Breakup Warning Signs

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Breakup Warning Signs

Table of Contents


Introduction ………………………………………………………………….……………………..3

Friends …………………………………………………………………………………………………3

Other Priorities ……………………………………………………………………….……………4

Another Love ……………………………………………………………………………………….6

Changing Views ………………………………………………………………………….……….7

Fights …………………………………………………………………………………………………..9

Physical Attraction………………………………………………………………………………11

Other Behaviors ………………………………………………………………………………..13

Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………16

Breakup Warning Signs

How do you know when your boyfriend or girlfriend is ready to call it quits?  Are there warning signs that can key you in that the relationship is over?

I have put together some warning signs that you may be close to a break up.


It is said that a woman will have many boyfriends come in and out of her life, but her core group of girlfriends will be there always.  Men are less bonded with their guy friends, but the same principle holds true.

So, one of the ways you can tell if your partner is unhappy is to monitor your status with his or her friends.

Relationship Changes with Their Friends

One of the sure signs that your relationship is in trouble is if your relationship changes with his or her friends.  In any relationship, you both become friendly with the other’s friends.  You also make new friends together.

But when a romantic relationship falls apart, the platonic relationships don’t last.  In fact, friends are often called upon to choose sides.

If you are a man, your girlfriend’s girlfriends may stop talking to you altogether.  If you are a woman, your boyfriend’s friends may start to avoid you.

Of course, this could happen even if you are just fighting and the friends are taking sides.  But, if it persists after a crisis is over, it could be a sign that your significant other is confiding their relationship worries to their friends.

The “Preemptory Strike” on Mutual Friends

Another scenario is where your significant other makes a “preemptory strike” to make mutual friends “his” or “hers”.  They could be thinking that in the near future, you won’t be together and they want any mutual friends to take their side.  They don’t want to lose them even when they ditch you.

But you have to decide if you need to strengthen the ties yourself too.  If you have mutual friends you wouldn’t want to lose in a break up, you need to build the relationships as well.

Also, consider whether your mutual friends could handle being friends with both of you should you decide to break up.  If you and your significant other are mature enough to “share” mutual friends, it may be to everyone’s benefit, even if you break up.

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Spending Time with Friends Instead of You

Another warning sign is that your girlfriend or boyfriend starts to want to go out with his or her friends over you much of the time.  They may be strengthing their post-break up relationships so that they have people in their lives even when you are no longer part of it.

It could also be that they just don’t want to spend time with you any more.  This is a sign of avoidance.  If your significant other is avoiding you, it means that your relationship is failing.

Make sure that you don’t misinterpret something that is innocent though.  If you have been together a relatively short time, your significant other could have devoted a lot of time to you in the beginning but now feels a need to be with their friends again too.

But, if you have been together long enough to be past the “honeymoon stage,” any avoidance techniques could be a danger sign.

Other Priorities Take Up Time

If other priorities have begun to take up your boyfriend or girlfriend’s time, you may have a problem.  Just like when he or she starts to spend more time with friends, when they start to spend time doing other things, a break up may be in the works.


We all have times at work when things get really busy.  As a good boyfriend or girlfriend, you should be supportive through this time.

A tax accountant may not be really available to you in March and April.  That’s normal and you shouldn’t push them to have dinner with you every night.  A retail worker will need the time between Thanksgiving to New Year’s to devote to work, even if it throws off your Christmas Caroling plans.

However, if your significant other begins to believe that his or her career is more important than the relationship, you may be in trouble.  There’s a difference between a busy season and using work to avoid you.

By all means, be supportive of your boyfriend or girlfriend’s career.  But, know that a sudden interest in his or her job may be the warning signs of an impending break up.


One of the warning signs of a break up is when the other person begins talking about their need for “space.”  You have to evaluate whether you are stifling them.  But you should also balance this against what they are using the space for.

Again, you should look at what phase the relationship is in.  If you are just over the “honeymoon” period, your significant other may have invested a lot of time in you but is now pulling back to reclaim some normalcy in their life.

However, if you have been together for a while, “space” is a clear indication that he or she is rethinking the relationship.

I’m Busy

If you suggest going out and you get a vague “I’m busy” in reply, you need to find out why.  Is it avoidance or is something else going on in their life?

One of the reasons that your girlfriend or boyfriend may be busy is that they are filling their life with activity in preparation for getting rid of you.  They want to be sure that they aren’t going to be lonely after the break up that they are planning.

If this is the case, try to work yourself unobtrusively into their “busy-ness.”  For instance, if going to the gym has suddenly become a priority, consider taking up weights yourself.  If they are busy with a new softball league, go to the games as a spectator.

Something Better This Way Cometh

If your significant other starts waiting until the last minute to make arrangements to spend time with you, it could be that they are looking for something better.  If nothing materializes, they will go out with you.  But if an opportunity to spend time with other people arises, they won’t be obligated to you.

You have a real dilemma here.  You don’t want to force someone to spend time with you if they don’t want to.  You also don’t want to be a push over and not make him or her commit to spending quality time with you.

If this happens, you should be prepared to make other plans as well.  Then when he or she wants to do something at the last minute and you already have plans, they will have to make a decision about whether to book your time in advance.

Another Love

One of the problems that you might face is when your significant other develops an interest in someone else.  This can manifest itself in a number of ways.

If this happens, you must remember that you can’t compete with a fantasy.  You are a real, live person with strengths and weaknesses.  The fantasy only has advantages.  If your boyfriend or girlfriend is attracted to someone else or to the idea of someone else, there is little you can do to save the relationship.

Talking About an Ex a Lot

If your significant other starts talking about an ex a lot, they may be comparing you unfavorably to someone they no longer have in their life.  If they are only remembering the good things, you have very little to work with.  If the ex dumped them and not the other way around, you are in double trouble.

It won’t do any good to bash the ex or point out their faults.  Your girlfriend or boyfriend has decided that what they had before was better.

If you want to save the relationship, you are going to have to work on making the present situation better rather than fighting the past.

Mentions a New Guy or Gal

Another problem is when your true love begins to mention a new guy or gal a lot.  This could be an acquaintance they’ve just met, someone from their social circle, or someone at work.  They may be developing a crush.  This could pass after a few weeks.  Or, it could turn into something more.

As long as your significant other is talking about the person, though, they are not taking any action.  If the person falls off the radar entirely, you should find out whether he or she still is in contact with the person.  If they are, trouble looms.

Has a Fling

These days, being “exclusive” doesn’t always mean “exclusive.”  If you go to a party and your boyfriend or girlfriend starts making out with someone else, how do you respond?

You have to draw your limits as to what kind of relationships with the opposite sex you are comfortable with your significant other having.  If he or she crosses these boundaries, you need to know that the relationship is in trouble.

Some relationships recover from even the most devastating affairs, but usually this involves counseling and moving through a healing process.  But if the trust in your relationship is broken, it may be hard to move on.

If your significant other has a fling, there is a good chance that either you or they will be calling the relationship off pretty soon.

Changing Views

Sometimes, a girlfriend or boyfriend tries to prepare you for an imminent break up.  They love you and want to minimize the hurt by leaving warning signs.  They could even be doing this subconsciously, not knowing that they are trying to prepare you.

One way they do this is by expressing different views than you.

Nothing in Common

While you don’t expect your significant other to agree with every political, religious, social, and popular culture opinion you have, if he or she starts to make a point of your differences, your relationship could be in trouble.

As your boyfriend or girlfriend begins to point out that you have nothing in common, he or she is preparing themselves and you for a break up.

If you want to save the relationship, you can point out that you still do have things in common.  You can say, “I know we disagree on the war in Iraq, but I’m glad we agree on abortion.”  If he or she starts to fight about abortion too, you know you are in trouble.

Mismatched Views About the Future

In the beginning of a relationship, everything is about “now.”  But, as you go on, looking toward the future becomes important.  If your significant other doesn’t want there to be a future, they are likely to start pointing out the mismatched views you have about the future.

For instance, she may have said she wants a large family and he is uncommitted to having children.  If there are no problems in the relationship, this won’t come up much.  But if one of them is planning on breaking up, they may start to point these “future issues” as problems for the present relationship.

If the future views affect the present, they certainly do need to be discussed.  If you are considering marriage in the near future, the question of children is a primary concern.  Indeed, it’s a legitimate reason to call off a wedding.

However, if there is no engagement ring in site and she’s talking about how you don’t agree on kids, it could be a precursor to a break up.

Avoids Talking About the Future

The reverse is also true.  If your boyfriend or girlfriend is overly concerned with the present, they may have no long term aims with you.  If they won’t talk about the future, your relationship is unlikely to survive.

You shouldn’t put pressure to talk about “big issues” in the future.  But talking about where you’d like to spend a fantasy New Year’s Eve in March shouldn’t be a big deal for them.  If it is, they are thinking that you might not be in their life come January.

Says “We Have to Talk”

Having “the talk” with a boyfriend or girlfriend is one way break ups occur.  You are only delaying the inevitable if you put this off.

If your boyfriend or girlfriend says “we have to talk” or “I don’t know how to say this” and you cut them off, you may not be doing yourself any favors.  If a break up is imminent, you might as well get it over with and move on with your life.

Conversations Become Less Personal

The final way that a person can distance themselves from you through expressing different views is to move from the personal to the general.  If you find yourself talking more about the weather, sports, or news and less about your daily life, and your hopes, dreams, and aspirations, there may be trouble.

If this is the case, try re-introducing the personal into conversations.  It may just be that your relationship has gotten stale.

However, if your significant other resists efforts to talk about personal things, you should know that the relationship is on its last legs.


How you fight, and how often you fight can be important indicators of whether the relationship is about to be over.  Look for the following things to determine if you have problems.

You Fight All of the Time

Very few relationships can survive constant conflict.  If you fight all of the time, particularly if you used to have a relatively calm relationship, you may be headed for trouble.

One thing you should do is analyze if the fights have a common theme.  If they do, think about whether there are things you need to change to keep your significant other happy.

However, if there seems to be no pattern, suggest going to a therapist for couple’s counseling.  The counselor may be able to help you identify patterns that aren’t intrinsically obvious.

If your boyfriend or girlfriend is fighting because they are looking for a way to break up however, the split is probably imminent.

He or She Picks Fights

Sometimes it isn’t a matter of fighting all of the time so much as it is that your significant other starts to pick fights, particularly over small matters.

The idea here is that your boyfriend or girlfriend makes a big deal over a small thing and does it over a variety of issues on a regular basis.  You don’t deserve to live in state where you are always walking on eggshells wondering where the next big blow up is going to come from.

Your significant other may be picking fights with the goal of having you call the relationship off so that they don’t have to.

He or She Criticizes All of the Time

If, in the beginning days of the relationship you could do no wrong and now you can do no right, there’s probably a problem.

Criticism eats at the heart of a relationship.  It can be over the same things (appearance, money, relatives) or it can be over a variety of things.

While criticism can seem milder than the before mentioned picking fights, it still destroys the love and trust in your relationship.  If you see criticism starting to seep into your conversations, have a discussion with your partner about it.  If there really is a problem, you can get to the heart of it.  If not, you should start to look for an impending break up.

You Don’t Fight At All

Ironically, the most damaging of all types of fights is when you don’t fight at all.  In most relationships, there is some give and take.  Some couples fight loud with pots banging and one party storming out.  Others have quiet, cool, simmering fights.

But, if the fights stop, it means one or both parties have given up.  They simply don’t care enough to fight anymore.  They may be staying in the relationship for the time being out of inertia, but they don’t expect to get anything out of it anymore.

Often, one person in the relationship will think that “everything’s great” because the fighting has stopped.  Then they are shocked when the other person says he or she wants out.

Don’t let this happen to you.  If things seem to be going too well, find out why.

Physical Attraction

One of the main things that draws people together is their physical attraction to each other.  Even in non-sexual relationships, holding hands, kissing, and other forms of physical affection are the norm.  So, when things change on the physical scene, there is probably a problem.

He or She Thwarts Public Displays of Affection

If your partner no longer wants to hold hands with you in public, they may be signaling that the relationship is over.  Public displays of affection are the most visible means of communicating to the world that you are a couple.  When he or she stops wanting to identify you as their significant other, it’s a bad sign.

Thwarting PDA can involve not offering to hold hands when you initiate it or not initiating it on their own when they used to.

Alternatively, if they are willing to hold hands, etc. when people you know can see you but not when you are in crowds, there may be a problem.  He or she may not feel attracted to you but is not yet willing to let friends know that.

Change in Appearance

If your partner has made a sudden change in his or her appearance, they may be thinking about changing lovers.  While they may say they are doing it for you, the real reason may be deeper than that.  They may be putting on plumage to strut for a new love.

Now, people change their look all of the time, so every new hair style shouldn’t cause you to stay up nights worrying.  But, if they are signaling a new direction in their appearance, they may be looking for a new partner as well.

If your Goth girlfriend suddenly wants a preppy look, she’s going to want a preppy boyfriend too.  If your surfer dude boyfriend cuts his hair and ditches his wet suit, could you be far behind?

Avoids Sex

Much like avoiding PDA, if your boyfriend or girlfriend starts to avoid sex, you probably have a problem.

First, you should find out if there are any physical or emotional reasons that he or she may be feeling this way.  Depression, in particular, can lessen one’s sex drive.  If you can support your partner during this time, that’s a good thing.

But, if your partner is distancing themselves from you sexually, it is also a good sign that they are ready to break things off completely.

It’s also a distinct possibility that they are already sleeping with someone else and don’t want to “commit adultery” with you.

Sexual avoidance often means that a break up is near.

Changes Sexual Behavior

Turning to the other extreme and wanting more and different kinds of sex may also be a precursor to a break up.  It signals that the person is bored and is open to a relationship that is more exciting.

It’s always good to “mix thing up” when a relationship gets stale.  This must be done in a way that is safe and comfortable for both parties.  Unfortunately, a dramatic change in sexual behavior isn’t intended to cause the other party to feel safe.  The idea is to push you until you call it quits.

You should not go beyond your comfort zone to try to keep someone like this.  It is likely that they will leave you no matter what you do.

Pat on the Back

Here’s one that you might not catch right away.  If your boyfriend or girlfriend gives you a pat on the back when you hug them, this may be a signal that things are not right with the relationship.

When a person pats another person on the back in a hug, it’s generally a sign of awkwardness toward the embrace.  If your significant other is feeling awkward with physical contact, they will give you a subtle signal of this.

While you probably cannot decode every gesture your partner makes, it’s a good bet that if they start to treat you like they would their great Aunt Marge, your relationship is in trouble.

Other Behaviors

Not all signs of a break up fit neatly into one of the above categories.  This section of the report will look at a variety of behaviors that signal that your relationship could be in trouble.


Some people are natural flirts.  They flirted before you got together and they continue flirting to this day.  To them, flirting is like breathing.  It may annoy you, but it doesn’t signal a break up.

However, most people don’t flirt if they are happy in their relationship.  Therefore, if you notice that they’ve started flirting, it is a signal that something is wrong.

One thing that could be wrong is that you are not paying enough attention to them.  If this is the case, some TLC should solve the problem.

But, if they continue to flirt with members of the opposite sex, you need to realize that, subconsciously or not, they’re looking for a new love.  Flirting is an invitation for another person to respond sexually.  If your partner is doing this, you need to know that they are on the market, even if they are still (technically) with you.

He or She Doesn’t Look You in the Eye When Talking

It is good communication to look someone in the eye when you are talking to them.  If your partner stops doing this, you can infer that they’re not being honest with you.

Now, they may not be hiding any “big” lies.  The lie may simply be that they do not want to be in this place with this person at this time in their life.  As a result, they will send you the subtle hint by not looking you in the eye.

He or She Stops Referring to You as Boyfriend/Girlfriend

You know you are dropping off their relationship radar when they stop referring to you as their boyfriend or girlfriend.  When they introduce you to a family member as “my friend” or even just by your first name, it is a danger signal.

Also, when you are with his or her friends, has the way they interact with you verbally changed?  When you leave the table, does he say “my girlfriend will be right back”?  Or, does he say “Sara will be right back”?  If the verbiage has changed, it’s a danger signal.

While you don’t want to read too much into a single incident, you should know that they way we name things gives them importance.  That’s why parents put so much thought into a child’s name.

If this happens to you, talk to your partner about how he or she sees you.  It may help you work out where you stand.

He or She Wants to Get Off the Phone

If your boyfriend or girlfriend seems to want to get off the phone quickly and they have always been willing to chat with you in the past, you should worry.  Communication is key in a relationship, and if they are cutting this off, they could be cutting you off in other ways.

Another form of this is when they delay in returning phone calls or don’t return them at all.  While there are all kinds of “games” people play after a first date about who calls who and at what time, but the time you settle into relationship, you should be talking on a consistent basis.

If you start to see changes in phone behavior, it could be a sign that your relationship is changing too.

Gets a New Phone and Doesn’t Give You the Number

If your boyfriend or girlfriend gets a new phone but doesn’t give you the number, they are almost certainly preparing for a break up.  It means that they don’t want you to be able to contact them after the deed is done.

There is no reason that you shouldn’t have all of his or her numbers.  Your boyfriend or girlfriend may ask you not to call on a specific line because it is for work or emergency purposes only, but they shouldn’t have a “hidden number.”

You Stop Feeling in “Synch”

Committed couples begin to mimic each other’s hand gestures, tone, and even accents.  This behavior modeling actually brings us closer together with the people who we love.  That’s why it is so disturbing when you start to feel out of synch with someone you love.

You may notice this on your own or a friend may point it out to you.  If breaking up is a concern for you, look for ways to reconnect and get back into the natural rhythm of a relationship.

Stuff Starts Disappearing

One sure sign that things are changing is when their “stuff” starts disappearing from your home.  If he wants his college sweatshirt back or if she takes her toothbrush home, you should be concerned about the future of your relationship.

Usually, when people are seriously thinking about breaking up, they do this slowly.  They don’t want the other person to notice until they make up their mind.  But, anticipating a big scene and not wanting to have a protracted “exchange of stuff,” they start to bring things home quietly.

This is something that is hard to talk about because if you point out any one incident of taking stuff back you’ll look paranoid.  The best thing you can do in this situation is to keep quiet about the “stuff” but work on other ways to salvage the relationship.


Most relationships won’t last.  You may go through many relationships in your life.  That means that you are going to have a lot of break ups.

I wrote this report for two reasons.

The first was so that you could recognize the signs of an impending break up in order to soften the emotional blow.  It’s always good to be prepared.

The other was to alert you to potential danger signs.  Sometimes, you can head off a crisis by taking conscientious steps to modify both your own behavior and that of the one you love.

I hope you found this report to be helpful in dealing with your own relationships. read more about [rollinglinks]love advice [/rollinglinks]

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