7 Ways To Tell If Someone Is Going To Break Up With You

Clearly the best way to tell if someone is going to break up with you is to have a relationship based on open and healthy communication. That's not always possible, especially if your relationship boat is filing up with water faster than you can bail it out. Plus, it takes two to communicate, and if your partner isn't doing that, then you're left in that weird in-between place where you're not sure if it's just a rough patch, of your partner is preparing for an exit.

I know breakups. As a former Domestic Violence Victim Advocate and Planned Parenthood Certified Responsible Sexuality Educator, I've seen them, saved them from happening, encouraged them, and even had the police help me facilitate them. There are very few events in life that are more fraught with emotional confusion than breakups. Plus, even great people can be shady and mean when they're hurt. We're not our best selves when we're breaking up.

While there's no clear, 100 percent accurate way to tell if your partner is going to end things, aside from asking them, there are some signs that it might be happening. Unfortunately, these signs can mean a lot of other things, too, like life changes, personal growth, stress, and even just getting nervous about planning a big romantic surprise for you. If you suspect any of these signs mean your relationship is on it's way out, the bet advice I can give you is to be blunt and address it head on — now, not later.

1. They're Avoiding You

Welcome to distance-ville, population you. Avoiding someone is usually a clear sign that a conversation needs to happen that won't be fun or pretty. The optimist in me feels like sometimes this behavior can be explained away by stress or business. Unfortunately, it's also something that commonly happens before someone is going to break up with you. They get quiet. When they're around, they're not too talkative. They're not lovey and affectionate. Sigh.

2. They're Way Nicer Than Usual

Sometimes guilt gets the best of someone who realizes they've been a crappy partner, or they have a sudden (usually temporary) change of heart. That guilt can manifest itself in extra love, gifts, romance. Basically: sucking up. It usually happens after one of those periods of distance, but it can happen out of the blue, too. Be wary of romance that's a little too romantic, like it's trying it overcompensate for some complicated feels.

3. They're Different

They don't say they love you as much. They want more space. They used to post photos of you two together all the time, and now they never do. And they're just not the same as they used to be. Either they're having an awesome period of personal growth, or they're preparing themselves for being back on the market.

4. They're Making Plans For The Future That Don't Include You

I remember when I was trying to break up with my first boyfriend and I didn't have the guts to do it. I planned a slow, incremental series of steps that would make things easier: Study abroad, get my own apartment — things like that. Maybe you know grad school in another state is on the horizon but your partner isn't talking to you about it. Or maybe they're taking far away job offers like it ain't no thang. They could be excluding you in a very intentional way.

5. They're Taking Back Their Stuff

Say good bye to that hoodie that you pretty much claimed as your own. And the DVDs you borrowed. And anything else that your partner loves that you happen to have possession of. Cleaning out their stuff from your place and getting back their favorite things are common pre-breakup behaviors. They're also sometimes just the behaviors of people who want their stuff back. Again, communication.

6. Their Friends Aren't Nice To You Anymore

If your partner is going to leave you, odds are, they've told their squad. And that means that the squad won't be their usual rays of sunshine. Even if they're not mean to you, they'll probably be weird around you. You might be tempted to pump your partner's besties for information, but this isn't cool. It puts them in a tough position where they might be betraying their friend's confidence. Better to speak directly to the source.

7. You Feel It In Your Gut

Sometimes there can be seemingly nothing wrong with your relationship, but you just feel in your gut that your partner is about to end things. Because you know them. You know them better than they know themselves. In fact, you might know they're going to break up with you before they even totally figure it out. Vibes don't lie.

If it's going to happen, it's going to happen. You have to let these things run their course, because if you guilt or shame someone into not breaking up with you, then you're together for the wrong reasons. You will survive this. I promise.

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