Sometimes, we’re willing to sacrifice genuine happiness to avoid temporary hardship.
After all, there’s comfort in the familiar.
This means that even in our relationships, we might choose to maintain the status quo, mostly remaining in denial about our discontent.
Hence, we delay things indefinitely, doing our best to avoid these uncomfortable truths.
But that day of reckoning has to come sooner or later.
In this article, I’ll take you through the common thoughts one gets when a breakup is on the horizon.
Let’s dive in!
1) “I’m never happy anymore”
Relationships are, in theory, supposed to be safe spaces where you can be yourself, and where you can exchange gestures of affection and joy.
When your relationship has regressed into an inhospitable, frigid, and emotionally draining environment, dominated by bickering and arguments, things may have run their course.
You may be realizing that a breakup may be the easiest way out, and for good reason.
Go with your gut.
2) “I miss the single life”
Maybe you feel like your partner is holding you back, and hence you find yourself frequently daydreaming about a life without them.
Over time, the idea of being fully independent becomes increasingly appealing to you.
No fights, no complaining, no compromise—you can just do what you want, all day, every day.
When you want to travel, you can just book a ticket when you feel like it, not having to consider anyone else.
When you want to go out with friends, you don’t have to constantly coordinate with anyone about your expected arrival time or provide play-by-play updates.
Maybe you’ve realized, you’ve lost your identity over the course of the relationship and want to reclaim it before it’s too late.
When you think of the future, you often envision a world where you’re single and unattached.
3) “I feel so disconnected”
At one point, you and your love were practically attached at the hip.
You were both smitten with one another, always together, giddily laughing, and being intimate and vulnerable.
But life has a way of chipping away at relationships, and the truth is, only a select few will truly stand the test of time.
And if your union isn’t one of them, then after a few months or a few years, the cracks will inevitably begin to surface.
Sadly, that person you once loved with wild abandon almost becomes a stranger.
You end up like two distant flatmates just going about your days, mostly separately.
Sooner or later, you come to terms with the harsh reality that you’re feeling emotionally isolated and disconnected from this other person; that being in their company feels more like a chore than a pleasure.
Somewhere in the back of your head, you’re telling yourself you deserve better, that you should start over with a clean slate.
4) “If I cheat, what’s the worst that can happen?”
In the past, you’d never, ever considered cheating.
Even having the occasional impure thought or fantasy was taboo and something you’d actively avoid.
These days, you find yourself more and more attracted to other people. The prospect of infidelity always seems to be lingering at the back of your head
Maybe you start lightly flirting with others, dismissing it to yourself as harmless, but deep down, you find it exciting and rejuvenating.
Or maybe you find yourself frequently texting or chatting with a “platonic friend” just a bit too vigorously.
Yes, you used to tell yourself you’d never cheat.
But these days? You’re not quite as sure.
5) “My relationship sucks compared to everyone else’s”
If you find yourself comparing your situation to others, and conclude that yours doesn’t quite measure up, then this can be a troubling sign.
Perhaps you’ve noticed how all your friends are in fulfilling relationships with supportive partners and feel left out.
Or maybe you scroll through your reels and see such beautiful (albeit carefully curated) posts of blissful, passionate romances and cannot help but feel a tinge of envy and longing.
In an unhappy relationship, we’ll naturally long for better circumstances, but we don’t have always the strength to rock the boat.
So you spend your days comparing, contemplating, what could be.
Towards the end of the relationship with my ex, I remember her being vocal about how I was inferior to her friends’ partners.
She’d go into great detail about how they were such kind-hearted, selfless casanovas, while I was some unloving, ill-mannered chump.
I struggled financially during the pandemic, so for some time, I became incredibly frugal with my spending.
And like clockwork, she’d once again start comparing me to the aforementioned boyfriends, and husbands, elaborating how well they were doing in life, while I was left behind and so “cheap.”
Occasionally, her sentiment was just plain mean-spirited.
Her resentment caused resentment in me, and soon we reached the point of no return.
When the comparisons started, that was the beginning of the end.
6) “I can’t wait until I get another break”
Do you feel a sense of relief and solace when you’re away from your partner?
If you find yourself subconsciously (or not) looking for ways to avoid spending time with your other half, then this is almost certainly a red flag.
Sure, we all should have space, a designated “me time”, but when the latter takes precedence over shared activities, you may just be headed for Splitsville.
Maybe you’ve reached a point where you actively look for ways to escape your partner, conjuring up excuses to free yourself from their presence.
I remember when my ex took a two-week girls’ trip to the Caribbean
I was initially apprehensive about her leaving, expecting to miss her and get deep separation anxiety.
But the opposite happened.
Without her around, my anxiety and stress levels noticeably dropped. I started to realize that I was enjoying the newfound space and freedom.
When she got back, I gradually reverted to my “walking on eggshells” mentality.
So I began to crave the escapism.
I eventually acknowledged the fact that avoiding her, that “doing my own thing”, was actually my way of coping with an unhappy relationship.
5 things to consider before breaking up
Maybe you’re just in a rut.
So if you feel things are worth salvaging, then nobody will blame you for trying again.
But you can’t just hope for the best and expect great things to happen–you have to move strategically with the shared goal of making things work.
So before tossing everything in the bin, take into account the following first:
If you’re not communicating with your partner, then, in a way, it’s not fair to them.
They don’t know what they’re doing wrong because they’ve never been told otherwise.
Have an honest conversation with your partner, where you can openly broadcast concerns and actively listen to one another.
Remember, there are always two sides to every coin.
Exchanging your views without judgment can help illuminate things considerably.
Perhaps all you need is a bit more communication to mend things.
If you value your relationship, getting professional therapy will help give you that much-needed objective perspective and insight.
Through counseling, you can also learn systematic ways to deal with relationship issues, rather than just winging it.
Sometimes, we unknowingly bring unaddressed emotional baggage into our relationships.
Take time to reflect on your needs, insecurities, and personal triggers that could be impacting the way you deal with people.
Having self-awareness is crucial in any relationship, and in life in general.
Giving it time
Everyone makes mistakes.
Remember, there is a major difference between temporary challenges and deep-seated, fundamental issues and behaviors.
If you haven’t already, give yourself and the relationship some time to properly make that distinction.
Advice from friends
Sometimes, we get so caught up in a relationship that we begin to lose impartiality.
When making big, life-changing decisions, everyone is entitled to getting support. You shouldn’t have to go at this issue alone.
Consult with select friends and family who can provide neutral analysis and insights that you may not have considered previously.
If you sense something is wrong in your relationship, you can’t simply cross your fingers and hope for a miracle.
Like anything of value in this life, a fulfilling relationship takes effort and dedication.
So if you’re up for it, then earnestly sorting through your issues as a couple can do you wonders.
Once you’re both aligned, exceptional things can happen.
But if you’ve exhausted your options, and change remains elusive, then perhaps it’s time to cut your losses.
Life is short, you don’t want to spend it in a disappointing relationship that erodes your happiness and well-being.