch.

So you need a lot of hugs to feel love.

But for some reasons, your ex is not aware of your love language. So instead, he shows you love by performing Acts of Service.

(Because that is the way he feels loved, and maybe he never read The 5 Love Languages before, so he thought performing Acts of Service is the best way for him to show you love.)

How would that make you feel?

I am sure you won’t feel satisfied because he is not giving you what you want. You would rather he hugged you more.

Although you know he loves you, but over time, because you didn’t get enough hugs, you are going to feel empty.

When you reverse the situation, that’s what your ex boyfriend is feeling. You are not speaking his love languages. That is why he is feeling empty and dissatisfied.

So this is one thing you have to take note of if you want to get your ex back.

You may want to check out The 5 Love Languages for more information.


Learn To Accept His Flaws

I am not too sure why you are easily riled up by his jokes. Maybe he is insensitive or maybe there is a deeper issue within you that you need to resolve.

Anyway, I don’t think this should be a relationship ending arsenic. I believe this is probably something that can be resolved with good communication skills.

Otherwise, you can learn to accept it as one of his flaws. Sometimes, it is all about changing your attitude or the way you look at it.

For example, instead of getting angry when he jokes around, why not get amused instead.

Maybe he is always telling lame jokes. What positive can you see from it?

Perhaps he is just trying to entertain you? Even though it is a failed attempt, don’t you think it is something that is worth being grateful for?

Or you can even think about how “silly” or “cute” he looks when he tries to joke around. That will probably make you laugh instead of becoming angry.

To overcome this, it will be very helpful for you to develop Awareness and Acceptance like what I talked about in this article.

Because you are now in reaction mode. Every time he jokes, you react and automatically get angry. You need to learn to respond instead to change your old pattern. That is where Awareness comes in.

Also, no one is perfect. Your ex is no exception.

He will have his own set of flaws. As long as the flaws are not major, you either learn to accept them or don’t be in a relationship with him. That’s where Acceptance comes in.

Remember, the grass is not always greener on the other side. If you date someone else, there will be a new set of flaws that you need to deal with.


Taking Things Slowly

Yes you are right. Forcing it right now is definitely useless. That is why you need to be patient and take things slowly.

In fact, I want to add one more component to the equation.

You + Your Ex + Time = Relationship Dynamics

Changing “You” is going to take “Time”. It is not going to happen overnight.


About Mixed Signals

Mixed signals are very common when it comes to getting an ex back.

You should watch these 5 videos, especially Phase 3 to learn about mixed signals.

Anyway, although your ex may be sending you mixed signals, I don’t think you are in Phase 3 now.

You are probably still in Phase 1.

But it is still good for you to know about all the 5 Phases, especially Phase 3.

Many people try to get their ex back without knowing about the 5 Phases, especially Phase 3.

So what happen is they may spend, let say 2 months to get from Phase 1 all the way to Phase 3. Then they encountered a lot of mixed signals (very normal during Phase 3) from their ex and decided to give up.

What these people didn’t know is that if only they hang in there for a while more, they would have progress to Phase 4.

So now that I have shared these videos with you, you already know what to expect.


Consider Getting A Coach

I hope you don’t see it as I am trying to sell you something but I think it is only responsible for me to tell you about the Ex Solution Program so that you can have a much better chance to get your ex back.

It is just like if a friend of mine is sick and he has seen a lot of doctors. However, none of the doctors can help him and I happen to know one of the best doctors in town. I will definitely let my friend know about it.

I will be very irresponsible and mean if I don’t tell my friend and allow him to continue staying sick.

So it is the same theory here.

I have more than 20 get your ex back ebooks on my hard drive and none of them can be compared to Ex Solution Program in terms of the amount of content and most importantly, the level of support.

In this post, I have stated 5 reasons why I think Ex Solution Program is the best get your ex back program. You can take a look.

However, if for some reasons, you don’t trust my recommendation, that is perfectly fine.

At the very least, please get some form of coaching from another breakup expert that you trust. At the minimum, at least get email coaching. Don’t just get an ebook.

Why is that so important?

Well, you have already broken up 5 times.

This is not the time for you to experiment with trial and error.

First, not all ebooks are great. Some are hastily written. Even the best ebooks cannot talk to you and answer your questions when you need help.

If this is only the 1st or 2nd time you have broken up with your ex, then maybe there is still a little bit of room for you to trial and error.

But definitely not on your 5th time.

With a coach to guide you, you can avoid making unnecessary mistakes and see progress faster.

If you can see the value of having Ongoing Support to help you get your ex back.

Consider Joining The Ex Solution Program and the Online Support Community

You will get all the help and support you need to get your ex back.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 3 comments

my ex and I broke up after 9 years he has told me several times he wanted out of the relationship but for some reason I have always been able to talk him into giving us another try. This last time about 38 days ago he cursed me out and told me and I quote “Deb I don’t want to be in a relationship with you” at that point I had no fight left so I just said ok and we have not spoken since. A part of me wants to move on but a part of me wants him back. We live in Richmond Va and I have decided in 90 day I will move back to Calif where my family is. I know once I leave it will be over forever so what do I do go or stay? he has not spoken to me and because he said he did not want me I will never try and contact him again I am afraid if I do he will only hurt my feelings again and I am not sure if he is with someone else. so should I go or stay?


Hi Mark,

What phase out the 5 phases of getting back together with your ex am I in if my ex tells me. “Can I ask you a dubious question. If I asked you to start over again with me, would you do it? Two years didn’t mean just nothing to me.”


    Hi Kelli,

    Give me more to work with. It is very hard to tell based on one question alone. I don’t even know the context.


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