How do you know when to break up with someone you love? It’s an agonizing question and one that some couples may never find the answer to. When love remains in the relationship, but something just isn’t quite right, it may be an indicator that a parting of ways is due.
If your head’s a jumble and you can’t stop wondering whether breaking up with someone you love is the right choice, the advice below might help bring a little clarity. We’ll begin with the common signs a relationship isn’t working, and then we’ll take a look at ways you can try to fix them – and if you can’t, then you may well have your answer.
How to Know When to Break up With Someone You Love: 9 Signs to Look Out For
Breaking up with someone you love is never easy. Often, the hardest part can be knowing and understanding when this option is the only viable way forward. If you’re beginning to ask yourself the question, “when is it time to break up?” it might be a sign that your relationship is heading in a precarious direction.
To help you reach a decision, and support you along the way, we’ve put together a few of the most common signs that can indicate that breaking up is the right thing to do.
1. You’re arguing without resolving anything
Arguing occasionally as a couple is normal. It’s even been shown to benefit a relationship. But, it’s important to pay attention to how you argue. Arguing healthily is all about listening, staying calm, remembering that you love one another, and making compromises accordingly.
If you find that your arguments always degenerate into personal insults and sweeping accusations, and nothing ever seems to be resolved, it’s a sign that your compatibility is low.
2. You don’t communicate
This is one of the most important points to focus on when learning how to know when to break up with someone you love. Improving communication is the key that unlocks all the best parts of a relationship.
From sex to dreams and goals, communicating what you want and need is vital to building a relationship the right way. If you’re trying and failing to communicate healthily and you’re misunderstanding one another, it might be a sign that things have run their course.
3. You don’t want to spend time together
Remember, you’re supposed to want to be around your partner. One of the simpler aspects of how to know when to break up with someone you love is realizing that you’re not excited to be around them – that you prefer to be alone, or with other people.
If you find yourself standing outside their front door, taking a deep breath before you step inside to see them, it’s pretty clear your heart isn’t in it.
4. You’re moving in different directions
People are constantly changing. It’s entirely possible that when you and your partner met, you were on a similar path, with a similar outlook. When these paths and goals run parallel, a relationship will run smoothly. But, when your paths suddenly veer apart, it can be a heavy strain on the relationship.
5. There’s a lack of trust
Good relationships enjoy plenty mutual trust. If one person in the partnership (or both) lacks trust, it can throw everything off balance.
Trust can come in many forms. Trusting one another not to cheat, trusting that you’ll both keep your word, trusting that you’ll give the support needed when it counts, trusting that you’ll put effort into the relationship. This brings us to our next point…
6. The effort you put in isn’t equal
This isn’t to say you both have to make effort in the same way. People’s love languages differ, and perhaps your partner offers kind words and big cuddles, while your contribution is based more around giving gifts or spending quality time together.
But, if something feels off balance, it may be because one of you is trying a lot more, and sacrificing more for the relationship. If left unvoiced, this can lead to resentment, and eventually, to a breakup.
7. Your values are different
People’s values change over time. If you have a strong, passionate opinion on certain subjects and your partner feels equally passionate in the opposite direction, there may not be a compromise you can reach that leaves you both feeling satisfied.
8. Your needs aren’t being met
If you’re feeling dissatisfied, it may be that your needs aren’t being met. Whether these needs involve emotional intimacy, independence, sex, or anything else, it’s important to recognize what you want and need out of a relationship. If you’re not getting it, it may well be time to leave.
9. You don’t like who you are around your partner
We all act differently around different people — some build us up, and some push us down. If you’re finding that you don’t like the person you become when you’re around your partner, it’s a strong indicator that it’s time to move on.
How to Try and Fix Your Relationship: 6 Solutions to Try
Now, we don’t want to be pessimistic. If you still love your partner but you’re concerned about certain aspects of your relationship, it’s a good idea to try to fix things before settling on a breakup as the solution.
Below, we’ve laid out six solutions that are worth trying before breaking up with someone you love.
1. Have an open conversation
It sounds obvious — but for some couples — an open, honest, and judgment-free conversation can solve a lot of issues.
If you feel comfortable doing so, raise any issues with your partner and give them a chance to work on them. They’ll likely have some suggestions for you too, so keep an open mind and be prepared to make compromises to keep your love alive.
2. Take a vacation
We’re at our best on vacation. Stress-free, dressed in our best clothes, unwinding, and having new experiences. If it’s been a while since you last traveled together and you’re worried the love is fading, a well-timed vacation can often provide the reset you need.
3. Look at other things causing you stress
When it comes to knowing when to break up with someone you love, it’s worth looking at the stressful impacts on your lives. Sometimes, when our day-to-day life is cluttered with stressors, we can misdiagnose our partner as the problem. Are you really falling out of love, or are you anxious about your career and unable to unwind after work?
4. Remember how you met
In your happier earlier days, you likely had a lot of positive experiences together as you fell in love. Take things back to bedrock by rekindling your connection through your shared interests.
If you met at a gig, go to see a band together. Create new, similar experiences, and you can judge clearly whether the love is still there.
5. Forgive past arguments
Whatever happened between you in the past, holding onto resentful feelings can be poisonous and lead to a love-hate relationship. If you’re thinking of breaking it off with your partner, it’s worth having a conversation to voice any old wounds you have and find ways to forgive one another.
6. Spend time with other couples
Spending one-on-one time together can be a little intense, especially if the relationship is in a precarious place. A great way to great through this is by spending time with other friends and couples.
Our friends bring out the best of us, but they can bring out the best in our relationship too. Get in touch with other couples you know and organize some fun double date ideas. It’ll provide a distraction from the worries you have about the relationship and help you to reconnect at the same time.
Breaking Up With Someone You Love: How to Go About It
Knowing when to break up with someone you love means knowing yourself. If you’ve tried your best to rekindle the romance but you just aren’t feeling it anymore, it’s time to say goodbye. Some feelings just can’t be forced. As much as it might hurt, it’ll be the right decision in the end.
If you’ve decided to split, here’s how to go about initiating it in a fair, respectful, and empathetic manner.
1. Plan what you want to say
Out of respect for your partner, it’s wise to plan what you want to say in advance. This way, you can decide on the reasons you’re going to give and make sure you don’t get overwhelmed when having the big talk.
2. Find the right place and time
Your partner is going to be upset, understandably. And, after the emotional blow of the breakup, they likely won’t be in the right mindset to work, socialize or be productive. With this in mind, pick a time when they’ll be able to process the information in their own time and space.
Before jumping in, decide where you’ll have the conversation. Will it be over the phone, by video call, or face-to-face? A face-to-face breakup is of course the most respectful, but depending on the nature of the relationship, you might not feel comfortable doing this.
3. Be honest
If you’re breaking up with someone you love, there’s no point in giving a false story. This isn’t to say you have to be cruel or harsh. Rather, be upfront and honest about your reasons. This will help them process what’s happened and to heal, further down the line.
4. Stay firm
The temptation to go back to your ex in the wake of breaking up may be strong, particularly if you still love them. But, resisting this urge to run back to them whenever you feel low is one of the most important parts of learning how to break up with someone you love.
Your firmness may cause them distress in the short term, but, more often than not, it’s the right thing to do.
5. Allow them to react
Breaking up with someone you love will likely cause a lot of things to be said. You need to let your partner voice their feelings. You probably won’t like everything you hear, but it’s necessary to listen to what they have to say with an open mind and a calm heart.
6. Let yourself grieve
Even if you initiated it, you’ll likely feel some grief and loss post-breakup. Rather than bottling up your emotions, it’s important to let yourself feel sad for a while and make sure that you’re practicing self-care after the breakup. It’s completely natural and normal to feel grief. But, rest assured that, given enough time, your joy will return. It always does.
7. Lean on your friends
Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for support, it’s what they’re there for. In the difficult early days of your breakup, see your friends as often as possible, and talk as much as you need to. Everybody has been through breakups and everybody understands the struggle.
8. Work to improve yourself
After all the difficult decisions and hard conversations, there will come a day when you feel good enough to begin to work on yourself.
Get out there! Take up new hobbies, try things you’ve never tried before, and discover new aspects of your personality. The eventual feeling of freedom you’ll come to know is intoxicating and dizzying. The realization that, after a long time of wondering if your relationship was wrong for you, you made the right choice in ending it. Your partner will be okay and you will, too – much more than okay!
Take the Decision That’s Right for You
So, how do you know when to break up with someone you love? Well, only you can really answer that question. Read through the points in this article again and see what resonates. Take your time – there’s no great hurry in deciding. Keep up the positive self-talk and focus on making a decision that’s right for you. Good luck!