Rachel and Ross from Friends
Joey and Pacey, Rachel and Ross, and Carrie and Mr. Big all had relationships in which they broke up and eventually got back together. While it looks romantic on TV, a new study suggests that these types of on-again, off-again cyclical relationships don't have Disney endings.
A 2012 study from Kansas State University discovered that couples in cyclical relationships have weaker bonds than those who have stayed together (noncyclical). Couples were shown to be far more impulsive once they got back together -- especially on big decisions like moving in together or having kids.
Overall, cyclical couples were less satisfied with each other, had worse communication, lower levels of self-esteem, and more doubt as to the lasting power of their relationship.
Surely, some couples break up and through a healthy process, realize that they lost something great and get back together. But what's likely closer to reality is that couples break up for a good reason, hate returning to the single life, miss the comfort they had, and reconcile simply to avoid the anguish.
If you're planning to get back together, make sure the reunion is carefully considered and you're not just going back to a consolation prize. Those relationships don't last.