People Reveal The Reason Their Last Relationship Ended

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Welcome to the Ex Games: a content series about love lost. Whether it's the realization things need to end, the act of rejection, the reality of being single, or the resurrection that is moving on, the Ex Games has every stage of a breakup covered.

And to really bring these stories to life, we've launched the Ex Games podcast, where we delve into the two sides of a break-up story with a new couple each week, and aim to end up somewhere near the truth. Because when it comes to affairs of the heart, everyone plays, but does anyone win? Let's find out. 

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Breaking up: Even the sound of it is earth-shattering. Like you were once whole and now you're splintered, with little fissures and cracks, crumbling into nothingness.

And, perhaps initially, that's what it feels like. So much of your life was lived in tandem. Now the mundane tasks that brought you together, like grocery shopping or watching Netflix, feel almost incomplete or the tiniest bit off without the other person.

Yet, as painful as breakups are, nearly everyone has experienced them in one form or another. And there's something comforting in that, in knowing that as tough as your breakup is – whether it's after 20 years, eight months, or three weeks – someone out there knows your struggle.

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Whether we like them or not (we generally don't), breakups are learning experiences. They teach us who we are in relationships, how we make compromises, what we want, and what we don't.

As psychologist Dr. LeslieBeth Wish confirms to Elite Daily, “It's important to keep alive the self-knowledge gained about your relationship. We all can benefit from understanding the key component of: Why did I choose this person when I did – and why did we break up?”

Knowing what tore a union apart can be painful; it can force you to realize truths about yourself and your partner that you never wanted to know. But that's necessary, in order to avoid falling into unhealthy relationship patterns. That's why we have to study what went wrong; this is how we learn from our mistakes.

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We surveyed 100 people and asked them to detail how their last breakup went down in one sentence. Yes, of course, several of the responses we got were run-ons, but the overall ethos of the piece is that breakups are messy and complicated, but they generally happen for a reason.

And when it really boils down, all it takes is one sentence to realize why things just weren't right.

Here are 100 people's truncated, but truthful reasons their last relationship ended. I even put them in a word cloud:

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1. “I was in love with him, he was in love with his ex.” - Arielle, 22

2. “We were too young.” - Jess, 26

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3. “He thought I was cheating (I wasn't), so he made up an elaborate lie to try and manipulate me into admitting I was, and I dumped him because of it.” - Anonymous, 24

4. “She was scared of real commitment.” - Laura, 28

5. “He was married.” - Anonymous, 27

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6. “The physical chemistry was great, but after a year, the emotional chemistry never caught up.” - Anonymous, 22

7. “My ex wanted to quit his full time job and become a professional wrestler.” - Anonymous, 26

8. “We were too immature to handle being in love, so we ended up making each other the worst versions of ourselves.” - Aoife, 23

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9. “She was a cheater.” - Nicholas, 28

10. “He was having an online relationship with someone across the country.” - Montana, 25

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11. “We're both real f*cked up.” - Jimbo, 24

12. “No one should knowingly marry a sex addict who also happens to be a compulsive liar.” - Anonymous, 26

13. “He decided that religion was more important than what was right in front of him.” - Anonymous

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14. “He wasn't sure about me.” - Alexia, 23

15. “I wanted to be appreciated for who I am, but my adventurous spirit, inquisitive nature, and general lack of Lilly Pulitzer clothing were too much for his family to handle, so I moved on.” - Meg, 30

16. “She decided to find something better.” - Anonymous

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17. “I didn't really like her but I stayed.” - Janette, 25

18. “He was sleeping with my 'best friend.'” - Lauren, 21

19. “He decided we were too different after almost five years of dating and after I moved to a new city for him... then he up moved away and had a new girlfriend in three weeks.” - Samantha, 22

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20. “I didn't realize I was being abusive.” - Ashley, 19

21. “Cheating, lying, and distance.” - Rose, 27

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22. “She stopped loving me.” - Anonymous, 28

23. “We should never have been dating in the first place, and would have broken up years sooner if we had ever actually lived in the same city.” - Julie, 25

24. “He wasn't nice to me.” - Sean, 24

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25. “He told me that when he went to sleep he still loved me, and when he woke up, he didn't. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯” - Anonymous

26. “I was 'too emotional.'” - Amanda, 25

27. “He let me know that he was not over his ex, that he still loved her and always would, and asked, 'So, are we done here?'” - Amy, 28

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28. “It was a long distance relationship, neither of us was willing to change where we live.” - Nehar, 21

29. “Unmotivated.” - Leigh, 26

30. “Alcohol.” - Anonymous, 27

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31. “He wanted to pursue his music and didn't have time for a girlfriend.” - Jen, 34

32. “It had become a therapist/patient relationship rather than a love relationship.” - Ricardo, 25

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33. “There was no future.” - Sarah, 26

34. "My ex-girlfriend took me for granted.” - Evan, 27

35. “He cheated on me with my then-best friend, who was supposed to be my college roommate, tried to deny it, and then my ex-best friend tried to fight me in a frat house basement.” - Danielle, 25

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36. “She didn't feel we were emotionally compatible, and that I was too "passionate" for her.” - Anonymous, 26

37. “He fell in love with his next door neighbor.” - Ariel, 25

38. “She was abusive and obsessed with me.” - Anonymous

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39. “We didn't want the same things in life.” - Brian, 25

40. “He told me he needed to be celibate for a while.” - Anonymous, 36

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41. “CHEATING CHEATER.” - Mariel, 24

42. “Disappeared (AGAIN) for three weeks, turned off phone and wouldn't reply to email, wouldn't say what was wrong when we finally talked.” - Anonymous, 28

43. “Told boyfriend that if he just wanted to 'date' forever that we should break up and he said "of course I want more than that!" but 6 months later he dumped me” - Bridget, 33

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44. “He wasn't ready for a serious relationship.” - Anonymous, 24

45. “It was long distance and he wasn't being communicative enough.” - Alexandra, 25

46. “She cheated with a good friend of mine.” - S., 27

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47. “He loved me and I didn't love him back.” - Anonymous

48. “He dumped me and didn't realize how good he had it till he hooked up with crazy and I was left with crippling panic attacks.” - Sarah, 23

49. “She said our aspirations weren't compatible.” - Satta, 28

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50. “All my friends and family hated him and he didn't think that was a problem.” - Julie, 23

51. “We weren't compatible because we wanted completely different things in life.” - Talia, 25

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52. “It wasn't the man I saw myself marrying.” - Anonymous

53. “I don't know, he suddenly blocked me after a month of dating right when we were supposed to go away for Memorial Day!” - Anonymous

54. “Neglect on my part during an extended separation.” - Ahmed, 24

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55. “I felt too insecure in the relationship, I always felt like I put in more effort and care, and he didn't do enough to show me that I was important to him.” - Anonymous, 24

56. “I wanted to hang out with my friends more than I wanted to hang out with him.” - Anonymous, 23

57. “The long distance became intolerable and because of it I realized what a d*ck he was.” - Anonymous

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58. “Our age difference.” - Anonymous, 26

59. “He got another girlfriend!” - Anonymous, 30

60. “We were married and she cheated.” - Peter, 31

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61. “Lying/cheating/sociopathic/narcissistic.” - Anonymous

62. “He just walked out.” - Anonymous

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63. “Realized he wasn't someone I could spend the rest of my life with.” - Michelle, 28

64. “After four months of seeing each other and sleeping together several time a week, he had still only stayed the night with me twice, and reluctantly; he was 37 and I was 31.” - Caroline, 33

65. “He always needed to have control and was an emotional abuser; I wish everyone he's dated knew this.” - Anonymous, 25

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66. “I was no longer in love with him, I just loved him as my best friend.” - Liz, 22

67. “I felt that the relationship was not growing any longer and becoming stagnant, so I decided to go our separate ways after six years.” - Madison

68. “Lying, cheating, and jealousy ruled my life.” - Anonymous

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69. “Different future plans.” - Laura, 26

70. “He was a child.” - Alex, 24

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71. “Religious differences seem more important when you graduate from college.” - Anonymous, 26

72. “I began to feel taken for granted and felt I deserved to feel adored once in a while.” - Anonymous, 26

73. “The Egyptian military.” - Anonymous

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74. “He cheated.” - Anonymous

75. “We f*cked up a good thing.” - Jonathan, 28

76. “She moved to Washington DC without a job lined up and I was the stable one in NYC.” - Alex, 29

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77. “He wanted to be monogamous, get married, and have kids with someone.” - Alicia, 36

78. “I lost myself.” - Anonymous

79. “He didn't have enough time for me because he's in a band.” - Jane, 21

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80. “She was narcissistic and incapable of love.” - Anonymous

81. “I tried to go in for round two of the night... he told me I should probably just go home” - Anonymous, 24

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82. “He wasn't ready.” - Jessika, 24

83. “We couldn't find a shared reality.” - Anonymous, 24

84. “Poor communication coupled with mental health issues makes for bad relationships.” - James, 25

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85. “Cheating.” - Anonymous

86. “He was unmotivated/stagnant in life, while I was growing and moving forward.” - Tara, 26

87. “It ended because of jealousy and a lack of communication.” - Anonymous, 27

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88. “We couldn't agree on what we wanted for the future.” - Erika, 30

89. “We didn't want the same things.” - Anonymous

90. “I caught feelings, and he needed to come out as gay.” - Laura, 23

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91. “Never the "right time," too afraid to bring our relationship to daylight.” - Kelly, 22

92.“I wanted to kill myself; he wasn't ready for a relationship.” - Anonymous

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93. “Lack of affection.” - Anonymous

94. “He cheated on me and was talking to other girls while still with me.” - Christina, 25

95. “He was immature.” - Anonymous

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96. “I grew out of what I used to like about my SO and found our needs from the relationship to no longer match.” - Anonymous

97. “He loved someone else.” - Anonymous

98. “He was a stage-5 clinger!” - Liz, 22

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99. “Moved to different places for work.” - Anonymous, 24

100. “The realization I was never going to get the love or respect I deserve.” - Anonymous

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