6 Subtle Signs Your Relationship Is Headed For A Breakup

If you just don't feel the same anymore, why force it?

Last updated on Apr 22, 2023

sad woman going through breakup Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock

Most relationships begin well. When you're first in love, everything your beloved does is fantastic, cute, and endearing. They can do no wrong.

But as the relationship develops, you begin to see things differently. You may even begin to see breakup signs.

As you move beyond the honeymoon phase, the blinder comes off your eyes, and you see your partner as they are. Little habits start to annoy you.

Maybe they never pick up their clothes off the floor. They never follow through on what they promise to do. You feel more and more annoyed and start to notice behaviors that disturb you.


You ask yourself, "Is this the person I want to bond with? Is it worth my effort to see if I can make this relationship work?"

Do the concerns seem minor compared to the benefits? Do you still want to see this person every day? Do you feel like the most important person in the world when you're with them?

If you want to give your relationship a fair chance to grow, you need to invest time in the union. Make sure you have time every day to check in with each other. Create a safe space to share whatever's going on in your lives.

If you do run into problems, don't be afraid to ask for help, whether that be a religious leader, friend, family member, or professional coach or counselor.


If after all this work you're still having doubts about the relationship, then it's probably time to end it.

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Here are six signs your relationship is headed for a breakup:

1. Conflict gets out of hand

Conflict is a normal part of life. Conflict happens between two or more people who passionately disagree with each other.


If you're in a healthy relationship, you will be able to work through your differences of opinion. You'll be able to listen to each other, explore different options, and use your curiosity to find a third way. Finding your middle ground will help you to find a way to move forward.

Conflict only becomes a problem when it's not acknowledged and respected. If you're in a relationship where differences of opinion quickly turn into aggression, you have a severe problem.

Both of you need to be willing to find the middle ground. Any healthy relationship requires a willingness to take the time to listen to each other. For this to work, it requires love, grace, kindness, honesty, and forgiveness of yourself and your partner.

If your partner isn't willing to work through conflict in a positive way, then you need to question if your relationship is worth continuing.


If your partner is turning into a bully, then you need to end the relationship immediately.

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2. You don't feel safe

Any healthy relationship requires emotional, physical, and mental safety. Do you feel safe with this person?

Do you have to defend yourself constantly? Are you always being blamed for your partner's problems? Do you feel like you're walking around on eggshells?

You deserve to be safe. In a good relationship, you'll be encouraged by your partner to be your best. They'll support you as you follow your dreams. Over time, you'll share all the ups and downs of life.


When you're in your home together, do you feel at ease? Your relationship should feel like a sanctuary from the craziness of life. You'll be able to share what is in your mind. You won't have to worry about saying the wrong thing.

It's normal to go through difficult times in a relationship. In a healthy relationship, you'll have had good times reminding you that your relationship has the potential to reignite with love.

However, if your relationship has been going downhill for months and your partner is not willing to go for help, then it's time to end your relationship.

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3. You blame one another

Blaming another person never gets you moving in a positive direction. If your partner is continually blaming you for everything in your relationship, you have a problem.


Remember, the only person you can change is yourself. You can't change anyone else. The more you try, the more your partner will resist. If they do change, it won't likely last for long.

If your partner isn't willing to take responsibility for their issues, that's a serious problem. You can only invite your partner to change. Sometimes in the interest of your health, you'll need to end a relationship.

If a friend or family member expresses concern about your relationship, pay attention. It's easy for you or anyone else to get caught in a destructive relationship. Over time, you start to believe all the negative things your partner says to you.

If you don't know what to do, ask for help.


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4. There's a lack of trust

Any good relationship requires trust. If your boyfriend is jealous of you having male friends, this's a red flag. If you don't trust your partner, you shouldn't be in the relationship.

Trust is about believing your partner will make you the most significant person in their life, follow through on what they promise, and bring out the best in you. Most importantly, your partner can be a safe person to share your questions, fears, hopes, and dreams without fear of being judged.

Trust happens when you invest time in your relationship and practice excellent communication. You practice excellent communication when you:

  • Make time and space to share what each of you values.
  • Paraphrase what your partner tells you to make sure you hear each other correctly.
  • Take full responsibility for what you say by using "I" statements.
  • Check the stories you're telling yourself about your partner.
  • When you work through differences of opinion, approach it with a calm mind and willingness to see beyond your disagreement.

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5. You don't share the same values

Your values are essential. You're more likely going to have a good relationship if you share some core values. You need some shared values to help you bond as a couple.

Maybe you share values such as equality between men and women, human rights, and free speech.

You don't have to believe everything exactly. Too much sameness would make your relationship boring. However, you need to be respectful of your partner having some different beliefs.


For example, if your value is women are equal to men, and your partner thinks he should be the head of the household, then you're going to have problems.

If you come from different faith backgrounds, you still share the value that faith and spirituality are necessary to you both. You will need to decide how you can support each other in your different faith communities. If you choose to have children, you need to think about how you'll raise them.

If you're always arguing with each other, this is a sign that you don't have enough core values in common. When you don't have enough core values, your relationship may need to end.

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6. You can't imagine a future with them

After some time, the excitement of the new relationship will wear off. You start to see your partner for who they really and you don't like what you see.

You might want first to check to see if this is a pattern with yourself. If this is the pattern, your ego is sabotaging your relationships every time you start to get close. If this is true, you might want to get some professional help.

If you pay attention to yourself, you'll know the difference between hiding from intimacy and the recognition that you're in a destructive relationship.


If you cannot imagine a future with this person, then it's over. The longer you put off finishing the relationship, the more difficult it'll be to leave.

Do you relate to these signs? Is it time to end your relationship? If you're experiencing these, you either need to get help for yourself and your partner or leave.

If you don't resolve the issues that got you into the relationship in the first place, you're likely going to repeat the same narrative with a different person.

When a relationship ends, this is an excellent time to reflect on what's essential for you in a relationship.

How desperate are you to be in a relationship? Maybe you first need to have a healthy relationship with yourself.


The end of a relationship is an excellent time to ask yourself how you want to be treated. What values do you need in your partner? Do you want children? How do you want to share power? What does equality mean for you?

No relationship is indeed perfect. However, in the long run, it needs to be a relationship that feels comfortable, safe, honest, and nurturing.

If you're miserable in your relationship, then it's time to do something different.

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Roland Legge is an author, Certified Spiritual Life Coach and teacher of the Enneagram. He helps people connect to their inner selves and find alignment with their highest purpose and values.