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Getting dumped sucks … there’s no doubt about it. There aren’t many things more heart-wrenching than finding out that the person you love thinks he will be better off without you. But this news can really make your guts fall on the floor when it comes completely out of left field.
If an “out-of-the-blue break-up” has happened to you in the past, I don’t have to remind you of how much it hurts. But the good news is that I can show you how to make sure it never happens again. You see, the tell-tale signs of an inevitable breakup will always be there if you know what to look for. And while there are many indicators that point to minor relationship problems, we’re going to be looking at the big four which indicate that a break-up is very likely to happen in the near future.
Once you notice these signs, you can make the decision to address your issues before it’s too late, or you can turn the tables and end the relationship first, on your terms.
1. Your partner starts distancing himself either physically or emotionally.
The first red flag is any kind of distancing behavior, either physical or emotional. “Physical distancing” occurs when your partner seems to be making less and less time for you. All of a sudden, he may seem to be avoiding the typical “couple” activities you’re used to doing together, such as watching American Idol, walking the dog, etc.
“Emotional distancing” is a more subtle, but much stronger indicator that things are heading south in your relationship. Have you noticed any changes in the way that your partner communicates with you, such as a lack of eye contact or a different voice tone? Have you noticed that most of your conversations are now boring and trivial? Does he avoid discussing future plans for the two of you? These are all good signs that your partner’s emotional investment in the relationship is starting to rapidly deteriorate.
2. Your partner makes big changes to his daily routine.
One of the most obvious signs of a troubled relationship is when your partner has rearranged his entire schedule in order to spend less time with you. Now, sometimes a promotion at work, for instance, might be to blame but if you find that he’s consistently “stuck at the office” until the wee hours of the morning, there might be something else going on.
Another thing to watch out for is when your partner starts spending time with a new group of friends. If his new crew consists of a bunch of happily married, church-going choir boys who wake up early on Sundays to take their children to little-league, you probably won’t have much to worry about. But if they happen to be a bunch of hardcore party-boys who bring your man home drunk and stumbling on a Wednesday morning, you have every reason to be alarmed.
The bottom line is our friends have more influence over us than we might think, so beware when your man starts hanging out with a bunch of womanizing ex-cons who are prone to nosebleeds and take frequent “business” trips to Thailand.
3. You notice a change in the frequency of your arguments.
Constant fighting hardly has any perks or benefits. But don’t be so quick to rejoice when your daily arguments seem to disappear completely. A sudden reduction in the amount of fights and arguments in your relationship could mean that your partner has started to minimize his emotional investment. Withdrawing quickly from confrontations is a common behavior of those who are either incredibly frustrated with their partners or have stopped caring completely.
And of course, the exact opposite can also be a warning sign. Since most people dislike the guilt that comes along with being “the bad guy,” one very common behavior is the act of purposely starting petty fights and pushing your partner’s b*ttons in the hopes that they’ll flip out and say or do something that would make them look like the bad guy. Once this happens, the instigator will have an excuse to justify their desire to leave the relationship.
Your ears should perk up if you find your partner suddenly picking petty fights and blowing up on you for no reason — even more so when his arguments are fueled by blind rage and make no logical sense whatsoever.
4. The level of physical intimacy has dropped to an all-time low.
When your partner takes “physical distancing” to the next level, you will notice that the loving physical contact (cuddling, massages, foreplay, etc.) has almost disappeared completely. I firmly believe that the level of intimacy in your relationship says a lot about the strength of your romantic connection. Loving, physical contact is one of the most powerful ways of connecting with someone and when it starts to vanish from a relationship, it acts like a crack in the ceiling that allows the rain to start coming through.
Shying away from physical contact is a tactic frequently used by women to maintain a level of power in the relationship. But when men do this, it’s usually because they are losing interest or have someone else on the side.
So now that you’re aware of these tell-tale breakup indicators, be on the lookout for them, not only in your own relationships, but also in the relationships of your friends and co-workers. Being able spot these warning signs in the relationships of others will make it much easier to notice them when they show up on your own doorstep.