(STUDY FINDS) — COLUMBIA, Mo. — Letting go is painful for many people when it comes to relationships, but a study suggests that it may be the safest option when it comes to protecting one’s mental health.

A study by researchers at the University of Missouri found that on-and-off relationships can have toxic psychological consequences, despite being often characterized more playfully by Hollywood (such as Ross and Rachel in the sitcom “Friends”).

Previous research on the vicious cycle of breaking up and getting back together showed that six in ten adults have trudged through on-and-off again relationships. More than a third of cohabitating couples said they broke up and reconciled with their partner at some point in their relationship, according to prior research.

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