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“Should I break up with my girlfriend?” – 8 surefire signs you need to

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Image credit: Shutterstock - By Peter Berni

“Should I break up with my girlfriend?”

Are you asking yourself this question? 

It’s a tough decision to make. 

Whatever you decide to do, you’ll drastically change their life and yours. 

So if you are wondering what course of action to take, I’ve got you covered. 

In this article, I’ll cover 8 good reasons to break up with your girlfriend and 5 horrible reasons. 

By the end of it, you’ll know exactly what decision you need to make.

8 good reasons to break up with your girlfriend

Image credit: Shutterstock – By Dmytro Zinkevych

1. There’s emotional or physical abuse

If she’s verbally, physically, or emotionally abusing you, the relationship has to end. There’s no getting around it. 

According to Lisa Brateman, a psychotherapist, “verbal and physical abuse are number one” deal-breakers when it comes to ending a relationship. 

Brateman says that “verbal abuse comes in a lot of different forms” including humiliation and emotional manipulation.”

The problem is, people in emotionally abusive relationships often don’t understand that they’re being abused because there’s no violence involved. 

But if you continue a relationship with a woman that constantly brings you down and plays with your emotions, it will have drastic effects on your self-esteem, independence, and dignity. 

So how can you figure out if your girlfriend has been emotionally abusing you? 

Here are 8 warning signs:

  1. You walk on eggshells to avoid disappointing your partner. You’re second-guessing and self-editing. 
  2. Your girlfriend wants to control you and have the upper hand in the relationship. 
  3. She requires constant check-ins and wants to know where you are at all times. 
  4. She says hurtful things about you but then disguises them as “jokes”. 
  5. You find yourself constantly apologizing, even when you haven’t done anything wrong. 
  6. She’s affectionate one moment and mean the next. 
  7. She refuses to acknowledge the good parts of your personality and belittles your accomplishments. 
  8. She withholds sex or affection to punish you.

If you find yourself experiencing these 8 warning signs, then it’s fair to say that you might be happier ending the relationship.

2. Different drives in the bedroom

If you find yourself wanting it all the time, and she doesn’t want it at all, then that’s obviously a problem. 

It’s also a problem if you struggle to get excited with her while she is wanting bedroom action 24/7. 

According to Dr. Rachel Sussman, a licensed therapist and relationship expert, “action in the bedroom is really important, and it shouldn’t be something you avoid having”. 

If you’re in the early days in your relationship, then it’s normal to want each other all the time. 

After that period wears off, it’s natural for that desire to taper off, but it shouldn’t taper off completely. 

According to Sussman, “sex is a good barometer for how the relationship is going” and that “either side of the spectrum isn’t good.”

So, how can you work out whether your sex life is the real issue in your relationship? 

According to Carol Queen in Bustle, your relationship shouldn’t be too dependent on sex that “you don’t seem to have a connection beyond the sexual.” 

But on the other hand, lack of attraction shouldn’t cause emotional issues in the relationship, either. If it does, then clearly there’s a problem. 

However, if you’re experiencing issues in the bedroom, it doesn’t mean that you must end the relationship right away. 

It’s important to try different things to see if you can work through it. 

But if you feel like you have tried all that you can and the issues aren’t improving, then it might time to end the relationship.

3. You don’t prioritize each other

It’s important to have our own lives. But when it comes to relationships, your partner does have to take priority in some aspects of your life. 

But if you find that only one of you is putting in most of the effort in the relationship, emotionally and practically, then you might find that it’s a one-sided relationship. 

According to Kelly Campbell, a professor of psychology at California State University, a one-sided relationship is a “type of romantic relationship…in which the power is imbalanced and one person is “putting in a lot [more] in terms of resources (time, money, emotional investment) [than the other] and getting little to nothing in return.” 

If they’re struggling to fit you in for anything, and the only way you can see them is if you fit around their schedule, then you might be in a one-sided relationship.

This is especially the case if you have to work around their schedule to actually see them.

Brian Ogolsky, an associate professor in human development and family studies at the University of Illinois, analyzed 1,100 studies on what moves love last, and he says that a key factor in building successful relationships is willingness “to forgo self-interest and desired activities for the good of a partner or relationship is an important aspect of maintaining relationships.”

Ogolsky says that it has to come from both sides. “We want some balance in sacrifice. People don’t like to over-benefit in a relationship, either.”

If you conclude that you are indeed in a one-sided relationship, then don’t throw in the towel just yet. 

It’s important to talk about these issues with your girlfriend, but if you’re certain that things won’t change, then it might be time to break up with your girlfriend.

4. She is far too controlling

If they’re trying to control your life, such as who you see and who you’re friends with, then that could be a bad sign that they’re far too controlling.

According to Kelly Campbell, a professor of psychology, it tends to be insecure partners that become controlling:

“Insecure partners try to control the other by limiting their contact with family and friends, dictating what they should wear, how they should act, etc…This is something that typically happens gradually over time, little by little. It’s a very dangerous situation and a big sign that things need to change.”

One of the most obvious signs that one partner is controlling is when the other person has to apologize constantly, even when they didn’t do something wrong. 

So ask yourself: 

Do you apologize for things that aren’t even caused by you? Or do you apologize for actions that don’t affect your partner at all?

Nobody should have to apologize for their decisions that aren’t affecting others or for being themselves.

If your partner is making you feel bad and putting you down for simply being you, then that’s a bad sign that they’re too controlling over your life.

Behaviors like this can destroy a relationship very quickly, so it’s important to realize if this one-sided toxic energy is coming from your partner so you can put an end to it.

Dr. Jill Murray, Licensed Psychotherapist, says it best in Bustle:

“Being mature enough to take responsibility for your actions and understand the pain it can cause your partner is key empathy that a relationship can’t be without.”

You don’t want to apologize for mistakes or grievances that aren’t caused by you. That’s not a great way to live life.

5. She’s putting you down and making you feel like sh*t

If you’re feeling crap around her because she’s lowering your self-esteem with subtle, backhanded statements, then it’s a clear sign that the relationship probably isn’t benefiting you.

It’s never fun to be on the receiving end of an insulting comment. You might tell yourself to ignore the comment, but part of it may inevitably stick, and you worry that something is actually “wrong” with you.

This is a common occurrence in a relationship with a narcissist. They love the feeling of control, and putting you down makes it easier for them to control you.

When you have low self-esteem, you become more vulnerable.

If they’re also mixing these backhanded compliments with “love bombs” – actions of affection designed to make you love them – then it’s probably an emotional rollercoaster that you don’t want to put yourself through anymore.

The relationship love doctor, Rhoberta Shaler, describes these people as “hijackals” because they “hijack relationships for their own purposes, while relentlessly scavenging them for power, status, and control.”

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to figure out if your partner is a “hijackal”:

1) Are you always wrong, even if what you’re saying is factual?

2) Are you always trying to please them, but it never seems to be enough?

3) Does your partner always justify their behavior, even if it is clearly wrong or outrageous?

4) Is your partner always taken advantage of you?

If you can answer yes to these questions, then it might be time to leave them for your own emotional health.

A toxic partner sucks the life out of you little by little. Maybe with hurtful comments, slight nudges, comments that take away your confidence.

Just small enough that you can never complain about them.

6. The relationship is moving much faster than you want

Decided to move in together but you know you don’t really want to? Meeting the family, but you never really wanted to go in the first place?

These are clear signs that perhaps you don’t want to be in the relationship.

Maybe it’s convenient for you now, but if you’re not ready to take the necessary steps forward, then there’s clearly something that’s holding you back.

And you shouldn’t feel pressured to do things or make moves that you don’t want to. That’s a sign of an imbalanced relationship.

According to the author, relationship and etiquette expert April Masin, if you’re in a serious relationship, there are some important conversations that you need to be having, and if you’re not having those conversations, then it’s likely that things are moving too fast (or there isn’t much of a future):

“You should talk about your hopes and dreams, your past, your debt, your feelings about kids, family, lifestyles, religion, and more…When you don’t, these issues come up later, and can be deal breakers.”

Take a step back and ask yourself if you want this relationship to ever move forward. It’s okay to move slowly, but it does need to move forward in some way.

7. You hide your feelings and can’t be bothered arguing

Biting back mean and unnecessary comments during fights is one thing, never saying anything back is another.

The natural response for couples is to bring things into the light, no matter how uncomfortable and awkward, to try and resolve things.

Even in your most heated arguments, you should still be thankful if both of you still care enough to actually talk about what’s wrong.

Emotional vulnerability – whether it’s in times of anger or happiness – means they are still willing to let you become a part of their life.

What’s more alarming than a complete shoutfest is completely ignoring what you feel for the sake of “peace”.

We hide things when we truly believe there are no options.

Why bother getting into a heated argument when they won’t be interested to hear what you have to say anyway?

So instead of explaining your piece, you hide the anger and all the emotion and let bygones be bygones until you have nothing else to say about every aspect of your relationship.

Obviously, if it’s gotten to this point, then it’s not a good sign. And if the arguments never stop and you don’t even bother communicating your grievances because you know it will fall on deaf ears, then it might be time to consider leaving the relationship.

8. She’s a narcissist

Not everyone that’s self-centered is a narcissist, but you suspect that your girlfriend really is a narcissist, then it’s probably worth leaving them for your own emotional health. 

If you suspect that your partner might be a full-blown narcissist, here are some major signs most narcissists will show over a long-term relationship. 

They speak in threats: When they are losing an argument or want you to change your mind, they often threaten to leave the relationship, hurt you in some way, or conspire with other people against you.

They believe they are destined for great things: They believe that they are not comparable to other people because they were born for greater things. Even if they’ve never achieved anything remarkable in life, they have an overwhelming sense that something amazing is going to happen to them.

They are wildly emotional: Narcissists can go from the sweetest lovers to the most bitter and hateful enemies in the blink of an eye. Emotions don’t seem to make sense around them – they play by their own rules.

They manipulate constantly: It can be nearly impossible to recognize it when you’re in the middle of a relationship with a master manipulator, but narcissists are masterfully skilled at manipulation. They can make people do what they want, when they want.

They guilt-trip you: Narcissists like using your conscience against you. If there is anything in your past with them they can use to manipulate you, they will dig it up and shove it down your throat.

If you think that your girlfriend shows any of these signs, then it’s a clear warning sign for the future of your own emotional health. 

Bad reasons to break up with your girlfriend

1. You want to sleep with someone you’re attracted to

This a common reason guys break up with their girlfriend and it’s certainly not a good one.

If you think you can easily break up with your partner, sleep with someone else, then get back together with your partner, you’re sorely mistaken.

If you do this, it’s doubtful that the relationship will continue after she finds out what you did. Your partner will likely resent you for it, and this will fester into some feisty arguments.

While you may think that you have done nothing “technically wrong”, it’s still going to be hard for your partner to get over.

Therapist Dana Ward offers some great advice:

“You can and should appreciate all the beauty and dashing good looks all around you…Attractive and attraction is different. Find other people attractive, but stop short of allowing yourself to be attracted to them.”

Unfortunately, if you decide to be in a relationship then you’ve also decided not to sleep with other people. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

If you think that monogamy is going to be extremely difficult for you to adhere to, then you need to reconsider whether a relationship is right for you.

2) You’re not happy ALL the time

Like anything in life, relationships have their rocky moments. They’ll also have their boring moments.

But just because some days you’re a little more unhappy or bored in your relationship doesn’t mean you should break up. You can’t be ridiculously happy all the time. There’s always a balance.

And ignoring the duller aspects of a relationship will probably lead to bigger problems down the road.

In her book “The Real Thing”, writer Ellen McCarthy quotes Diane Sollee, a marriage educator who explains that too many people have unrealistic fantasies about their relationship:

“[Sollee] wants couples who are getting ready to walk down the aisle to know — really know — that it will be hard. That there will be times when one or both of them want out and can barely stand the sight of each other. That they’ll be bored, then frustrated, angry, and perhaps resentful.”

She adds:

“Diane also wants them to know that all of these things are normal.”

3) You’re not interested in the same things

So the relationship is going smoothly. Rapport is high. But you’ve overlooked the fact that your hobbies and interests don’t align.

But don’t fear! This is no reason to break-up with someone.

According to Stephanie Sarkis, PhD in Psychology Today:

“Couples with very different interests can have healthy relationships – what counts is that they share common goals and values.”

4) You’re both attracted to other people

Just because you started dating someone doesn’t mean you can’t look at other people and find them attractive. We’re only primates with instincts after all.

You can admire someone else at a healthy distance though – it doesn’t make you unfaithful or less attracted to your partner.

David Bennett, a relationship expert, told Medical Daily:

“Attraction is largely subconscious. We check people out because we are attracted to them and ‘sizing them up…This doesn’t necessarily mean anything more than that we find the person attractive.”

5) Over an argument

Just because you had an argument doesn’t mean you have to break-up. It’s perfectly normal for couples to have fights and disagreements.

Fighting isn’t a sign that something is wrong in the relationship – it just means you’ve had a disagreement, and as long as you’re not trying to deliberately hurt each other, fighting doesn’t mean the end of the relationship.

In fact, believe it or not, couples who argue effectively are 10 times more likely to have a happy relationship than those who sweep difficult issues under the carpet, according to a survey of almost 1,000 adults.

 

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Lachlan Brown

Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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