Rollercoasters are addictive — that’s why people ride them.
The fear and adrenaline rushes are interspersed with the kind of relief that makes you glad to be alive.
Rollercoaster relationships are equally addictive. But, unlike real rollercoasters, they can harm your well-being.
If you’re in a rollercoaster relationship, it’s time to get off.
This article will reveal 13 tips to turn around your rollercoaster relationship.
What Is an Emotional Rollercoaster?
Sometimes, life can feel like one long rollercoaster ride — one minute, you’re on top of the world, and the next you’re in the depths of despair.
While it’s normal to experience a wide range of emotions on a regular basis, if you experience extreme emotional highs and lows and switch rapidly from one to the other, you may be on the emotional rollercoaster.
Everyone experiences setbacks and hardship in life, but what makes the difference is how you react to them.
Some people are highly reactive, while others seem to take challenges in their stride.
The thing about emotional rollercoasters is that they become addictive, and if you tend to ride the emotional rollercoaster in life, it’s likely you will in your relationship, too.
What Is a Rollercoaster Relationship?
A rollercoaster relationship is characterized by emotional highs and lows and is full of both drama and passion.
There are moments of deep connection and intimacy punctuated by longer periods of disconnection.
This creates an emotionally unstable relationship in which one or both partners become frustrated due to the lack of consistent connection.
If your feelings about your relationship are dominated by insecurity and frustration — except during those rare moments of connection — there’s a good chance you’re in a rollercoaster relationship.
What Causes Emotional Rollercoaster Relationships?
When two people come together in a relationship, they bring all of their past emotional baggage with them.
Adverse childhood experiences, upbringing, and past hurt from previous relationships often cause a person to form one of two unhealthy attachment styles: anxious or avoidant.
An anxious attachment style causes fear of abandonment, which can lead to clingy, needy behavior.
Whereas if someone has an avoidant attachment style, it means they are afraid of getting hurt through deep connection and intimacy — so an anxious partner can make them withdraw emotionally, causing hurt, confusion, and insecurity.
Attachment styles are formed in childhood since we subconsciously model our parents’ behavior.
If you grew up in a conflictive environment or have a difficult relationship with your parents, it can lead you to have an emotional rollercoaster relationship.
The emotional highs and lows can be addictive, and people crave the drama that they’re used to.
There’s a myth that a dramatic relationship means a passionate relationship, while a stable relationship is boring, but this is simply not true.
While both partners should strive to find the balance between intimacy and independence, passion can and does exist without drama.
If one or both of the partners doesn’t know how to deal with their emotions or tends to become overwhelmed by them easily, it can become a rollercoaster relationship.
Another possible cause is the inability to communicate their emotions clearly, which is common since many of us have never been taught the art of effective communication.
How to Turn Around a Rollercoaster Relationship — 13 Tips
The good news is that it is possible to turn around a rollercoaster relationship if both of you are willing to make it work.
Follow these 13 tips to put the drama behind you and find passion and security in your relationship.
#1: Be Patient and Open-Minded
The first thing to do is remember that we are all different — your partner’s feelings are different from yours, but are just as valid.
When conflict arises, don’t close yourself off to your partner. Instead, take a deep breath and see what feelings are coming up for you.
If necessary, take some time to cool off, then calmly explain your point of view.
Give your partner a chance to understand your feelings, and be open to listening to them and understanding their point of view.
#2: Don’t Compare Your Relationship with Others
All relationships are unique because all people are unique, so don’t label, generalize, or expect your relationship to be the same as others you know.
You can never really know what someone else’s relationship is like, so it’s better not to judge or compare your reality to theirs.
If you find yourself falling into comparison, it can help to make a list to remind yourself of all the reasons you love your partner.
This will move you into a more positive mindset that will help you deal with conflict in a more positive way.
#3: Identify the Causes of Your Rollercoaster Relationship
To turn around a rollercoaster relationship, it’s important to identify and address the root causes.
Talk to your partner and see if you can get them to open up, but also take time for self-reflection and inquiry.
Identifying the causes can be tricky as it is usually different for each partner, and may require the help of a therapist or relationship coach.
Some possible causes of a rollercoaster relationship include:
- The emotional pain of one or both partners
- Stress related to external situations
- Focusing on the negative instead of the positive aspects of the relationship
#4: Take Your Time Before Acting
If you are living an emotional rollercoaster, it’s best to take your time before speaking to your partner or acting on your feelings.
Otherwise, your highs and lows may cloud your judgment and affect your decision.
Try to use the powerful emotional energy to do or say something positive instead of emotional outbursts.
This allows you to be in control of your emotions instead of at their mercy, which will help you to communicate calmly and clearly with your partner and improve the understanding between you.
#5: Learn to Accept Your Feelings and Express them Properly
Dealing with intense emotions can be hard.
If you find yourself judging your emotions and lashing out at your partner, take some time and space to be by yourself and accept your feelings — even if you don’t like them.
Sometimes, it can be helpful to release emotions through dance, writing, cooking, or art before trying to talk to your partner.
You may also want to learn some non-violent communication techniques and active listening to better understand your partner’s point of view.
#6: Learn to Forgive
Anger can easily overwhelm you if you let it grow.
Forgiveness leads to a better emotional state and instills a sense of calm, giving you more control over your emotions and the situation.
If you can forgive your partner next time you’re upset, it can lead to greater understanding and intimacy and help you both move on from past hurt between you.
#7: Practice Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness helps you focus on the sensations and surroundings of the present moment.
This means that in the heat of an argument, you can stay focused on what is really happening and not on past negative emotions or anxiety and fear about the future.
Mindfulness practices, such as meditation, can help you challenge negative beliefs, see your emotions for what they really are, and get a bigger picture perspective on your situation.
This can help prevent or slow down the emotional rollercoaster.
#8: Align Your Relationship Goals and Expectations
For a relationship to be successful, it’s essential to ensure both partners want the same thing — if not, it could cause problems, even if you love each other.
If a couple doesn’t have the same goals and expectations it means one of them has to give up on their dreams.
This can lead to dissatisfaction, anger, resentment, and frustration.
Try to not have too many expectations, but instead being open to the possibilities of what can happen.
Often, life can pleasantly surprise us when we’re not trying to control the outcomes, so allow space for the unexpected. This way of thinking helps to avoid disappointment or dissatisfaction.
Start by taking time together with your partner to discuss your goals, expectations, and where you would like the relationship to be one day.
#9: Create a Healthy Relationship
Once you’re clear on your goals and expectations, you can create an emotionally supportive relationship.
A sincere, transparent relationship with clear and open communication can help you avoid buying another ticket for the emotional rollercoaster.
#10: Take Care of Your Physical Health
Physical health is essential for an emotionally stable relationship as it directly influences your mental health and emotions.
Physical exercise, healthy food, getting plenty of sleep, and avoiding drugs and alcohol help to create greater physical and mental balance, as well as improving your emotional wellbeing.
This can make you better equipped to deal with emotionally charged situations.
#11: Consider the Possibility of Mental Disorder
Mental illness — such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder, can affect your emotional stability or that of your partner, causing an emotional roller coaster in your relationship.
If you or your partner feel too overwhelmed by your emotions to cope, you might want to consider seeking the advice of a mental health professional.
#12: Know When to Walk Away
Sometimes, you might find yourself in a situation where you realize that, no matter what you do, it’s never going to work.
If there’s more drama than passion, you feel unsatisfied, or you want completely different things in life, your emotions may be trying to tell you something.
If you feel you’ve exhausted all the options and things are still not working, it may be time to walk away.
Only you can know if this is the right decision, so take time to be with your feelings to decide what is best for you and for the other person.
#13: Get Professional Help
Sometimes, going to a trained professional like a marriage counselor or relationship coach can help you and your partner get off the emotional rollercoaster.
They will create a safe space for you to both talk through your problems, and help you find ways to relate to one another to create more harmony and understanding in your relationship.
A relationship should be less like a rollercoaster and more like floating down a river on a summer afternoon — you should feel safe, warm, supported, and blissful.
I hope that after reading this article, you will find relief from your rollercoaster relationship and find the kind of love you deserve.