Humans logo

10 Surefire Signs You Were Supposed to Break Up

Have you ever had the kind of break up with someone that left you wondering if you overlooked signs you were supposed to break up, even while the two of you were together?

By Penny NewtonPublished 6 years ago 7 min read
Image via Pexels

Hindsight really is 20/20, especially when it comes to an unhealthy kinda love. Unfortunately, that realization can suck big time when it comes to matters of the heart. Because really, if you knew on the front end that someone wasn’t the best for you or that the relationship would eventually come to an (oftentimes emotionally brutal) end, would you have ever gotten involved with them in the first place? Probably not.

Here’s the silver lining. Even if the break up is new and you can’t imagine finding love again, reading articles like this will help to keep you from repeating the same mistake(s) with another individual. (And yes, there will be a next time someday!)

If you’re curious about learning the signs you were supposed to break up with someone so that you can use better discernment in the future, please read on.

One of you was constantly flirting with other people.

Image via Unsplash

It’s debatable whether or not there is such a thing as “harmless flirting.” What we will say is just because you’re in a relationship with someone, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have friendships and healthy connections with members of the opposite sex. Flirting with them on the other hand? Flirting is about sending the message that you’re attracted to someone and/or you want them to be attracted to you.

If this was something that one or both of you were always doing and/or it bothered one of you when the other did it, although it’s not the biggest sign we will share, it does put two people on a pretty slippery slope downward.

It’s a not-so-subtle indication that you may not have been as happy and fulfilled in your relationship as you deserved to be.

Your needs weren’t getting met.

Image via Unsplash

In a healthy relationship, two people should love (and like) themselves without relying on the other individual to make them feel valuable. At the same time, that doesn’t mean that they should have to settle for their needs going unmet.

It’s one thing to be needy—always wanting validation, having unrealistic expectations, draining your partner. It’s another thing to have a need for time, attention, and someone who makes you feel truly special.

If while you were in your relationship you spent more time trying to get what you needed than actually receiving it, that’s a huge problem. It’s one of the biggest signs you were supposed to break up, because a good relationship fills you, not depletes you.

If that wasn’t the case in your relationship, you’re better off alone.

Things remained at a standstill.

Image via Unsplash

If you leave water in a glass and wait a few days, it’s going to start to stink. The moral to the story? Everything is designed to have some sort of movement. When it comes to a relationship, ideally that movement is forward.

That’s not to say that every day should consist of conversations beginning with, “What are we doing?” Or “Where is this headed?” If and when you look back on your relationship and it was pretty much in the same place towards the end as it was in the beginning, that’s also a pretty big sign you were supposed to break up.

When two people love one another and want to build a future together; they make plans.

When two people are more in the lane of being in an emotional rut with each other, they can be together for months or years at a time without an ounce of progress being made. A sad and unfortunate truth.

You were always on an emotional roller coaster ride.

Image via Pexels

There is one kind of “movement” that healthy couples try their best to avoid—being on an emotional roller coaster ride.

What do we mean by that? Think back to your time with your ex. Did you feel like you were constantly having to walk on eggshells? Did you find yourself breathing a big sigh of relief if you were able to go an entire week without fighting? Did it seem like the only times when you were both truly happy was when you were engaged in physical intimacy; otherwise, you didn’t really know what to expect?

Emotional roller coaster rides aren’t like the ones at amusement parks. The instability will make you (e)motion sick every time. Definitely another one of those signs you were supposed to break up.

They were super inconsistent.

Image via Unsplash

When you’re in a relationship with someone else, what helps to strengthen the dynamic is trust. Trust comes from knowing that they are reliable and dependable; that you know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that they’ve got your back, they’ll support you and they will keep their word.

Think back to your ex. Could you say that about them? Could they say that about you?

There are a whole lot of couples who ended up calling it quits not because the love wasn’t there, but because the trust never fully materialized between them; because one or both of them were super inconsistent. One day, they were the model boyfriend/girlfriend. The next day, they were anything but.

Life is uncertain enough without being caught up in someone who is inconsistent. Words to live by.

No one liked the two of you together.

Image via Unsplash

You’re an adult. You don’t need your friends and family co-signing on every decision that you make (if you believe otherwise, you might want to google, “Signs of co-dependency”). However—and this is a big one—if your loved ones couldn’t stand the person you were seeing, what was up with that?!

One of the reasons why it’s a good idea to at least weigh in on your friend's and family’s opinions about who you’re in a relationship with is because they are able to provide a perspective that you don’t have. Because they aren’t as emotionally attached, they might pick up on red flags that totally elude you.

If no one in your close circle was feeling your significant other, that wasn’t something to brush off. That was something that needed to be taken seriously to heart.

You were rarely on the same page about the relationship.

Image via Unsplash

Someone once said that if two people are just alike, one of them is unnecessary. In other words, you shouldn’t be in a relationship expecting your partner to be just like you. The differences between the two of you can be just what you need to challenge you and help you to grow into a better person.

That said, there are certain areas where two individuals should be on the same page. They should have similar values. They should share comparable goals. They should look at their future and be headed in the same direction.

If you wanted kids and your partner didn’t, if they wanted to travel the world and you hate road trips, if one of you saw marriage and the other couldn’t see six months up ahead, you already know what we’re going to say, right?

There were signs of abuse (and neglect is abuse, by the way).

Image via Unsplash

Hopefully, it’s a given that no one should ever put their hands on you. Not at any time should physical abuse be tolerated. It doesn’t stop there, though.

When you’re in a healthy relationship, you shouldn’t feel bad most of the time. This is what tends to happen if you’re being verbally or emotionally abused. It also transpires if you’re being neglected as well.

Unfortunately, because there isn’t nearly enough time and effort put into discussing other forms of abuse, sometimes people remain in relationships longer than they should. If you were being mistreated in any way, and these 10 signs your partner is abusive can really help you identify those actions, that was the biggest sign that it was time to break up. The next thing you may have to do in order to heal from the hurt that was caused is to call a close friend or a therapist to seek out help.

There was a history of an (unhealthy) pattern.

Image via Pexels

There’s an old-school group called The Stylistics that used to sing a song with this hook, "Break up to make-up, that’s all we do. First you love me, then you hate me, that’s a game for fools."

Listen, even if you love make-up sex, that’s not a good enough reason to pick fights, push triggers, or be in the cycle of being together one week and breaking up the next.

If this is what you and yours were doing most of the time, that’s not sexy or exciting; that’s unhealthy.

Sometimes it takes getting out of a relationship to realize just how toxic our patterns were while we were in them. If you and your ex had no sense of true stability, chalk that up to being one of the other signs you were supposed to break up.

Your gut said so.

Image via Unsplash

Our emotions are truly powerful. They’re what let us know when something is going great for us and when something isn’t quite right.

Sometimes we don’t listen to our emotions—instinct, gut—because we second-guess ourselves. We tell ourselves that what we feel is just in our imagination or that we’re throwing things out of proportion. The reality is that when we sense there is a red flag somewhere, there usually is.

If you think back on your relationship and you’re really honest with yourself, there were probably several times when you saw blaring red flags and you chose to ignore them. Just think about how much time (and heartache) you could’ve saved if you had only listened.

Don’t beat yourself up too much about it. Just resign that in the future, when your gut shows you that it’s time to split (or at least consider it), that you’ll pay attention to the signs you were supposed to break up.

Your gut loves you. Love yourself back by listening to it. Now that you know these signs, you'll be able to pinpoint some of the signs that your breakup was a blessing in disguise.


About the Creator

Penny Newton

Penny Newton: Dreams of honeymooning on the moon. Owns about 20 galaxy dresses and wishes to be probed by aliens one day.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.