Written By: DiveThru Team

Reviewed By: Hannah Fuhlendorf M.A, LPC


When to Break Up with Them: 15 Signs It’s Time

PUBLISHED Jun 10th, 2021 & UPDATED ON Nov 15th, 2022

You’ve been with your partner for a few months, or maybe even years, and things were great for a while! But nooowwww, maybe things are a little stagnant, you’re fighting more than ever, or you’re starting to notice some irreconcilable differences. You’ve been wondering for a while if this is just a bump in the road that you can overcome, or if it might be a dead-end — you just have NO idea where to even begin figuring that out. How do people know when to break up? That’s why we’re here to help!

How To Know When To Break Up

Knowing when to break up with someone is a tricky feat, and sometimes you find yourself making a pro-and-con list just to get a grasp on what you’re feeling! You probably have a huge pit in your stomach just THINKING about ending things with your partner and aren’t sure if that’s actually what you want or if it was just a fleeting thought. Well, here are 15 signs to consider if it really might be time to say goodbye!   

1. You’re Making All The Sacrifices 

Mutual sacrifices are an important part of a relationship because they ensure that the relationship is sustainable for the long run and there is an equal investment for both parties! But if you find yourself constantly watching the movies THEY like, eating the food THEY want, hanging out with THEIR friends and seeing THEIR family over having your own needs met, then they are not giving your needs and wants enough consideration. 

2. Your Values Aren’t Aligned

Whether it’s about religion, politics, marriage, wanting to have kids or ANYTHING in between, differing values can cause a big rift between partners! Once you encounter a difference in core values, it can be hard to just forget about it because it’s just such a big elephant in the room. If you aren’t able to meet each other in the middle, then those misaligned values will just keep becoming more and more prominent, and will likely sabotage the success of the relationship. 

3. There’s No Trust 

Trust is fundamental in a relationship! And if you aren’t able to go out for drinks with friends without your partner texting or calling to know where you are, trust probably isn’t very present. Because that shouldn’t cause problems in a strong, trusting relationship! If you don’t have trust you might be already thinking of when to break up. Feeling secure and confident in the bond you have is key. 

4. You’re Always Fighting 

It’s normal to fight in a relationship, but usually in small amounts! If you notice you end up having more bad moments than good, then you may be fighting too much. It crosses the line of typical partner bickering and moves towards toxic patterns that are really hard to break! Bottom line: it’s normal to argue over little things, like a misread text, but it shouldn’t be the norm. And especially be on the lookout for if your fights are no longer about specific issues, but devolve into berating the person themself.

5. There’s A Lack Of Communication 

Have they been suuuper distant or just not as responsive lately? Are they just not returning the effort in texts, phone calls and even face-to-face conversations? Then something may be off. Communication should be a two-way street! And if you feel like you’re constantly talking to a brick wall, then it may be time to think about when to break up.

6. Your Needs Aren’t Being Met 

When we say ‘needs’ in a relationship context, we mean you should be getting your physical and emotional needs met! Things like physical touch, but also companionship, affection, security and appreciation, are very important in a relationship. When they aren’t present, it can feel like you’re alone even with your partner sitting right beside you! This can lead to you minimizing your own needs and becoming resentful towards your partner if left unchecked. 

7. There’s No More Effort 

You know at the beginning of the relationship when you went on allll the dates? Your partner always dressed up and even brought you little gifts to brighten your day. But over time, that effort has really deteriorated. You don’t remember the last time you did something special together or even just received a sweet text. And when that effort doesn’t come back, the relationship might not feel as fulfilling. Remember, it’s normal to settle into a routine as the relationship matures, but that doesn’t mean either partner should stop trying altogether.

8. You’re Not Happy Anymore 

This is a big one! Happiness naturally comes and goes in waves, but if it has been a very long time since you last experienced happiness in your relationship, it may be a sign of a deeper issue. If you don’t enjoy spending time with your partner, you might end up resenting them after a while! You should BOTH enjoy being together, because unhappiness results in less affection and just feeling stuck in that part of your life. 

9. You Feel Trapped 

Alright, going off that last one, it’s generally not a good sign to feel stuck or trapped in a relationship. If you feel like you can’t move forward together, or like you have no way out of the relationship, it’s probably a good indicator that you are unhappy and that your partner may no longer be the same person you initially started dating (and maybe neither are you!). The key is to ascertain if the people you have grown into can still successfully grow together into the future.

10. You’re Irritated By Minor Things They Do 

You start to fixate on allll the things that bug you about your partner. Maybe it’s that they chew with their mouth open, they keep forgetting to put the toilet seat down, or they always leave their dirty cups in the sink, and it just annoys you more than it EVER has before! This is a sign that you’re looking for negative aspects in your partner, rather than focusing on the good. Sometimes acknowledging this can be an opportunity to grow and learn to let the little things go, but sometimes it can be a deeper issue or a sign of general incompatibility.

11. You’re Constantly Reflecting On The Honeymoon Phase 

Ah, yes. The honeymoon phase. Every relationship’s golden standard! If you’re constantly reminiscing about that glowy feeling you experienced in the first few months together, it might be ‘cause the present isn’t matching up. Of course, you’re going to settle into a routine after the honeymoon phase is over — but it should just feel more comfortable, not less loving! 

12. There’s Physical, Verbal, Or Emotional Abuse 

Abuse of any kind is one of the biggest red flags in a relationship…but, through rose-coloured glasses, those red flags tend to look just like flags. Once you’re able to recognize that cycle of abuse (the love-bombing followed by constant belittling and gaslighting), you’ll notice how absolutely unhealthy it is to always be on edge like that! A partner should lift you up, not tear you down.  

13. You Don’t Like Or Recognize Yourself

In an unhappy or abusive relationship, you might feel like you’ve lost yourself. You give up your values, stop doing things you enjoy and just become a hollow shell of the person you used to be! Family members and friends no longer recognize you and, honestly, neither do you. If you’re experiencing this, it may be time to consider ending the relationship. Ultimately, you’ve got to put yourself first and say goodbye to things that no longer positively serve you — even though that’s easier said than done! 

14. You’re Always Thinking About Breaking Up

Like we said at the beginning of this article, if you’re making pro-and-con lists about your relationship, you’re probably already considering breaking up with your partner. And if that’s a constant thought process, then this is clearly an issue that’s top of mind! Your gut is probably screaming at you to listen to it and, if that’s the case, then you may have already subconsciously decided when to break up. 

15. You Can’t See A Future With Them

Lastly, and probably most importantly, can you envision a future with this person? If you keep coming up with ifs, ands, or buts then the answer is “probably not.” And that’s okay! You’re probably going to have a few trial-and-error attempts before you do find that special someone (or someones). Sometimes, differing values and beliefs get in the way — and it’s just time to say goodbye.


It can be VERY tough navigating how to let go of someone, especially if you’re breaking up with someone you love. But sometimes, you’re just holding on to someone who is wrong for you! You deserve to be happy, have your needs met and not lose yourself in a relationship. So, hopefully next time you ask yourself “When is it time to break up?” you can think back to this article and remember all 15 reasons why now might be the time.


Read More: 8 Tips to Work Through Your First Date Nerves, Coping with Infidelity: How to Heal After Being Cheated On,