How To Know When Your Romantic Relationship Is Over - And 3 Real-Life Ways To Cope

By Marie Miguel|Updated May 17, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Aaron Horn, LMFT

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The end of a romantic relationship is often one of the hardest times that we’ll face in our lives. This is especially true when we initially believed that our intimate relationships were leading us somewhere—like down the path of lasting love, towards marriage, a home, and a family. When you start to see signs your relationship is in trouble, you may want to ignore the signs, work to overcome them, or decide to end things.

It's important to understand that not all relationships are meant to be forever. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Most of us will experience at least one painful breakup during our lives. When a breakup occurs, it can be hard to move past the pain we feel—but it’s absolutely possible to learn, grow, and come out better on the other side.

The ending of a romantic relationship is a sign that you have grown to understand what doesn’t work for you—as well as what does work for you. You’ve learned to identify your “deal-breakers” and “must-haves” along the way.

As a result, the chances for success in your next relationship may be substantially higher. In this article, we talk about how to know when your relationship might be over. We also provide insight on how to move on after a breakup.

How To Know When A Relationship Is Over

Instead of trying to hang on to a partnership that may have run its course, it’s important to understand that romantic relationships come to an end for many reasons. In most cases, it has to do with changing desires, personal growth, or circumstances beyond our control. Sometimes, two people simply grow apart and find that they’re better as friends. No matter what the reason is, there are often indicators that the relationship may not be working for one or both partners.

The signs of a failing relationship can be hard to see if you’re not aware of what to look for. The number one sign of a failing relationship is one partner or the other willfully engaging in activities that don’t include the other person. When one partner suddenly begins to work late often, cancel important plans, or generally become more unavailable, this is a sign that your relationship may be taking a turn.

Many couples will find that the number of arguments about seemingly little things will increase toward the end of a relationship. This is one of the most obvious signs a relationship is over for women, especially when arguments seem to come out of the blue. Constant arguments may make the relationship untenable, and both parties might decide that ending the relationship is the best step to take.

The following are important signs that may be signaling the end of your romantic relationship.

Signs A Relationship May Be Over 

Working Late – Some people use working late as an excuse not to come home and face their partner. If your significant other has suddenly started working tons of overtime (that isn’t mandatory), this could be a sign that they are losing interest in the relationship.

Hiding Their Phone – If your partner used to be an open book but their phone is suddenly locked down tighter than Fort Knox, this is a sign that they may have plans or interests that don’t include you.

Sudden Changes In Behavior – Do you find yourself wondering if you’re in the Twilight Zone because your partner’s behavior has changed so drastically? This could be a sign that their feelings about the relationship have changed as well.

Obvious Lack Of Interest – If your spouse used to shower you with affection but is not putting nearly as much effort in anymore, this could be a sign that the relationship is close to the end.

They Say, “It’s Over” – If your person starts jokingly (or seriously) dropping hints that they want to end your romantic relationship—they might be signaling their true intentions. Pay attention to whether breakup teasing and hints become a regular part of your routine. Most likely, they are trying to tell you something.

No Conversation – If your partner suddenly stops filling you in on all the little important details in their life like they used to, they may be thinking about ending the relationship.

Making Excuses – Has your partner been making tons of excuses for not answering your calls, abruptly canceling dates, or not remembering important milestones? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this could be a sign that your relationship may not be their number one priority anymore.

Now that we’ve covered some of the most common signs that a relationship is in trouble, the next step is to learn how to pick up the pieces if the relationship has actually ended. The following are three real-life coping tips and strategies that can help you recover when your romantic relationship ends in a breakup.

3 (Real-Life) Ways To Cope When Your Romantic Relationship Is Over

  1. Practice Self-Care

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When an intimate relationship comes to an end, we have varying strategies on how to deal with the emotions we feel. Some of us tend to isolate ourselves, while others turn to friends and family to help us feel better and heal from the breakup. At times like these, we often revert to what makes us feel most comfortable, whether that includes going out with friends or snuggling up on the couch with pizza and a movie.

Grief is a part of the breakup process, so feeling unsteady and wanting to be alone is a normal reaction. However, the important thing to remember is you can use this time when you’re alone to care for yourself and learn to be alone for a while.

Self-care is more critical now than ever as you’ve experienced an emotional loss. Remember to rest, exercise, and focus on deep breaths and meditation to process the feelings you’re experiencing. Be gentle with yourself and recognize that you are mourning the loss of your relationship. It’s okay to go at your own pace while you learn how to take care of the new you.

2. Exercise

The last thing you may want to do after a painful breakup is exercise. What’s ironic about that is exercising is one of the things that can help you feel better. If you’re not already, get your body moving for at least 10-15 minutes a day and work your way up to longer sessions as you’re able. Exercising can relieve the stress that may come with a life change, and it helps produce endorphins that can boost your mood.

Getting your blood flowing can keep your mind and body limber. A simple 10-minute walk can help ease your mind, center your thoughts, and stave off uncomfortable feelings like anxiety or sadness. This is especially important for people who have mental health conditions, the symptoms of which could worsen after a breakup.

Exercising for a few minutes a day helps to soften the physical and emotional blow for your mind and body while promoting faster healing.

3. Talk To Someone

When a breakup produces painful emotions, it’s normal to want to seek emotional support. Talking through your feelings with a trusted friend or family member can help you process the breakup and potentially start to move on with life.

If you want valuable insights as you grieve the loss of a relationship or address other life challenges, consider talking to a licensed mental health professional through an online therapy platform like BetterHelp. Taking part in online therapy can help you learn new coping strategies for dealing with the loss of your romantic relationship. A licensed therapist can also provide advice and support as you try to learn from this experience and grow as a person.

Online therapy is a great option for people who want to connect with a therapist from the comfort of home. You can participate in sessions via live chat, phone call, or voice call; and you’ll have the ability to message your therapist outside of sessions. A BetterHelp therapist can guide you on your journey to healing from a difficult life change.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to recognize the signs that your romantic relationship may be coming to an end, where will you go from here? Will you fight for your relationship by learning new strategies or participating in relationship counseling? Or will you make the decision to go it alone? Whatever you decide, know that support is available. If you need someone to talk to, we’re here. Contact a licensed mental health professional and get support today!

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