Why Do People Break Up? | Reasons & Saving Your Relationship

We can’t make our current and future relationships better without understanding why people break up. A bit of research today can save us a ton of regret tomorrow. 

People break up because they fall out of love. After being together, they start taking each other for granted and stop putting in efforts to keep the relationship exciting. Lack of effort leads to finding love outside the relationship, which results in cheating.

Couples who think that love is the only thing needed to keep a relationship going are paving the way for splitting up.

Reasons Behind Break Ups

Partners remain on different pages, even after being together for a long time. Everyone begins a relationship by being on a different page.

The whole journey is about finding common grounds and making little adjustments here and there in case of differences.

TABLE: Common Experiences Of People In Unsuccessful Relationships

Lack of commitment46%
Frequent arguments97%
Emotional unavailability85%
Source: A study by RebootLoveLife.com consisting of 382 individuals between the ages of 18-65 years who have had at least two breakups.

There is something that needs to be discussed right away. Each reason that we are going to list below is completely avoidable.

You can literally take a situation, turn it on its head and make things better in your relationship.

While listing these reasons, we would also go a bit into how you or anybody can prevent such a thing from happening in the first place.

1. Wrong Assumptions About The Other Person

The initial days of a relationship are almost equivalent to somebody being star struck.

You hold the person in high light and see them as the epitome of perfection and flawlessness. So much so that you even let obvious red flags go unnoticed.

Even if you do notice them, you are happy to overlook them.

You project onto yourself the image of the person that you want to see rather than who they actually are.

Thus, with time these initial impressions fade away, and you start to see the real person behind.

It is then you realize that maybe both of you were not that compatible after all and you had set unrealistic standards.

Wrong Assumptions About The Other Person

2. Find It Difficult To Adjust With The Person

After the honeymoon period of the relationship (the hunky-dory time where everything looks like a dream come true) is over, it is then you start seeing things in an objective light.

The habits of your partner, their lifestyle, their point of view (political or general), etc. play a huge factor in deciding whether the conversations are smooth or they always end up in friction.

Also, people begin to realize that they have different interests.

Often one partner can feel like he or she is neglecting their own interests to make space for activities that their partner likes.

So, someone who maybe seeks adventures and is fond of traveling, going out with friends, etc. will find it difficult to adjust with someone who is not that active socially.

3. Different Outlook Towards The Future Of The Relationship

After being together for a while, couples realize that the other person wants something totally different from what they want from the relationship.

If one person wants to move in together or get married, and the other person feels that it is still too early, then conflicts are bound to happen.

Also, some people have commitment issues due to many reasons, whereas some people demand exclusivity from day one.

These things are often compromised early on by one person for the sake of the other.

However, later on, they do realize that this is not who they are and thus have trouble adjusting to the outlook.

The relationship starts feeling like a burden to them.

4. Someone Was In The Relationship Just For The Sake Of It

Very often, we find people jump into a relationship right after a bad breakup because they are afraid of being alone.

And we find an equal number of people who enter relationships or seek someone out of social pressure or to appear ‘normal’.

The fact is that they are not comfortable in their own skin. Having someone in their life becomes a form of validation.

And when they begin to have a brush with the realities of a relationship, they cannot withstand it as they don’t have the necessary skills to handle tough situations.

The core reason behind this lack of skill is that they were invested in the idea of a relationship with someone rather than the relationship itself.

Someone Was In The Relationship Just For The Sake Of It

5. Gradual Decline In Intimacy

During the initial days, there is a lot of physical intimacy between two people due to obvious reasons.

But with the onset of time, monotony sets in not just in the relationship itself but the bedroom too.

Often there is a lack of effort from both sides to revive the kind of spark that was present earlier.

Another major reason is the lack of compatibility in the bed.

A person may find you awesome, but if they crave a lot more physical intimacy than you can provide, then, of course, it will be difficult to put up with cravings after a certain amount of time.

The difference in libido has time and again proved to be a major deal-breaker.

6. Misunderstandings Due To Lack Of Communication

Misunderstandings can cause a lot of trouble in a relationship. The primary reason behind misunderstandings?

One partner not explaining their stand and behaviour or the other partner not listening to it for whatever reason.

Even something like one person feeling unaffected and the other crying their heart out after a fight or over a certain situation can cause problems.

Here one person would feel that the other is not invested enough in the relationship.

After a certain time, either one or both partners stop communicating and let these little misunderstandings pile up.

The end result is, of course, an outburst which ultimately leads to a breakup.

7. Disagreements Over Money Related Issues

Whether it is about the normal day to day expenditures or big ones like investments, purchasing a house or car, etc., you need to have a thorough understanding of your partner’s frame of mind.

The situation where you actually discuss these should come afterwards.

If you don’t know what they are thinking, you might never agree to an expenditure which seems logical to them.

Thus, you’ll always have the perception that your partner is a spendthrift. This might be true, but at least you need to be sure about it.

Several couples from the outside seem to be in a healthy relationship but have been found to harbor trust issues when it comes to money matters.

Disagreements Over Money Related Issues

8. Faulty Or Toxic Behaviour

Any sort of behaviour or activity that is frowned upon by one of the partners can become a major cause behind a breakup.

It can be something as trivial as leaving the toilet seat up or down to something as major as verbal or physical abuse.

So, if you aren’t helping in the household chores, are unhygienic or disrespectful to your partner in any way, then rest assured that it isn’t going unnoticed.

It will come back and haunt you later. And by ‘haunt’ we mean to say that there will be nagging about it at some point in future.

In extreme cases where one troubles the other a lot (as in verbal or physical assault), there might be severe repercussions along with a breakup in store.

9. Cheating On Their Partner

We see cheating being normalized and played off as something that is bound to happen sooner or later. Still, it is a deal-breaker for a lot of people and rightly so.

Cheating not only creates trust issues but also hits the other person really hard.

And sometimes it might even result in a mental and emotional imbalance.

We, humans, are possessive by nature, and it tears someone apart to imagine their partner in an intimate position with someone else.

Just a decade ago, forgiveness might have been an option.

However, with people becoming more and more aware of the rights and wrongs, they choose to leave.

And even if someone wants to stick due to emotional attachments, usually their friends and family will dissuade them.

Therefore, cheating is a major reason contributing to breakups.

10. Lying Or Hiding Important Information

If your lies are discovered, or your partner finds that you have been hiding something from them all this while, trust issues crop up.

Being with someone in a relationship, marriage or even dating them is an investment of time, energy, money, and above all, emotions.

Think of it as a business deal. If your business partner blindsides you, then will you still be able to remain in any form of partnership with them?

You might, but it will never be the same as before. Human relationships are much more deep and complex than business relationships.

Hence, once a person gets to know about something huge from somewhere else rather than their partner, things go downhill pretty quickly.

Lying Or Hiding Important Information

11. Unrealistic Comparison With Other People

One of the worst things that social media has done is to present the lives of people as the most perfect and flawless thing possible.

However, more often than not, it is far from reality.

Still, almost everybody ends up comparing themselves and their lives in terms of where they are and what they see on their mobile screen.

Relationships too bear the brunt of this unrealistic comparison.

What used to be stories about unrealistically perfect couples before the advent of social media, have now been replaced by live proof.

Therefore, people cannot help but dream and compare.

They end up thinking that maybe this person or relationship isn’t the right one for them because others seem to have something extraordinary.

If someone else can have this sort of ‘happiness’, why can’t I? Let’s find someone else!

12. Rigidity And Ego

Two people coming into a relationship are often two completely different backgrounds coming together. Thus, clashes cannot be seen as abnormal.

However, problems arise when either one partner or both begin to think that there was only one person at fault, and it wasn’t me.

Rather, they think of themselves as the victim in this situation. So obviously, there is no question of any effort from their end towards trying to make things okay.

Also, sometimes our egos are too inflated to make us realize that we might be at fault somewhere.

Saying a simple sorry can quickly deflate the situation, but we stretch it.

This lack of basic understanding results in unresolved fights which ultimately lead to a breakup.

13. One Person Feels Worthless

A relationship should make a person feel that they have an equal say.

If it takes two people to call it a relationship, then how can one person be more important than the other? Why would one person adjust to being taken for granted?

Sometimes it is one person not being grateful enough to have the other person in their life.

Whereas, sometimes it is the other person constantly feeling insecure and seeking validation.

Also, when one person feels that he or she is in a thankless relationship, they associate it with their self-worth and start questioning it.

This further creates a disparity between expectations from a relationship and the reality of it.

One Person Feels Worthless

14. Insecurity & Asserting Control

Being possessive about someone is still okay to a certain extent but being insecure about your relationship is an altogether different ball-game.

From insecurity stems the need to be always in control out of the fear that your partner may find someone else to be better than you.

Thus begins the saga of constant surveillance, checking the phone, personal items etc. to make sure that nothing fishy is going on.

Also, there is always some kind of a negative vibe around if one person finds that their partner has been speaking to an attractive person.

There may not be a confrontation, but you’d easily be able to sense the discomfort in the air.

Such a relationship feels like a cage to people, and they find it in their best interest to break free.

15. The Spark Dies Down

With time as couples get used to each other, monotony sets in. Moments of romance are replaced by day to day life.

Planning the next date isn’t spontaneous or fun like earlier. In fact, planning for it begins to seem tiresome to some people.

Thus efforts begin to dwindle from one or both ends. Sweet little gestures, like the ones at the beginning of the relationship, cease to exist.

This makes people feel that they are no longer attractive or their partner has lost interest in them.

Whatever made the relationship exciting for them made sure that they held onto the relationship.

With that out of the equation, they find no reason to continue staying with their partner and look for reasons to break up.

How To Avoid A Breakup?

To avoid a breakup, do not impose your idea of a relationship on your partner. Most people don’t love their partner. They love the image of the person they’ve formed in their head. Your partner will not behave the way you imagine. Everyone has a completely different way of expressing love.

The following points deal with what to do now to save a dying relationship.

Also, you’ll learn how you should look at things from the very beginning of a relationship.

Such points may not seem to be of much help immediately, but they are extremely valuable in the long run.

It will help you get a better start in case you have some other relationship in the future.

You can relate each point to the reason for a breakup mentioned above.

1. Your Partner Is Not Flawless

Try looking at your partner in an objective light rather than being star struck. Don’t overlook the red flags. How to identify a red flag?

Whatever makes you feel uncomfortable about them is a red flag. When your gut instincts tell you something is not right, then maybe it isn’t.

Your Partner Is Not Flawless

2. Show Yourself As You Are

Don’t try to portray yourself as who you are not just to impress your partner early on.

If they find certain habits or traits annoying, but you find nothing wrong with them, then don’t try to change yourself.

Because if you do it without feeling the need to do so, then you won’t be able to pretend for long. If someone accepts you for who you are, great.

However, if they don’t, you will find someone who will.

3. Find Common Ground

It is so important for both the partners to be on the same page while having an outlook for the future of the relationship.

Also, it is not a question of who is right and who’s wrong and why a certain someone wants to move so fast.

If someone wants to move in just after three months, it’s okay. If someone doesn’t feel like doing it even after a year, then too it’s fine.

As long as both the partners keep lines of communication open, the focus should lie more on finding common grounds.

4. Entering A Relationship Is A Big Responsibility

Don’t look for a relationship just because everyone around you has someone special in their life.

Stay away from commitments just after a breakup. Our mind is not in the right state to process things or make rational decisions.

More often than not, we end up being with someone whom we shouldn’t be with just because we took hasty decisions.

A relationship should happen naturally and should also feel natural. It takes effort to keep it going.

Don’t start one if you lack the zeal to carry it through no matter what.

Entering A Relationship Is A Big Responsibility

5. Keep The Spark Alive

The internet is filled with information on how to spice up your bedroom and bring back the lost spark. Hence we aren’t going to reiterate that.

However, we would like to tell you that intimacy is a major part of a relationship and not paying active attention to it, not making efforts, never ends well.

6. Don’t Let Little Things Pile Up

Whether it is about finding common ground after fights and resolving them or talking about your behaviour afterwards, learn to communicate.

Don’t let these little things slide without due attention as they will cause major problems later on.

If you aren’t willing to talk about your relationship when something is not right, then who will?

Silence might be silver, but your speech is golden here.

7. Everyone Handles Money Differently

Always help in suggesting alternatives wherever you think money can be saved instead of rebuking your partner for their idea.

This habit should be adopted right from the dating phase. It will help both of you understand each other’s money habits clearly.

8. Take Time To Reflect Upon Your Actions

Now, we are not asking you to change every little habit of yours. We are not in favour of changing yourself completely for another person.

But several people pointing out a few negative habits of yours or certain toxic traits of your nature do call for some self-reflection.

If it can avoid a potential breakup and improve you as a person, then why not?

Take Time To Reflect Upon Your Actions

9. Stop Justifying Cheating

Cheating is never the right thing to do. Period.

Whether your relationship didn’t feel exciting enough or it was just a one-time thing, there are no acceptable excuses.

Thus, any self-respecting person would leave a cheat then and there.

Regardless of how cliched the saying is, ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’ stands true.

If they don’t cheat on you by sleeping around with someone the next time, be prepared for some other form of deception.

And in case your partner cheats on you, rather than trying to get back at him or her, leave them.

If you cheat on them, no mercy for you either. Totally not worth it saving such a relationship.

10. Take The Bull By Its Horns

Whether it is about a dark past, some form of illness, or any mistake that you have made, confide in your partner.

Even if it is something that you think would sound trivial, but it bothers you to the extent that you feel you should talk about it, then trust your gut instincts.

Note that we are not including an affair outside your current relationship or something illegal that you are doing here.

First of all, it shouldn’t happen, and if it does, any sensible person will find it a better option to move on.

If you have been involved in such things, confession without expecting to be forgiven is your best bet. Be prepared for a breakup.

But also be happy that you dared to confess and stop whatever wrong that you have been doing.

If not this one, at least it will make your next relationship better.

11. Life Is Not Social Media

There weren’t all these big social media companies when you were born. Most probably, the same ones won’t be there when you die.

Life is an extremely long journey. Thus it makes absolutely no sense to spoil the real in pursuit of the virtual.

People tend to put their best face forward on social media. What they hide are the ugly things that are part and parcel of every relationship.

Life Is Not Social Media

12. Develop Emotional Empathy

If saying sorry today can save you from unnecessarily stretching the conflict for the next few days then such a sorry is always worth more than being right or wrong.

Instead of thinking along the lines of why should I be the one saying sorry, be open to the fact that maybe some part of your behaviour was faulty too.

Just say sorry about that and try to move on from the situation.

It is through resolving little conflicts now that one can avoid an irreversible breakup in the future.

13. Make Saying ‘Thank You’ A Habit

Whether you are doing it in a relationship or outside, learn to appreciate people if they do something for you.

People like to feel that they are worth something in life and what better way to tell them how important they are than saying thank you.

Never take anything for granted. Imagine your life without your partner and the little things they do for you.

It will not take you long to realize how crucial it is whatever they do for you. Your partner is as important a character in your story as you are.

14. Live And Let Live

The above phrase was coined for a reason. Remember that by being insecure and controlling, you will only push your partner further away.

Isn’t it the opposite of what you were trying to achieve? Remember that power in a relationship lies with the one who needs it the least. Write it somewhere.

Have you ever tried to clasp sand in your hand very tightly? What happens? The tighter your grip is, the faster it falls.

If you are with a person who can leave you for someone else then no matter what, they will.

And, if you are with a person who will never leave you for someone else, then no matter what, they won’t.

Live And Let Live

15. Keep The Honeymoon Period Alive

When was the last time you asked your partner out on a date?

When was the last time you looked deep into their eyes and told them how much you loved them?

You don’t need to take your partner out for a holiday or give them something big every time.

Focus on the little things, and the big things will fall into place.

Try to set aside some time from your schedule to spend some exclusive time with your partner. Do this every day or at least every other day.


If you deeply understand the reasons why people break up, then it can add a ton of value to your relationships.

Moreover, you’ll always know how to prevent a breakup rather than trying to revive a dying relationship and an imminent split.

Now, you tell us. What would make you breakup with someone and what can you do to prevent your relationship from ending?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

Shashank Verma

A trained theatre actor and a STEM graduate who brings perspectives and methods from these worlds into dating and relationships. Also a big time Krav Maga enthusiast and practitioner.

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