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30+ Signs You Should Break Up

I'm a Midwesterner with a background in writing and media. My articles are mainly about relationships, dating, and heartbreak.

You can feel it in your gut when it is time to part ways.

You can feel it in your gut when it is time to part ways.

Is It Time to Breakup?

I know no one actually wants to break up, but there comes a fork in the road when it is time to say goodbye. You may have been dating for a while or only a couple of weeks, but when it starts to feel dry — you need to communicate how you’re feeling.

Don’t leave feelings of breaking up lingering for too long. You’ll feel a change in the way the two of you are communicating; you’ll ask yourself why, and you won’t feel like a priority anymore.

You have to work together in a relationship — you have to contribute. There should be kisses, fun, and spontaneity.

If your relationship isn’t making sense, if it isn’t on solid ground, it would be better to end it than to hold onto it, like a forever limbo. You should be getting something out of your relationship. It should mean something to you.

Find someone who brings you out of your shell, inspires you, and offers stability. Don’t stay with someone who scares or bores you.

Remember: no matter what, if you’re going to be with someone, it needs to be someone who really cares about you and puts you ahead of other parts of their life. Instead of feeling neglected, start exploring where you really need to be; instead of feeling suppressed, know there is a way out.

When to Have a Breakup

When you start feeling indifferent about your significant other, consider the red flags, and don’t just gloss over them. This article is more about dating than marriage, so do keep that in mind. (Marriage is more complicated to end.)

  1. If you no longer are getting sufficient time together or have no plans of when you’ll work things through — this isn’t a good sign. You may have been great together, and then one or the other of you had to move for a job. At this point, you should look into whether you have a sustainable relationship or not. Even if someone is long-distance, they should be able to give you time whether texting, video chat, phone calls, letters. Do something.
  2. When you feel more jealous and agitated than romanced and intimate. You shouldn’t be getting upset if they express their attraction for John Stamos or Jennifer Lawrence because their interest in you is overflowing. If it’s like a desert and their eyes are somewhere else — you may want to cut the cord. And not just on your cable subscription.
  3. When you feel like you are in a desert and can’t get any air, that’s not a good sign for a relationship.
  4. When you start stalking them on social media and find things that raise questions and concerns left and right.
  5. If you’re not able to see each other, one of you keeps giving excuses as to why you can’t see each other, or if it seems like they were abducted by aliens and are not the same person anymore.
  6. There’s no enthusiasm or excitement to see you. They’ve let the love run dry. They’ve let the mood run dry. You just feel dry.
  7. You’d rather spend time with your friends over your boyfriend. And that’s daily.
  8. You don’t see a future with the person.
  9. You never talk about a future with the person.
  10. They are emotionally hoarding their exes. Rather than letting them go, they keep having suspicious conversations with them.
  11. They refuse to let you see their family.
  12. They make fun of you and are a constant source of negativity around you. You prefer time by yourself.
  13. You’re dating a couch potato who does nothing but watch TV, falls short on rent, and complains about anything and everything without considering how they can grow as an individual.
  14. The two of you have way too opposite of habits that clash horrifically — such as one of you smokes, one of you doesn’t.
  15. Your girlfriend has no respect for you; she makes fun of everything you hold near and dear. She doesn’t seem to care about learning more about you besides having make-out sessions.
  16. The two of you don’t know how to talk. At all. Ever.
  17. You feel a great deal of distance when you’re out on a dinner date. You feel like the conversation doesn’t flow, and it is like cracking a high security safe.
  18. You have been dating for a while but don’t know basic things about each other like past relationships, his job, her college degree, and the names of her cats.
  19. You find yourself in better company with someone else and would rather be with them.
  20. Your partner is more distracting than helpful in letting you solve problems in your work life, your family life, your personal life.
  21. You felt jilted when they said goodbye, and you knew you wouldn’t be seeing them for a long time to come.
  22. You’ve fantasized about breaking up, and it brings you joy.
  23. You feel like it’s not going to hurt that much to break up with her — and you’ll feel liberated afterward.
  24. You can’t see yourself ever kissing the person.
  25. You hold grudges over petty things.
  26. You both have too much on your plates and are in the very early stages of your careers. Moving is likely for the both of you and to faraway cities.
  27. You can’t remember the last time you genuinely thought they were attractive.
  28. You don’t feel secure; you don’t feel safe; you don’t feel protected; you feel used.
  29. Neither of you bother to text, call, or pursue communication because it feels like a chore.
  30. You lost interest months ago and hoped things would change, but they haven’t. You just don’t know what to say.
  31. If you’re already seeing someone new, but you just haven’t broken the news to your partner. Also, you’re the worst. Stop doing that.
  32. You’re severely allergic to their pets.
  33. He reminds you too much of your dad.
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When you're unhappy in a relationship, you should really address that. Don't ignore those feelings.

When you're unhappy in a relationship, you should really address that. Don't ignore those feelings.

How Should you Breakup?

Do It in Person

When at all possible, break up in person. Sometimes you don’t have this luxury because you may be long-distance. In some cases, you need to give your partner a fair chance on what to work on. If you cut the cord without a conversation, it can be unfair unless you absolutely know in your heart that it is over — they’ve cheated, you have been abused, or you have been neglected for a long time (a month).

Pick a Private Place

It’s best to break up in a place that is private. People have a series of emotions to go through, and it can be unpredictable. They may want to suddenly leave, they may need to sit there and zone out to process what has happened, or they may need to cry for a while.

Breaking up with someone at a restaurant can be really hard to manage. Be a considerate person and give them a chance to process their emotions and concerns. Be willing to talk about what didn’t work — and be honest. People really need the honesty, so they know for sure what happened. If you’re seeing someone new, fess up to it. That may seem extreme, but it will be even more confusing if you’re caught in another relationship a week later.

You’ll have made the person feel like their time with you in the breakup conversation was a lie, and more so, the whole relationship was a lie.

Don’t Get into Multiple Relationships

It gets confusing really fast when you split your time with multiple people. Plus, there will be a lot of jealousy. Sure, there are some very rare people who can somehow all agree and go the polyamory route, but this is generally not the case. Cheating can land you in some serious hot water.

Give It Time

When you break up, make sure you have plenty of time. Make sure it is clear. I know someone who says he broke up with his girlfriend, and she still has their anniversary date on her Facebook. Something is wrong there; he’s lying, she didn’t get the message, or she’s really bad at updating her Facebook. Not updating that can cause more problems for other people down the road.

Respect Boundaries

When you break up, don’t expect to be the best of buddies for a while. The person needs time and space to process things and also move on. I would say for most situations — give it at least a year before you start spending time together frequently again as friends.

Don’t call your partner negative things or tear them apart in the breakup. Be sensitive and cordial.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2016 Andrea Lawrence

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