It is not easy to diagnose the health of your relationship – does it need some repairs and maintenance or is it time to pull down the shutters? If you’re facing this predicament, you’re in dire need of some support. While there is no straightforward answer to ‘should I break up with my boyfriend?’, there are a few indicators that can pave the way forward.
Most people want to make things work as far as possible; it is only when they exhaust all possible pathways that they consider a breakup. But examining the different facets of your relationship is imperative before taking such a call. You don’t want to continue a connection that isn’t contributing to your growth, but you also don’t want to give up on a partner who has the potential to build a loving and lovely life with you.
So, when is it time to break up with someone you love? Consider these 11 signs carefully. Subject your partner to scrutiny and make a decision that does not come from a place of anger. Let’s take things one at a time and begin by answering a basic question – how do you know if you should break up?
How Do You Decide If You Should Break Up?
Do you remember this profoundly simple quote by Ram Dass? “We’re all just walking each other home.” Doesn’t a partner walk you home in the most beautiful way? A relationship is an integral part of your journey as an individual. It nourishes, teaches, and guides you to your highest potential. Needless to say, a relationship is as good as the people in it. A wrong partner can cause much damage to your life.
Why do I keep thinking about breaking up with my boyfriend, you ask? Because maybe you have an inkling that he isn’t the right fit for you. The relationship, as well as your boyfriend, have served their purpose in your life. It’s time to accept that your relationship is over and channel your energies elsewhere. Fundamentally, three situations warrant a breakup – an abusive partner, an incompatible partner, and incompatible situations.
The first entails physical, emotional, psychological and/or financial abuse. If your partner engages in acts of violence or manipulation, that’s your cue to leave. The second situation is comprised of irreconcilable differences – opposites might attract, but they can’t sustain a relationship if their core values are different. And thirdly, an incompatible situation means long distances, busy work schedules, familial obligations, etc.
The 11 signs listed below fall under one of these three areas. It’s time you put the grey cells to work and answered the question once and for all – should I break up with my boyfriend? Try and maintain objectivity as far as possible. A happy life begins with honesty and honesty begins with ourselves.
Should I Breakup With My Boyfriend?
A reader from Newark wrote, “My long-distance relationship is turning out to be much more challenging than I thought. Our time zones do not allow us to communicate well and one of us is always exhausted or cranky. It’s gotten to a point where I’m wondering if we’re over. Should I break up with my boyfriend because of our setup? Or is that not a valid reason to end the relationship? When is it time to break up with someone you love?”
While the situation per se, seems very new and daunting, many people have walked in these shoes before. When it comes to relationships, a one-line answer is not possible in the complex arena of modern dating. For the benefit of our reader (and all of you), here’s a list of 11 signs that will go a long way in providing clarity. Without further ado, let’s get started.
Related Reading: 21 Signs You Should Break Up For Good
1. Why should I break up with my boyfriend? There’s no future with him
Yes, we’re talking about the infamous ‘what are we’ and ‘where is this going’ questions. If you’re in a casual relationship and dating to have some fun, then building a future with your boyfriend is not your priority. Even if a no-strings-attached liaison fizzles out, there won’t be a significant impact on the direction of your life. But it’s a whole other ballgame if you’re getting serious with your man.
If you’re beginning to envision long-term plans with him, it’s crucial for him to be on the same page. If he is a commitment-phobe (or a man-child), there won’t be much scope for a healthy and lasting relationship. Ditto if you’re dating a narcissist. So, how do you know if you should break up? The word we’re looking for is ‘sustainable.’ A partnership needs to be sustainable for the happiness of both people involved. You should break up with your boyfriend if the relationship is leading you to a dead end.
2. The relationship is holding you back
C. JoyBell C. wrote, “You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.” The very first thing we discussed was the importance of a relationship in your personal growth. It’s one thing for your partner to not enrich your life, but a whole other if they’re actively holding you back. We’re talking about the fundamentals of support here.
Do you find yourself not taking up job opportunities or exploring new things because your partner disagrees? Or do you stop yourself before they can? You need someone like Chandler who tells Monica to take up a great job – even if it leads to a long-distance marriage. In the absence of support, you will end up being miserable, resentful and bitter after a few years. Be fair to yourself and consider the opportunity cost of being with your boyfriend.
3. He’s a toxic individual – Should I break up with my boyfriend?
This seems quite self-explanatory and obvious. But the traits of a toxic boyfriend often go unnoticed. If there’s any form of abuse, please pack your bags this instant and check out of the relationship – no jokes, literally. And ‘abuse’ is an umbrella term that covers behaviors like gaslighting, breadcrumbing, love-bombing, phubbing, ghosting, etc. A boyfriend that tries to peg any of these as romance is a grade-A oaf.
You deserve to be treated with respect and love – put an end to the relationship if your partner is chipping away at your self-esteem. My sister once dated a man who used to gaslight. It took her three months to identify his pattern, but four years to break off the relationship. By then, much damage had been done. Thank you for asking ‘should I break up with my boyfriend?’ It’s healthy to question things once in a while.
4. The relationship is not fulfilling
Don’t let anyone tell you this reason is not enough. Our basic needs have to be met through our partner. Should we break up or stay together, you wonder? It depends on your emotional and physical health. If your emotional needs are being met – you’re experiencing care, support, trust, love, friendship, etc. – and if your physical needs are satisfied, then there’s no cause for concern.
But emotional neglect and lack of sex or affection can take a toll on you very quickly. More often than not, this is the case with long-distance relationships. Despite their best attempts, couples feel very discontented with the bond. If you’re in it half-heartedly, then there’s a need to evaluate the state of affairs again. You’re not wrong in wondering ‘should I break up with my boyfriend long distance?’
5. You’ve been cheated on – How do you know if you should break up?
Infidelity births many complications in the relationship. Mistrust and resentment become the norm of the day and each fight brings back distressing memories. While several couples manage to overcome cheating after a lot of work and time, many choose to part ways instantly. If your boyfriend has been unfaithful to you, taking some time off might be a good idea for you both. Keep reconciliation on the table if you must, but put some distance between you two.
You might want to consider parting ways permanently if he’s a serial cheater. Don’t tolerate disrespect in the name of love and don’t let anyone take you for granted. Put your foot down and make the decision of leaving him once and for all. It’s not easy to get the strength to leave someone you love but it is a good idea to put yourself first.
Related Reading: 7 Reasons To Breakup Early Rather Than Be In An Unhappy Marriage
6. Your friends and family aren’t fans
Yes, this matters far more than you think it does. Our social circle has the advantage of viewing us objectively. They have a complete picture of our situation and can predict what is the likely outcome of our decisions. If your parents and friends are particularly disapproving of your boyfriend, you should take their opinion into account. There must be a basis for their view and investigating the same is your duty.
However, don’t let this be the driving factor behind your breakup. A friend’s opinion is a good place to start, not end. Be open and receptive to what your well-wishers say, but conduct an independent analysis of the situation too. For instance, I always find myself rethinking errors when my mother points them out. A slight nudge from her makes me spot something I initially missed. I’ve narrowly missed a few dating disasters because of this practice!
7. There’s nothing between the sheets – Should we break up or stay together?
Sex can be a huge deal-breaker for many people. You’re one of them if ‘should I break up with my boyfriend’ is plaguing your mind in the absence of intimacy. This could very well be a dry spell – something that happens very organically when a couple settles into a routine. But if your attempts at breaking the spell haven’t worked, you’ve got a problem at hand. If roleplay, BDSM, sexting or phone sex didn’t work, ask yourself what the real issue is.
Problems in one’s sex life are usually indicators of bigger emotional concerns like lack of trust. The cause, as well as the effect, can make you get the strength to leave someone you love. Sexual frustration has a domino effect on the other spheres of life too – irritability, distraction, anger and insecurity are a few of its side-effects. Why do I keep thinking about breaking up with my boyfriend, you ask? Maybe because you’re having trouble spicing things up in the bedroom.
8. You’re constantly worrying (or angry)
Your partner is supposed to bring you joy, safety, comfort and love. If he is the source of your insecurities and anxiety, please rethink the relationship. Your worry can arise due to several reasons – your boyfriend’s addiction, his womanizing tendencies, his low self-esteem or his toxic behavior. It is not normal to feel threatened or unsure about the relationship constantly. How often are your eyebrows knit together with concern? And how frequently do you think that your bond is hanging on by a thread?
Recall the words of Eckhart Tolle who wrote,“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose.” Moreover, it corrodes you from within. At one point, your worry will morph into anger; rather than directing this rage toward your partner or yourself, make the wise decision of taking a break for a bit. You really shouldn’t be constantly asking yourself ‘should we break up or stay together’?
9. There’s an incongruity in vision – Why do I keep thinking about breaking up with my boyfriend?
Not seeing eye to eye can be disastrous in a relationship. If your boyfriend has a different vision for where you’re going together, a host of problems will crop up pretty soon. Remember when Mike Hannigan didn’t want to marry Phoebe? Yes, THAT. It’s time to call it quits if your perspective on the future does not align. It could be about anything – financial matters, having kids, getting married, moving in together or polyamory. (Here’s when you ask ‘should I break up with my boyfriend?’)
This is a tricky area to navigate because your feelings remain intact through the process. It becomes very difficult to get the strength to leave someone you love when they aren’t even at fault. The circumstances call for a breakup and you have to give in for the general good. (This is the case with many long-distance couples; a ranking FAQ is ‘should I break up with my boyfriend long distance?’) But you might come to see this in a favorable light later. Time heals all wounds and gives a lot of clarity in retrospect.
10. You’re locked in a vicious cycle
On-again off-again relationships are quite toxic after a point. The cycle is inescapable and gets progressively worse with each phase. If you find yourself in such a relationship pattern, stop asking ‘should I break up with my boyfriend’ and actually break up with him. Your mental health will not be able to take the uncertainty of a love-hate relationship any longer. And it’s doing no one any good – you’re both suffering (even if you don’t realize it).
By subjecting each other to the same drama over and over again, you’re just causing unnecessary stress. Clearly something isn’t working out and you’re reluctant to let go. It’s best that you break up before things get out of hand and you become the toxic couple of the town. It’s better to be single and happy rather than committed and miserable!
11. Why should I break up with my boyfriend? It’s just not working out
As vague as it sounds, this is a perfectly legitimate sign to end things. Everything could be right – you could be totally compatible in theory, he could be the sweetest man ever, and you both would even look stunning as a pair, but… Yes…the dreaded ‘but’. You might still feel that something is amiss. There’s no click or spark.
There can be manifold reasons behind you feeling this way. Maybe you are missing an ex or maybe you’re not in a relationship-y space. Perhaps you need to work on yourself or are struggling with other things in life. One way or another, it just doesn’t feel right. So don’t be Cinderella’s stepsister who tried to make the glass slipper fit forcefully. Take it off – it’s not for you.
Here we come to the end of this comprehensive guide. I hope your questions have been answered and your anxiety quelled. ‘Should I break up with my boyfriend?’ might be a formidable question but you’re equipped with the right tools to face it head-on. Good luck on your journey!