How many times have you said, or heard your friends say “We broke up”? Those 3 stark words can hold a whole wealth of meaning. There are many kinds of breakups and they all occur and unfold in unique ways. However, one thing holds true, breakups happen for a reason and understanding what they are will help you move on. Here are 10 of the most common breakup phrases and what they really mean. 

The “I Need a Break”

This happens when one of you is just plain confused. The “I need a break” is really saying that “I don’t know what I’m doing with you, but I know I’m unhappy and I think I need to get away from you for a while to figure out the reason for this”. This is hard if only one of you is confused, but if someone is so confused that they can’t even tell you why they want to break up, then you have communication and clarity issues in this relationship and you might be better off finding someone who understands what they want and knows why your relationship should be a priority to them.

The “Let’s be Friends”

Well, this one is often used in conjunction with “you’re too good for me” and is frequently deployed when your partner wants to avoid telling you the real reason they want to break up. But, sometimes this also happens when 2 people mistake a fantastic friendship for the love they’ve been looking for, and then after getting together, discover that their fantastic friendship is now just a so-so relationship. Unfortunately, this realization usually comes a little late. It is hard to become friends after dating someone, there will always be baggage, so “let’s be friends” sadly may not be a possibility. 

The “I’m Not Feeling it Anymore”

This happens when the relationship hits a plateau. It’s not moving forward and it’s not moving back either, it’s just flattened out and has become boring. The scenery stays the same, the conversations stay the same, the things you do stay the same and you and your partner have just lost that loving feeling. This type of breakup is relatively uneventful if both of you feel the same way, but the real heart ache happens when one of you feels it’s boring but the other doesn’t

The “Let’s Breakup…Again…and Again…and Again”

This type or relationship goes through an exhausting cycle of make up, breakup, make up and breakup all over again. The funny thing is; that the reason for the breakup is often the same each and every time. For some reason, the 2 of you are stuck in some kind of alternate reality where you are forced to relive the same event again and again. If this is happening, you really need to break out of this cycle and start living your life instead of repeating it.

The “You Cheated on Me”

This one is painful! Infidelity is terrible because it hurts not only your feelings, but your self-esteem as well. You wonder “What did I lack that my partner had to look for it in someone else? Wasn’t what we had good enough?” But if your partner has cheated on you and you have no other mitigating ties that bind you – for example a child together or if you both still feel incredibly committed to the relationship, then you should be happy that you found out about the infidelity sooner rather than later. Knowing the truth frees you from having to be with someone who doesn’t value you and the relationship which both of you have.

The “I Cheated on You”

Yes, this happens too. If you have cheated on your partner, you should take a good hard look at your motives for remaining in the relationship. Clearly, something is not right if you feel this need to look elsewhere. Whilst this is not admirable behaviour, if this has happened, you need to re-evaluate your priorities and decide if this relationship matters enough for you to work on it and if your partner even feels willing to try to salvage it with you.

The “Marry Me or Else”

This is the classic ultimatum. You’ve been together awhile and your partner says that they need to see the relationship move to the next level. They are not prepared to wait indefinitely and if a proposal doesn’t materialise soon, it’s adios amigos to you and everything you’ve had together. This sort of behaviour is manipulative and a form of passive aggression. Neither of you should feel pressured into marriage nor should your relationship have an expiry date. 

However, if you’ve been together awhile but still can’t see yourself in a marriage with your partner, then maybe you really shouldn’t be together. Every relationship needs to have some direction, and if you don’t think you are heading towards a long term commitment and your partner does, then it’s time to sit down and have a real talk about where your see yourselves in the next few years. 

The “This is Toxic” 

You fight all the time and you bring out the worst in each other. You and your partner may be abusive both verbally or physically, or prone to extreme jealousy, uncontrollable emotions, neediness, manipulation, addiction and a whole host of other possible destructive behaviours. Any way you look at it, you are bad news for each other. In relationships like this, it’s better to get as far away from each other as possible before your relationship poisons everything around you.

The “Fate is Against Us”

The romantic way to portray it is to see both of you as star crossed lovers whom the Gods have conspired against. Maybe it’s because you live in different cities, or have different religious beliefs or your families have been enemies for 3 generations. Whatever the reasons, they are somehow insurmountable and your incredible love is not fated to be. Romantic as this view is, the truth is, that if you and your partner can’t see a solution to any of these reasons or find a way to compromise in order to be together, then your relationship is unlikely to survive any of the other challenges that life is likely to throw at you. 

The “Never Saw it Coming”

One day you are having lunch together just as you always do, and then, out of nowhere, your partner says calmly “I think we should breakup”. Whoa! What just happened? Did you hear right? This type of breakup is also known as the blindside. Your partner may have been thinking about this and planning it for months whilst you have been blissfully unaware. Either your partner is deviously deceptive, or you are so out of sync with each other that you’ve missed important cues about the direction your relationship has been heading in. It might be too late to save the relationship at this point, but if you do want to, you and your partner will need to work on learning to communicate effectively with each other.

Key Takeaways

  • Even though breakups are painful, they usually happen because your core values, attraction for each other and commitment to the relationship are not aligned.

  • Breakups happen for many reasons, but you need to accept that sometimes, breakups are necessary because they enable you to move on and find the right life partner.

  • Stay positive and don’t feel that you are less of a person because of the breakup. Now that you are no longer in an unfulfilling relationship, your true life partner could be just a few steps away. Stay open to this possibility and look forward to finding someone who loves and appreciates you for who you are.