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3 Signs It’s Time to Break Up With Your Boyfriend

Is it time to break up, or work harder on your relationship? Here are three signs you should start the process of breaking up with your boyfriend…

should i break upShould I Stay or Should I Go? A Guide to Knowing if Your Relationship Can and Should be Saved by Lundy Bancroft and JAC Patrissi is an excellent place to start. I can’t give you all the answers here – you need to figure out if you’re being realistic about your relationship. And, you need to learn how to listen to your heart and soul. Is your boyfriend a good man?

I was inspired to write this article because of a reader’s comment. She asked if she should leave her relationship or keep trying, after reading my article about codependent relationships. From her comment alone, I saw three signs I think it’s time to break up with her boyfriend.

Here’s what she says: “I don’t know whether to give up on this guy or stick it out. We haven’t been together long but so far it had been great, he seems to really be into me … We just had a big fight for three days about a scare with a STI, it was just an overreaction on his part, just a rash. I know he was scared but he ignored me for 10 days instead of communicating with me. He says we’re fine now but it feels like I’m the only one putting in any effort. We haven’t seen each other since the fight a couple days ago. It makes me sad that he doesn’t act the same as before. Do I move on or wait it out? I try to talk to him but he just gets frustrated and I feel like I’m nagging. How do I make a choice?” on Should You Give Up on Your Relationship or Try to Make It Work?

I don’t know how long they’ve been together and I can’t tell her if she should break up with her boyfriend. But, I can share what I think based on her comments alone…

3 Signs It’s Time to Break Up

Unrealistic expectations. “We haven’t been together long, but so far it’s been great.” My friend, it’s almost always great at the beginning of a relationship! Of course he’s really into you: you and he are in the throes of new love. If a guy is attentive and loving at the beginning of a relationship, it’s NOT a sign he’ll be attentive and loving after three months, a year, or 10 years. It’s unrealistic to expect him to change.

Everything is roses at the beginning of a relationship. If it’s not, then it’s time to break up with your boyfriend. Relationships get more difficult as time progresses, not easier. (Well, in some ways they get easier IF you learn how to communicate, compromise, and respect each other).

If you really don’t want to break up, read 5 Ways to Deal With Relationship Problems.

Lack of communication. Conflict and arguments don’t mean a bad relationship. But, feeling like you’re doing all the work and not feeling like you’re connecting enough are signs of a bad relationship. Not communicating for days isn’t a good sign, and feeling like you’re a nag is even worse!

breakup boyfriend signs

“3 Signs It’s Time to Break Up With Your Boyfriend”

If you and he aren’t communicating, then you need to invest the time and energy it takes to learn how to communicate better. You both have to be willing to work on your communication skills. Maybe this means reading relationship books together, or going to workshops as a couple. My husband and I took the Nonviolent Communication course – it was fabulous. Taking workshops like that will help you see if it’s time to break up.

Contradictory views of your relationship. If you think you’re the only one putting effort into your relationship but he thinks everything is hunky dory, then your perspective and views of your relationship don’t match. This may be a sign you should break up with your boyfriend if you BOTH can’t change your expectations and meet in the middle. If he’s happy with the way things are (which is common in relationships) but you aren’t (again, this happens a lot), then you need to talk about how to align your perspectives.

I think the bottom line is this: if you aren’t happy with the way your relationship is right now and if he isn’t willing to work on it to make it better, then you should break up with him. To make a relationship work, both partners need to make concessions and sacrifices. One person can’t do all the work.

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That’s my opinion about whether it’s time to break up with your boyfriend. What do you think of these signs it’s time for a breakup?

2 thoughts on “3 Signs It’s Time to Break Up With Your Boyfriend”

  1. Dear Eleanor,

    No, you did not treat him wrongly or unfairly! It is perfectly alright — and normal, natural, and healthy — to date someone and then decide he’s not right for you. That is the whole purpose of dating: to determine if you like this man enough to build a long-term relationship with him. The beauty of dating is that we’re supposed to have the freedom to break up with our boyfriends if we decide we don’t like them. We are free to break up with a guy for any reason we want — we don’t have to explain ourselves, or be accountable to them or anyone else.

    I respect you for following your heart and soul, and letting him go. He’s not the right guy for you, and you recognize that. You have done him a favor by breaking up with him — he will heal and move on. He’ll find a girlfriend who loves him, and you and he will both be glad that you were brave enough to let him go.

    Here’s an article I wrote on how to stop feeling guilty after breaking up with a boyfriend:


    Perhaps part of the reason you feel guilty for breaking up with him is because women are naturally nurturing of relationships. We tend to avoid conflict and broken relationships, and opt for peace at all costs. This isn’t always healthy.

    My prayer for you is that you become free of the guilt that accompanies almost all breakups! It’s normal to feel sad and guilty for hurting someone. But, you need to follow your heart and do what’s right for you. I pray that you find peace in your decision, and become free to move on to a happier, healthier stage of life.


  2. All right, so I broke up with my boyfriend a few weeks ago. He was (and still is, as he openly admitted himself) in love with me. The problem was that after I really got to know him, I discovered that I didn’t really like his personality. At all. He doesn’t work hard in school (and in fact he occasionally gets upset if he has do to something really difficult even if it’s not school-related), he’ll judge people he doesn’t know (an example of this is when he saw a girl on Facebook wearing short shorts and he caller her a slut), and in general we seemed to have different views on appropriate ways to treat people. However, he always treated me kindly and respectfully in our relationship, and it was clear to me that he loved me very much. I was uncomfortable with the views he had and the things he did that didn’t really fit with my morals, so I broke up with him. He was devastated and heartbroken, and I feel really guilty for doing this to a person who has never shown me anything but love, even though what he showed me was different from what he shows everybody else. I know I made the right decision for myself, but I also know that I really hurt him, and I feel extremely guilty for it. Was what I did wrong or unfair to him?

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