A qualitative analysis of on-again/off-again romantic relationships: "It's up and down, all around"

René M. Dailey, Kelly R. Rossetto, Abigail Pfiester, Catherine Ann Surra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although relational research predominantly conceptualizes romantic relationships as either together or apart, some relationships break up and renew (i.e., on-again/off-again relationships). Partners' accounts of on-again/off-again relational experiences were qualitatively analyzed to explore both reasons for breakups and reasons for renewals. Themes were interpreted within an interdependence framework to explain why partners dissolved as well as renewed their relationships. The themes in combination suggest renewals occurred due to dissatisfying experiences with alternative relationship partners and an increase in outcomes (i.e., rewards minus costs) after breakups. Partners' post-dissolution contact and their uncertainty about relational status may have further facilitated renewals. More generally, the themes suggest, for on-again/ off-again partners, breakups did not indicate the end of interdependence but rather a redefinition of the relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-466
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009

Fingerprint

Reward
interdependence
Uncertainty
Dissolution
partner relationship
Costs and Cost Analysis
Research
reward
Costs
experience
uncertainty
contact
costs

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Dailey, René M. ; Rossetto, Kelly R. ; Pfiester, Abigail ; Surra, Catherine Ann. / A qualitative analysis of on-again/off-again romantic relationships : "It's up and down, all around". In: Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 2009 ; Vol. 26, No. 4. pp. 443-466.
@article{dfc7117fa37c4f629c12035c53d516b7,
title = "A qualitative analysis of on-again/off-again romantic relationships: {"}It's up and down, all around{"}",
abstract = "Although relational research predominantly conceptualizes romantic relationships as either together or apart, some relationships break up and renew (i.e., on-again/off-again relationships). Partners' accounts of on-again/off-again relational experiences were qualitatively analyzed to explore both reasons for breakups and reasons for renewals. Themes were interpreted within an interdependence framework to explain why partners dissolved as well as renewed their relationships. The themes in combination suggest renewals occurred due to dissatisfying experiences with alternative relationship partners and an increase in outcomes (i.e., rewards minus costs) after breakups. Partners' post-dissolution contact and their uncertainty about relational status may have further facilitated renewals. More generally, the themes suggest, for on-again/ off-again partners, breakups did not indicate the end of interdependence but rather a redefinition of the relationship.",
author = "Dailey, {Ren{\'e} M.} and Rossetto, {Kelly R.} and Abigail Pfiester and Surra, {Catherine Ann}",
year = "2009",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/0265407509351035",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "26",
pages = "443--466",
journal = "Journal of Social and Personal Relationships",
issn = "0265-4075",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",
number = "4",

}

A qualitative analysis of on-again/off-again romantic relationships : "It's up and down, all around". / Dailey, René M.; Rossetto, Kelly R.; Pfiester, Abigail; Surra, Catherine Ann.

In: Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Vol. 26, No. 4, 01.06.2009, p. 443-466.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - A qualitative analysis of on-again/off-again romantic relationships

T2 - "It's up and down, all around"

AU - Dailey, René M.

AU - Rossetto, Kelly R.

AU - Pfiester, Abigail

AU - Surra, Catherine Ann

PY - 2009/6/1

Y1 - 2009/6/1

N2 - Although relational research predominantly conceptualizes romantic relationships as either together or apart, some relationships break up and renew (i.e., on-again/off-again relationships). Partners' accounts of on-again/off-again relational experiences were qualitatively analyzed to explore both reasons for breakups and reasons for renewals. Themes were interpreted within an interdependence framework to explain why partners dissolved as well as renewed their relationships. The themes in combination suggest renewals occurred due to dissatisfying experiences with alternative relationship partners and an increase in outcomes (i.e., rewards minus costs) after breakups. Partners' post-dissolution contact and their uncertainty about relational status may have further facilitated renewals. More generally, the themes suggest, for on-again/ off-again partners, breakups did not indicate the end of interdependence but rather a redefinition of the relationship.

AB - Although relational research predominantly conceptualizes romantic relationships as either together or apart, some relationships break up and renew (i.e., on-again/off-again relationships). Partners' accounts of on-again/off-again relational experiences were qualitatively analyzed to explore both reasons for breakups and reasons for renewals. Themes were interpreted within an interdependence framework to explain why partners dissolved as well as renewed their relationships. The themes in combination suggest renewals occurred due to dissatisfying experiences with alternative relationship partners and an increase in outcomes (i.e., rewards minus costs) after breakups. Partners' post-dissolution contact and their uncertainty about relational status may have further facilitated renewals. More generally, the themes suggest, for on-again/ off-again partners, breakups did not indicate the end of interdependence but rather a redefinition of the relationship.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=72149100468&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=72149100468&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0265407509351035

DO - 10.1177/0265407509351035

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:72149100468

VL - 26

SP - 443

EP - 466

JO - Journal of Social and Personal Relationships

JF - Journal of Social and Personal Relationships

SN - 0265-4075

IS - 4

ER -