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Watching for Signs and Symptoms of a Break Up

Updated on July 27, 2012

Have you ever been in a relationship that you think will last forever and all of a sudden it ends, just like that? What caused it to happen? Were there signs that could that could have helped prevent it from happening? Breaking up out of the blue is like getting a sucker punch to the heart.

I remember having a long distance relationship a long time ago with this girl who seemed perfectly happy talking on the phone every night and seeing each other every few weeks whenever one of us had the chance to visit. Then out of the blue, while on vacation with some of my family, I received an email saying it was over, and as the cliche goes, saying that I was a great guy and that the problem was with her and not me. Whether you know it's coming or not, I think we can all agree that it's even worse when we don't see it coming. If we can see the signs, at least we can brace for it even if a little or even change the outcome. But what are these signs?

Before we move on let me give you a tip: if there is anything you should walk away with from this entire post it's this, we are all great liars, especially to ourselves. We can watch our significant other flirting with someone else openly and believe them when they say that they were just being friendly, but deep down we know the truth. Especially if something's going wrong with your own relationship already.

We are pretty good at keeping those nasty, painful emotions away when we really don't want them. Because of this, in the end we usually do more harm than good by putting off the inevitable. If you don't lie to yourself and you look with objective, unbiased eyes then you might actually have a chance of saving your relationship before your partner calls it quits. Now for the signs…

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Sign numero uno: Being distant.

At the beginning of a relationship all couples go through the honeymoon stage where you practically find yourself attached to your partner 24/7 whether it be physically, through text, over the phone, facebook, etc. After a while you get past this stage and slowly become more individualized again while still retaining your couple status and growing in trust and love (hopefully). But what if instead of continuing to be attached at the hip your partner finds that they have a lot more other important things to do than spend time with you. If you find that they don't have a reasonable excuse for blowing you off time after time, there's only one way to counteract this, and that is communication.

When you're communicating with your partner, the most important thing to do is not to make it sound like you're accusing them of anything. You just want to sit them down, and calmly ask them about what's been going on.

Sign number two: Increased need for privacy.

Do you find that your partner suddenly needs a lot more privacy? Setting or changing the password on their phone, changing their passwords to Facebook (if they shared it that is), always going to the other room to make a phone call? Just the fact that they're doing this doesn't mean that they're getting tired of the relationship, but if they're doing it and not giving you a good reason why then there might be a chance that they are.

Again the best way to confront this is through communication. Just politely and calmly ask, "What's going on?" and maybe why they're being so private now. Of course depending on what's going on during that time they may be setting up a surprise for your birthday or anniversary, so watch out for that as well.

Last but not least, the third sign you should watch for is a change in your sex life.

Do you still have it as often as you did before? Has there been a change in who initiates it? If your partner used to be the one who always initiated it and now doesn't seem interested then that could be a sign that they're getting tired of the relationship or worse, even seeing someone else. Of course there could be other things like being tired from work, not enough time, etc. Once again the best approach is to communicate and see why there's been a change.

Like I said at the top, we are great at lying to ourselves. Most of the time the signs of the end of a relationship can be easy to spot, but if we're lying to ourselves then it can be pretty easy to ignore or overlook them. By catching them early and acknowledging them you have a much better chance of communicating and fixing them right away before the chance of an actual breakup occurs. So to reiterate: keep your eyes open, don't lie to yourself, and communication is key.

If you have any other tips or ideas shout them out in the comments below.


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

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    • JArvinV profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from FL

      That's a very good point Suraj and I've definitely seen it first hand. I know so many people who in the spotlight seem like the perfect couple, but when they're behind the scenes they even sleep in different rooms! And, like you said, they eventually break up. That's why it's so important to communicate, thank you for your input.

    • suraj punjabi profile image

      suraj punjabi 

      8 years ago from jakarta

      Love your way of writing it. I would also like to share my own point if view on this one.

      I think the main reason why couples break up is due to lack of acceptance at the changes that is happening between them. They cannot accept changes. All couples, especially those who has been in a long relationship or married will know this.

      The inability to accept changes will only bring couples through a phase of denial that can go on for years and this can be like a time bomb if not dealt with as soon as possible.

      There are couples who has been together for 20 years and they break up all of a sudden. Why? Because when the honeymoon phase got over they panicked. They try desperately to rekindle, they try look super romantic infront of public although in the back of their minds they both know they are kidding themselves. Finally they reach a certain point at which they cant take it anymore and after decades of kidding yourselves you try to sit and spill out bitter truths after bitter truths can be fatal to a relationship and is very hard to mend.

      These people spend decades together kidding themselves instead of getting to know and appreciate each others shortcomings and advantages.

    • JArvinV profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from FL

      Thank you so much for your input SidKemp. That's a great point that it's easier to agree to be open when things are going well rather than trying to pry information out of your partner when things are going wrong. We should all strive to be open and healthy with our communication.

    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 

      8 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      This is a great discussion of the issue of signs of relationship problems. This hasn't happened to me, but I have a friend who was married, and her husband called it quits without notice.

      As a partner in a marriage that has lasted 26 years, I would add that it is good to discuss this up front, before there are signs of a problem. We might say, "Let's agree now to be open and honest about our feelings, about what's going on, and about what's changing." Say that when things are good, and then it is easier if, later on, you need to say, "what's happening to our time together?"


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