‘Jersey Shore’: Why Does Ronnie Ortiz-Magro Constantly Find Himself in On-Again-Off-Again Relationships?

Ronnie Ortiz-Magro is a reality TV star, but that doesn’t mean he makes good relationship decisions. The 33-year-old father of one has engaged in toxic relationships for as long as the viewing audience has known him, and it doesn’t look like he plans to break the cycle anytime soon. Still facing a hefty domestic violence charge, Ortiz-Magro took to social media to tell the world that “outgrowing people is natural. Never bring yourself down, find people on your level.” The post didn’t name any names, but it’s clear he’s referring to his baby mama. Whether or not Ortiz-Magro’s relationship with Jen Harley is really over remains to be seen, but everyone wants to know why he manages to entangle himself in truly toxic relationships.

Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and Jen Harley have a truly toxic relationship

If you thought things couldn’t get any worse after Ortiz-Magro decided to check himself into rehab, you were wrong. After a short break from relationships, Ortiz-Magro rekindled his relationship with baby mama, Jen Harley. Things seemed to be going okay for a short while, but earlier in the month, Ortiz-Magro was arrested after an intense altercation with Harley.

Initially arrested for kidnapping, Ortiz-Magro got some good news recently. The Los Angeles District Attorney has agreed to drop the kidnapping charge, but they are still pushing for a felony domestic violence charge, according to TMZ. If convicted, Ortiz-Magro could face up to four years in jail.

This is far from the first time that Ortiz-Magro and Harley’s relationship has ended with police being called. Harley was arrested in January 2019 after she allegedly hurled an ashtray at Ortiz-Magro after a heated argument. Before that, Harley allegedly dragged Ortiz-Magro with her car while their young daughter slept inside. The couple has also engaged in social media feuds and has broken up only to get back together regularly.

Ronnie has a long history of cyclical relationships

While Ortiz-Magro’s most recent relationship is freshest in the minds of his fans, Harley isn’t the first girl that Ortiz-Magro has engaged in on-again-off-again behavior with. Upon entering the shore house, Ortiz-Magro struck up a love affair with Sammie ‘Sweetheart’ Giancola. Their relationship went through several highs and lows while the cameras rolled, but they engaged in the cycle of breaking up and making up even off-screen.

In 2009 the pair hooked up for the first time, but by the reunion special for Jersey Shore, their relationship was over.  In fact, the couple broke up during the reunion special. By 2010, however, they had rekindled their careers with MTV, and their love soon followed. It wasn’t particularly long-lived, though. The relationship would end and restart multiple times during the run of the famed show.

Their relationship ended for good in 2016 after a nearly two-year hiatus. Giancola made the decision not to renew her contract with MTV and join the cast for Jersey Shore: Family Vacation almost entirely because she didn’t want to get wrapped back up with Ortiz-Magro. Giancola is now engaged to Christian Biscardi, whom she’s been seeing since 2017.

Why do people engage in cyclic relationships?

Ortiz-Magro might be a great example of someone who engages in cyclic relationships, but he’s not alone. According to Psychology Today, about one-third of people polled in a study admitted to engaging in cyclic relationships. Cyclic relationships are generally seen as lower quality relationships. So, why do people participate in the behavior?

Ronnie Ortiz-Magro with Jen Harley
Ronnie Ortiz-Magro with Jen Harley | SMXRF/Star Max/GC Images

Some people engaged in cyclic relationships out of convenience or nostalgia. It is easier to fall back on a known partner than to attempt to meet someone new and build a connection with them. The mind also allows people to erase from their memories all the bad things that have happened and replaces them with a strange, utterly nonsensical hope that this time, it’ll be different.  Others, according to Psychology Today, get trapped in cyclic relationships because they value passion and sex above other critical factors in picking a partner.

The Cut argues that there is a catch-22 that comes with cyclical relationships, and, in fact, they can be dangerous. When a person, like Ortiz-Magro, chooses to go back to the same partner over and over again, their mind begins to remind them of the last iteration of the relationship. In short, the more a person returns to a failed relationship, the worse that iteration of the relationship becomes because less time and energy are being allocated to it.