It’s a terrible, sinking sensation, one you wish you could ignore … that feeling when you suspect your man wants to break up.
None of us want to experience that. Sometimes, our understandable reluctance ends up blinding us to the reality of a situation. It’s easier to claim you can’t tell if he wants to break up than to admit you just don’t want to see the facts.
We get it! It’s deceptively easy to slip into denial on this one.
But by keeping yourself honest and open to seeing the truth, you do both yourself and your partner a favor. It could be that your relationship is 100% salvageable if you act now. Or maybe it’s time for you to move on to something that’s a better fit. Either way, you deserve the truth.
Here are the top 11 signs he wants to break up:
Take The Quiz: Is He Losing Interest?
1. You never have time for each other – and when you are together, it’s cold
How much quality time do you guys have together? Is it becoming more and more exhausting trying to fit each other in? Sometimes, couples blame this problem on a busy schedule. In truth, when you’re crazy about someone, you make the time – no matter what.
Are you always the one responsible for making the plans? If you were to stop putting in as much effort, would the relationship crumble? If he’s not showing any initiative, don’t run yourself ragged carrying the team.
Examine what the time you have together is like. Even if you’re both swamped, when you do finally get together, is it affectionate or distant? You should walk away feeling renewed in your relationship and excited for the next opportunity to be with him. If your time together falls flat, take note.
2. He avoids talking about the future
Have you ever accidentally brought up an occasion far into the future and then nervously wondered if your man thought it was too soon? We’ve probably all been guilty of letting those thoughts escape out loud. When you’re into someone, you can’t help it.
Alternatively, if your guy never brings up the future, that’s likely a sign he’s not factoring you into it. Try not to take this personally. Maybe he just isn’t in the right headspace to plan for any future, let alone a joint one. He could be overwhelmed by everything else in his life.
If he appears scattered and confused about the future, he’s probably not ready for a real relationship. Honestly, he might not even realize that himself yet. Or maybe when he pictures the future he just doesn’t see you in it. Either way, that’s not someone you can count on for a stable relationship.
3. He doesn’t seem to want to fix things
For a relationship to thrive, both people need to be willing to put in the work. Nobody wants a relationship that’s all work, but it’s inarguable that sometimes, you have to put in some effort. When all that strain falls on one person, it’s really a cue for that person to bail.
If you’re feeling like you’re in it alone, don’t keep struggling. There’s no point in trying to fix the relationship all by yourself. He needs to either step up or step out. Don’t accept half-hearted attempts. Sometimes it’s hard to admit you want out, so you end up dragging your feet, but that’s not fair to the other person. But it does save him from a lot of guilt and feeling like the bad guy if you break up with him instead of him being the one to initiate it.
4. The intimacy is all but gone
Physical touch isn’t the only love language, but it sure needs to be a piece of the puzzle. If he’s not affectionate with you anymore, that’s not a good sign. Of course, not all guys are naturally very cuddly, but keep an eye on how this aspect of the relationship fluctuates. Was he more loving in the beginning than he is now?
There’s usually a “honeymoon phase” where you can’t keep your hands off of each other. You don’t need to compare a more mature relationship to that time period. Just monitor how often he’s sweet with you, whether through a kiss on the cheek or a caring gesture.
This is the type of thing you’ll be able to sense instinctively. If it’s just not there anymore, don’t try to force this dynamic. It’s a seductive way to mask a failing relationship, but it will only prolong the heartbreak.
5. You can’t seem to communicate anymore
Is there anything more frustrating than feeling like you need to walk on eggshells around someone? This is especially true when that person is your significant other, someone you have to have many conversations with throughout the day!
It’s maddening when even trivial topics somehow spiral into massive arguments. You end up feeling isolated and lonely because you can’t communicate. It’s a slippery cycle because the longer you go without communicating, the more resentment will build the more unlikely it is you’ll be able to resolve things.
Sometimes this happens because one of you harbors resentment about a bigger issue. When this is the case, you’ll take any opportunity to express the emotion you secretly want to convey. Perhaps both of you are bitter and looking for a chance to vent your pent-up emotions. Either way, an inability to communicate is death for a relationship.
6. He always seems on edge
It’s typically easy to tell when a man is feeling tense. For a lot of guys, this manifests in agitation, repression, or sadness. You’ll notice he’s not as present as normal. Your attempts at finding out what’s wrong will probably be futile.
This could be a sign of something else. For example, he might be stressed out about something at work or a problem with a friend. Even if you ask him what’s up, many guys have difficulty opening up about an issue. He could be ruminating on how to fix it or worrying that he won’t be able to.
In this case, it’s best to look at the other areas of the relationship. If this is the only questionable sign, maybe he’s restless about something else. But if he checks off other signs on the list, it’s likely related to the relationship.
7. He has a wall up
Unfortunately, young boys are often told to “toughen up” or are made fun of for revealing their emotions. As a result, many guys have trouble being transparent about their feelings. Having a wall up doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a problem brewing, or maybe there is a problem but it has nothing to do with you. However, if the way he relates to you has changed dramatically, then take note.
For example, you might find yourself suddenly shut out after he used to confide in you regularly. Maybe his answers to your questions become clipped and generic. Instead of filling you in on his day, he might just shrug and busy himself with something else.
It’s painful when someone who’s been your best friend and lover ices you out, acting like a distant stranger and is a sign he’s distancing himself from the relationship because he has already checked out of it mentally and emotionally.
8. You just feel something is off
“Listen to your gut” is a popular phrase for a reason. Humans communicate in countless ways, and only one of those is verbal. Sometimes your body picks up on something your mind hasn’t quite caught. We sense things incredibly well, especially when we’re around someone we know intimately.
How many times have you heard someone say, “I knew something was off, but I didn’t want to listen”? We have a valuable tool of intuition inside, just waiting to guide us. When we put on blinders and dismiss it, we end up learning the lesson the harder way.
If you feel like something is off, honor yourself by trusting that.
9. He’s sneaky
Unless it’s the week before your birthday, a man being sneaky is never a good sign. Open and candid communication is vital to a healthy relationship. Once that trust is broken and you feel you have to watch him suspiciously, it’s very difficult to recover what was lost.
Does he hide who he’s talking to on the phone or change his password without telling you? When you ask him where he is or when he’ll be home, do you get a quick and concise answer or a weird delay?
Deception can mean he’s cheating, but it can also mean he’s not committed anymore. If honesty isn’t a top priority for him, neither is the relationship.
10. The friendship is gone
Marrying your best friend is a dreamy idea. It’s the beautiful relationship we should aspire to instead of settling for anything less. Think of how comfortable and supported you feel by your best friend. Is that how you feel with your man?
If you feel competition, animosity, or anything else that prevents that “best friend” feeling, evaluate how this relationship is really serving you. Do you want to talk to this guy for hours? Do you genuinely like him?
As crazy as it sounds, it’s possible to still love someone you don’t actually enjoy spending time with anymore. And if you don’t even like him anymore, it’s a sign that this relationship is in rapid decline.
11. You want different things
As much as we’d like to pretend this isn’t a giant component to a successful relationship, it really can change everything. A man might be perfect for you in every way except for one or two big-ticket items. For example, maybe you want kids and he doesn’t. Or maybe he loves living in Boston, but you feel most alive in Los Angeles.
In the beginning, it’s easy to overlook some of these important differences. When you’re still getting to know someone, you might put off that tough discussion for later. You may justify it in your mind by saying it’s too early to talk about it. In reality, as soon as you see a future with someone, that’s exactly the conversation that needs to happen.
Sometimes these differences aren’t as big as whether or not to have children. Your expectations for a relationship and general values need to be communicated before you jump into the deep end. All of these things make you who you are, and they decide your compatibility with another person. Sadly, if things aren’t fitting now, it’s highly unlikely that “giving it time” will change anything.
When you look at this list objectively, how does your relationship rank?
If the signs are pointing to him wanting to break up, then at least you know now instead of spending more time in a relationship that’s unraveling. Take a look at where the issues lie and be honest with yourself in terms of whether or not they can be fixed.
Sometimes it can seem like a relationship is falling apart when a man starts pulling away or seems to be losing interest. But actually, it doesn’t always mean all hope is lost. To find out exactly what to do when a man starts acting cold and pulling away, read this: If He’s Pulling Away, Do This...
And do you know what inspires a man to commit and see a woman as “the one”? If not, read this too: The #1 Things Men Desire in a Woman
Take The Quiz: Is He Losing Interest?
Biggest Signs He Wants to Break Up:
- You never have time for each other
- He avoids talking about the future
- He doesn’t seem to want to fix things
- The intimacy is all but gone
- You can’t seem to communicate anymore
- He always seems on edge
- He has a wall up
- You just feel something is off
- He’s sneaky
- The friendship is gone
- You want different things