Light Switch Relationships

I think everyone at one point in their lives has the light switch romance. It's the vicious yet often times unnoticed cycle of dating and breaking up only to date again. So why do people do it? Why do we swear to ourselves that it was the last time only to date them a few months later?

Like many, I had my first major lightswitch relationship in High School. My lightswitch relationships lasted about five years before I decided to end it for good. I had known him since kindergarden and we had been friends ever since. The summer my first boyfriend broke up with me he was there to pick me up and help me move on.

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We spent the first part of summer doing what most friends do, watching movies at each other's houses, going bowling, and using Yahoo IM like crazy! I had begun to notice feelings emerging that I felt would never happen after that first failed relationship and I was afraid. I kept it inside for several weeks because I did not want it to be a rebound like all my friends said it would be. However, that second part of summer he broke down first and in a week we were dating.

It was perfect. We took it slow because we wanted the relationship to be perfect. A couple of weeks after dating I had my very first kiss while we were walking in the park. It was everything I expected it to be and everything I had hoped for from this summer relationship.

But then disaster struck.

Two days before school started he ended it. I was pretty crushed, but we remained friends. A couple of weeks into school I met another wonderful guy and we hit it off great and soon I forgot the hurt of the seemigly perfect relationship that had mysteriously gone wrong.

Me and my lightswitch ex remained good friends as always. That summer we hung out again like nothing had happened before. A couple of weeks into the summer and I found myself on hiatus from my relationship, and my feelings for my ex were emerging again. It was returned and again the summer was spent in a whirlwind romance, ending with the loss of our virginities.

At the beginning of the school year I found my hiatus with my boyfriend slowly disappearing, but what was I to do? My ex wanted me back and it was clear we both loved one another but he had his chance and he had blown it the first time. How was I to know he wouldn't blow it again, so I took the safe route and stayed with my boyfriend at the time, unaware that the next two years would be the same cycle of dating and ending it.



It's been about two years since I finally ended it for good, my ex and I still talk but both of us have moved on with our lives. So how did this cycle finally end?

After a dear friend brought the cycle to my attention I found myself sitting down and asking myself why I kept going back. After a long time of thinking I made a list of reasons why I couldn't seem to get away.

1) I was insecure. Every time we got back together I was in a vulnerable state. Looking back upon the whole thing I realized I wanted to be loved and he loved me and that's what drew me back each time. Had I taken some time to myself I would have been able to regroup and come back stronger than ever.

2) He was safe. We had been friends since kindergarden. I knew that he was always going to be there for me and that's what I needed. Unfortunately I needed a friend more so than a boyfriend but I confused the feelings for more than just a need for company.

3) He was there. He was always the one to come rescue me from my plight. It was the basic case of damsel in distress falling in love with her knight in shining armor.

4) Finally the most important reason of all, we were both looking for someone to love us. What we didn't know was that the love was already there in our friendship.

So what can you do about lightswitch relationships?

1. First off, take time for yourself after your break up.

Do some soul searching. What is it that you REALLY want? Write it down and keep it near you so if you find yourself going back remind yourself of your goals. If you know it's going to end and has no future, why waste your time?

"If you know it's going to end and has no future, why waste your time?"


2. Secondly, surround yourself with friends other than him or her.

It'll keep your mind from straying back to them and you might meet someone else you truly connect with. Your friends will thank you for your interest and for sparing them the terrible drama.



3. Finally, do something for you.

If you keep going back to someone you're probably insecure about finding someone else. Get a makeover, get new clothes, do what you can in order to regain that confident person you know is still in there.

The cycle of the lightswitch can be placed in the off position for good. The power lies in your ability to remain confident and independent even during the hardest times. Always believe in yourself and above all never give up.
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What Girls Said 3

  • But what made you think you weren't meant for each other? what made you break up?

    there has to be a reason. If you said just because you want to feel loved and that you loved the other person isn't that enough? if that isn't the case should everyone break up?

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  • Good article and I really like the term "Light Switch Dating." I've been in a relationship like this and it lasted nine years. It was confusing because I thought he was the one and I felt safe with him also, however, every time we got back together we had the same exact issues over and over again. It was really rather frustrating. Now I've moved on but I'm sorry to say he hasn't and he's crushed by my engagement.

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  • no I never gave don e that. I don't get involved with some one unless I actually really like them, after breaking up id take months or years before getting involved again- I don't in date just to date. I don't mind being alone,

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