Your Call: How Many Times Can She Take Him Back?

photo by ken ratcliff

We get a lot of advice questions coming in at, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call by leaving your advice in the comments section below:

Dear Em & Lo,

I’ve had an off-again, on-again relationship with a guy I love for a few years, but he’s just a bit immature, not ready for total commitment just yet (we’re in our late 20s). But I know we’re perfect for each other, we make a great team, and he can’t seem to stay away. (He’s never cheated on me, he just gets restless, and he either breaks up with me or becomes detached enough that I break up with him.)  I don’t want to keep going on this roller coaster ride — I’ve got some pride. But I do love him, and I know he loves me. How many times of breaking up and getting back together is too many, when I truly believe that we could eventually get married if we both just hang in there? When do I give up?

– The Cyclone

What should TC do?

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13 Comments on "Your Call: How Many Times Can She Take Him Back?"

4 years 6 months ago

Wow! This is a dude who is gaming you and any other woman who puts up with an on again off again relationship. It really amazes me the level of low self esteem women have for themselves that they put up with trifling behavior from a man just because they’d rather be with a dude who treats them crappy than to kick him to the curb and get better for themselves. Ladies please! No man is worth your self esteem.

This dude keeps coming back because he knows he can have you and whoever else he wants when he is acting ‘distant’. You are merely a convenience for him on ‘his terms’. He knows he can come get the sex he wants from you and when he gets ready, he’ll bounce and go be with Sally, Sue or Kate, until the next time. Get a grip and stop calling it ‘love’. It’s not love.

Mature women know that ‘love’ is not drama’ and doesn’t put the woman through emotional angst. Any woman who thinks this is OK is not emotionally healthy. Put the dyck down and walk away.

4 years 7 months ago

I’m facing the exact same thing. It’s been 5 years now. And I can’t seem to forget him, and so won’t he. He declared that I’m forever his, but he’ll never say the word “love”. So, I’m guessing all of you gals are right. Maybe he isn’t the perfect one. But for the past year, I’ve been hard on myself and prepared to let him go. I’m doing well now, although occasionanlly he calls me up every other week. I just gotsa push him away nicely. Always.

4 years 7 months ago

hello there… im in the same position as you… i’ve been with the same guy for 2 yrs and i love him a lot. he makes me happy and we have a lot of fun together. however it is an on and off again relationship. everyone is telling me to just move on but, its so hard for me to be single after being in one relationship after another…. i would love to be with him for a long time but it its destructive and i hate how it makes me feel everytime we break up and get back together. i dont know if he is doin anything behind my back but i also have trust issues with him. he doesnt share a lot of information with me unless i ask him and it bothers me. im just really confuse if he is the guy i should be with or not and i dont want to make any mistakes….

4 years 7 months ago

The Cyclone-

I know this may sound like I am super pessimistic, BUT.. I’ve dealt with this exact situation twice before, once with a roommate’s relationship, and once with a really good girlfriend’s. I’ll fast forward now and say that they both ended up (after some hurt and second-guessing- I won’t sugar coat it) with a really great guy, who they are with to this day. You have to put it in perspective- if the guy you are seeing is on and off, unreliable, and seems to be a commitment-phobe/not serious RIGHT NOW, what signals you to believe that his attitude will do a 180 and turn into a committed, hassle free marriage? My advice is to ditch the guy and spend some time evaluating what you are actually looking for in a relationship. By then, and maybe not even, someone might have come along that fulfills your every criteria. In all honesty, I truly believe some one will, its the letting go of this one that will be a greater challenge than the finding someone new and better for you. Good luck sweetheart!

4 years 7 months ago

It’s time to let go if you’re bringing yourself to asking this question. If you are in your late 20’s and have had an on-again/off-again relationship for YEARS then it’s high time you move on. He’s probably going to be one of those eternal bachelors who can’t ever seem to commit.

For that matter, what if he does commit, but then decides after you’re married that he’s ‘restless’ again. Could you live in a marriage like that? I doubt it.

Do yourself a favor, gather your pride and move on to a guy who is more deserving of your time and love, who won’t jerk you around!