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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of New York City

Bethenny Frankel Admits She Wasn't Going to "Get off the Ride" — How Can *You* End an On-Again, Off-Again Relationship?

The Real Housewives of New York City's Bethenny Frankel struggled to end her relationship with Dennis Shields. 

By Marianne Garvey
Andy Cohen Asks Bethenny Frankel About Her New Boyfriend

During Season 11 of The Real Housewives of New York CityBethenny Frankel dealt with the death of her on-off ex, Dennis Shields, while also falling for her current boyfriend, Paul.

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She explained the timeline of things at the RHONY Season 11 reunion, saying she would date other people whenever she was on a break with Dennis. She also described "not being able to get off the ride" with Dennis, meaning he kept pulling her back into their relationship whenever he thought she was moving on. 

Bethenny admitted she doesn't know that she would have been able to break things off with Dennis for good had he still been alive. 

Being in an on-again off-again relationship can be emotional torture, for sure. 

"Repeated ending and renewing of a relationship is often called relationship cycling, and this dynamic can threaten the health and well-being of the relationship and its members," according to Psychology Today

"Cohabiting and married couples who had at one point been on-again/off-again have more uncertainty about their relationship’s future and are less satisfied in their relationships than others," the report added. "Breaking free from an unhappy relationship is no easy task, and it becomes harder when children finances or dependence are part of the equation."

These kinds of relationships can actually be bad for your health too. 

"Evidence suggests that a pattern of separations and reconciliations is toxic to both relationship and personal well-being. The more frequently couples cycle back and forth between being together and being apart, the more their relationships tend to deteriorate to involve negative interactions, less satisfaction, and less commitment," the report said. 

There was a 2018 study published in the journal Family Relations that found a link between on-off dating and higher rates of depression, anxiety, and distress for those involved. 

"Patterns of breakup and renewal were linked to increased symptoms of psychological distress, indicating the accumulation of relationship transitions can create added turmoil for individuals," the study concluded.

In order to release yourself from this kind of relationship, you need to recognize first that you're in something that is unhealthy. Then, the next time you call it off, commit to keeping it off. 

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