By · @elizabethcstone  ·  · 32 Shares

Ever had that uneasy sick feeling in your gut, wondering if your partner is about to break up with you?

I know I have, during one ill-fated relationship, I told my best friend that if I had known I was boarding the Titanic when the relationship began, I wouldn’t have agreed to it in the first place. Perhaps in a spontaneous fit of masochism, I felt destined to continue for the foreseeable future (three whole days after that).

Not shockingly, my gut feeling turned out to be right.

Starting to feel like your partner is pulling away?

Here are nine signs that a breakup might be coming.

9 Red Alert Signs That a Breakup Is Approaching1. Communication falls off.

Those little messages in the middle of the day drop off and become nonexistent. The little notes on the mirror or in fact any communication becomes scarce. Speaking to each other starts to feel like a labored chore.

2. Lots of conflict.

Petty disagreements abound. Disagreements escalate more quickly than they used to. Fighting is never fun, but faster escalation of your arguments is a sign. If you two always quibbled over a certain topic and it has gone from a minor disagreement to a major battle, this is a bad sign.

3. Your partner no longer cares to fight.

This happens often with women, and I can vouch for the idea that if I’m telling you I don’t like something, it means I still care to mention it and haven’t started planning my exit yet. If you’re finding that they just don’t seem to care anymore, this is bad news.

4. Sudden shiny, new life goals.

Sudden interest in veterinary education plan requiring them to move across the country? Check. Difficulty of you coming along for new plan? Check.

If you are just getting to know them, then this doesn’t often apply, since you are still finding out what makes them tick. However, if you are finding they have sudden new interests that don’t include you or would be hard for you to do together, be wary.

5. They start acting out.

This one stems from a total lack of caring what you think anymore and/or knowing that they need a change but not being ready or too cowardly to make one. People who are on the way out the door begin living for themselves and often will subconsciously sabotage a relationship in hopes that you’ll leave them.

Have they suddenly started acting uncharacteristically cranky and cruel for no reason?

This is a big sign that things might be starting to go off the rails and/or that your relationship isn’t so great in the first place. It’s definitely worth a conversation to figure out what is going on.

6. Lots of long nights at the office.

Is your partner suddenly working late frequently?

If they are suddenly accepting a lot of overtime that they passed up before, this can be a sign that they are about to leave. Many people who are unhappy in their relationships start to distance themselves by throwing themselves into their work.

7. Sudden renewed interest in their appearance.

When people are eyeing the door, they often become very aware of their appearance to the opposite sex. If they let their appearance slide a little during your relationship, suddenly they are interested in going to the gym, dressing better and fixing themselves up more.

A tell tale sign of this is when they don’t seem to be interested in including you in fitness activities. For example, in the past they might have suggested that you hit the gym together, suddenly they start going solo.

8. The nagging gut feeling that something isn’t right.

Only you know if this is true for you, but if you have had that feeling that something isn’t right, you’re probably right. Honor your feelings and have a conversation with them in a non-accusatory fashion. Ask if they are happy in your relationship. Check in with them.

9. You feel clingier than usual.

This one coincides with the bad feeling in your gut. Often when one person is pulling away, it sends the other partner into a mode where they start to question their partner’s motives and it sets off a negative, push and pull cycle.

For example, the man notices that the woman is acting aloof and starts to worry about what is going on. So he starts questioning her about things he has never worried about before. He gets more clingy and tries harder. This freaks her out and makes her pull even further away. This cycle is dangerous because one person becoming clingy and insecure can drive the other one away without there actually being a problem to start with.

Keep in mind that these breakup signs are not set in stone, and just one without some of the others might mean nothing. As always, it’s better to have a conversation than freak out and start boxing up your stuff in order to strike first. Often, if someone has pulled away, there are steps you can take to save your relationship. [trb text=’Text The Romance Back’] anyone?

Have you had someone pull away without warning? What signs that a breakup is coming have you noticed in your relationships? Have you ever successfully saved a relationship when you knew things weren’t right?

Tell me your thoughts in the comments.

Elizabeth Stone

Elizabeth Stone has made it her mission to help you date better, get through heartbreak, gain confidence and improve your relationship.

Tired of Meeting Guys Who Become Distant and Pull Away? Get your free copy of Why Men Lose Interest and make him desperate to be with you.

What Do You Think?

7 Comments | Join the discussion

  • Steve Jun 13, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Guys also pull away because women pull away from the relationship. I call it mirroring the relationship. I also find that when a guy is what a woman wants (chivalry, a man with manners, a guy who actually cares for his lady, a man who’s loyal, trusting, and passionate) that’s when women start to do one of two things. She either starts to open up and let that man continue to woo her or she pushes back and starts to pull away. Now the one who pulls away does so because of many reasons, maybe she feels guilty or unworthy, she had depression and just naturally withdraws, or she starts to think that this is too good to be real and she starts to question the relationship altogether. Either way it seems that when guys pull away it draws the woman to the man even more, of course this only works for the short term. Then women wonder why the best guy they ever meet doesn’t come running back after a few times of this. He’s tired of investing his time and energy into something that his lady live doesn’t want. He’s tired of being rejected and tired of being pushed away. When a guy tells you how beautiful you are and you say “Thanks!” that is a sure fire way to make a guy lose interest.

  • Charlotte Jun 13, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I was completely blindsided by a remark that I made on his Facebook page. He called me after we had just spent a glorious day together… Him kissing me goodbye and telling me to call him before I went to bed. He had no more than gotten home when he called me on the phone and just said “that’s it…it’s over” and wouldn’t say another word to me. No early warning signs of what was coming at all.

    • paty   Charlotte Jun 13, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      Wtf!!!!!!!!!!!!! he is not normal

    • Ellen   Charlotte Jun 14, 2014 at 12:39 am

      “I was completely blindsided by a remark that I made on his Facebook page.”

      I’m confused. YOU were blindsided by a remark YOU made on his Facebook page? You posted something on his Facebook page that led to him calling and breaking up with you?

  • Kalaryn K Jun 11, 2014 at 11:25 am

    They start saying things like: “You are too good to me.” I always figure this is their guilt at not feeling the same way coming out. I could be wrong but in my vast experience of dating, I haven’t been wrong. Let me also add, it’s the use of “too” that seals that deal, if they say “so” it’s a whole different thing. If they start saying to you that you deserve better, etc. can also be an indicator that they are leaning towards leaving.


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