Breakups don’t usually come without any warning. There are usually numerous breakup signs leading up to the end that indicate things will fall apart.
But many people choose to ignore these signs or remain in denial about them. This prevents them from preparing themselves or working to fix problems before it’s too late. Still, you do not fix everything. At other times, you should confront things head-on. Here’s how experts explain the breakup signs that say the end is near and why that’s okay.
Five Breakup Signs That Indicate The End Is Near
Watch for these red flags.
1. They Keep Criticizing You
A little constructive criticism is good in many relationships, whether romantic, platonic, or otherwise. But there’s a point where that becomes one of the breakup signs that the relationship has run its course. In fact, it becomes toxic.
Most relationships are filled with genuine compliments. You’ll appreciate their personality, appearance, and skills when you love your partner. You’ll compliment them on these different factors and genuinely appreciate them. It’s a healthy part of any relationship and coexists peacefully with criticism positively.
But problems begin to arise when criticism happens more often than compliments, says couples therapist Alisha Powell. If the niceties are beginning to face away and most of your conversations are filled with critique, it’s a sign of the end. This is especially true if the lack of compliments is a relatively new change or comes with poor treatment.
In many cases like this, a couple will need relationship therapy to overcome these issues. Communication and openness go a long way. But for many relationships, this behavior is a symptom that the partnership has run its course and the love has faded.
2. They’re Not Present When They’re With You
Have you ever had someone have to snap you out of a daze to bring you back to the present? You’ve likely noticed your attention drifting away in various situations, especially ones you find boring. Just because you’re sitting there, that doesn’t mean that you’re paying attention.
Physical presence is usual during a relationship, but it’s not the only kind of presence that matters. There’s not much point in spending time with someone if you’re completely mentally and emotionally checked out. Psychotherapist and licensed counselor Kristie Overstreet explains that this is among the clear breakup signs. If you’d like to fix the issue, you’ll have to talk to them positively to find out what’s on their mind.
Note that this isn’t referring to a mutual enjoyment of each other’s company. For example, you might like hanging out with your partner, even if you’re both doing your own thing separately. That’s fine and healthy, especially if you spend tons of time together already!
Instead, lack of presence refers to supposed quality time being completely mentally distant. For example:
- You’re on a date, and they’re on their phone the whole time.
- You’re spending quality time together, but they never seem to hear what you say and always need their attention grabbed.
- You feel like you have to put all the effort into initiating conversations and ideas when you’re together.
3. The Arguing Has Stopped
Most couples believe that a lack of arguments signifies that a relationship is healthy. If you used to argue a lot and now simply don’t anymore, it can feel like a relief. But care needs to be taken to ensure that this is a good thing and not a sign of a worse problem.
Marriage and family therapist Lisa Brookes Kift, an author writing for the Gottman Institute, seconds this. She explains that, based on Dr. Gottman’s research, a lack of fighting can be more destructive than fighting. This is because it signals a lack of communication. It means that:
- You’re no longer willing to hash things out.
- The commitment to continual togetherness and growth has died.
- You’ve stopped trying to solve problems in the relationship.
- There’s a lack of passion for the connection.
- You’re stonewalling–or your partner is.
- Resentment builds over issues that you don’t communicate.
- You don’t get to learn new communication skills.
- You don’t know to compromise.
This doesn’t mean that you should be fighting about every little thing. But periodical conflict is healthy and expected in a relationship. Being able to handle that conflict well means you can confront issues as a couple and work towards long-term improvements.
So when a partner stops fighting at all, it may be one of the more overlooked breakup signs. They might be pulling away and avoiding conflict because they don’t think it’s worth it anymore. A breakup is on the horizon unless you both start communicating to fix these issues!
4. The Information You Get Is Selective
In a relationship, partners share a lot of information. Different couples have different levels of complete openness; some share everything, others are a little fussier. But there’s one thing that remains constant across serious couples. Big, significant life events are shared reasonably quickly!
So what happens when that stream of information starts to slow to a halt? You’ll learn about something huge in your partner’s life weeks after it happens. Or, even worse, you’ll hear about it from someone else. In turn, you start feeling less comfortable sharing stuff about your life, too.
Licensed therapist Kia James explains that when you stop sharing extensive information, intimacy begins to die out. Walls get built that start to divide you because you’re not actively including each other in your lives. It’s one of the subtler breakup signs. That distance can be fixed, but closing the gap is hard unless all partners agree to work on it.
5. You Don’t Know If You Can Trust Them
Trust is the heart of a healthy relationship. You need to trust your partner and have them trust you in turn, or things will start to crumble. If your trust in your partner has begun to fade, or they’ve stopped trusting you, that’s among breakup signs an end is near. Behavior can include:
- Doubting your partner’s truthfulness or them challenging yours
- Snooping through their phone or devices, or them poking through yours
- A history of dishonest or disloyal behavior from your partner or you
Juli Fraga, a licensed psychologist, explains that these problems often perpetuate themselves. They create resentment that only builds and builds to a breaking point. This dangerous sign needs to be addressed immediately to be overcome!
Why It’s Okay To See These Breakup Signs And End A Dysfunctional Relationship
Yes, breaking up hurts. But here’s the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.
1. It Gives You Time To Grieve Instead Of Being Stuck
Admittedly, not everyone will be thrilled about the grief aspect of a breakup. That’s why people ignore breakup signs for so long. They know that moving on and handling the loss of the relationship will feel overwhelming. Studies show that there is a drop in mental health after breaking up.
But that grief is a short-term side effect, and it’s all that stands between you and freedom. When you see all these breakup signs in your relationship, things either need to immediately be worked on, or they need to end. When neither of those next steps is taken, you end up stuck in a weird limbo. Your relationship gets worse, you get used to each new drop of its quality, and negativity permeates everything. And then, the longer you stay, the harder it is to leave, and the worse the feelings get.