Knowing when to call it a day



How do you know if you’re just going through a rough patch in your relationship, or if it’s time to break up with your partner? The decision has to come from you, but here are three of the main reasons why couples break up – see if you can relate to any of these.

The big three

There isn’t a set list of reasons why couples break up, but a recent study found that the same three reasons come up over again. In the study 150 couples were asked to write an essay on why their relationship ended, and topping the list was the desire for more independence. In fact, some 27% of men and 44% of women claimed they felt trapped in their last relationship.

Second on the list was a lack of similarity between partners, with men and women saying their views on everything from beliefs to hobbies were exposed as too different from their partners as time went on. The more we feel in touch with our partner the more we will feel we can invest in a relationship.

The third most common reason for a split was lack of supportiveness. One female participant said, “He never listens to what I have to say . . . he’s inconsiderate and thoughtless about my feelings . . . he cares more about sports than he does about me.” As this comment shows, if we don’t feel supported by our partners, the relationship has little basis.

Making the break

Unfortunately, realising the reason why you might break up with someone is the easy part. Actually ending the relationship, even if you have fallen out of love with someone, can be very painful. As such, it’s easy to put off, even when the relationship is irreparable.  But, by ending the relationship before things get worse you will most certainly avoid additional heartache. At least then you should be able to remember the good times you shared and leave the negative emotions behind.

Originally written by Drs Les and Leslie Parrott, authors of many books about successful relationships. They are also founders of the Centre for Relationship Development at Seattle Pacific University.


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