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Should I Break Up with My Girlfriend? When, Why & 43 Signs to Do It Right

A breakup isn’t easy. If you’re wondering whether or not you should break up with your girlfriend, here’s how to know if it’s time to end it for good.

should i break up with my girlfriend

If you’ve started asking yourself, “Should I break up with my girlfriend?” the answer should probably be obvious. Odds are, at one point or another, you were crazy in love with your girlfriend, so even if your relationship has fallen on hard times, you may still be wondering if you should give your love another shot.

Remember that while you may joke with your bros that “breaking up is a real bitch, but it’s a lot easier to do when your girlfriend is, too!” the reality is that most breakups simply aren’t that cut and dry.

Whether you’re still in love with your girlfriend or you just can’t stand to be around her anymore, there’s still something awkward and sad about ending a relationship you’ve put both your effort and your heart into.

*all right, all right, sometimes it’s a total booyeah moment that feels totally awesome and gratifying… but for the most part, it’s just a giant pool of awkward suckage*

Why haven’t you broken up with your girlfriend already? 

If you’re reading this, then you probably already know that you want to break up with your girlfriend. So, you should really ask yourself, why haven’t you done it already? [Read: Breakup advice – the best advice you need and the ones that harm]

There could be many reasons. Here are a few.

1. You love her

You might really love her, but you know she isn’t good for you for any number of reasons.

For example, maybe she has a shopping addiction or some other negative behavior that is affecting you. Or, she might be really moody or too independent. Whatever the reason, you love her. But you’re not happy in the relationship.

2. You have been together so long

The longer you have been with someone, the more difficult it is to break up with them. That’s because you have invested so much time into it, that it’s hard to let go. [Read: 9 stages of a long-term relationship breakup you have to experience]

And if you’re at the age where you want to settle down and have kids, you might think that it’s easier to stay and build a life together than it would be to go out and find someone new.

3. You don’t want to hurt her

No one likes to be the bad guy in a breakup. You might really like her, and she is a good person. And the only reason you want to break up is that you’re not in love anymore.

But you know that will hurt her feelings, and you don’t think that she deserves to be hurt. So, you haven’t done it yet because you can’t bring yourself to inflict emotional pain on her.

4. You’re getting something out of the relationship

People usually have some sort of payoff from everything in life. So, just because you’re thinking bout breaking up with your girlfriend doesn’t mean that there still aren’t things that are working for you. [Read: Why your long-time girlfriend refuses to have sex]

For example, maybe you get sex out of it, or she’s splitting the rent. Those are two things that are working to your advantage if you don’t break up. So, until the costs outweigh the rewards of staying with her, you will probably stay in the relationship.

5. You don’t like change

There are a lot of people who like everything in their life to stay the same as much as possible. But as the saying goes, the only thing constant in life is change

Maybe you’re just too comfortable in your routine, and you don’t want to change your life. Plus, you would have to put in the effort to find another relationship, and that might sound complicated and difficult to you. [Read: Breakup anxiety – How to deal with it and overcome your biggest fears]

6. She’s familiar

If you have been together for a long time, she’s very familiar to you. It’s like that old pair of shoes that are worn down, but they are still very comfortable. In fact, they could even be your favorite pair even though they’re old.

That might be what it’s like for you. You know your girlfriend really well, and she knows you too. You are comfortable with her, and it’s like a security blanket that you don’t want to change or give up.

7. You’re friends

Maybe the two of you aren’t having a lot of sex anymore, but you’re still pretty good friends. She’s a nice person, and so are you.

The two of you get along really well and still enjoy your time together. Maybe you’re just “roommates,” but you still want to be friends. [Read: The good and bad of being friends with an ex – your helpful guide]

8. It’s too much effort to find someone new

Let’s face it – sometimes it’s not fun to be single. And a lot of people don’t like the dating scene these days. Who even knows how long it will take until you find another woman who might want to date you?

Maybe the thought of going out and finding someone new is just too overwhelming for you, and you are trying to avoid it.

Why some men have trouble asking for a breakup

1. They’re immature

Some men want to break up with their girlfriends, but they don’t want to have to be the one to do it. So, instead of doing it themselves, they try to find a way to end things by getting the girl to do it for him.

He might start distancing himself or just start being a jerk. He is acting immaturely because he thinks she’ll get sick of him and break it off before he has to.

2. They don’t want to deal with the fallout

Guys know that most girls are emotional, and they hate dealing with that. So, if he thinks that his girlfriend will cry and/or yell and scream hurtful words at him for breaking up with her, then he doesn’t want to have to deal with that. [Read: Crazy women – 15 signs that your girlfriend is insane!]

Even if she does accept the breakup, she might start to act needy and beg for him to get back together. It all sounds too emotionally exhausting for him.

3. They have no courage

They might be immature and not want to deal with the fallout of the breakup, which means he doesn’t have enough courage to initiate the breakup.

It takes a lot of guts to hurt someone’s feelings, especially if you know that someone doesn’t want to break up.

4. They can’t make a decision

A lot of guys are simply indecisive. They might overanalyze everything about the relationship by looking at all the pros and the cons. [Read: Why am I so indecisive? 25 whys and ways to be an instant decision-maker]

Even if there are more cons than pros, he might look at some of the pros as being something that he doesn’t want to give up *like sex*. So, going back and forth in his head delays his decision to break up.

5. They’re lazy

Many guys just get comfortable in their relationships – and their lives. It takes a whole lot of effort to take the action to break up with their girlfriends.

And then, the thought of dating other women sounds like it would be too much of a bother. So, they think it’s just easier to stay with who they are with at the moment.

Should I break up with my girlfriend? How to know when to do it

Still want to know if it’s time to break up with your girlfriend? If so, we’ve got all the great reasons why you should call it quits!

1. You don’t love her

This one’s a no-brainer! If you can definitively say that you do not love your girlfriend as a person, nor are you in love with her as a partner *and maybe even resent her*, then this is the most definitive reason to leave someone and move on with your life.

There is no point in either of you staying in a loveless relationship. [Read: Falling out of love and why it happens to you]

2. Independence issues

There is a perfect balance you must strike when it comes to independence in a relationship. On the one hand, you definitely want to be seeing each other and spending a healthy dose of time together to keep your current relationship strong.

On the other hand, seeing one another every minute of every day can feel suffocating for some and may become overbearing.

If your girlfriend falls too far on either side of the spectrum, it could be one of the signs to throw in the towel. [Read: How to be independent even if you’re in a relationship]

3. She is using you

Women *and men* are multi-faceted creatures who can be amazingly giving girlfriends, or total users. If you’re getting the vibe that your girlfriend is more into your credit card than your quality time, it’s a red flag and a sign it’s time to consider ending the relationship, no matter how much you love her. [Read: The secret signs to know if you’re being used for sex or money]

4. The sex just isn’t working

All right, so let’s preface this by saying that sex isn’t everything, and it’s certainly not a good reason to break up with someone who is otherwise perfect for you.

That being said, it is hella important in aspect of your relationship. Sexual compatibility and satisfaction is a huge deal that may even prompt some relationship problems. [Read: The sexiest ways to build sexual tension in a flirty way]

5. Her jealousy is ruining your relationship

A certain level of jealousy is totally healthy in every relationship. After all, if you’re in a committed relationship and someone else is sticking their interested nose into your mate, it’s only natural to get a little annoyed.

That being said, if your girlfriend has unprompted jealousy *i.e. you’ve been faithful to her and have given her no reason not to trust you* that turns into rage, and possessiveness, or has caused her to hijack your social media, e-mail, and cell phone… you need to reel her in quick with some reassurance or simply wash your hands of the whole thing! [Read: Taming the green monster – When is a girl’s jealousy okay?]

6. You fight, a LOT

Does your fighting outweigh the awesome times you have together? If you’ve become that couple you used to hate who fights literally everywhere you go, it may be time to end your current relationship or seek some serious relationship counseling.

7. You don’t want the same things

Okay, so you don’t have to always like the same things as your partner, but there should be at least some life goals that should be cohesive between you and your girlfriend. Some down-the-road deal breakers include:

-Do you want children?

-Are you on the same page about marriage?

-Do your religious beliefs/absence of which bother one another?

-Are your political views a subject of strife?

-Where do you want to work?

-Where do you want to settle down?

-What are your financial goals or responsibilities?

Not having the same goals or future plans doesn’t mean your girlfriend makes you miserable, or that you don’t have a great relationship, but this is certainly something to consider if you are thinking about a real future together. 

These may not seem like a big deal during the cupcake phase of dating, but trust us, they will become issues the longer you are together. [Read: 10 signs your partner is truly supportive of your goals]

8. She’s all drama and no fun

Is your girlfriend the type who *loves* drama? This may seem fun and exciting at the beginning of your relationship, but it can soon get old and emotionally draining. 

Whether she has drama with her family, friends, online associates, work, or even you, odds are her cycle of finding outrageous things to be incredulous about isn’t going to end anytime soon. Save yourself the headache and break it off with your girlfriend.

9. She makes you feel bad about yourself

Sometimes you date someone because they’re awesome, and others times, you date them because you’re lonely! When it comes to finding that special someone, nobody deserves to feel insecure, belittled, or unhappy.

If your girlfriend is constantly belittling you or making you feel bad about yourself, this probably stems from her own insecurities and issues with confidence.

If you’ve brought up her trash-talking ways and tried to communicate your grievances, but she still won’t give it a rest, it’s time to leave. Abuse comes in a lot of different forms, and this is one of them. [Read: 15 types of toxic relationships to watch out for]

10. She’s a sneaky girl

Your girlfriend may be hot as hell, but it does you no good if she’s sneaking all over town without your knowledge. Sure, you’re not a controlling guy and you don’t need to know her moves 24/7. 

But if she’s lying to you about her whereabouts or sneaking around with other men behind your back, we’d call that a huge relationship no-no. Not to mention… STDs, anyone? [Read: Is she cheating? 20 sneaky signs your girl is looking out]

11. She’s codependent

When a person is codependent, they are often needy or dependent upon someone else. And in this case, that would be YOU. This is more than just normal clinginess. If she’s codependent, she goes beyond being clingy. 

Not only does she like spending time with you, but she wants to plan her entire life around pleasing you. And she needs to be needed by you. Her self-esteem and self-worth only come from sacrificing herself for you.

12. Her quirks are annoying you

When people first start dating, they often don’t notice each other’s quirks. And even when they do start to notice them, they kind of become cute for a while. [Read: 12 very annoying girlfriend habits that make a guy hate his girl]

But if you’ve gotten to the point where her quirks are like nails on a chalkboard and want to send you screaming out the door, then it’s time to break up with her, the relationship isn’t worth it.

13. She avoids solving problems

Every couple has its problems. It’s just natural to have some level of conflict when you are in a relationship. If you have tried to talk to her about your problems but she won’t really do anything about them, then that’s not healthy. 

Both people need to put in effort in order to keep the relationships going. So, if you feel like it’s a one-way street with only you putting in the work, it’s a warning sign that it’s time to break away and find love elsewhere. [Read: Putting too much effort in a relationship and where to draw the line]

14. You don’t have fun together 

The longer you are in a relationship with someone, the more routine your life gets. That’s just normal. No longer are you going on long romantic dates all the time. 

But just because you’ve settled into a routine doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun together. So, if your level of “fun” these days is just sitting in front of the TV or looking through your phones when you’re together, then that’s not a quality way of spending time together.

15. You think you would be better off with someone else

Maybe you know someone at work or at school that you talk to a lot. You seem to get along with them a lot better than you do with your girlfriend. Although you aren’t cheating on her, you still compare the two of them. [Read: In a relationship but like someone else? 13 steps to decode your mind]

You often think, “If only my girlfriend was more like Kyla, we would be happier.” You don’t even have to be comparing her to a real-life girl.

It’s important to realize that if you are simply thinking you would be better off with someone else, then that’s a bad sign.

16. There is abuse

Abuse comes in many forms. Most people think of it in terms of physical abuse done by the man to the woman. But women can abuse men too. There is mental and emotional abuse that can happen, and humiliation and emotional manipulation are some of its many forms.

So, if she’s not treating you with respect and verbally abusing you, then you need to get out ASAP. Abuse of any kind is not to be tolerated in any relationship. [Read: Emotional abuse – what it is and 39 signs this relationship is breaking you]

17. One of you is not a priority to the other

In a healthy relationship, both people need to put their partner at the top of their priority list. So, if one or both of you aren’t doing that, then it’s not a good relationship. It doesn’t matter who isn’t the priority, the fact remains that the relationship is on its last legs.

18. You keep having the same arguments

As we said earlier, it’s normal for couples to have arguments. But the goal of having an argument is to put each other’s concerns out on the table and find a solution together. 

However, if you’re not doing that, then it’s not healthy. You should not be having the same arguments over and over. If you are, you are not solving anything and just spinning your wheels and stagnating. It might be time to break the cycle as the relationship is going nowhere. [Read: Relationship arguments – 25 do’s and don’ts to remember]

19. You want to cheat on her

Maybe you’re not attracted to her anymore. And that can be not only physically but emotionally too. You might find yourself drawn to other women and fantasizing about what it would be like to have sex with them. 

In fact, there might even be a girl that you know that you are flirting with and wanting to cheat on your girlfriend with. So, if cheating crosses your mind a lot, then you already have one foot out the door. And in that case, that is a sign that something is wrong with your relationship.

20. You feel like you’re losing yourself

Maybe your girlfriend is really insecure and because of that, she’s smothering you. She doesn’t want you to go out with your friends or do your hobbies. [Read: 20 signs you’re addicted to a relationship and slowly losing yourself]

Instead, she wants you to be with her 24/7 and is always jealous of other people that you spend time with. If that’s the case, then you might feel like you’re losing yourself in the relationship. You probably want to break it off so you can be an independent person again.

21. She’s trying to turn you into someone else

There will always be things that we don’t like about our partners. That’s normal. But most people just try to overlook it and just accept them the way they are. 

So, if your girlfriend seems to be trying to change you into someone that you aren’t, then that’s not good. It doesn’t matter if she wants you to change the way you dress or to make you more outgoing.

If she’s trying that hard, then she’d probably be better off dating someone else. You don’t have to change to make her feel better. [Read: 28 signs of a bad girlfriend and how to spot a girl who’s bad for you]

22. She tries to break you and make you feel emasculated

Maybe your girlfriend is very dominant. And in some cases, that’s okay. Women are allowed to be strong and independent, just like a lot of men are. But there is a difference between being strong and dominant and trying to make your man feel emasculated.

If you feel like she’s trying to break you as a man, then that is abuse. A woman should never try to cut a man down only so that she can have the power in the relationship.

Don’t allow her to do that. In fact, that should help you figure that it’s time to start packing your things.

23. You’re more invested than she is

You might be madly in love with her, but you don’t feel the same in return. Sure, you feel like she likes you a whole lot. But maybe you kind of feel like if you fell off the edge of the earth, she might not miss you that much. [Read: 19 signs of a taker in a relationship – are you a taker or a giver?]

So, if you find that you are more invested in this relationship, then it’s time to break things off. You deserve someone who is as into you as you are into them. Don’t hang on to someone who doesn’t care enough to give and reciprocate the feelings.

24. You fantasize about ending the relationship

If you are always thinking about what your life would be like without her, then that is also a bad sign. In a happy, fulfilling relationship, you should fear losing the person, and not fantasize about it.

So, if you are always having the urge to end things, then you should follow your gut and just do it, as that’s an indication that the barometer for how the relationship is going is starting to fall.

25. She tries to control you

A controlling person is never easy to be in a relationship with. It’s not healthy to control or be controlled by other people. It’s one thing to leave a “honey-do” list, but it’s another thing to never have a voice in anything in your life.

So, if you feel like she is controlling you in many aspects of your life, then it’s time to get out so you can break free and live your truth. [Read: 24 scary signs of a controlling girlfriend and ways to take a stand]

Bad excuses to break up with your girlfriend

When you want to dump someone, you need an excuse. And this excuse is something that clarifies for the other person what when wrong and why you want to break up. You have to explain why you are unhappy in the relationship.

But there are a lot of bad excuses that people use, and so you should avoid them. Here are some of the ones you shouldn’t use.

1.“You deserve someone better than me”

This seems like an innocent and nice way to break up with someone. You’re trying to compliment them while insulting yourself. But it’s more dangerous than it seems because usually, people see right through it.

They know it’s a BS line, and if you really thought they deserved someone better, then you never would have gone out with them in the first place. [Read: 28 subtle ways to get someone to break up with you if you can’t do it]

2. “I just need a break”

If you have ever seen the TV show Friends, you know about the infamous “We were on a break!” narrative between Ross and Rachel.

“Taking a break” is ambiguous. It might sound nicer and you will think you’re letting her down easier, but she might think that it really is just a break and not a breakup. It’s not clear and direct enough.

3. “We’re just too different”

Another way people try to break up is by pointing out that they’re not enough alike. Just because you say this doesn’t mean it’s actually true.

Even if it is, people are able to work through their differences. So, this is just one way of making up a bad excuse to break up relationships with women.

4. “I need to work on myself”

When someone uses this line as a breakup excuse, it usually means that they want distance from their partner. They claim they need “space” to “figure things out” on their own.

But using this excuse just means they want to get out of the relationship so they can explore the world and see if they will either miss their partner or will find someone better. [Read: 69 signs your relationship is over or on the verge of ending for good]

5. “I’m not ready to be in a relationship”

This is a pretty common excuse that a lot of people use. This doesn’t mean that the dumper is actually not ready for a relationship.

It just means they don’t want one with their partner. They want to see what else is out there. This is usually used as short-term relationship breakup excuses *less than six months*.

The diagnosis: What a relationship should be

There may be so much drama and dysfunction in your relationship that you may have plum forgotten what’s supposed to be fun about having a girlfriend in the first place! We’re here to remind you. Spending your time with your girlfriend should give off the following positive emotions:







-A need for more

Being with your girlfriend should be like being with your best guy friend, only better because she has boobs! She’s smart, she enjoys the same things you do, and she can make you laugh. 

And she satisfies you sexually, she makes you feel capable of anything, and she’s supportive. Oh, and she acts cute as a button, and you can have intelligent conversations with her/conversations about absolutely nothing or even downright stupid subject matter.

Being in a relationship can involve work, yes, but it should still be F-U-N. [Read: 22 real signs of true love in a relationship]

Still want the answer to the question, “Should I break up with my girlfriend?” Then ask yourself this: if the thought of spending another day with your girlfriend, even to try and fix things, makes you want to lick a pile of razor blades and then take a salt shot… we think you have your answer!

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...