Being dumped can come as a surprise, but more often than not, there are frequently signs he’s going to break up with you before he actually says the words. Some signs he wants to break up with you are obvious while you’ll need to keep an eye out for the more subtle signs.
14 SIGNS HE WANTS TO BREAK UP WITH YOU
1. HE DOESN’T CONTACT YOU
Low or no contact isn’t a good sign for your relationship. Unless there’s a legitimate reason such as being in a remote place with no cell reception or a car accident, you can expect to talk to your man on a frequent basis. How often depends on you, but if he suddenly stops replying, especially when you can see he’s read your messages, or his contact becomes infrequent, this is a pretty clear sign he wants to break up.
Occasionally, distance and silence can indicate that he’s stressed or has something going on with his life. So you might start a conversation about the distance and set an atmosphere where he’ll feel comfortable opening up to you about what is on his mind. But if he’s preoccupied with thoughts of ending your relationship, you need to be prepared for the worst.
2. HE’S EMOTIONALLY DISTANT
Maybe you talk frequently. You might live together and see each other every day, but he’s still distant. Maybe you talk, but the conversations are superficial and routine. You might utter very few words at all as you go about your day.
If you try to figure out what he’s thinking about, he clams up. You no longer have deep conversations in the middle of the night. Talks of your hopes and dreams – and even the future in general – are nonexistent.
When the distance becomes impossible to ignore, it can feel oppressive. And you might feel isolated because of it. Sure, you’re in a relationship with this guy. Perhaps you share a home or even a family, but you feel like you’re alone in it all.
Distance is just one sign that it’s time to let go. Learn when to divorce or break up.
3. HE HIDES HIS PHONE
Secrecy is a pretty strong sign that he wants to break up, and it can also be a sign that he’s cheating (the two aren’t always the same). There are other signs of cheating, too.
If he holds phone calls in the other room, suddenly changes passwords and hides his phone screen from you, it’s time to be worried. It could be that he’s talking about how much he wants to break up with you to his best friend or brother. Or he might be talking to another woman about how horrible you are, even if that couldn’t be further from the truth.
This could also be step one to separate your lives. In his head, he’s moving on, even though he hasn’t developed the willpower to break up with you.
4. HE’S BECOME ERRATIC
You can usually depend on a bit of routine when you’re in a serious relationship. So if your guy suddenly starts behaving erratically, it may be that he wants to break up. This could also be the sign of certain illnesses, a symptom of a brain injury or an indication of addiction or gambling habit. Either way, you’re going to need to talk about it.
5. HE DOESN’T TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE
We mentioned it before and we’re saying it again because it’s bad sign when your partner no longer talks about the future. He stops making plans or only makes plans that don’t involve you. If he’s happy in your relationship (or with life in general), he’ll want to make plans, and many of those plans will include you.
It may be just as difficult to get him to go along with plans that you make, or he might show up because he feels obligated and nothing more.
6. HE’S SUPER STRESSED
One sign he may be planning to leave you is a lot of stress. The very decision to end your relationship could have him on edge, or he might be so stressed from everything else in his life that he’s using this time to break up. Stress can lead people to make bad decisions, and bad decisions can lead to stress in our lives
It’s hard to say whether he’ll ‘fess up if you ask him why he’s so stressed. He might deny it until he’s ready to break up with you on his own terms, or he might break down and let you in on his thoughts. Although stress doesn’t guarantee death knells for a relationship, you do need to be prepared for the end.
You don’t have to let stress ruin your relationship. Find out how to deal with common relationship problems.
7. HE STOPPED CARING
While fighting all the time isn’t a good thing in a relationship, it does indicate that you care about it. When your man stops fighting, it’s a sign he wants to break up and that he’s stopped caring in general. A lack of care can spread to other parts of your shared life. When he’s simply checked out and can’t be bothered, you need to take your stand.
Another take on this sign he wants to break up is outright refusal to work on things. He might say it doesn’t matter because things will never change. Or he may simply leave the argument without participating.
This is more than just having a withdrawing personality type, too. He leaves you with all your emotions and problems to take care of. He simply doesn’t care how you feel because he knows he won’t be sticking around for long.
Read More: 9 Reasons Men Pull Away
Another way he can stop caring is about his looks. In the beginning of a relationship, we make an effort to look good for our partners. We might find ourselves stabilizing at a level that’s less fabulous down the line. But if your man has completely stopped caring how he looks to you, especially if he cares how he looks to others, a break up might be imminent.
If your man seems to have stopped caring about anything, he might be struggling with depression or another mental illness. So be careful how you bring this up if you suspect things can be fixed and if you want to encourage him to seek help.
Psst, are you dating someone who is depressed? Read this post with ways to deal with your partner’s depression.
8. YOU ONLY FIGHT
The opposite of never fighting can also be a sign he wants to leave. It could be that the frequency of your fights have him doubting your relationship. Or he may be picking fights as a way to get you to break up with him. Constant fighting could also be related to the next possible sign he’s going to break up with you.
Be especially wary if he threatens to leave during a fight. It could be that his true feelings are coming to light only when he’s frustrated.
9. HE’S OVERLY CRITICAL
Now, when you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, the rose-colored glasses wear off. You might become naggy, and a couple can nitpick one another. But if your man is all about pointing out your (perceived) flaws, reminding you how much of a failure you are, and making you feel bad about yourself, it’s not a good sign for the future of your relationship. He may have stopped trying to psych himself up about your relationship, which is something that everyone has to do from time to time.
If your man has always been this way, consider whether he’s emotionally abusive. Belittling a person and manipulating them are just two ways that emotional abusers operate.
Look out for these signs of emotional abuse.
10. HE’S NOT AFFECTIONATE
We come to expect certain things from relationships. It might be a smile when you make eye contact, saying “I love you,” or picking up a candy bar on your way home from work. These things say “I think about you” and “I care.”
Affection can vary from physical touch to sweet words to gifts to helping around the house. But when your relationship feels as cool as the Arctic, it could be a sign he wants to break up with you.
If he’s not affectionate, he may not love you anymore. Beware these 20 signs your husband doesn’t love you.
11. HE NEVER TOUCHES YOU
Are you accustomed to hand-holding, kissing and back rubs? Perhaps your friends once accused the two of you of engaging in too many public displays of affection. But those have stopped, and perhaps all private signs of affection are gone, too.
Related: When Are PDAs Okay?
We’re not talking about sex; although, we’ll get to that in a bit. We mean foot rubs and shoulder massages and being pressed close together as you do other activities so that you can feel connected. When that stops, it’s a good sign he wants to break up.
If your man was never very affectionate, it could be difficult to look for a change. So look out for other signs he wants to break up before jumping the gun.
12. HE DOESN’T WANT SEX
A lack of physical affection is often accompanied by a drop in sex. If you have a lower sex drive than your man, you might not notice or even mind if he wants less sex than before. But keep in mind that this is a telltale sign he wants to break up because so many men use sex to express love. After all, physical touch is often a man’s love language.
13. HE’S ALWAYS BUSY
Perhaps he’s spending more time at work than ever. He’s picked up extra hours or taken on a new, demanding project, and you suspect he doesn’t want to come home or spend time with you. Rather than work, he might suddenly become a gym rat or spend a lot of time playing golf or drinking with his buddies. You might not even be sure how he’s spending his time anymore!
Everyone needs to have time away from their partner, and it’s not healthy to let friendships suffer when you’re in a relationship. But if he never makes time for you, he could be avoiding you because he hates your relationship and doesn’t know how to break up with you.
14. HE TELLS YOU
You wouldn’t believe how many times we have to tell women to believe what a man says. He’s not looking for a relationship? Believe him, don’t try to change him. He wants to break up? Well, that’s the most definite sign you can look for.
It may be difficult to believe a guy if he often says he wants to break up when you’re arguing but takes it back once the fight has ended. Of course, this isn’t a healthy way to argue. You can disagree and hash out issues without threatening to leave your partner.
But if this guy says he wants to break up, let him go through with it. Begging and pleading with him to stay is only prolonging the inevitable.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU NOTICE THESE SIGNS HE WANTS TO BREAK UP
Some guys aren’t brave enough to break up with you right away. It could be that he’s not sure what he wants, he still wants sex, or he’s just too much of a coward. So he’ll give you all these signs he wants to break up, perhaps subconsciously. He’s hoping that you’ll either pick up on the cues and break up with him, so he doesn’t have to do it or that you’ll just grow tired of his shitty behavior and dump him.
Either way, he doesn’t have to do the hard work. So if you’ve been seeing signs he wants to break up for weeks, or even months, there’s no reason to prolong it. He’s indecisive, immature, or both, and you deserve better!
Of course, he might be waffling over the decision to break up because he does love you and wants to work it out, but he’s unhappy and doesn’t know how. If you approach the subject with the potential to work on things, you might avoid a breakup altogether.
But if you’re not even sure that you want to be with him, it’s time to stop wasting your time and give him the boot. Breaking up with someone isn’t easy, of course, but we all need to learn how to do it. If you’ve never broken up with someone before or want to make sure it goes as well as it possibly can, check out our tips for ending a relationship.
Some of these things aren’t signs he wants to break up with you, of course. They could just be signs of stress or trouble in your relationship, and you can sometimes move past that. Otherwise, your best course of action might be to prepare for the inevitable heartbreak that comes with a breakup.