Why do people break up? The sad truth is that it’s easier to fall in love than to stay in love.
Did you know that 70 percent of straight unmarried couples break up within the first year? This is according to a longitudinal study by Stanford sociologist Michael Rosenfeld who tracked more than 3,000 people, married and unmarried straight and gay couples since 2009 to find out what happens to relationships over time.
The study found that after five years there was only a 20 percent chance that a couple will break up and that figure dwindles by the time they have been together for ten years.
The question is, why do people break up? Why do so many couples break up within a year or two? Experts say there are 19 key reasons why this happens.
Reasons to break up with someone: Here are 19 of the most common
- Image credit: Shutterstock – By Roman Kosolapov
1) The first year of a relationship comes with many challenges
Relationship expert Neil Strauss discusses why do people break up within this duration in a relationship, and told Cupid’s Pulse that there are three stages to the first year of a relationship: projection, disillusionment, and a power struggle.
In the beginning, you don’t see things as they are in reality, you project what you want to see onto your partner. In the next stage, you become more realistic and disillusionment sets in.
“That’s why people break-up in that three to nine-month window — because you’re seeing who they really are. Then, there’s a power struggle or conflict. If you get through that, there’s a relationship,” Strauss told Cupid’s Pulse.
2) At certain times relationships are more vulnerable to a breakup
Were you aware that many couples break up around Christmas and Valentine’s Day?
According to a study by David McCandless breakups most frequently happen on Valentine’s day, Spring season, April fool’s day, Monday, Summer holiday, two weeks before Christmas and Christmas day.
3) Want advice specific to your situation?
While this article explores the main reasons why couples break up at the 1-2 year mark, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.
Relationship Hero is a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations, like whether to fix a relationship or move on. They’re a very popular resource for people facing this sort of challenge.
How do I know?
Well, I reached out to Relationship Hero a few months ago when I was going through a tough patch in my own relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
4) The truth starts showing
After one year, stuff gets real. You are starting to see through your love and are not always charmed by your love’s ways and habits.
“This point is really critical because you will definitely see this person’s character,” author and relationship expert, Alexis Nicole White, told Bustle.
By this point, you will either really be attracted to your partner or exceptionally turned off by your partner’s flaws.
5) Love is blind
Scientists at University College London have shown that love indeed is blind.
They found that feelings of love lead to a suppression of activity in the areas of the brain controlling critical thought.
So, once we feel close to a person, our brain decides that it’s not necessary to assess their character or personality too deeply.
6) The love you have is unrealistic
Have you idealized your partner and the relationship you have? Or did they do this with you?
This is one of the most common reasons why couples break up.
People expect too much which messes up the relationship.
It wasn’t until I watched this incredible free video on Love and Intimacy by Rudá Iandê that I realized how many expectations I was projecting onto my partner.
You see, Rudá is a modern-day shaman who believes in long-term progress, rather than ineffective quick fixes. That’s why he focuses on overcoming negative perceptions, past traumas, and unrealistic expectations – the root causes of why many relationships break down.
Rudá made me realize that for a long time I’ve been trapped by the idea of having a perfect romance, and how that’s been sabotaging my relationships.
In the video, he’ll explain everything needed to overcome these issues and cultivate healthy, genuine relationships – starting first with the one you have with yourself.
The truth is:
You don’t need to discover the “perfect person” to be in a relationship with to find self-worth, security, and happiness. These things should all come from the relationship you have with yourself.
And this is what Rudá can help you achieve.
7) After a year, reality sets in
“After a year or so, the new relationship euphoria begins to wear off, and reality sets in,” Tina B. Tessina, better known as Dr. Romance, told Bustle. “Both partners relax, and stop being on their best behavior. Old family habits assert themselves, and they begin to disagree about things they were tolerant of before,” she says.
When this happens, and people lack the skills to handle the situation because they come from a divorced or dysfunctional background, things may start falling apart. Even if they come from a happy background, people are surrounded by relationship disasters, which sets an example and makes it hard to be together for a long time.
8) Communication issues
This is a big one.
Studies have found that communication issues are one of the top reasons for break-up or divorce.
Dr. John Gottman believes that it is the most significant predictor of divorce.
Because communication issues can lead to contempt, which is the opposite of respect.
However, the fact is that it’s natural for men and women to have communication problems in a relationship.
Male and female brains are biologically different. For instance, the limbic system is the emotional processing center of the brain and it’s much larger in the female brain than in a man’s.
That’s why women are more in touch with their emotions. And why guys can struggle to process and understand their feelings. The result is misunderstandings and relationship conflict.
If you’ve ever been with an emotionally unavailable man before, blame his biology rather than him.
The thing is, to stimulate the emotional part of a man’s brain, you have to communicate with him in a way that he’ll actually understand.
9) You don’t understand what the other wants
Let’s face it:
Men and women see the world differently. And we’re driven by different things when it comes to relationships and love.
For women, I think it’s essential that they take some time to reflect on what really drives men in relationships.
Because men have a built in desire for something “greater” that goes beyond love or sex. It’s why men who seemingly have the “perfect girlfriend” are still unhappy and find themselves constantly searching for something else — or worst of all, someone else.
Simply put, men have a biological drive to feel needed, to feel important, and to provide for the woman he cares about.
Relationship psychologist James Bauer calls it the hero instinct. He created an excellent free video about the concept.
As James argues, male desires are not complicated, just misunderstood. Instincts are powerful drivers of human behavior and this is especially true for how men approach their relationships.
So, when the hero instinct isn’t triggered, men are unlikely to be satisfied in a relationship. He holds back because being in a relationship is a serious investment for him. And he won’t fully “invest” in you unless you give him a sense of meaning and purpose and make him feel essential.
How do you trigger this instinct in him? How do you give him a sense of meaning and purpose?
You don’t need to pretend to be anyone you’re not or play the “damsel in distress”. You don’t have to dilute your strength or independence in any way, shape or form.
In an authentic way, you simply have to show your man what you need and allow him to step up to fulfill it.
In his video, James Bauer outlines several things you can do. He reveals phrases, texts and little requests that you can use right now to make him feel more essential to you.
By triggering this very natural male instinct, you’ll not only supercharge his confidence but it will also help to rocket your relationship to the next level.
10) The great no-no: your partner isn’t generous
It takes a while to find out how generous a person really is. If after a few birthdays and holidays a person realizes that their partner is not generous, they might decide to call it quits. This is the insight of Stefanie Safran, Chicago’s “Introductionista” and founder of Stef and the City, according to Bustle.
11) People want a return on their investment
Life coach Kali Rogers told Bustle that she has found through her research that women want to have an emotional return on investment from their relationships.
“Once they have committed a certain amount of time — typically six months — they like to hold on as long as possible.
“They’ve dumped their love, attention, money and time into this relationship and they want a return,” she says.
12) A year is the time when most people determine where the relationship is going
“A year is when most couples of a certain age decide to make it official,” New York–based relationship expert and author April Masini told Bustle.
“If, after a year of dating, one or the other doesn’t want to take that step — whether it’s moving in together, getting married or simply making monogamy important — this is when the one who wants a commitment should leave to pursue their personal relationship goals.”
A year into a relationship people tend to think in terms of a solid commitment and if that is not forthcoming from one partner, the other person may decide to leave the relationship.
If your relationship has ended, and you’re looking to get over someone, read our latest article on how to get over someone.
13) They don’t live up to their first impressions
Every new relationship is built on what we want the other person to know and see about us.
But you can only keep up the charade for so long before your true self, or their true self comes into light.
Making judgments about someone when we first meet them is natural. And according to research, our first impressions of people last even after we’ve interacted with them.
But after a while, these first impressions eventually fade, and a person’s true personality starts to show through.
This is why so many couples break up after only a few weeks or months.
When we settle into our relationships and start showing people who we really are, unfortunately, not everyone likes what they see.
14. You’ve already made up your mind
Some people have a rule about how long they will date someone for fear of getting hurt or getting too attached to something that is, in their minds at least, not going to work out anyway.
It’s a sad way to enter into a relationship, but experts say that more people do it than we realize.
You might be fragile at certain times of the year, like around the holidays, or during a particularly stressful period at work and your relationship is going to get the brunt of those emotions, which can add unnecessary strain on the other person and what you are trying to create together.
15) You’re not happy within yourself
It might sound like a cliche, but if you don’t love yourself first, how can you love someone else?
If you feel unfulfilled inside, and rarely pay attention to your emotions or feelings, your partner will only be able to distract you for so long before you begin to feel unsatisfied.
Then, you may blame them for your unhappiness, rather than looking to address the root causes coming from within you.
16. You are tuned out
It’s easy to just have fun at the start of a new relationship and not worry about the details.
Your brain might have taken on an autopilot approach to dating and you might not be as invested in the relationship as you thought you were.
But still, you are having fun so why rock the boat? Until one day you wake up and you realize that you are just wasting everyone’s time and decide to call it quits.
This happens to a lot of younger couples where both people are trying to focus their energy on their careers and getting ahead in life.
A lot of people aren’t starting their adult lives thinking about who they are going to marry or settle down with anymore – there are too many other things to do in life, first.
17) The physical stuff stops being important
At first, you’ll be all over each other and wanting to be close to the other person as much as possible.
It’s part of the infatuation stage, but everyone knows that doesn’t last forever. And when you find yourself wanting to roll over and go to sleep instead of fooling around, it’s likely that your relationship could take a nosedive.
This usually happens around the one year, 18-month mark as couples settle into routines and learn to have one another in their lives regularly.
And the more you know about someone and the more you get to know about someone, the less you might be attracted to them.
It doesn’t happen to everyone, but it’s of notable impact on a relationship during these fragile times.
(Breaking up is never easy. For a practical, down-to-earth guide to moving on with your life after a break up, check out my new eBook here).
18) You’re just not on the same page
What started as a fun adventure has quickly turned into the realization that your guy or gal just likes to sit on the couch and watch TV at night.
If you are someone who likes to go out and see people, go to dinner, catch a movie, or hike on the weekends, it is going to be next to impossible to have a relationship with this person.
While people think opposites attract, they can also actually drive people further apart.
In the beginning, you want to do what your partner wants to do because you want to show them you are interested in things they are interested in, but if you really don’t like hiking or riding motorcycles across the country, then it’s probably not going to work out and you’ll just need to pull the plug.
A full calendar year is usually enough time to see if someone is the kind of person you want in your life. Some couples make it to two years, but many end it before it goes much further.
19) Money issues
Once you’ve been in a relationship for 1-2 years, there becomes the real possibility that financial incompatibility will get in the way.
Money issues and disputes can lead to trust, safety, security and power issues.
While money isn’t generally an issue when you’re casually dating, it can seriously affect the relationship when you’re living and going on trips together.
Related: If you want to learn the surefire way to make him fall hopelessly in love with you again (or at least give you a second chance!), check out my new article here.
I have a question for you…
Do you still love your ex?
If you answered ‘yes’, then you need a plan of attach to get them back.
Forget the naysayers who warn you never to get back with your ex. Or those who say your only option is to move on with your life. If you still love your ex, then getting them back may be the best way forward.
The simple truth is that getting back with your ex can work.
There are 3 things to you need to do now that you’re broken up:
- Work out why you broke up in the first place
- Become a better version of yourself so you don’t end up in a broken relationship again
- Formulate a plan of attach to get them back.
If you want some help with number 3 (“the plan”), then Brad Browning’s The Ex Factor is the guide I always recommend. I’ve read the book cover to cover and I believe it’s the most effective guide to getting your ex back currently available.
If you want to learn more about his program, check out this free video by Brad Browning.
Getting your ex to say, “I made a huge mistake”
The Ex Factor isn’t for everyone
In fact, it’s for a very specific person: a man or a woman who has experienced a break up and legitimately believes the breakup was a mistake.
This is a book that details a series of psychological, flirting, and (some would say) sneaky steps that a person can take in order to win back their ex.
The Ex Factor has one goal: to help you win back an ex.
If you’ve been broken up with, and you want to take specific steps to make your ex think “hey, that person is actually amazing, and I made a mistake”, then this is the book for you.
That is the crux of this program: getting your ex to say “I made a huge mistake.”
As for numbers 1 and 2, then you’ll have to do some self-reflection on your own about that.
What else do you need to know?
Brad’s Browning’s program is easily the most comprehensive and effective guide to getting your ex back you’ll find online.
As a certified relationship counselor, and with decades of experience working with couples to repair broken relationships, Brad knows what he’s talking about. He offers dozens of unique ideas that I’ve never read anywhere else.
Brad claims that over 90% of all relationships can be salvaged, and while that may sound unreasonably high, I tend to think he’s on the money.
I’ve been in contact with too many Hack Spirit readers who are happily back with their ex to be a skeptic.
Here’s a link to Brad’s free video again. If you want a foolproof plan to actually get your ex back, then Brad will give you one.
FREE eBook: 4 Steps to Starting Over With An Ex
Do you want to get back with your ex?
Then you need to check out our FREE eBook, The Ex Back Handbook.
We have one goal in mind with this book: to help you win back an ex (for good!).
If you want a foolproof plan to reverse your break up, you’re going to love this guide.