From Esther Perel’s Blog

Rejection has always been a part of the relationship landscape. But are the new trends of ghosting, icing and simmering increasing our acceptance of ambiguous ends?

Last year, I spoke about modern love at a conference with 2,500 millennials. There, I was introduced to new norms of intimate relationships and the corresponding vocabulary.

These tactics of maintaining unclear relationships and prolonging break-ups all produce what I call stable ambiguity; too afraid to be alone, but unwilling to fully engage in intimacy building — a holding pattern that affirms the undefined nature of the relationship, which has a mix of comfort ing consistency AND the freedom of blurred lines.

We want to have someone available to cozy-up with when it’s snowing, but if something better comes along, we want the freedom to explore.

In this relationship culture, expectations and trust are in constant question. The state of stable ambiguity inevitably creates an atmosphere where at least one person feels lingering uncertainty, and neither person feels truly appreciated or nurtured. We do this at the expense of our emotional health, and the emotional health of others.

It’s time to bring back relationship accountability.

For the full chart and suggestions on how to more accountable in your relationships today, check out my blog post (the most popular blog post ever on

Below is a link to Ester PErel’s latest video on the 6 essentials for a healthy relationship!