Are you a victim of Bridgertoning? How to handle a relationship that keeps going hot and cold

So what is it today? Hot, urgent sex – or will we be ignoring each other? (Picture: Netflix/

If you’ve already binged your way through Netflix’s sexiest new period drama – Bridgerton – then you will know the ins and outs of Daphne and Simon’s tumultuous relationship.

The relationship between innocent, virginal Daphne Bridgerton and the smoking hot brooding Duke of Hastings is nothing if not fiery.

Well actually, it’s fiery about 50% of the time, and the other half of the time they are as cold as ice with one another.

If you got a cold prickle of recognition watching the two of them navigate this up-and-down romance, you might just have been ‘Bridgertoned’ yourself.

‘Bridgertoning’ is the new term for a relationship that blows from extreme hot to extreme cold in the blink of an eye.

One moment you’re ripping off each other’s bodices and undershirts on the staircase of your country manor, the next – you barely make eye contact when you sit down for a formal supper.

Although ups and downs are normal in all relationships, it isn’t normal to be given whiplash by the speed and intensity of your partners’ mood shifts.

Often, if you’re being Bridgertoned, it can leave you feeling as though you have done something wrong, and that you can never be sure where you stand. Which is worlds apart from the security and assurance you should feel in a healthy relationship.

It might have been great fun to watch Daphne and Simon in their complicated tryst of love, and it might seem deeply romantic from afar – but many have pointed out that the dynamics of their relationship are actually pretty problematic, and not something to aspire to.

What to do if you’re being Bridgertoned

Charly Lester, dating and relationship expert for Inner Circle, says if your partner is blowing hot and cold, you should try to keep track of their behaviour – even note their moods in a diray.

‘This is so that when they blow hot, you don’t forget the cold times,’ Charly tells ‘And you can properly review the behaviour more rationally and with a bit more distance.

‘This may also allow you to recognise any patterns or triggers.’ 

As with any relationship issue, Charly reiterates that communication is key.

‘Talking can help you to understand the cause of the changes,’ she says.

Does your partner suck at communicating? (Picture: SplashNews)

‘Is there something going on in his or her life which is causing them to be preoccupied, or is the change in behaviour actually related to your relationship?

‘Try to approach communication in as non-combative or accusatory way as possible, and be as open as possible so that your partner doesn’t feel attacked or ambushed.

‘Remember you’re trying to seek a solution as opposed to placing blame.’

Another tactic Charly suggests is writing a list of the qualities you are looking for in a partner and what your boundaries are.

‘By having a fixed list you can refer back to, this can help you stand your ground and provide a more objective tool to advocate for yourself,’ she adds.

Relationship expert Lily Walford, says that if you find yourself with a partner who is constantly blowing hot and cold, then it’s time to ask yourself a number of questions.

Has something changed in your partner’s life recently?

‘Sometimes stress can switch on more of the logical side of the brain,’ says Lily. ‘Empaths tend to feel this switch and then feel that they are either accountable for it, or they feel the need to fix it.

‘If you find yourself in this situation then ask your partner if everything is OK? Things can only be fixed or grow from strong communication.’ 

Is this the norm? Is this who they are and do they treat everyone like this?

‘If so, then there’s a simple question to ask yourself,’ says Lily. ‘Can you love this person as they are without feeling the need to change them?

‘Or are you ready to put yourself and your happiness first?

‘It’s OK to leave someone if they are unable to give you what you need in order to be in a happy relationship.’

Lily says it’s important to remember that all relationships have their highs and lows, but in healthy relationships these are dealt with as a team.

‘If you feel alone in battling the highs and lows, then this could mean that you need to have more open communication in your relationship,’ says Lily. ‘If your partner doesn’t allow that and it’s all on their terms, then it could mean it’s your time to walk away as this is highly toxic and emotionally abusive. 

Lily defines a healthy relationship with the four ‘C’s – communication, consideration, collaboration and compatibility.

‘Moodiness and distance are understandable if there has been an event that’s upset your partner,’ says Lily, ‘and even in those circumstances your partner is accountable for sharing what’s happened, you both then work together on what you can both do to make the situation better.

‘For example, if someone in the relationship lost their job, their ego will have been hit, there would be financial stress and panic. 

‘In a healthy relationship, the event and sometimes emotions will be shared. Then from there you can find out needs.

‘A healthy relationship should feel like you are working together, not against one another.’

How to know when to walk away

Lily has some key red flags that she considers too toxic to stick around for. So if you notice any of these behaviours, it might be time to leave.

‘If your partner puts you down (especially if it’s in front of people in social situations),’ says Lily.

‘When arguments happen but your partner is not open to resolve those arguments.

‘If they don’t respect your boundaries. (Yes, the word “no” is a full sentence.) 

‘When they treat you like a resource, rather than a loving partner.’

And, of course, if they decide they would rather die in deadly duel than offer you any more commitment in the relationship.

That’s a pretty big red flag, too.

In all seriousness, Daphne and Simon may have been the hottest couple in Regency London, but their relationship was plagued by some pretty serious communication problems.

At the heart of their troubles was the fact that they were hiding things from each other – which was the root cause of the fluctuating coldness between them.

So, if this is happening to you, remember that honesty is almost always the best policy.

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