5 signs your partner might be the type to break up out of the blue

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

hen my ex-boyfriend first told me he was thinking of breaking up, it literally felt as if my bedroom was starting to spin around me. For a good minute I couldn’t even speak, so I stood in front of my laptop with a goofy expression on my face as he stared back across the screen while eating soup. Perhaps the most painful part was the way he looked at me, it was full pity, almost as if I was a hurt puppy he saw on the street instead of the guy he had claimed to love for the last couple of months. How was I so blindsided?

For the time we dated, this guy seemed like my soul mate. We actually “got” each other, had so many similar interests, could spend hours talking over Zoom, and overall never had any fights or disagreements. Yeah, I was crazy about him and, to be fair, he gave me every reason to believe he was crazy about me too.

The first “I love you”? He said it. Who called the other “boyfriend” first in front their friends? He did. Who wrote a fucking love song for the other? Don’t look at me, I don’t even know how to play the triangle. He even talked me into applying for graduate school at universities closer to him or his family so we could live together. I mean, c’mon! What was I supposed to do with that? Randomly guess that he was just getting ready for the right time to say “just kidding!” ? He broke my heart without a warning.

After this harsh experience I learned that if you’re in a relationship with someone who seems a little too good to be true… this might very well be the case. I don’t want to scare you or make you think your partner is a secret psychopath, however it’s vital both for our mental and emotional health to learn to read people before putting them on a pedestal. Here, I share five signs to look out for in a partner that could reveal whether they’re the type to end relationships out of nowhere (apparently). In hindsight, these could have helped me realize I was heading towards a dead end, and hit the brakes way sooner.

Everything seems fine… even when it shouldn’t be

Isn’t it odd that your partner never talks about struggling with complicated emotions? They’re always so Zen, and really seem to have mastered the art of seeing the bright side of every situation. Be careful, because no matter how deep they are able to bury their feeling these will always come out some way or the other.

Of course, I’m not saying you should be looking for a partner with extreme mood swings and explosive reactions, but if your partner is not even willing to open up every now and then to show you their vulnerable side, then they might have a problem with establishing long lasting relationships.

Were they fired and seem totally ok with it? Are they going through some major family drama that suspiciously doesn’t bother them? Has something happened which would seem hurtful to them and yet have nothing to say about it? No, they’re not Superman, they’re probably just not comfortable enough with you seeing their true self. And if you don’t know who they really are, how do you know if they mean it when they say they want to be with you?

They are constantly going through people (and pets!)

Usually when we meet someone who is used to breaking up with their partners, we believe this is due to the fact that every single person before us were absolute nightmares. Our partners would never break up with us, we are the best! If anything we’ll be the ones breaking up with them, right? Well, not quite.

Believe it or not, your partner might have dated perfectly fine people in the past (gasp!) who also believed their relationship was cemented on unicorn blood and glittery fairy dust… and yet your partner decided to say: “Neeeext!”. Could that be the case for you too?

Surely there are many reasons why your partner might have broken up with exes in the past, and granted, there could have been factors in every relationship which make them different from yours, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take some of your partner’s past breakups as cautionary tales.

In my case, my ex-boyfriend explicitly said that our first serious talk as a couple was the sort of conversation he would have with someone he was about to dump. Sure enough, he called it quits a week later.

If your partner hasn’t had many or any relationships in the past, another good indicator for this are (believe it or not) their pets! Some people become obsessed with a cute new animal running around the house until they find something annoying about them and decide to adopt another one in the hope that this one will actually meet their expectations. So if your partner just got a new cat because the old one doesn’t like to snuggle with them every morning, you may want to proceed with caution.

Your relationship is like fireworks: shinning bright and fading fast

New relationship often come with what’s known as a “honeymoon phase”, those first few months when you can’t even bare the idea of going to the toilet without them. However, you should pay close attention to how far your partner takes this stage, as someone going ten thousand miles an hour when still getting to know you will run out of gas pretty quickly.

My ex-boyfriend would talk to his parents about me, introduce me to his friends and sister, and bring up plans about the future during this first stage. Naturally, I was thrilled, but I quickly learn this isn’t as much of a good sign as one might think. People like this tend to focus only on the good stuff at first, seeing us as the ultimate partner and going head over heels. Eventually, they’ll back up after discovering we’re mere mortals as anyone else.

Relinquishing control is a strong “no” for them

People who need to be in control of every single situation in their lives may not always be ready for a long-term commitment. Although it is normal to want to know where things are going, and be able to direct them to some degree, it’s important to understand that when it comes to relationships, we’ll never be able to have full control over what happens, and that’s ok!

If your partner is the sort of person who needs to see how you would continue to work as a couple in one, five, or ten years from now, then they could also be the type of person who completely loses it when they start to notice you might not be as much of a “perfect match” as they thought at first.

I’ll share another personal experience so you can have a better idea of what I’m talking about. I want to work writing TV scripts, so I’m thinking about moving to LA after finishing my master’s degree (which would be around three years from now), on the other hand my ex boyfriend wanted to move closer to his family at some point and, although he wasn’t sure about where exactly, he was not feeling California. Was there uncertainty about this situation? Sure! Should we talk about it once things get more defined? You bet! Should we break up right now because there’s a chance things might not work out in the future? I’m not sure!

When someone feels a strong need to have an established life plan in which everything has to make perfect sense, it’s difficult to make room for someone else. No matter how bad they want you in their lives, if they’re unwilling to embrace a little uncertainty for you, chances are they won’t want to find out what a future with you actually looks like.

They are scared of loosing you, so they rather give you up

Probably the harshest one of all. Sometimes partners break up with us not because they don’t love us, but because they love us so much the very thought of dealing with the heartache that would follow after losing us is enough for them to throw it all away. They have to dump us before we dump them.

Although this might seem a little counterintuitive, it’s actually a clever defense mechanism. Think about it: one minute they feel in a very vulnerable position, and the next they are the warrior who came out the fight without a scratch, leaving us behind bleeding to death. In these cases, the person who broke up has all the power. They chose this, they weren’t hurt, they saw the wreckage coming and jump off the ship just in time.

As much as we want to try to make our partners understand we do not want to hurt them, and that what we feel for them is real, there’s no way we can actually guarantee a happily ever after, and they know it. The truth is that all relationships have the potential to harm us, and we have to learn to live with that. However, some people are not equipped for this. It’s better for us to know if our partners are up for the challenge or not before we start looking at weeding planners’ websites.

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Padi Padilla

I’m a queer writer from Mexico who loves creating helpful content for my fellow gays, girls, and theys trying to figure out life.