20 Red Flags Your Partner Can't Wait to Break Up With You
Don't go off intuition alone. Therapists share the surefire signs.
At a certain point in any relationship, the honeymoon period fades, and the bones of the partnership are made crystal clear. This can result in a steady, loving commitment—or it could lead to second-guessing and exit-planning. If the latter is coming from your partner, you may not be privy to their thoughts and feelings. So, rather than leading by intuition alone, therapists recommend looking for subtle signs. Keep reading to learn the 20 red flags that your partner can't wait to break up with you.
They talk in strange clichés about your relationship.
According to relationship coach and therapist Anita Chlipala, when your partner speaks in clichés like, "Maybe we're just too different," or "Maybe we're just not meant to be," they're dropping hints to gauge your reaction. They're most likely hoping that you'll be on the same page about the relationship, so they don't have to be the one to pull the plug.
They never ask about your day.
If your partner doesn't want to engage in conversations about your days, your jobs, or anything else day-to-day, they may be considering a break-up, says Carrie Rose, life and divorce coach and founder of SunUp Coaching.
"Partners who can no longer converse about most topics likely need outside support or space from one another," she explains.
They joke about ending the relationship.
When your partner starts teasing about ending the relationship, they may be more serious than you think.
"It's a subconscious way for the partner to test how you'd react to the event of a breakup and see what effect it would have on you," explains Sal Damiata, dating and relationship coach and founder of Attractiontruth.
He adds that they might ask you directly how you'd feel if the two of you were to "hypothetically" break up because it's something they're thinking about.
The date nights have disappeared.
While not everyone goes out on the weekends, if you've been spending nearly every Saturday night alone on the couch, it could be a red flag. The same may be true if even on the nights you stay in with your partner, you're still yearning for those fun and flirty moments from earlier in the relationship.
According to relationship expert April Masini, date nights are a way for long-term partners to reconnect—and if your partner seems to be over these romantic escapades, it could be a sign that they've checked out of the relationship.
They plan social events or trips without you.
Rose notes that if your partner takes frequent weekend trips or makes all of their social plans without inviting you along, they may be leaning towards a breakup: "They could be trying to see what it's like to be single again, [or] trying to make sense of the relationship."
They stop making plans for the future.
Before, your partner purchased concert tickets for the pair of you months in advance or talked about romantic trips to far-flung locales. They might've even planned what your future home might look like. But when you stop talking about these things, Kiara Luna, LMHC, CEO and founder of Knew You Psychotherapy, says it's a major red flag.
"Discussing the future together is part of what gives your relationship meaning and purpose. This is what keeps you guys dreaming together and finding shared meaning," she says.
If you're no longer having those conversations, Luna advises looking into where the change in attitude may be coming from.
They always respond defensively to criticism.
Whenever you bring up any changes in behavior, your partner is immediately defensive—which is a sign that, instead of wanting to work on the relationship, they only want to make themselves feel better about their actions.
Abbey Sangmeister, MSEd, LPC, therapist, life coach, and founder of Evolving Whole, says this is often a protective mechanism where they are trying to create distance or even to create an argument for a reason to break up.
They seem to be a million miles away.
Even when you're spending quality time together, your partner seems to be on another planet entirely, putting emotional distance between you. Luna compares this to living with a stranger or roommate rather than a romantic partner.
"This may manifest in your partner showing up as indifferent to most things, seeming checked out, avoiding conflict, and showing no interest in resolving it," she explains.
They're slowly pulling away from communication.
Similar to creating emotional distance in the relationship, if your partner is pulling away from communication, it could mean they're looking to break things off with you.
This could be that they no longer respond to text messages in a timely fashion or they don't communicate important details of their lives to you. "You also might notice how your partner may no longer speak to you about their thoughts and feelings around stressors outside the relationship," Luna adds.
They're constantly grumpy or argumentative around you.
When every little thing you do or say seems to set them off, it could point to a larger issue about your partner's motives in the relationship.
According to relationship coach Chris Armstrong, happy couples who have the occasional argument work together to reach a positive resolution since they both wish to sustain the relationship. However, when one person no longer wishes to be with the other person, there is no incentive to reach a positive outcome—so they remain argumentative.
There are fewer intimate moments.
When your partner doesn't initiate sex or intimate moments like cuddling and kissing, it's a sign that something is off. If they're unenthusiastic or robotically going through the motions, you should also be concerned.
"Biochemistry plays an important role here because, through sexual intercourse, essential bonding chemicals like oxytocin are released," explains Damiata. "By removing this kind of intimacy from the relationship, those chemicals will circulate less and less, leading to a progressive yet inevitable detachment from one's partner that might bring to seek those feelings from another person."
They discuss your relationship with others.
Consider it a red flag if, instead of talking to you to work out the issues in your relationship, your partner is seeking advice elsewhere.
Sarah Intelligator, divorce attorney, relationship expert, and author of Live, Laugh, Find True Love, says that if your partner has been discussing your situation with others, such as friends, co-workers, or even exes, it might mean they're questioning the relationship. It's a way for them to express their reservations while deciding if they should end things.
They're happier with other people.
Another red flag that's easy to spot is when they're happier spending time with other people. "Whether those people are friends, coworkers, or harmless family members, it still holds true that they're giving their most important resource (time) to everyone but you," says Damiata.
If you find that your partner only laughs or gets very talkative around others, it could be because they no longer feel happy or invested in your relationship.
They flirt with other people.
Damiata points out that having casual fantasies about people other than one's partner is common and even healthy. However, when they're openly flirting with other people, and they deny that they are doing this, that's a red flag that they're already looking into other options once they break up with you.
They stop going to family gatherings.
"If your partner typically attends holidays with your family, but suddenly stops with little explanation, they may be considering a breakup," says Rose. "Avoidance of your family and time together may mean that they're questioning being a part of the family all together."
Their social media behavior changes.
If your relationship once had a prominent role on your partner's social media pages, but things suddenly change, this may be a red flag that they want to lay the groundwork for breaking up with you.
"Call this shallow, but in this tech age, if your partner typically shares romantic posts about your partnership and suddenly stops and no longer shares anything… it's possible they are looking to break up with you," explains Rose.
They purposely do things to upset you.
When your partner starts deliberately engaging in behaviors that they know will upset you, it's a big red flag.
"This type of behavior is common when someone wants to end the relationship but doesn't want to be the one to initiate the breakup," says Intelligator. "It is almost as though this person wants to see how far he or she can push you until you reach your limit."
Their financial habits change.
"If your partner starts being secretive about financial matters or bank statements, it could indicate they're preparing for a life separate from the relationship," says Amy Colton, a certified divorce financial analyst, family law mediator, and founder of Your Divorce Made Simple. "A partner who suddenly changes beneficiaries on policies, moves assets, or shows an increased concern for their credit score might be preparing for a future that doesn't include the current relationship."
They compare you to other partners.
Not only is comparing past relationships hurtful, but it's also a red flag that they don't want to be with you anymore. They'll aim to make you feel like you aren't enough as a way to validate a breakup.
"From the smallest thing to the biggest one, they constantly stress that the other people are nicer, smarter, and more attentive," Damiata says.
They don't respect you anymore.
Damiata says respect and trust are fundamental pillars of any relationship. When you feel frequently disrespected by your partner, it's a clear red flag that they want to break up with you. It can be anything from eye-rolling, constant sarcastic comments, mockery, or any other body language that signals disinterest.
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