My boyfriend and I went through a rough patch recently. We broke up and I moved out, but we’re still into each other and haven’t dated other people. We recently decided that it was worth trying to deal with things together as a couple and we both see a future together despite our issues. I’m really happy, but I’m afraid of moving back in together down the road and falling into our old patterns. Any advice?

Rough Patch


Andrea: Dear old-new-girlfriend,


It sounds like moving out did you some good.


Sometimes we get a little crazy when we fall in love and play house a little too quickly.


Reclaiming your own life again can be a healthy experience by giving you a broader perspective when dealing with emotionally-intense issues.


It’s encouraging to see a couple go through that and choose to get back together.

Unless you two have a real hard time dating, it illustrates that you have a choice in the matter, thereby giving you some responsibility and some power to make decisions.

Use that power: take your time until you feel sure about where you want to take the relationship and how you want to live.

Don’t move back in until you feel that all the major issues have been dealt with and that you can deal with future ones.

Claire: Dear Rough Patch,

Breakups are never easy, and sometimes they happen in chapters.

First comes the I-cannot-wait-to-get-away-from-him chapter.

Then the I’m-so-lonely-I-could-die-maybe-he-wasn’t-that-bad chapter, which is often followed by the oops-did-we-just-do-that-again chapter, which sometimes leads to where you are right now. Does any of this sound familiar?

If not, and if you’re sure you’re not seeking each other out because you’re lonely or scared, my advice is to follow my sister’s advice: take your time, talk about what went wrong and about how you both plan to tackle it.

Facing your issues together is beautiful and brave. Take it slowly, and enjoy the makeup sex.

Two sisters, 20-something Andrea and 30-something Claire, offer their differing views on your relationship issues.