Why You're Stuck In A Cycle Of Short-Term Relationships

When you first enter the dating scene, it can feel exciting, nerve-wracking, and a little overwhelming. Whether you're putting yourself out there for the first time or just got out of a relationship, it can take a few dates before you feel comfortable with the process. While dating around may be fun for a while, oftentimes there comes a point when you want to settle down and get into a long-term relationship.

The beginning stages of dating can feel a little awkward because you are constantly trying to explain who you are to new people, in hopes that they will want to see you again. Over time, it can be hard to know how invested you should get after each date. Instead of taking a break from dating apps altogether, you may find yourself ignoring yellow flags or avoiding the tough questions because a committed relationship is what you crave.

If you are eager to get out of the dating phase and into a relationship, it can be easy to fall for someone who seems compatible on the surface. Plus, the early honeymoon stage of a relationship is usually filled with infatuation, romance, and true bliss. Unfortunately, this mindset can often lead to a cycle of short-term relationships because eventually, there will be a clear sign that your relationship's honeymoon phase is over. Licensed therapist Michelle Mouhtis explained to Brides that getting to this stage is key because "long-term relationships start to build when the honeymoon phase wanes out." If you never make it that far, however, there may be a reason.

You don't communicate your needs

When you are eager to have a committed partner and crave that relational intimacy, it can be easy to overlook deeper issues at the beginning of a relationship. As psychotherapist Jenn Mann explained in InStyle, people aren't just on their best behavior at the start of a relationship, but they are more inclined to see the best in their partner. Bonding over simple similarities can feel magical and help to create a sense of unison. However, according to Mann, when individual differences are finally recognized, it can seem hurtful because you no longer feel like one unit but rather "two separate people."

Relationships run into trouble when assumptions are made about the other person early on. Perhaps their personality and demeanor made you think they held certain values or aligned with your social and political ideologies. Unfortunately, without having actual discussions about the topics that are important to you, there's a chance you'll discover you aren't aligned on big moral issues. This can lead to discontentment and frustration, ultimately causing the relationship to break down.

Understanding what your non-negotiables are in a relationship is essential early. While it can be easy to get swept away by romance and excitement, recognizing the practicality of your compatibility will help you avoid the cycle of short-term relationships. It might take longer to find someone that checks all of your boxes, but once you do, there's a good chance you'll be together for the long run.

Avoiding confrontation will only delay the inevitable

Of course, compromise is important in any relationship but coming to certain agreements together is what will create a strong and lasting partnership. There may be character flaws that you begin to notice in your partner or aspects of their personality that bother you. However, instead of voicing these concerns, you suppress those feelings and try to focus on the good aspects of your relationship. This is a common mistake couples make early on.

The truth is, avoiding confrontation and silencing your emotions doesn't establish healthy communication. It builds a relationship on a shaky foundation and often delays difficult but inevitable conversations. If you find that you are scared to voice what you really want from a partner, you are likely self-sabotaging the relationship from the beginning. Ultimately, your most toxic relationship could be the one you have with yourself. However, there are ways to heal.

Instead of being scared to lose someone who isn't right for you, try to focus on loving yourself enough to assert your needs. Strong relationships are built on mutual respect and trust. According to Psychology Today, expressing your needs verbally will not only show vulnerability but it will also allow your partner to understand you better and meet those needs. Over time, this will allow deep love and understanding to grow past the typical short-term relationship timeline.