Eight Reasons Relationships End

Why do relationships end?For many of us, the reason a relationship ends is never clear, especially in the bleary, over-wrought days that follow a breakup.

Here are eight of the most common reasons relationships end — warning signs that could give you a heads up on an impending split or help explain one that has already happened.

Things Change

One reason relationships reach the point of no return is change — or rather, how we handle it. Change throws up all sorts of emotions for people to respond to, cope with, and integrate into our lives. Some people thrive on change and accept it as a natural part of life, but if you or your partner has undergone a major one — a new job, a birthday ending in zero — the effect can be a subtle yet powerfully corrosive force on relationships.

The Sex Ends

The quality and frequency of sex fluctuates throughout the course of any relationship. But if your sex life slumps and stays there, it could be a sign that your relationship is on the way out. Stress, grief, and illness are all things that can affect an otherwise healthy sex life. But if the thought of your partner touching you gives you chills, the end of your relationship could be nigh.

Once affection and intimacy have boiled dry, all you’re left with is companionship. And isn’t that what pets are for?

Someone Cheated

As modern and adult as it is to think that a relationship (your relationship) could survive infidelity, the harsh reality is that once someone cheats the fabric of the relationship has been altered forever. What was once seamless and lustrous now appears threadbare and flawed. Guilt, shame, anger and jealousy can only be kept in check for so long.

Things will probably come to a head and the conversation that ensues (passionate, hurtful and scathing as it is) sounds the death knell for many relationships.

Mismatched Life Stages

Many people find it impossible to get past the rejection experienced when a once synchronistic partnership starts splitting into two. If you can talk, reason and be respectful of each other through this trying time, your relationship stands a chance. But feelings of betrayal, abandonment and loss can make people do and say some terrible things, and sometimes these words and deeds do enough damage to bring about the end of a relationship.


Sometimes people go into relationships expecting one thing and getting another. While you’re drinking your fill from the fountain of lust, you may be oblivious to the expectations and relationship hopes of the other person.

Unfortunately, sometimes it’s not clear what the other person is after until you’re waist-deep in the sea of lurve. Getting in over your head with someone who wants more is a common reason that relationships (both new and well-established) end.

Green-eyed Monster

Jealousy is perhaps the number one relationship killer, with ex girlfriends and boyfriends being the usual targets when it comes to fits of rage and slinging accusations. Sometimes feelings of jealousy in a relationship can extend to family members, friends — even pets. Jealous behavior has no place in a happy relationship, so beware the green-eyed monster.

Drifting Apart

Sometimes people naturally lose the thing that connected them to their partner in the first place — common interests can wane, shared dreams can fizzle. But more often than not, drifting apart is about lack of effort, a sign that one or both parties couldn’t be bothered working at the relationship — or that one of them secretly wants it to be over.

Not ‘being there’ physically and emotionally is a great way to break up with someone — or to force them to break up with you.

Stop Breathing So Loud!

Never noticed how he picks his teeth at the dinner table? Never realized how nasal and whiny her voice is on the telephone?

Once the blinkers come off and you start seeing people for who they really are (not under the influence of pheromones and the spell of endorphins), cracks emerge in the previously porcelain veneer of your love.

If you find yourself thinking (or saying) ‘Stop breathing so loud!’ — get out now. It’s over. Please move on.

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