Sometimes relationships go past their expiration dates. But it can be hard to know how to tell when to break up with someone, especially when you love them. There are some super obvious signs, but even the most in-your-face of red flags can be overlooked or swept under the proverbial carpet. Meanwhile, you and your partner suffer, because there is nothing worse than staying in a relationship that should have ended, like, last week. There are plenty of little ways to know you should break up with your partner, though.
Maybe you're just super tired all the time. Or feeling low-grade pangs of sadness when you're with your partner. Or you're just burnt out in your relationship in general, and you can't be bothered to do nice things for your partner, or gussy up for them from time to time, or really sit down and listen to what they have to say at the end of a long day. The same, of course, goes for your partner: If they're burnt out or tune you out when you try to talk about your day, you're not going in a good direction. Here are 45 little hints that it's time to break up with someone soon.
1. You Fight All The Time
Even if they're little arguments. If spats happen often, this does not bode well for your relationship.
2. You Don't Want To Spend Any Money On Them
If you feel really stingy, but you used to love buying your partner little gifts, it might be wise to think about why that is. Dr. Paul Hokemeyer, a licensed marriage and family therapist based in Manhattan and Malibu, tells Bustle, “When emotions are generously flowing, the partners are also loose and generous on their spending on one another. But when the emotions begin to ebb, the receding partner doesn’t feel as financially generous." If this is the case, one or both of you might be ready to end things. "They begin to simultaneously withhold both their emotions — and their money," Dr. Paul says. "When the love goes, so does the money.”
3. You Check Other People Out All The Time
A little: totally human. A lot: you want out.
4. You Fantasize About Life With Other People
Not a good sign either.
5. You Dream About Other People
We all have weird dreams sometimes, but if you're dreaming of other romantic partners all the time, you might want to listen to your subconscious.
6. You're Not Over Your Ex
Sigh. This isn't fair to your current partner.
7. Your Friends Drop Hints
Friends are usually right. Not always. But usually.
8. Your Partner Isn't Nice To You
Run, don't walk, for the hills.
9. Your Partner Doesn't Like Your Family
Your family may be weird, difficult, odd, and annoying, but they are your family. If your partner can't hang, your partner doesn't want to hang with you.
10. Your Partner Doesn't Like Your Friends
And the same goes for your friends.
11. Your Partner Always Walks A Few Steps Ahead Of You
This is a body language thing. If your partner can't be bothered to walk at the same pace with you on the street, what's to say that they will walk at the same pace with you in life?
12. Your Partner Can't Look You In The Eye
It's all about that eye contact.
13. Your Partner Acts Shady
You have to be able to trust your partner. 'Nuff said.
14. You Catch Your Partner In Little Lies
Lying: Not OK.
15. Your Sex Life Is Mostly Nonexistent
If you're just in a dry spell, NBD. But if it's more than that, this could be a symptom of a bigger issue.
16. Your Sex Life Is Unfulfilling
Even if you're sleeping with your partner on the regs, if the sex is mediocre and you can't figure out how to make it better, this may be a sign of incompatibility.
17. You Have No Interest In Trying To Repair Things
It's one thing if things are going south, but you and your partner want to make it work. Maybe you're having long talks about what is wrong, and you're both trying to change. Maybe you're discussing couple's therapy. But if you're just over it, and don't want to put in any work — or if this is the case for your partner — this is a bad sign.
18. You Tried To Make It Work, But It's Not Happening
Maybe you've tried it all — long talks, couple's therapy, etc. — and things are still not good between you two. Time to consider calling things off.
19. You're Just Not Compatible
You can be super in love with someone and the relationship can still not work. If you're just clashing, despite the love, you may not be able to stay with your partner longterm.
20. You Don't Love Them
This is more of a big way to know you should break up, but there it is. If you don't love your partner, you shouldn't be with them. Unless you've been together for a short time. In which case, disregard.
21. They Never Put You First
We're all a little selfish sometimes. And that is important. But if your partner very rarely prioritizes you over work, school, friends, family, and other important life things, this is a red flag. You're important too.
22. You Don't Feel Comfortable Around Them
This is a dead giveaway. If you never feel at ease around your boo, how can you be happy when you're with them?
23. You're In Different Places
If your partner likes to lie on the couch and play video games all the time, and you're out there making six figures at a high-powered job, you might have a big issues on your hands.
24. You Don't Want The Same Things
You want to travel the world; they want to settle down, get married and have kids. Problem.
25. You Have Irrevocable Differences
You might be madly in love, but if one of you is Jewish, the other is Catholic, you both want kids, and there's no way in heaven or hell that either of you will budge on which religion you would raise children with, this is an issue.
26. One Of You Doesn't Want Marriage And The Other Does
It happens all the time: One person sees a future with a wedding ring, the other doesn't — and the nuptial-hopeful just keeps their fingers crossed that the anti-wedlock partner will change their mind. Nope. Not going to happen. Unless you're willing to change your mind, it's time to find someone who is as enthused about marriage — or lack thereof — as you are.
27. You Sigh Around Them Often
Le sigh. Dr. Paul says this is a passive-aggressive sign, and it reads, "I want out."
28. Their Quirks Drive You Crazy
The things you used to love now make you totally nuts.
29. This Would Not Be Your First Breakup With This Person
Or your second. Breakups happen for a reason. It can be scary to be single, but let those fears go with some meditation, yoga, friends, family, and on and on. In other words, if it's not right, it's not right. Accept it, and don't get back together 5,000 times.
30. You're Tired All The Time
This relationship that needs to end is just draining your energy.
31. You've Never Really Committed
You might be "with" your partner, but you're dreaming about a Master's program somewhere far, far away.
32. You Hate Labels
If you cringe a little every time your partner says, "And this is my partner," that could be bad. Unless you really hate the word "partner." But you know what I mean.
33. You're Quick To Anger
If you really want things to work out, you'll hold your temper — or seek help to learn anger-management skills. If not, you're not making an effort in your relationship.
34. You'd Rather Do Anything Than Have A Date Night At Home With Them
Even if it involves binge-watching your favorite show.
35. The Idea Of Living Together Seems Insane
If you could never live with your partner, even in the future, it's probably not going to work out in the end.
36. You Don't Want Your Partner To Meet Your Family
Eek. Red flag, anyone? Same goes for if your partner is super cagey about introducing you to their fam.
37. You Have A Backup
Or two. Or 10. If you always keep a few potential romantic candidates on the back burner, just in case, you're probably not all-in.
38. You Cannot Remember Their Birthday
Forgetting major dates is a major no-no, says Dr. Paul.
39. You're Always Rolling Your Eyes
Or they are. "Eye rolling is an automatic response to frustration and apathy," Dr. Paul says. "Our bodies take over when we don’t articulate what’s happening with our emotions.”
40. The 80/20 Rule Is Not Happening
In the best of relationships, the 80/20 rule is pretty standard: You're thrilled about 80 percent of your relationship, and you can live with the other 20 percent, though it wouldn't be your first choice. But if it's more like 50/50, peace out.
41. They Recoil When You Touch Them
Or vice versa. “This recoil is in response to the more nurturing signs of affection, things like hand-holding, shoulder rubs, adjusting their clothes and facial caresses,” Dr. Paul says. If you can't stand to be touched, or your partner flinches when you touch them, you're heading toward splitsville.
42. They're Always Breaking Your Things
It can be accidental, but it could a sign of a deeper issue. "Our stuff is an extension of us,” says Dr. Paul. “When someone treats our stuff badly, it’s an indication that they don’t feel we are worth respecting.” And if you're breaking their things all the time, you're probably ready to move on.
43. You Dread Seeing Them
Even if it's just a low-level angst at the idea of going home and seeing your partner, this is a bad sign, says Dr. Paul.
44. You're Just Not That Into Them
Maybe your partner is awesome, and your friends and family love them, and everything should be splendid — but you're just feeling kind of eh about the relationship. That's OK. Don't force yourself into feeling something you don't feel. Move on.
45. You Intuitively Know Something Is Off
On paper, things can be perfect. And you can be really happy most of the time. But if, in your deepest heart of hearts, you know this relationship isn't working out, you're 100 percent allowed to leave. And be OK with being alone in the meantime. And trust that something that really, truly, madly, deeply right for you is out there. Because it is. Promise.
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