What Should You Expect When You’re Part Of A Couple Breaking Up?

Updated September 8, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

You might think that you can always see a breakup coming from a long way off, but that's not always the case, particularly if you don't know what to look for. All relationships can be different, and they don't always end in the same ways. Whether you’re approaching a potential breakup or are already in the midst of one, it can be tricky to know what to expect and how to best proceed. Fortunately, there are some things you can keep in mind to minimize the pain and conflict that might accompany a breakup. Here we'll talk about what to expect when you're part of a couple breaking up and what to do about it.

It's Going To Be Okay

You might have thought that your relationship was going to last forever. Realizing that your relationship is over or about to be over can be difficult. However, you aren’t alone; most people go through at least two significant breakups during their lives. The fact that you're going through a breakup doesn't have to mean that you did something wrong or that you'll never find happiness. You also don't need to go it alone. There are a number of places that you can go for support, including professionals, as we'll discuss at the end of this article.

How Do You Know You're Breaking Up?

We're about to present some of the things that you may want to expect when you're part of a couple breaking up. However, the only way to know for sure what might happen next, you may need to have real, honest communication with your partner.

Nearly all relationships can have ups and downs. As we'll see, many of the things that you may expect when you're part of a couple breaking up are also things that most couples can go through at some point, even when they aren't breaking up. What makes things different for a breakup may be the severity of the concerns, their frequency, or one or more partners’ inability to address them.

Ilona Titova/EyeEm
Breakups Can Be Challenging, But You Can Make It Through
  1. Common Problems

Many relationships come to an end for fairly similar reasons. Some of the best-known reasons for a breakup or divorce include lack of communication, financial problems, sexual incompatibility, children, and job differences. If you notice one of these challenges, it doesn't necessarily mean that your relationship is at an end. What it may mean, though, is that a lack of resolution or solutions may lead to problems down the road. 

  1. Infidelity

While infidelity can be considered a “common problem” that may lead to a breakup, it can also be beneficial to think about it as a separate concern.

Infidelity is often seen as a cruel act, but it can happen for a number of reasons, which may make it a valuable sign to use to determine what's gone wrong with a relationship. A lot of people see infidelity as the nail in a relationship's coffin, but it doesn't have to be if you decide to move on from it.

  1. You Start Fighting All The Time

Nearly all couples can have disagreements sometimes. Having disagreements doesn't mean that your relationship is falling apart. However, if you seem to fight too much because you are unable to resolve your concerns or express them before they become larger, it may lead to or cause a breakup.

Similarly, if the way that you fight changes, that can be a bad sign as well. If you had disagreements before but you were able to handle them in a civil manner but now you do things that you didn't used to do, like call each other names or engage in passive aggressive behavior, it may be time to end things or take a serious look at the relationship.

  1. You Stop Fighting

As we've said, all couples can disagree. But, when you stop airing your grievances, it can be a sign that you've given up. Fighting can be, above all else, a way to solve problems. When you aren't arguing, it may mean that those concerns aren't being resolved. That also may mean they probably aren't going away, either. In fact, they may be getting worse.

  1. You Stop Talking

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Even if you aren't arguing with your partner, not making use of your time together can prevent the relationship from strengthening in the face of whatever you're up against. This can make smaller problems seem bigger.

What To Do When You Think You're Breaking Up

When you think that your relationship may be leading to a breakup, there may be two things that you can do: try to save it or try to let it down as gently as possible. 

Some breakups can be inevitable, and some may not be. If you see the signs that you're headed for a breakup, it may not be too late to try and save the relationship. Just remember, that kind of thing likely takes two of you. If you don't both agree that the relationship is worth saving, it might be too late.

Trying To Save The Relationship

The ideas discussed above can be seen as more serious signs that something is wrong. They could be signs pointing toward the end of your relationship, but they could also be signs pointing you in the right direction to make things better.

Sometimes, the "How to tell if the relationship is over on my own?" question is difficult to answer. You and your partner can decide that you can still work things out, though it will likely take a lot of time and effort. 

Letting It Down Easy

Sometimes, the best thing to do is to admit that you're part of a couple breaking up and agree to end the relationship is gently as possible. This can be an awkward and painful period.  

Deciding what to do and how to do it (and doing it effectively) can take a long time, particularly if you have been together for a while and have started a life together. However, at the end of the process, you may both know that you did everything that you could to make things work and no one was hurt any more than was absolutely necessary. As we'll see, getting professional help can be a good idea with this stage as well.

If you do decide to end things, you may need to give your partner time before they’re ready to have a platonic relationship with you, if at all. You can likely expect things between the two of you to be different from here on out, even if you do remain friends or decide to co-parent. Respecting each other’s need for space can be important during this time.

Looking For Help

Once you recognize signs that your relationship may be coming to an end, it can be a good idea to reach out to a relationship counselor.

We often think of relationship counselors as the people that we call in to help us repair broken relationships. A relationship counselor can try their hand at that if that's what you want from them. However, they can also help you and your partner end a relationship that you've already decided to move on from.

Depending on where you live, you and your partner may have to relationship counselors in your area that you can find by consulting your web browser or a phonebook. However, not all people have relationship therapists near them, and some people would prefer not to undergo relationship therapy in their own town. Between the actual therapy and potential transportation costs, relationship counseling can be prohibitively expensive.

Fortunately, online couples counseling can offer an affordable and achievable alternative to conventional systems. In online relationship counseling, you can be connected with thousands of licensed and professional relationship counselors. You may then meet with them over video calls or conference calls, on-platform chatrooms, or even through texting. This can provide you and your partner with quality but affordable therapy that fits your schedule.

Plus, research supports online counseling’s ability to make a real difference in the lives of those who pursue it. One study found that 95% of couples who engage in online couples counseling found the experience helpful, which means that you may, too, regardless of how you decide to move forward.

Getty/AnnaStills
Breakups Can Be Challenging, But You Can Make It Through

Takeaway

Thinking that you're part of a couple breaking up can be hard, particularly if you don't know what to expect. However, when you can identify the signs that it may be time to break up, you can use them to make the best decisions for you, your partner, and the other people impacted by your relationship. From there, you can form new bonds or work to mend the one you already have. 

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