18 Compelling Signs You Should Not Break Up, Even If You Feel So

Break up And Loss | |
signs you should not break up

Every couple struggles with numerous temptations outside the relationship — work-related stress, social media distractions, financial issues, and more. The result? Partners drifting apart even though they could make it work with just a little effort. But if you can spot a few signs you should not break up, this relationship may still have a lot of hope.

The way to end a long-term relationship – or even a short one – is as easy as sending a message. But the question is, should you? Are you willing to let go of years of hard work without so much as a fair fight? Instead of constantly thinking about the last screaming match you had with your partner, how about you look at the bright side? All the good things still exist in the relationship.

I am sure there’s a silver lining somewhere around the corner. A pros and cons list might come real handy if your relationship is in crisis. To give you enough reasons not to break up even if you feel so, we spoke to psychiatrist and Cognitive Behavior Therapist Shefali Batra, who specializes in counseling for separation and divorce, breakup and dating, and premarital compatibility issues.

Why Do I Think About Breaking Up?

There are so many reasons to end a relationship out there. Here are a few of them:

  • Boredom in a relationship
  • Stuck in a cycle of unhappiness
  • Feeling that your life isn’t moving forward with this person anymore
  • Considering your options from time to time and trying to think about what your life looks like without them
  • If you two are going through tough times, you may be wondering if you’re better off being happily single
  • Even if things are okay, you’re just someone who’s wondering if this relationship is sustainable or not. That, too, is absolutely normal

18 Signs That Say You Shouldn’t End the Relationship

When should you not break up with your partner even though you two haven’t been very happy of late? Sometimes you just need to gain perspective on the important things, and you might find yourself realizing that your relationship is actually worth holding on to.

When you decide to end a long-term relationship, you might have strong justifications to back up your decision. No one is denying them either. You don’t need a relationship expert to tell you that it’s over; it is something you decide for yourself. But as you imagine life without them, what do you feel? Do you suddenly miss them and realize they are your best friend in the whole world? Do you feel all alone without them? Maybe it is time to dig deeper and understand what you want.

Yes, if you plan on finally staying in the relationship, addressing those issues which are pushing you to the brink will be your first order of business. Since this article is all about saving your relationship instead of ending things, we asked relationship expert Shefali for advice on the factors you should consider before ending it. She asks you to reconsider the breakup if the following are largely true:

  • The issues you’re fighting about are not deal-breakers
  • There is still mutual respect for each other
  • Your partner is willing to talk and take corrective steps
  • You still feel that your partner is your best friend
  • You still love and care for the person your partner is
  • You have resolved differences in the past by talking and have sailed through many tough times
  • Your partner is not being all-out unreasonable
  • Maybe you have been at fault too and are willing to work on your shortcomings by discussing things more often on a deeper level

Plus, the fact that you’re here reading this article indicates that there’s an annoying voice in your head that’s not necessarily okay with calling it quits. That’s one of the top reasons why we shouldn’t break up — when there is still a feeling in our hearts to work things out and not pack our bags. To help that voice grow, here are 18 surefire signs you can’t ignore.

Related Reading: 20 Signs He Is Not Into You

1. You still have feelings for them

Sure, you may have had the nastiest fight with your partner, but that doesn’t necessarily spell doom for what you two have cultivated. You might still actually be in a healthy relationship if you know how to resolve those fights well. So, when should you not break up? Think about these two factors:

  • Assess what you can change: Maybe rebuilding trust, and working on communication and respect, can help you overcome this rough patch and get back to where you once were
  • If you have not made up your mind, give it another chance: The fact that you are still in two minds and looking for reasons not to break up with your partner is an indication that things are salvageable

Shefali says, “This is usually a tricky one. A lot of people continue in relationships because they feel there is love. But what you should really ask yourself is whether you still like your partner or not. Like is different from love. ‘Like’ is linked with respect and acceptance. If you see kindness and compassion, care and consideration, then you should not leave just yet.”

2. Their actions prove that you should rethink breaking up with them

If your partner has broken your trust, the way they behave afterward should tell you all you need to know. It’s not just words and elaborate expressions of true love, but actions that matter.

  • Their effort to communicate: You know that they feel guilty and are not ready to lose you if they are genuinely trying to communicate and hear you out about the issues you’re facing
  • Change in behavior: Are they trying to accommodate you by changing things about themselves that you did not like? Perhaps they are not so punctual, but are now always making an effort to be on time for you
  • They are being proactive: Of course, there will be inhibitions about trusting someone after they hurt you but if you are not sure about breaking up, follow your guts. Did you discover a better and deeper version of them after your interaction with them? If yes, drop the idea of a breakup, at least for now. The future will unfold itself anyway

3. A pause gives you a new reality

Yes, there are plenty of reasons for ending a relationship. But sometimes instead of pulling the trigger, it can help to just take a step back and re-focus on the big things. It will help you make a clearer decision and is a good sign that you need a pause.

An engineering post-graduate from Colorado, Su, shares with us, “My relationship with Frank started off with good old infatuation, the kind that makes two people ignore every fault the other side may have. As time went by, however, we realized that our different worldviews make it difficult for us to have a conversation without it turning into an argument.

“I, for one, can’t stand the clingy boyfriend/girlfriend scenario. I put my phone down for two hours, and he went ballistic with the suspicion that I was trying to ignore him. It came to the point where I was frantically looking for reasons why we shouldn’t break up. To my surprise, it was Frank who decided that we should take a break for a few weeks. I never thought it would work but when we came back with a fresh perspective, it was easier to deal with our issues.”

Sometimes, the obvious signs you should not break up are right in front of you; you just need to look at them from a calmer state of mind. In situations like these, it can help to take a pause and breathe. Small arguments, slight differences in taste, or a short-lived difficult period in the relationship aren’t reasons enough to break up and pack up.

Related Reading: The 5 Zodiac Signs Most Likely To Break Your Heart

4. You finally realize your partner’s expectations

What if you two are just not communicating on the same wavelength? If your relationship is not working, it could simply be a misunderstanding of expectations. Perhaps all your partner wants from you is your time and attention, but you shower them with material gifts instead. Basically, you often end up speaking different love languages.

You may love each other yet drift apart because you are not tuned in to the other person’s needs. For a healthy relationship, you have to treat the other side as important as yours. Put yourself in their shoes and look at the entire picture. If you comprehend their desires and way of showing love, you may find an answer to why and when not to break up with someone.

5. When should you not break up? When you’re overthinking your worries

This is one of the most important things to note before you decide to end things. Having doubts about your relationship every now and then is normal. Yes, constantly worrying about your partner’s fear of commitment is not exactly a fun ride. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on the good times you had with them and break up immediately.

  • Compartmentalize: Right now, what you can do is list out your concerns. See what’s fixable and what’s not
  • Pick out the issues that will affect the long run: Perhaps you are worried about your partner’s huge credit card debt. Then have a heart-to-heart with them. Here’s one of the signs you can’t ignore that this relationship is worth saving: They’re willing to accept your opinion in this matter, implement the suggestions you offer, and do all they can to get out of this mess
  • Then talk about the smaller issues: Now, come to the smaller issues, like how they often forget to text you back or do not accompany you at parties anymore. A structured conversation such as this will help you two get on the same page
bad reasons to break up
Stop overthinking and have a structured thought process

6. You have mixed feelings about the breakup decision

Even the best of us fall into this trap of confusion sometimes. Say, your partner has driven you up the wall and now you want to split up. The next day, they make up for the fight by doing something that melts your heart like the April snow. Naturally, you can’t help but wonder what would have happened if you had slammed the door in their face the previous day.

  • You are possibly being hasty: Making a decision as serious as ending a relationship based on momentary outrage will invite nothing but regrets
  • Take time to assess life in the long run: In case your feelings tend to change with the way your partner treats you and you are not sure about breaking up, spend some time introspecting what your heart truly wants

Shefali says, “This is what worries most people – the ambivalence and confusion. This is where I feel a relationship therapist is the best guide. When you are an integral part of the relationship, you are going to be biased. So, the opinions of your friends and family will also be influenced by their impression of your partner. At this juncture, I definitely suggest that you seek relationship advice from an expert who will be unbiased and can guide you to make the right decision.”

7. Your partner adds value to your life

Looking for reasons not to break up with your girlfriend/boyfriend? Here’s a good one: Think about the value they add to your life. Can you imagine life without their wisdom and their humor when you are sad? Despite the occasional fights, do they make this world a better and happier place for you? If you like the version of yourself you are becoming in their companionship, it’s better not to untie that bond.

Maybe it is just that the honeymoon phase of your relationship is over and things are feeling a bit dull for now. However, you can learn to love each other’s company again when you realize how valuable this connection is.

8. They have your best interests at heart

One of the signs you should not break up with your girlfriend/boyfriend is if they constantly look out for you. Often, your partner, who you think doesn’t love you anymore turns out to be the go-to person when you are in trouble. Despite all your disagreements and misunderstanding, they still don’t think twice before standing up for you. Take that as a huge sign that you should not break up because these kinds of bonds are pretty rare.

A lot of times, people break up with each other for the wrong reasons. Some are worried that their partner doesn’t earn enough or does not look good enough. But none of that matters if this person seeks the best for you and is protective about you. A Reddit user shares a bad reason to break up, “Anything shallow. Like, if you’re with someone who’s amazing, but you don’t think they’re tall enough. Although, you might be doing them a favor. You’re probably the one that should be broken up with.”

9. Don’t end things when there is mutual respect

We create a lot of hype about real love and often overlook the role of respect in a relationship. I have seen my best friends talk about their ex-partners’ immense compassion, saying things like, “We were not meant for each other. But they are a genuinely nice person”. This is only possible when there was respect in the relationship and it never faded away. Simply because you and your partner couldn’t make it work, it doesn’t warrant you going around badmouthing them.

Respect is the trooper holding the fort alone when the two people in the relationship are about to give up. It can be conveyed in many subtle ways, from being considerate of your partner’s need for personal space to keeping the promises you made to each other. I think you would know when not to break up with someone if there’s still admiration and gratitude in your relationship.

Should I Breakup With My Girlfriend

10. You don’t hurt each other in a fight

This is one of the greatest signs of healthy relationships. Suppose you are coming home on a chilly night and you got into a fight. In the middle of all the bickering, your partner doesn’t forget to offer you his coat. Or she might be super angry yet never stoops to the level of saying hurtful things to you. If this sounds like your dynamic with your partner, it is a good sign. You should stick around and work on fixing your issues; you two can make it work in the long run.

  • Fighting fair: Couples fight all the time. But it’s important to fight fair. If you two do the same things when you fight like explaining yourself and hearing the other person out, it is a good sign the relationship will work
  • Taking a break: Just the fact that you’re civil enough to pause a heated argument and come back with a calmer state of mind indicates, at the very least, that there are some good qualities here. Yes, you have your differences but these are not the warning signs to escape as soon as you can
  • Making up afterward: Is your partner the kind of person who will bring you green tea in bed after a fight or will sleep on the couch to sulk? If they do the former, do not let go of them. Even though you two are not on the same page about everything, you are fundamentally sorted, have created a solid foundation, and should stay together

11. If the communication is not dead, it’s a sign you should not break up

A relationship not working may make you take rash decisions and end things with your partner. But ask yourself a simple question, how well do you two hold a conversation?

Most relationships die because of a lack of communication. Having the ability to communicate openly is one of the most important qualities of a good relationship. And even more important is the ability to communicate when you do not get along. If you can talk to each other even when you feel like you have drifted away emotionally and the spark is missing from your bond, it is one of the signs you should not break up.

Shefali says, “Communication is the best glue that holds a relationship together. If through thick and thin you can still communicate with each other, then there is no conflict that cannot be resolved. You should definitely try to smooth out the kinks to reset the relationship.”

12. Counseling can help

Over time, some relationships get damaged beyond repair. And there are those that just need the right nudge to get back on track. In some cases, advice from your best friend may not cut it. If that’s what you’re dealing with, do not seek the exit route just yet. Rather, seek help.

If you are lost regarding the breakup, it makes sense to see a counselor. If your partner is open to it, consider it a good sign that they want to repair the relationship. This might help you reach a more rational decision. If you’re considering getting help, Bonobology boasts a multitude of experienced counselors who would love to help you figure out the answers to these difficult questions.

13. You feel this way about every romantic partner

This is one of the biggest signs that perhaps you are someone who tends to make rash decisions. It’s basic human nature to point fingers and find fault in others. But have you ever thought that the problem may lie with you as well?

  • Commitment phobia: Earlier, we were talking about having mixed feelings for your partner. In many instances, that state of confusion stems from fear of commitment. There may not be something fatally problematic in this relationship, yet you cook up trouble in your head to use it as an excuse to leave
  • Understand your patterns: Try to figure out if this is a consistent pattern that you have played every time you started dating someone. This means that it is not necessary for you to have a strong relationship in your life. You, in fact, need to focus on how you process these intimate connections

14. Don’t break up if you still trust each other

A lot of times, trust is love. A relationship can fall apart like a house of cards in the absence of mutual trust. And if there is a lot of trust in the relationship even now, then you are just breaking up when you’re still in love.

Over time, you may feel emotionally detached from your partner. Perhaps you can’t stop complaining about their annoying habits. But if someone comes up to you to says “I saw your partner kissing a girl in the park today,” you won’t believe any part of that sentence. That’s a sign that you trust your partner. As long as the trust is still alive, there is a chance you can work through these shaky feelings about splitting up.

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15. One of the bad reasons to break up: The erotic spark is slowly fading

I can imagine your befuddled face wondering, “Why would I stay in a relationship without any sexual chemistry?” Let me give you two reasons.

  • It happens all the time: It’s the story of every long-term relationship and happens in all healthy relationships. You cannot expect to experience the same passion after being with a person for five years that you did at the beginning of your relationship
  • It signals maturity: As your bond matures, you enjoy the bonus benefits of stability, emotional intimacy, and the comfort of familiarity. Yes, it actually does mean you have a strong relationship
  • It is not permanent: If you and your partner are going through a dry spell, it can very well be temporary. There are many external factors that may have an impact on your or their libido, for instance, work stress, family problems, financial issues, and more. Don’t be disheartened if your partner has turned down sex a couple of times because there are many, many ways to get the spark back in a broken relationship

16. Your partner still makes efforts

A relationship with someone is worth saving when after a long day, you come home to them and you trust that they will openly listen to you rant about your issues with your boss. And make you dinner to comfort you. How sweet is that? Big or small, efforts and meaningful gestures have the power to bring two lovers closer despite all odds. If you two can do the same things you always do to love each other, you might be making a mistake by leaving them.

But there is another side to that story. Even if they make an effort, do assess how much of an effort you are willing to put in for them too. A Reddit user says that sometimes the other person just deserves better, “I’ve essentially broken up for this reason. What I meant by it was that I didn’t feel the same way about her that she did about me. It had nothing to do with her; she was a terrific girl who put a lot of effort and thought into our relationship. I just wasn’t at a place in my life where I could muster that same kind of passion, and the result was that she was a great girlfriend and I just felt like shit because I knew I was being a deadbeat. I wanted her to put that kind of energy and love into a relationship that was going to reward her for it.”

17. You share children whom you love

Your reasons for ending a relationship need a revisit if this is the case. Perhaps this is the most compelling reason to not rush toward a breakup. Children are a strong binding factor, and while they shouldn’t be a reason to stay in an abusive or unhappy marriage/relationship, they can definitely provide you reasons to hold on for some time.

For most parents, the responsibility of bringing up children together is a huge one, and most parents would prefer to keep their differences aside for their kids’ sake. If a child can bring much-needed grounding, then why not take that as a sign to not break up?

My best friend, Alanna, was going through a tough time in her marriage of eight years. She saw every argument and disagreement as a bad sign and wanted to imagine life as a single mother. “I don’t feel close to him anymore. Should we break up or stay together?” she asked me one time. But later, she realized that even though she and her husband don’t enjoy each other’s company the way the used to in their honeymoon phase, their kid deserved better. Their 5-year old needed both her parents, so Alanna and her husband decided to work on building a strong relationship.

18. You share a strong bond of attraction

They drive you mad, and you can barely imagine life without their touch. They have habits that irritate the hell out of you, and their kiss is the stuff of dreams. You don’t see eye to eye on many issues, and they are the only one who can make your heart flutter each time they set their eyes on you. Physical attraction may be the best thing in a partnership but a superficial reason to stay together. Still, it’s a good enough sign that you are sexually compatible with each other.

Finding someone sexually compatible is not easy, and if you have it already, then we’re just saying this connection might be worth working on. Seeking new things can be exciting for a while but you may not always find what you want or need.

Before we wrap up, we ask Shefali to offer advice. She says, “Attraction and desires can get people to enter the relationship. But it cannot keep people in the relationship. If, along with attraction, there is also kindness, compassion, and empathy in a couple’s bond, they can go a long way together.”

Key Pointers

  • Don’t make the decision to break a relationship impulsively; consider the positive aspects before calling it quits
  • If your issues don’t amount to deal-breakers in a relationship, that’s a good sign and you can still make it work
  • If you both trust each other and feel mentally and physically connected, then it’s not over yet
  • Taking a short break and pondering on your issues might be helpful
  • Being able to communicate with each other is definitely a sign of hope
  • If you are stuck in a confused state of mind about whether to break up or not, relationship counseling is your best resort

Relationships can have their ups and downs, and you may wonder, “How do you know if it’s the right time to break up?” Well, if you have been betrayed, if your partner refuses to change a bad habit despite your concerns and pleading, if they disrespect you, or if you are always fighting and you haven’t been feeling happy in a long time, you have your cue to walk out. In some cases, a breakup is necessary.

Let’s just say this: Split for a real reason and not a flimsy one. Ideally, everyone would want a fairy-tale love story, but few are lucky enough to find one at the right time. A dream marriage or relationship requires patience, trust, and a willingness to give it a good shot, even when things are not going that well. Try to look for signs not to break up in your bond with your bae, and guess what, you will certainly find the magic potion that gives you your dream love story.


1. What should I think about before breaking up?

Are you in love with your partner? Think about the reason you feel you need to break up. Is it something that can be salvaged? Most importantly, give yourself some time. Pause and reflect if it is a temporary phase and if you can tide over the crisis.

2. How do you know if it’s time to break up?

If you are disrespected in a relationship or abused verbally, emotionally, or physically, then there is no doubt that you should call it quits. Even subtle methods of abuse like constant lying, belittling, and making you feel inferior are grounds for a split. Incompatibility or wanting a new kind of relationship are the less extreme reasons for parting ways.

3. How do you know if your relationship is worth saving?

If your partner realizes their mistake or the fact that they’ve hurt you, maybe you can rethink the relationship. A genuinely repentant person will make an effort to win you back. Also, if you still have feelings for them, the attraction is still intact, your partner adds value to your life, and you are able to reflect on your own limitations, then your relationship may be worth fighting for.

4. What are the bad reasons to break up?

Minor misunderstandings, not giving your partner a chance to explain, seeing everything that you believe without going into details of behavior, and boredom are some of the reasons you should not jump at the idea of a breakup.

5. What should I ask my partner before breaking up?

Ask them if they love you. If they have given you a reason to feel bad, be honest about your feelings and ask them why they did it. Do they think you have a future together or that you will split up if you reconcile? Also, communicate the reasons that you are splitting up loud and clear. Clarify all misunderstandings, if possible.

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