You’re absolutely blindsided. Never once were there any signs alluding to the fact that he wants to break up. You were so happy together, going out on cute dinner dates and spending every night Netflix and chilling. You absolutely slayed in your couple photos and your friends just couldn’t get over how cute you two were together. The whole relationship was picture perfect and honestly, your secret Pinterest board of wedding ideas was pretty, well, perfect.
But as you spend the next two weeks moping in bed and feeling bad for yourself, somewhere between your sixth and seventh slice of pizza that you choke down to feel whole in his absence, you realize all the signs were there. You move from total despair to disappointment, not only in the relationship, but yourself. How could you be so dumb? It was so apparent in these last few weeks that he just wasn’t feeling it anymore.
“I just don’t think this is working out.”
Unfortunately, we’ve all been there. I personally have been the victim of a blindside breakup way more times than my incessant pride is willing to let me admit. Because of my numerous ill-fated relationships and the vast expertise I have on such a dark subject, I’ve decided to share with you, dear reader, some of the warning signs of the potential demise of your fairy tale romance. Here are 10 surefire signs he wants to break up with you.
1. He stops responding (as if boys don’t already suck at texting).
For months, you’ve dealt with his unpredictability in responding to your texts. Even if they’re emergency texts, he’s always failed with the sense of urgency that you expect from your significant other. But in recent times, his lack of concern in what you consider to be pressing matters has got you frustrated. Don’t just brush off this behavior and attribute it to him being a typical boy; his lackluster communication skills are saying a whole lot more than he is.
2. His excuses become more and more unbelievable.
Sure, he’s probably had some insane excuses in the past as to why he can’t come to your grandma’s birthday luncheon or a Sculpt class at CorePower on a Friday afternoon. But recently, even when you ask him if he wants to get dinner at your favorite pizza place, he’ll tell you some vague reason why he can’t go, ranging somewhere along the lines of having to call his mom on a Wednesday night to already having plans with his great aunt that night. When he starts telling you that he has to go to his grandmother’s funeral and when you say “Again?” he tells you it’s the other grandma, it’s time to sit him down and talk before you’re attending your relationship’s funeral.
3. He questions your security in the relationship.
For anyone in a relationship, there are always points at which you find yourself questioning your own place in the situation. Is it worth the occasional strife? How happy are you really? But usually, you brush off these trepidations and attribute them to your lack of sleep, the number of carbs you ate the day before, or one of the many other reasons that could possibly affect your sanity. But the second he starts asking you how happy you are in the relationship, that should raise a red flag. It’s always easier for anyone to thrust the blame on someone else. When he starts asking you how secure you are in the relationship, it’s time to take a step back and examine the security of the relationship as a whole…there’s a good chance he wants to break up.
4. He’s shady about his phone activity.
You’re off on a totally adorable date at the aquarium and all you want to do is take post the cah-yutest Snapchats so everyone who’s not in a relationship can revel in your happiness. But when you grab his phone to snap a selfie and post it to his story, he quickly snatches his phone back and claims that it’s probably fine to just post it on yours. On top of that, his screen brightness is turned all the way down and when you ask him who he’s texting, he halfheartedly mumbles that it’s his mom—and what guy would spend a date texting his mom? When his phone habits start getting shifty, assume that something’s shifted in your relationship and it might be worthwhile to address the changes.
5. Those private moments have become stale.
The kisses you shared used to drive you wild, with fireworks seemingly exploding all around you and the world stopping motion for the duration of your embrace. But now those moments feel empty—maybe because he pulls away before you feel that the kiss is complete or because he’s completely avoiding those moments at all. And then there’s the issue of those formerly steamy nightcaps. He falls asleep before you can even bat a flirty eyelash or kiss the nape of his neck, or he claims he’s just “too tired tonight.” But honestly, what college guy would ever turn down the chance for a romantic romp? When the romance in your relationship just isn’t quite as steamy as it used to be, don’t just spice it up and hope that’ll do the trick. There’s a deeper issue at hand here, and peeling away the layers to find the problem doesn’t meaning peeling off your clothes.
6. He encourages your quest for self-discovery in a third world country.
For a while now, you’ve been feeling lost in your own little world. You feel as though you’ve lost touch entirely with your spiritual side and even your Bikram yoga classes aren’t fulfilling your quest for perfect savasana. When you casually bring it up to your boo that you’ve been feeling this sense of discontent with your life, he’s too quick to agree that yes, yes, you should run off to India for the next six months. He constantly asks whether or not you’ve booked your ticket for your retreat and he seems to be buying you gifts that encourage this journey, such as hiking boots or a state-of-the-art water purifier. When your S.O. becomes a little bit too eager about a life-fulfilling journey that doesn’t involve him, it might be a warning sign that your journey with him has come to an end.
7. He calls you by the wrong name.
You’re sitting around, absentmindedly watching a movie when he requests that you pass him a beer from the fridge—except he prefaces this request by calling you the wrong name. This causes you great pause as you try to remember if that might be his mom’s name? His sister’s name? His great-aunt-twice-removed’s name? You don’t respond to this flub because you notice his nonchalance in the gross misnomer. But it hangs over your head the whole night and you go home later with a sense of severe disconnect from the entire relationship. The second he makes a flub like this, you should think about actually changing your name and moving far, far away from him, because he is seriously not worth your time if he can’t keep your name straight. Who cares if he wants to break with you…you should be the one breaking free.
8. He moves and doesn’t tell you.
He tells you to come over Saturday night, so you zoom over to his house dressed in your sexiest. You ring the doorbell only to be greeted by a middle-aged woman wearing a muumuu and curlers who quickly tells you that the former resident of this apartment moved out about a week ago. You call him in a feverish fashion, expecting him to pick up and inform you of some great surprise, like he bought you two an apartment and the movers are packing up your stuff at that very moment. But alas, he seems to have disappeared off the face of this very earth. Bold moves such as this, where he makes major life changes and doesn’t inform you of them or completely uproots his life and doesn’t mention such drastic measures, are usually an indicator of dissatisfaction in the relationship.
9. He tells you he needs some space until he finishes the bar exam—and he’s not in law school.
He calls you and tells you that he needs to take the next few weeks off in order to prepare for his upcoming bar exam. You accept these new terms in stride, vowing that you’ll take these next few weeks to focus on yourself. But only once you’ve hung up the phone do you realize that never, in the duration of your relationship, has he mentioned his attending law school. As far as you knew, his job was some vague cubicle-occupying position that deals with finances. When you call him back to inquire about this discontinuity in his identity, he responds by saying that you don’t know everything about him. If you find that bae suddenly adopts a whole new identity than the one you spent months or years getting to know, it might be time for you to adopt a new identity yourself—one that doesn’t involve him.
10. He says he wants to break up with you.
If your boyfriend, partner, or whatever you call it, has a soul and any sense of decency, he will probably just tell you straight up tell you to your face that he’s not feeling as happy as he once was in the relationship, or that he truly doesn’t have time for a relationship, or that there is, in fact, another girl in his life. He won’t spend weeks or months or years stringing you along, and he’ll save you both from wasting your precious time in a relationship that isn’t going to end up in pure, unadulterated happiness. Don’t despair if this is the case. Everything in life happens for a reason, and you should just take this life change in stride. Breakups are not the end of the world. No, they’re a new beginning.
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I'm a Communications and English student at Santa Clara University with big dreams of pursuing a career in writing. I believe in living and loving and that what you give, you get back. As for writing? Well, Ernest Hemingway said it best: "There is nothing to writing. You just sit down at a typewriter and bleed."