Signs Your Partner Is Preparing To Break Up With You

Breaking up is hard to do. And while no one likes being broken up with, being dumped out of nowhere feels twice as terrible because you didn't have the time to prepare yourself. Maybe if you had seen the warning signs, you could have prevented it -– or at least seen it coming. But there were no warning signs -– or were there? Maybe you just didn't notice them?

While dealing with the pain and heartbreak of losing your partner, you are also left with all of these questions and "what if." While trying to mend your own heart, you also grapple with the shock of it all, struggling to recollect the past few months and attempting to pinpoint where it all went wrong.

Callisto Adams, Ph.D., founder of HeTexted and a dating and relationship expert and coach, says, via Women's Health, that being cautious (as opposed to full-on paranoid) in addition to trusting your gut can help you spot red flags and prevent being blindsided by a breakup. Knowing how to identify potential red flags and warning signs that a relationship is nearing the can, she says, can save you "time, tears, and experiences that won't feel good when you look back at them."

They're hesitant to make plans or discuss the future

One of the most obvious indicators that your partner isn't in it for the long haul is if they seem hesitant to make plans too far into the future or discuss what a future together would look like. This is especially cause for concern if your partner was once comfortable discussing long-term plans but now no longer seems to be. According to experts, this could be a sign that they no longer see a future with you and are planning their exit.

In addition to potentially not wanting to waste money on an airline or concert ticket a few months from now that they know they won't be around to use, Trisha Wolfe, licensed professional clinical counselor and owner of CBUS Therapy, says via BestLife that your partner might be avoiding talking about the future as a way to ease you into the idea of breaking up. Most people don't want to hurt someone else, so many people see simply avoiding talk of future plans as a way to take away some of the pain that comes with a breakup out of nowhere.

Additionally, this might also be their way of confirming with themselves that they are ready to break up with you. "Usually, once someone has absorbed the idea that they can have a future without their partner, they feel comfortable initiating the breakup. It can take several weeks or months to get to this point," she says.

Your future plans don't align

Unfortunately, love isn't always enough to make a relationship work, and sometimes, no matter how much two people love each other, their plans for the future simply don't align. "Sometimes even relationships [with] a great deal of love can be stymied by goals that are totally different," says licensed clinical psychologist Andrea Bonior, Ph.D. via Brides. These goals can include plans for marriage, children, or where you want to live. "There can be hope with compromise, but without that, the warning signs are hard to ignore," she adds.

If you have given the topic ample discussion and effort and aren't able to come to a compromise for your future that you are both happy with, it's usually a clear sign that the relationship has run its course -– whether or not that's something either one of you want. "If your partner says that they don't want marriage, listen to what they are saying," matchmaker Stefanie Safran told Insider. "Just to assume that because their family likes you, you've dated for years, or you move in together, does not mean they are looking for something permanent."

They don't prioritize time with you

Regardless of your relationship status, spending time with friends and family and reserving time for yourself and your own interests is important. And while time apart in a relationship is healthy (and recommended), if it seems like your partner would rather spend most of their time away from you, they might be losing interest in spending time with you altogether.

"It's important for each partner to have boundaries and spend time with friends and family, but if you feel like you're just one more person on their list of people to spend time with, it's worth addressing your concerns," Julie Williamson, a therapist and owner of Abundant Life Counseling St. Louis, said via Insider. "You want to know that you and your partner can equally rely on each other to be each other's main person, the one you go to when you need comfort or support of some kind," she added.

While you should never be concerned about your partner simply choosing to spend time with family or friends, if it seems like they are purposely trying to avoid spending time with you, it's possible they are no longer invested in the relationship. Wolfe notes via BestLife that not only is your partner simply trying to avoid you when this happens, but they might also be strengthening their bond with their support system that they know they will need once the relationship comes to an end.

They no longer open up to you

When deep, emotional, intimate conversation turns to small talk and idle chatter, it might be a red flag that your partner's mind is elsewhere. "One indicator of dissatisfaction in a relationship is limited or cursory communication; for example, if you ask how their day was, they might simply reply, 'fine,'" says Beth Ribarsky, Ph.D., professor of interpersonal communication at the University of Illinois (per BestLife) -– though she notes that it's important to remember that outside factors such as stress and work can impact someone's level of communication as well.

However, if your partner normally tends to be present in conversations and can now barely be bothered to ask you how your day was, there's a chance they're pulling away. This is also true if you notice them sharing fewer details with you about what's going on in their life. "When your partner is not interested in telling you about important life events, the intimacy begins to fade," Kia James, a licensed therapist, tells Insider. "The less they share about their life, the more the wall begins to divide the two of you."

"If someone is pulling away, it might be a tell-tale sign that they are feeling smothered or not happy in the relationship," adds relationship expert Dr. Nikki Goldstein, via Elite Daily. "Don't follow them. If they are pulling away, give them the space and see if they come back. They might just need a bit of time."

They are no longer interested in physical intimacy

While sex drive and activity can ebb and flow over the course of a relationship, if your partner no longer shows interest in being physically intimate with you, it might be cause for concern. And though it's important to note that not every lull in your sex life is reason to worry, it's important to discern whether or not you and your partner are simply in a rut or if they are actually turned off by the idea of being intimate with you.

"When just the thought of your partner being close or touching you intimately is off-putting, [it could] signal that the relationship is in need of an overhaul, or that a breakup is potentially near," Degges-White says via Brides.

Wolfe tells BestLife, "This can happen if you've already emotionally ended the relationship. In other words, you've essentially moved on from your connection, and you're just logistically preparing to break up. Therefore, engaging in sex may be difficult because you feel like you're faking the desire to be intimate."