Signs Your Boyfriend Wants to Break Up with You

Edited by Donna, Eng, IssyRH, VisiHow and 5 others

If you suspect your relationship is not going well, you might be right, but he might not have the heart or guts to tell you that he is ready to leave yet. He may be "waiting or the right time", even though there is no great time to tell someone you want to end a relationship or he might be thinking that if he acts in certain ways that he can drive you away and make you think it is was your decision.

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Here are the telltale signs that your boyfriend wants to break up with you:

  1. 1
    He does not hold your hand anymore.
    Men who like being part of a relationship enjoy holding your hand while you are walking down the street. A man who walks ahead of you is dismissive of you and the relationship.
    Couple Holding Hands
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  2. 2
    He seems secretive.
    Sometimes this is a gut feeling, but if he treats you like you are nosy when you ask questions about his life it is an indication that he might have a private life separate from you. Men who are happy with you have not problem sharing details about their life with you.
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  3. 3
    He is defensive when you ask him about his day or how it went.
    If he treats you like a nag for asking very basic questions, then take that as a big hint that you should leave him before he leaves you.
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  4. 4
    He refuses to take part in any public displays of affection, especially at parties or in a club.
    If he is affectionate with you when you are together in private situations but not in public situations he might be trying to portray himself as single to other women.
    Men who are planning to stay do not avoid public displays of affection. Photo by Tim Bartel.
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  5. 5
    He has stopped answering your texts or returning your phone calls unless he absolutely must.
    In the man's mind, this lack of response is supposed to indicate to you that it is over, without him having to look you in the eye and say so
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  6. 6
    He hides his relationship with you on social media.
    If he is not open to others about his relationship status with you on Facebook or even hiding his status then he may be indicating to other women that he is single, and just keeping you "on the back burner" until something better comes along.
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  7. 7
    He stops asking you questions about your life.
    If he stops asking you about how your day went, what you are planning to do this evening or how your visit to the doctor went then he is indicating a lack of interest in a future with you.
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  8. 8
    He makes plans with you still but breaks them at the last minute.
    This is a passive aggressive way of telling you that he is just going through the motions in the relationship.
    A man who is proud to show his photo with you on Facebook is committed to staying with you. Photo by Kbmarie.
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  9. 9
    He doesn't make plans with you at all or says he is too busy to spend time with you.
    This indicates a person that is not making you a priority in his life
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  10. 10
    He is talking a lot about me and not a lot about us.
    If your boyfriend makes everything he talks about him and does not use the word we a lot as in "when we get a house" or when "we go on our trip to Barcelona" then he may be trying to portray himself as a bachelor.
    A man who includes you in all of his activities and who is physically affectionate is planning on committing to you. Photo by Steve Collis.
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  11. 11
    He spends a lot of time with new friends but doesn't ask you to come along.
    This is a sign he is detaching from you and moving on and hoping that his actions will give you the hint that you are not together.
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  12. 12
    You feel as if you can do nothing right.
    A man that wants to leave a relationship will constantly find fault with everything you do. Psychologically he has to build a case against you so his conscience can justify leaving you. Don't put up with him picking on you and just let him go.
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  13. 13
    He indulges in behaviors that he knows you don't like.
    He might do things like smoke or leave the toilet lid up to show you he has no regard for the relationship anymore.
    A man who indulges in habits you hate does not care what you think and may not be thinking of sticking around. Photo by Michael Ivanov.
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  14. 14
    When you are with other women he treats them how you wish he would treat you.
    A man that is flirtatious or affectionate with other women while depriving you of affection publicly or private is telling you and others that he wants to go but is only going through the motions.
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  15. 15
    He has broken some promises to you, but you are overlooking it for now.
    He might have told you that you were going on a trip together or getting an apartment together but now it seems he has forgotten all about it. This may not be due to stress or being busy; it may be a subtle indication that he is starting to see a future where he is single.
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  16. 16
    He avoids having sex with you.
    Even though all relationships lose some of their passionate fizzles over time, your sex life should not be totally flat. If you are not getting any physical affection at all it can mean that he is thinking of leaving or is getting sex somewhere else.
    A relationship must be affectionate and intimate if it is to last. Photo by Tiffany Dawn Nicholson.
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  17. 17
    He has threatened to break up with you but you have not taken it seriously.
    Sometimes couples fight and say things they don't mean in anger. However, if the same arguments keep repeating and ending with this threat it could mean that he is serious about separating but does not have the guts to go through with it.
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  18. 18
    He avoids questions about your future together.
    A man who won't discuss marriage or cohabitation or give you a plan that outlines your future together is not building a relationship with you. He is, instead, keeping his options open, which means you might be building a relationship with someone who could flee at any minute at ruin what you have built so far together. If this is the case, then maybe you should turn the tables on him and leave, before he leaves you!
    A man who does not want to discuss marriage with you is not in a relationship with you for the long term. Photo by Steve Collis.
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Questions and Answers

What is going on? I am so confused.

My boyfriend and I agreed to go on a break just over a week ago due to his issues with money and depression: he needs time to sort himself out. He said that he doesn't want to break up, he won't see anyone during this time, and we will remain in contact and hang out occasionally. I seem to be making all the effort as I love him and want to stay with him. Even though he is replying to me, he seems to be having short conversations with me and not agreeing to plans. He said we will still be friends for now, but it seems like he doesn't even want to be that. I am so confused and scared to lose him. But then again, I don't want to be taken for a ride. What is happening? I have tried: I have tried to speak to him every few days to get him to be open with me, but he seems to be very distant and focused on his work. I think it was caused by: his depression, mainly. I think he's trying to push me away.

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Your boyfriend is burnt out. He really needs a lot of time alone to give himself time to realize the importance of the relationship, and what needs to be given is a lot of personal space. He shows the paradigm of the comportment that he would like to see in you during that time: he wants, just as he said, still be faithful, but interaction needs to stay superficial with no advice, plans, efforts, or relationship discussions. Depression is quite widespread, but it can be more tolerable when someone you love is nearby, which may lead to your questioning of his loving you. There are obvious signs whether your boyfriend loves you or not, and you may conclude if you should continue the efforts of repairing the relationship (read about it here). If you cannot follow the required model of behavior that he expects from you, then you might consider moving to another city or going on a short vacation, as you need to avoid depression and burning out too.

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My boyfriend has a lot of fantasies about sex with other women. When I told him that I wanted him to keep his fantasies to himself, he left and canceled plans with me. I think that he wants to break up with me?

How can I get close to him again?. I have tried: I give him sex whenever he wants it. I pay for things and cook for him.. I think it was caused by: He has been alone for 23 years and has an elaborate fantasy world

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Perhaps you should break up with him. Obviously, this fantasy life is a part of his character and he is choosing to share with you when you have asked him not to. It sounds like this is an escape for him or maybe he does not know of any other normal way to a relationship. Either way, when you asked that he stop, he just walked away. Do not get further in financial and emotional connections with him when he just gives up at the slightest sign of conflict. Someone like that is not ready to make any commitment or be in a serious relationship. He may have some sort of sexual addiction which is very difficult in a relationship.

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Should I break up with him before he left me alone or there would be a happy ending?

My boyfriend and I have been friends for 2 years we met at college and we have been best friends since. We both are 22 ,but 2 months ago my boyfriend started to act distanced after an important exam which both of us had and whenever I asked him why he said he has problems he didn't contact me a lot and I felt so left alone he acted normal around friends except me and kind of ignore me in front of them. after 1 month tolerating his lack of attention I open up this problem, he said I didn't pay attention to him, I didn't tell him sweet words although I said many times and he just give a cold shoulder.I told him whatever his problem is I will stay with him I will help him but he said it wasn't enough. one night I was tired of his behavior which he was so nice to others except me I broke up with him over text and one hour later I apologized. next day he wanted to broke up because of my neediness! In relationship we started crying and he said I love you but I can't be with you after hours of talking he persuaded to continue the relationship from that day we haven't see each other which is 1 month( because he makes excuses all the time although he is free) he is so secretive, we just text each other which are so short.. I'm tired of this situation I know he loves me and I love him so much he is a good person inside and I want to have future with him and I want a more exciting relationship again. I don't know what to tell him.. I have tried: I tried to talk sweet to him but he was so cold. I tried to plan a date but he said next week although all the time is sleeping. I think it was caused by: Maybe because I was once break up and apology next hour!!! Really I don't know, maybe because I asked him a lot what his problem is but don't sweet talking to him!!

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You are both young and making a relationship mistake many of us have made. It is unfortunate that he is ignoring you and making excuses but it is time for you to make a clean break from him. This relationship/friendship is over. Not because of you asking to break up with him, he had left the relationship before that. Delete his contact information from your phone and ask mutual friends to not make plans where the both of you will attend for some time. If love conquered all then there were be far less of a divorce rate. You learned a life lesson that you can each love each other yet it will not work out in the long run. It is a difficult thing to realize but do not take this break up as your fault. Instead, delete his contacts but block his number first. Make a clean break and walk away with your head held high.

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He already broke up with me. I wish I had seen these signs earlier?

On Thursday we got into a fight, I asked him if he still wanted this relationship and if he was breaking up with me. At first, he said no, but when I kept asking he eventually gave in and said yes. He told me he just wanted to be alone and he wasn't 100% into the relationship anymore. I am so heartbroken because I didn't see it coming. He told me he loved me so much but it is for the best. Looking back I do see a lot of red flags and realizing he didn't treat me good at all but at the time I thought he did because he was nice and I knew how much he loved me. He didn't do much for me without me asking him. We would never hang out alone (only with his friends, roommates) and all we would do is really go to bed at night and maybe watch something. Now I keep blaming myself for being too crazy with him and not giving him his space. I overreacted a lot of the times and didn't completely trust him. (even if he was doing nothing wrong). He even mentioned to me throughout the relationship that he felt like he could not be his own person. I feel like now looking back I regret the way I acted and I keep blaming myself for this. Maybe I acted that way because he wasn't giving me what I deserved? I am just so heartbroken about the situation because I lost my best-friend of two years. We haven't talked since, I am proceeding with the no contact rule and respecting his wishes by giving him his space.

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You are doing the right thing by not contacting him. Sadly you viewed him as your best friend/boyfriend yet for him you were more of a girl to hang out with. Start making plans with your other friends. Get back out into your social circles. Have a girls weekend away somewhere. Take this time to be all about you and what you want out of life. Until you can become self-sufficient emotionally, your relationships will fail. Confidence and independence are important for a healthy relationship. Next time, realize that no one person can be everything for you. In the end, if you do that then you stifle that person to where they feel like running even if you both love each other.

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Is it bad not communicating with each other?

My boyfriend and I don't communicate anymore. He doesn't answer me fast anymore. I have tried: Saying sweet things and more. I think it was caused by: I don't know

If you have been dating for more than 6 months and he does not respond to your calls or texts then something is wrong. He may just have settled into the relationship and is unknowingly evading you. You have done all that you can to maintain his interests. Switch up the tactic and stop communication with him. If you do not hear from him within a week then you have your answer that he has moved on but did not know how to tell you.

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Am I already single but he just wants this "relationship" so he still sees his kids whenever he's home?

We have known each other since HS and he apparently wanted me since then but I was already in another relationship. Over the years after school, we ran into each other and he always asked for my number because he had lost it. Finally, he called, we hung out, the more we hung the more he wanted to see me every day and talk on the phone or via electronic messaging - Facebook, email, SMS. It really annoyed me to the point where I had to hide from him, I had just broke up with a guy, crashing at my mom's, had her lie for me which him and I now laugh about. When I would hang with another guy then he would invite himself along. He told me he loved me and asked me out a few times. Chased me for years and became less clingy, moved in together, dated, we have two kids now, I just had his second. He worked all through the pregnancy while I stayed home to care for our toddler. He works out of town frequently. I was in labor for a couple days. Told him day before he left to go out of town but he went anyway when he promised that he would stay no matter what because I almost died the first time. This time we almost lost his son. At first he came home at 8, then, 9, now it's 10 or 11 and occasionally 4-7 in the morning because there was an unexpected out of town trip and an accident. He never has days off where he used to have 2 days off at least within 2 weeks. But he may come home at 7 one day. This morning before leaving town, told me I never say thank you for supporting us. I asked what a proper thank you is. "Just a simple thank you, I love you." I reminded him of the meals and gifts I have given him over the years and had said, "Thank you for everything you do for this family. We appreciate it and I know it's hard. We're lucky to have you." He promised this would be a temp job because he wants to be around his family then it became his dream job, now it's not. He works 16-hour shifts 6 days a week and then out of town. Always losing his wallet or getting jumped, yells at me, yells at his daughter, although he has stopped since I threatened to leave him. He doesn't listen, interrupts, changes subject, walks out when I need help with the kids, I just lost my hamster who was my birthday gift from him 3 years ago and my cat who we couldn't cremate. I came into money which was all gone fast because he "lost" his wallet and spent all his other pay on crap we don't need. The money I got btw was agreed to be for emergencies only and help us with debt. He had lied to me the first 3 and a half years and I caught him in a lie recently but he did give me a semi-believable story which still makes it unbelievable. When he is home, I don't have time to talk about things we need to. He eats and then sleeps, wakes up, goes to work. When I try, he says he just wants what little time he has with us to be happy. I would understand if this is once in a while but this stuff needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. He can receive messages but can't send. He has sworn on his children's lives so it's hard not to believe him. He checks girls out right in front of me. Looks at them the way I wish he looked at me. Only tries to be intimate when he's home or gets the feeling we're nearing the end. Never even holds my hand in public. One of his friends was down the hall and he wanted to bring our newborn to meet him. I asked if I could come along in 10 minutes when I was ready because I had to leave anyway. He said that he would be gone anyway and looked disappointed. Never seems to want to take me shopping or anywhere anymore. Says he wants me to stay home and relax spite how much I tell him I love going shopping, even grocery shopping and btw, he spends more than I do. I only grab what we need unless it's my money then it's a treat for the family. I know I have depression and he even told me that he sees it. I told him it's something I want to talk to him about. We haven't yet. He avoids it. I tell him I miss him and I wish he would hug me, tell me he loves me more, has a couple days off here and there. Nothing. He'll try for a day or 2 maybe 3. During that time, I do whatever I can for him. It stops. He only gets frisky when he's home for a week or so without any work. We promised to write one long letter consisting of every day when he's out of town. He stopped after 2 trips months ago. Still, hasn't read all mine. A necklace I bought for him a long time ago he used to wear when on a trip. I've had it at home for the past few trips, including this one. Almost forgot it even after I reminded him. It seems obvious to me that it's over in his mind but he was the perfect guy and every once in a while I see glimpses of that guy. He still buys me flowers, jewelry, and my favorite snacks. He will still pay me the rare compliment like every time I want to put on makeup he tells me not to because I look better without it. Is all this to soothe his guilty conscience? I think I may also be afraid to leave because we have a family together and we have been together for so long and it may also be because think we have hit a rut and he may change who he is for who he was because I still see that sweet guy. He has been under a lot of stress and maybe he is working all these hours because the union is getting involved and there are going to be a huge hour deduction as a result. Does he just like the novelty of having a woman he calls his wife and has two kids? We do have what people call the million dollar family and he's proud. He doesn't seem to me to go anywhere with him...please help. I believe he still loves me unless he's just acting once in a while to keep me around so he can see his kids when it's convenient for him. All his past jobs were the same in the sense that he was no longer allowed to contact me, his warehouse job was the only one where he didn't work all the time. We have kids, I would rather work this out then end it. I do love him. I do wonder why sometimes. Thanks for reading. I hope you can help us. I think it was caused by: He has lied about a lot of stuff and I no longer trust him but every time I feel I can trust him, he lies again. We have argued quite a bit. Said awful things to each other which we never meant. I used to argue healthy, starting to again trying to teach him to. His mom tries to get between us. I'm the reason he lied, I'm the reason he doesn't call spite my efforts to tell him he needs to. He never has money because I don't ask him where he spends every penny and then order him to only spend his money on what I tell him to. She, as you can see, tries to control us and hates me because I'm a woman with my own mind. I do not like the idea of being controlled or having that control over someone else...except my 3 year old. I do wish I had control over her sometimes. He found comfort in my family since his were always nagging and complaining but not anymore because my family are all mad at him for constantly losing money and no longer supporting us because of it. He may also be staying with me because I have a substantial amount of money coming to me. He doesn't listen, I have to repeat myself. It's rare he's actually there for me, very, very, very rare. Like twice in 5 years. The second time which was recent, I told him I felt abandoned because he wanted to go out to dinner instead of being there for me. I lost my cat the day before and our hamster a week before that. He argued with me the whole day when I just wanted to be comforted then he left and came back after saying that I'll stick around for a little while then it's over if he's late because he promised to be back by a certain time. He is always hours late and I told him that right now I can not stress about this too and if he's going to stress me out by not caring enough to be on time then I would rather not deal with any other worries. He usually takes our daughter to his mom's because last time I was around the woman, she screamed at me in front of the whole family and stated it's not normal for a woman to freak out because her grandfather takes her for a walk. I freaked because my daughter was no where to be found and not one person knew or cared where she was. We were outside, close to a main road. Her dad said he was watching her. So I stopped watching as closely, we both looked away for just a minute and she was gone. Her grandpa didn't tell anyone and he didn't have his phone. His mom screamed at me for getting so worried which caused my daughter to later on bang her head on the floor at home, her stroller, whatever she could. I haven't seen the woman since but our daughter has and I worry every time. Especially since every time he's hours late. I really hope you can help us, especially if it means keeping our family together, I understand this is a really messed up situation with lots of drama. More than one family needs and it's not good for our children which is why I need this help. Splitting is an absolute last resort because these kids need both parents to be a constant part of their lives but they also need a healthier home. Thanks again for whatever advice you can provide.

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There is a lot going on in your question. He is working non-stop although it probably is because he feels that his job is the only point of control for him. His mother sounds like a very controlling person so when you begin to get controlling or "needy" then he backs off which is probably a mechanism from his childhood. You are the girl that he always wanted to date in high school and then as adults got together, married and then had children. Usually, in a situation like this, he is working non-stop because that is all he knows how or what to do. The income issue though needs to be controlled. Perhaps by a third party but anyone who loses their wallet that much should have learned how not to lose it by now. Creating a budget will help. At this point in your life, you have two children. He is facing a reduction in hours at work. He may be working all he can right now for your financial resources as a family so if you suggest a budget just in case the worse happens then he might consent.

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Make a point to tell him daily how much you appreciate what he is doing as a provider for the family. Even if he is not responding back or you do not feel like it. He has told you that he needs to hear those words so make a point of saying them. The reassurance may make him feel less anxious.

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Some people escape their feelings with their job. A workaholic feels most in control when they are working so they seek to work as much as possible. This is probably part of his issue. As for the birth of your son, when you were in labor with your first child you almost died. He may have been using the work excuse to actually emotionally protect himself from losing you.

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He obviously does want this relationship to work out. You are correct in that you are now parents of two children together and that is a game changer for a marriage. Every marriage has rough patches. How we overcome them is the test of a lasting marriage. No marriage is happy all the time. Add an infant and toddler into the marriage and the family home life stress, as well as financial stress, can break a marriage.

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Start making a big deal about when he comes home from traveling. Cook his favorite meal and hire a babysitter for at least one of the nights he has off. He might be exhausted which is why he is not taking you out as much anymore so keep that in mind when he does have a day off. Regarding your future financial gain. Should you inherit more money then it would be a better idea to invest that money in a way that he can't access. This way the children and you are financially protected in the future. Let him know that you would rather save it for college education and retirement for the families future.

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My boyfriend agreed to settle down with me but at last moment he changed his mind due to family pressure and religion?

I don't know, should I wait for him or move on, he doesn't answer my calls, neither my text. I have tried: I met him last Friday, he told me to move on, or I will let you know by January. I think it was caused by: its religion, he is a Muslim and I'm Hindu

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Unfortunately, despite most of the world accepting interfaith relationships, he is up against possibly losing all communication with his family. Interfaith relationships have many challenges. Different religious holidays, different views on Higher Power, not to mention how to raise a child. The heartbreak though bleak now will subside with time. He has asked you to move on and this is what you should do out of respect for his wishes. Do not wait until January for his decision as you may be missing an opportunity to meet the right person for you.

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What he wants from me and why he do like this to me?

My boyfriend doesn't talk to me properly as he used to before. He is always angry. This is me also. When we do talk then on any stupid topic we end up fighting over the phone. Our relationship is long distance. He did break up with me before but within 8 hours he said slap me, say anything to me but talk to me, please. I feel that he is avoiding me as now we talk only chat on WhatsApp for few minutes. Only to ask how are your family, and said also I love you missing you. I can't understand what is causing this as I know he is upset for his mother, actually his mother or family don't want us to get married. That's why he lives in anger and has behaved like this to me but I feel bad too.He says mean hurtful things to me and his mother's thinking is narrow towards me. She lives in small village in India. I am also Indian, so tell me what he wants from me. Why must he act like this? I love him a lot he loves me a lot, but we have relationship problems... I think it was caused by: His mother, he is very respectful towards his parents doesn't want to hurt his mother. Wants to convince them and then marry me, but she said no for me, that is why he is upset and said all bad things to me, then again sorry, I don't want to say all things to you but I can't, I can't understand what to do.

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You and he are probably not going to change his mother's mind. She has firmly said no. He has two choices which are very clear. To deny his mother's wishes and marry you OR end your relationship. He has treated you so badly already that perhaps you should walk away. It is probable that if he chooses you, there will be deep resentment and bitterness towards you for the rest of his life. This will not make a marriage happy. There is someone out there that will love and respect you for you. This is what you deserve instead of the bitterness cycle you are in right now. That is no longer a relationship.

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My problem is my boyfriend is hardly answering my texts and I'm too shy to phone him and start a relationship we speak better when we aren't in a relationship but fancy each other if that makes sense and you can't really trust him because he cheats on you for your best friends?

Soz but I'm also only 13 and he's 14 so if this makes you think like why she worrying at this age but I really like him x. Because I'm quite young and all the advice that was given was for grown ups. I have tried: .tried texting him over and over again but hasn't worked He's texting my best friend but and texting group chats that I'm in. I think it was caused by: I really don't know like one moment we were so happy then next he never spoke to me

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You both are so young. At 13 and 14 years old there is no stake or claim on another person for a relationship. Boys especially at that age are not ready for commitment and have no idea what really to do in a relationship. While you may have been thinking you were BFF's forever, he was just thinking it was nice to talk to you.

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All you can do is wait for him to text back. If he ever does. At your age, you are better off focusing on your family and friend relationships. Boys are not really ready for serious relationships until around the age of 18. Even then some are not ready for any type of dating commitment.

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How can I stop being shy nervous and scared to get near my boyfriend? I'm in middle school?

He told me he wants to be able to hold my hand or talk to me but I'm too shy, scared, and nervous because I really like him a lot. He also said if I don't pull it together, he's going to break up with me. He doesn't like me running away from him when he's around me and thinks this is being in a relationship please help me

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Here is a life lesson for you to learn from this. No one should ever threaten or force you to behave a certain way that is not a parent or adult authority figure in your life right now. You are shy which is perfectly okay to be. Especially being shy at your age is understandable. Be you always. Never change or conform yourself for a boy.

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Here is what you do, tell him that this is the way you are. If he does not like it then he can leave or not hang out with you. It is that simple.


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