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4 Gestures That Mean Your Partner Might Want To Break Up, So You’re Not Caught Off-Guard

Breakups are tough no matter how you slice them, but they tend to be a little easier on the heart if you can see them coming. Nothing stings quite like being blindsided, so keeping an eye out for gestures that mean your partner might want to break up can be a good way to brace yourself for the impending Big Talk. Even though it might hurt no matter what, being prepared can help you make sure you're not caught off-guard.

When a breakup feels like impending doom, it's easy to only reflect upon the good times you and your ex had together, and try to rationalize why you should stay a couple. But it's important to look at the reasons why breaking up might actually be a good thing (if you can find any). If you sense you'll be at the receiving end of this potential breakup, there has be a reason (or reasons) your partner is acting distant. Understanding that reason might be able to help lessen the blow.

When people break up, so often they say ‘I have no idea what happened! Everything was perfect!’" breakup coach and host of the Breakup BOOST podcast, Trina Leckie, previously told Elite Daily. "This is because they are basically panicking that the relationship has come to an end and are merely focusing on how to get it back — even if they were really unhappy in it."

None of that's to say these are standard guidelines. Everyone is different, and not every person will demonstrate cues or gestures that they want to break up. Sometimes breakups can feel like they come out of nowhere. That, too, is normal. Just remember that you're strong enough to overcome anything, but if you notice any of the following signs, you might just be able to place yourself one step ahead.

1. They aren't even arguing with you anymore.

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Let's just get one thing straight: Almost every couple argues at some point or another. But if you and your partner regularly get into big fights and then all of a sudden it seems like the fights have stopped, it could mean they're ready to call it quits. "Every relationship has conflict, and handled properly, [that conflict] can be healthy for a relationship," relationship expert and author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple's Guide to Lasting Love, Anita A. Chlipala, previously told Elite Daily. "If your partner has stopped engaging like they used to, it might be a sign that they know there's no point because the relationship will end."

2. They no longer want to do the things you used to love doing together.

“One warning sign is a general lack of enthusiasm for things they were once enthusiastic to do with you,” Demetrius Figueroa, founder of the blog A Mighty Love, previously told Elite Daily. For example, if you and your partner used to always go get ice cream on Friday nights, and you haven't for a few weeks, or your partner just doesn't seem excited about it anymore, something might be up.

“When your partner becomes bored with the relationship, even the more exciting things you’d do together become rote," Figueroa said. "If you used to plan exciting weekly date nights at local hotspots and they just don’t seem into doing those sort of things anymore, that’s a sure sign that they’re becoming bored.”

Do note: Boredom doesn't necessarily mean a breakup is on the horizon. Couples get bored from the regularity of their routine all the time, and it doesn't always mean they don't want to be together anymore. It might just mean they've moved past the honeymoon phase and are settling into the comfort that comes with the next, more stable phase of your relationship. Make sure that, if you notice this change in your partner, you're not jumping to conclusions that they immediately want to break up. They might just be settling into the comfort that comes with a happy, healthy, stable relationship.

3. They've become miserable to be around.

Unfortunately, your partner might have already decided that they want to break up, but they don't want to be the one to actually do it. "Some people don't want to be the one to end the relationship, so they'll make it so unbearable for their partner that they have no choice but to do the breaking up," Chlipala said.

In fact, your partner might be acting uncharacteristically rude or grumpy. "They might even be more critical of you or blame you for things," Chlipala explained. This is not OK behavior, and definitely something you should confront them about. Going your separate ways might not be the worst thing if they've become insufferable to be around.

4. They brush you off.

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Quality time is important in any relationship, but if your partner has continuously blown off plans with you or would rather hang with their friends all the time, it could mean their desires lie elsewhere. “If they are spending less time with you, [are] going out with their friends, or are just ‘busy’ — [or if they are] less present when you are together," they might be ready to end the relationship, Grace Lee, co-founder of A Good First Date Online, previously told Elite Daily.

If you notice these subtle gestures, and all signs point to a breakup, it's important to be honest about it — both with each other, and with yourself. "How a conversation starts is how it will inevitably end, so the softer you can be, the more successful the conversation will be," Chlipala said. "Tell your partner the changes that you see, and then ask them if there's something going on that you don't know about." You can be as prepared as possible for what's to come, but eventually, one of you will have to break the ice and kick off the conversation. If you would rather be in control, it might be smart to jump in and be the one who brings it up first.