When a couple start to drift apart, the early warning signs of a break up may not be apparent, even when they know there’s nothing worth fighting for.
In all relationships, there comes a point when the honeymoon period is replaced by a decidedly less pleasant state of affairs. Arguments spring up more readily, less free time is spent dedicatedly together, and other people suddenly seem a whole lot more attractive than they did when you and your partner were sat snuggled up on the sofa every night.
The big question, though, is whether things have broken down so much that there’s no turning back. We’ve compiled the following list of twenty signs that indicate termination territory, and it shouldn’t just be one of them that gives you the justification to separate, but rather, a combination of them.
20 signs it’s time to breakup and walk away for good
The number of signs that needs to have occurred to convince you that you need to part ways is a purely personal matter, but if you reach double figures, then you’re certainly getting close to a breakup.
#1 It bites. Constant bickering and arguing is a sign that the relationship is almost certainly breaking down, unless that was part of the relationship at the beginning. Whether or not it is a truly relevant reason to separate depends upon the frequency and vitriol of the arguments. Needless to say, violence during these arguments means you should get out as soon as possible. [Read: 7 signs you’ve trapped yourself in a bad relationship]
#2 Physical matters. Sex isn’t the be-all and end-all of a relationship, but it is a hugely important part. If sex disappears, then shared levels of intimacy suffer immeasurably, and the bereft partner is unlikely to want to continue. It could be the case that the partner who is refusing the sex has already come to that decision.
#3 There’s no place like home. Home is an environment that everyone should want to go back to at the end of the day – it is your security and nurtures your strength. However, if the thought fills you with trepidation purely because it means having to deal with your partner, then it is a strong sign that things aren’t as they should be.
#4 All tied up. When people have been together for a while and are still in love, they develop ties together. House, children, marriage, engagement – whatever. If you’ve managed to go years without any of these, then it could be a sign that things aren’t going to progress any further and that it’s time to look elsewhere. [Read: 12 obvious signs your partner’s got big commitment issues]
#5 Looking to the future. Do your aspirations mismatch? Are one of you upwardly mobile and the other happy to hold down the fort? Definitely another tick in the ‘signs you should break up’ box.
#6 Different tastes. He likes Bud, she likes Barolo. He likes holidays in AC, she prefers Paris. He’ll go for a slap-stick comedy, where she likes her movies dark and sophisticated. Sometimes, such differences can be quite charming, but eventually they start to grate on your nerves. This is a sign that it’s time to weigh your options. [Read: Do opposites actually attract or do they just push each other away?]
#7 Don’t agree to disagree. You don’t argue, but you don’t seem to agree on anything either. Whatever you want to do, whatever you think, whatever plans you have, there’s never any consensus of opinion. These are clear signs that you’re not meant for each other.
#8 The self identity parade. If you feel that you’ve compromised too much to keep your partner happy and you wake up one day wondering who the hell you are, this could be another sign that things need to come to an end – for your own sanity, if nothing else. [Read: 16 discreet signs your partner takes you for granted]
#9 Family matters. In a relationship where one half wants children but the other doesn’t, this can be a real deal breaker. Sometimes, it’s worth hanging on for a change of heart, but just as often, it’s time to call it a day and move on.
#10 Let’s be friends. Not getting on with your partner’s friends isn’t unusual, nor is it necessarily a sign that it’s time to split up, but it may indicate differences in attitude that could later lead to separation. Only time will tell.
#11 Remote possibilities. Constant fighting over the remote control shows not only differences in taste regarding TV programs, but also an inability to compromise with each other. This is definitely a sign that may indicate a break-up is a good idea.
#13 Closed ears. If you’ve stopped listening to your partner, or they have closed their ears to you, then serious relationship issues have crept into your particular situation. Time to reckon things up, and count whether the blessings outweigh the chores.
#14 Love lost. Some couples can get on fine without love, treasuring the companionship and mutual care they have. For most, however, without love, there’s just no point carrying on.
#15 A source of irritation. Are you constantly irritated by your partner’s presence for no particular reason, even if they try to do something nice for you? Well, there’s a good reason for that. Your heart is probably no longer in the relationship and you’re desperate to be elsewhere. [Read: 20 signs that reveal your relationship is clearly over already]
#16 Keeping up appearances. Have one or both of you let yourselves go a little? Are you no longer the well-groomed individuals you once were? If this is the case, then familiarity has obviously bred contempt, and it’s time to think about your options.
#17 Keeping the parents happy. Just because your other half’s parents don’t like you is no reason to give up on things, but some people really do value their parent’s opinions. If you feel that you’re fighting a losing battle against their negative opinion, and there isn’t enough else to keep you interested, then it could be in your best interests to throw in the towel.
#18 The career fork. Sometimes, a fantastic career opportunity comes along that means moving away from your home. If this is the case, and your partner is unwilling to move with you, then you may decide that your dream job is worth more to you than he or she is. [Read: Love or career – The guide to making the right choice]
#19 Personal issues. Does your partner have disgusting personal habits that they are unwilling to change? If so, then you might decide that it’s time to let someone else deal with them.
#20 Following your dreams. Sometimes, we have a chance to pursue our dreams, whatever they may be, and there’s no room in them for anyone else. If you’re even considering following them at your partner’s expense, then chances are, they don’t actually mean as much to you as you thought.
Now that you know the signs of relationship decay, it’s up to you to decide how bad the rot actually is, and which route you want to take – the one back into your partner’s heart, or the one that leads to the hills!
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Currently reclining with a peaceful and contented smile upon his face, with perhaps just a hint of mystery and steely resolve, Philip Hegarty has an obviously i...