Breakups make kind and responsible people stay in bed for days, booze too much, and become terrible at friendship. I know this because a friend recently went through a late twenties breakup — what I call a "diet divorce" — and admits to doing all of those things. I also know this because I have done the same in the deep darks of heartache.
Since breakups are the worst and make us deplorable versions of ourselves, we should try to avoid them like we try to avoid getting HPV. While bewilderingly, there are no signs you're about to get down with an HPV-infected human, there are signs a breakup is near.
If you can admit that a breakup might be coming, then you won't devolve into as awful of a spiral as you would have had you been in total denial of the breakup. (Remember the 2016 election?) Elite Daily spoke to dating experts about five subtle signs you should look out for that might indicate your partner is about to break up with you.
1. They Stop Saying "I Love You"
You might not even notice that your boo no longer says "I love you" until you start paying attention. Take actual notes on how often they say it. If it used to be a normal, daily proclamation, and now you're getting zero declarations of love a week, something is up.
"If you stop hearing those three little words, chances are it's because your partner is priming his or her way out of the relationship," explains relationship and etiquette expert April Masini. "People say the L word to reassure and express their affection for a partner, so not hearing it is a sign there's a problem in the relationship."
Of course, your partner could just be having a terrible week. Send an "ILY" their way and see what you get in return.
2. They Stop Making You Their Plus One
Hopefully, they are still bringing you to weddings, but if your partner has been excluding you from other free Pinot Grigio occasions of late, it's not the greatest sign that they are happy spending time with you.
"When your partner is proud of being with you, he or she will show you off, but if your partner is looking to break up with you, they won't invite you to social events where they might flirt and meet other people," explains Masini. She said that this is especially true around the holidays. Ugh, I know. It's not the best sign of your partner's devotion if they don't want to spend the happiest time of the year with you.
3. They Simply Seem Withdrawn
Does your partner seem withdrawn? Not just because they didn't like your Instagram in the first 30 minutes it was posted, or because they were out of commission for a week due to the flu. If your gut tells you that your partner feels more distant than normal, trust that inner self that's telling you something is weird.
"Lack of effort is a sign that your partner has a low investment in the relationship," explains therapist Stefani Threadgill.
Did your partner used to surprise you with date nights or by cooking you dinner? Do they not anymore? You can bring that up. If there is still a lack of effort to do things to improve the relationship, your partner might have one foot out the door.
4. They Start Taking Extra Great Care Of Themselves
This partner could be having a quarter-life crisis after noticing a wrinkle, or they could be getting spruced up for someone else. Of course, this is hard to determine — maybe bae just decided a new skincare routine would benefit them — but new grooming habits can be a major red flag.
"Sudden changes in behavior that improve their appearance is always a sign that something's going on — without you," explains Masini.
It comes down to trust. Talk to your partner about your fears and worries, if they care about you, they'll be honest. "Transparency is important in a relationship," says Threadgill. "It is the ability to communicate your wants and desires."
If your partner seems less than transparent after you bring up their new grooming habits, maybe snoop their phone. (Just kidding... but also not really.)
5. They Vacation Without You
This one is super specific. Yes, you might need some alone time, but you should also want to spend time exploring with your special person.
"It's great to take a vacation alone, with friends or a family member and give yourselves a break," says Masini. "But when vacations are consistently separate, it's a sign that you're not sharing this important part of the relationship together, and it's a crack in the foundation."
If your babe is in the Caribbean solo twice in a month, I would definitely talk with them about what their itinerary really looks like.
Again, if any of these things are happening in your relationship, it doesn't mean that your partner is necessarily going to break up with you. At the same time, if you clicked on this article, you have some doubts about your relationship and where it is headed.
Talk to your partner about these fears before accusing them of sleeping with Becky with the good hair from accounting. Consider what you want in a relationship, too. Being filled with doubt every day in your relationship is no way to live your best life.
And if you think a breakup is inevitable, I'm sorry. It sucks, and I know that. It's also not the end of the world; you will move on, and eventually you will grow from it. So talk to your partner, and then just do what's best for you. Everything will be OK in time.