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Five Breakup Signs

How to tell when you're about to get the boot

By Elina Furman Updated: Dec 28, 2007
Elina Furman
Average (2839 votes) stars Rate it:
One day, you are madly in love. You're cuddling on the couch, reading love poems and feeding each other sushi. And that's when it happens: Your partner sits you down for the "It's-Not-You, It's-Me" talk. You're confused and left wondering, "How could I have missed the signs?"
Breaking up is never easy. Your ego and heart are bound to get bruised. But if you could just see the breakup coming, it might make the whole business easier to stomach.
“While hindsight is 20/20, there are always warning signals”
While hindsight is 20/20, there are always warning signals along the way.
Top five signs you're about to get dumped
1. Picking fights. No one is saying you have to get along 24/7. Constructive conflict can actually be good for your relationship. But if you find that your partner has become argumentative over petty issues like your clothes or choice of restaurant, that should serve as a warning sign that he/she may be looking for an excuse to bail.
2. Forgetting to call. Used to be that your phone would ring all day long with your sweetie wanting to make plans or calling just to say, "I love you." Now your significant other doesn't even call when he/she is running three hours late. It may seem obvious, but going from speed dial to a blocked number is a sure sign that your relationship may be nearing its expiration date.
3. Changing their stripes. A major change in appearance can be a sign that your partner is looking toward greener pastures. Whether they've chopped off their hair, lost 40 pounds or gone from a bold brunette to a sultry blonde, major cosmetic changes should be noted. Of course, there's nothing wrong with being a little vain, but if the change is accompanied by any of the other signs listed here, you may need to get ready to go solo.
4. Criticizing. If your sweetie isn't feeling you anymore, don't be surprised if he/she becomes less tolerant of everything, from how you brush your teeth to how you tie your shoes. Constant criticism is a telltale sign that your days as a twosome are numbered.
5. Losing sexual interest. A healthy sex life can make or break a relationship. If you find that your partner is becoming more sexually aloof, you need to get to the root of the issue. While it's natural to have less sex as you settle into a comfortable groove together, waiting weeks or months to have sexual contact is a sign that something is amiss.
Now that you know the warning signs, don't panic. Just because your partner exhibits some of these behaviors, that doesn't necessarily mean the relationship is over. In fact, it's usually a combination of signs and not one isolated incident that foreshadows a breakup.
If you're worried that your partner is itching to get out, the most important thing you can do is sit down and discuss your issues in an honest and open manner. If you take these signs as your cue to improve communication, your relationship may just have a fighting chance.
More Elina Furman
Elina Furman's photo by Linda Rowe
Relationship and life-skills expert Elina Furman is the author of "Kiss and Run: The Single, Picky, and Indecisive Girl's Guide to Overcoming Her Fear of Commitment." She has written and cowritten more than 20 books and has appeared on more than 100 national and local television and radio shows, including The Today Show, Good Morning America and The Early Show. Her books have been featured in Time, The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Newsweek, USA Today and Fortune. She is online at kissrunbook.com.
Leave a comment COMMENTS50 COMMENTS
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A Yahoo! Contributor
If you can't save your relationship, perhaps you haven't lost it, and only have the appearance of losing it.
I'm in a state of euphoria and shock and disbelief. My wife just left me after 17 years of a good marriage,just out of the blue! She kissed me on the cheek and went to work and never came back.How can a women just toss all that out the window with no thought or anything.She use to beg me to never give her up and she's the one that ends up doing it....There wasn't even a fight. She says that she just wanted to be alone,she says she's living with a married couple and that there's no affair going on. She tossed me away like piece of trash .Is this a total cop-out on a marriage for selfish think of only myself reasons?
A Yahoo! Contributor
All the tell tale signs in this article prove to be correct. But the sad thing is, I was the one trying to break up with her. 3 times as a matter of fact. All 3 times she refused to part. A month later, she turns around and calls it off. I was quite surprised. Hmm....Seems like she wanted to be the dumper and not the dumpee. Considering she had a child and have been in a couple of failed relationship, she felt an obligation to protect her image from her friends. My reason for wanting to break up with her was reasonable. I didnt mind her having a child but her personality became unbearable in the later part of the relationship. Normally when we're at an event around her friends, she would ignore me and be off in the crowd. i felt isolated. I knew she was self centered and she was always drawn to getting all the attention. But that wasnt the icing on the cake. Weeks later we planned a weekend with her 7 year old son to spend time with him and work on his science project. On the actual day, her friend called her up and said it was a girls night out. She dropped the plan she had made with me (her boyfriend) and even her own son to be out with her girls. This was the last straw for me. Although she broke it off, Im glad its over. Theres no sense in being with someone who has a child and doesnt even know how to prioritize the important people in their life. I think in her case she can justify herself just because she received a college degree. A degree doesn't mean anything in a relationship. Now her son will have to be faced with another man coming into his life....For the 4th time. I feel for her son.
A Yahoo! Contributor
So true... I am looking from the other side... I am picking up fights for no reason.I don't feel like picking up phone for his call when I am out of the house.I don't feel him anymore and always critisizing him.I am suddenly changing my style of living, my clothing and I have no interest in making love with him. Thought of coming back to home after work irritates me every day. All the signes show that I am ready to break up with my husband....!!
A Yahoo! Contributor
its not that ur ready to break up with him, its maybe that u have gotten into a rut, or that the honeymoon is over and u just don't know how to move forward. People give up so easily in relationships when something bad happens, or when they get bored, or the "spice" is gone. Like the author says "it's natural to have less sex as you settle into a comfortable groove together" this is the time when you really need to learn how to love and make the relationship last. Theres a book called "the five love languages" its by gary chapman, and every word makes so much sense. It talks about the five languages of love (Words of affirmation, quality time, giving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch) and how everyone speaks at least one, sometimes two of these languages. if your partner isn't "speaking" your language, you don't feel loved, and vice versa. For example, the way I interpret love or show love is through physical touch. If my husband doesn't touch me or cuddle, or theres no kissing, I feel he doesn't love me because he isn't speaking my language. the way he interprets love is through acts of service. When I wash the car, do house work, take out the trash, Iron his uniforms, ect, he knows I love him because I did it for him. I can touch him all I want, but if I don't do any acts of service, he doesn't feel loved. I would recommend the book for any couple, there is a quiz in the back that helps you find out what you language is. if you're not into reading though, basicly your/your partner's language is what you/they complain about most. if he says " we never do anything together or spend time together, his is prolly quality time. if she says, you don't buy me anything, hers is prolly giving gifts. theres my 40 cents
A Yahoo! Contributor
A Yahoo! Contributor
Yipes, I just read the warning signs and realize that I'm the one doing all these things, time for a talk with the bf who lives 4 hours away. Should that have been a warning sign? when they move four hours away and only see you every couple of weeks? hmm...
A Yahoo! Contributor
I wholeheartly agree with one of the contributors - The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman is a must read for anyone in a relationship. Your partner may love you to death without you even realizing it because 'they aren't speaking your love-language'. Physical touch, gifts, acts of service, quality time, and words of affirmations - these are the 5. Each one of us perceive love, giving and getting, in predominately one way. If your partner isn't the same as you (usually not) then you may not feel loved & vice-versa. Well worth the read, not boring either, for anyone - in or out of a relationship.
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I got the last one.#5....it was explained to me as " Fake It Till You Make It "....when i asked what was amiss...i was told that she didn't think she was all i wanted her to be.....and apparently it was reversed....she is now in a relationship with her Girlfriend....maybe there should be 6 telltale signs.....
A Yahoo! Contributor
I've seen these sign from a third person point of view. My best friend's boyfriend is ready to break up with her. The strange thing is she's doing 4/5 signs of wanting to break up. But she's not even considering it. Its strange that I've noticed all these signs and never realized what they meant until now. God, its so crappy. Theres probably more signs out there...but yeah...its just crazy to be the noticing all this and not wanting to intrude
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