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

Updated October 07, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn


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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, marriage, home, and family. When you start to see signs your relationship is over, you may want to ignore the signs or run away.

However, healthy adults understand that not all relationships are meant to be forever. (It’s quite the opposite.) Most of us will experience at least one painful breakup during our lives. When a breakup occurs we can choose to stay stuck in pain. Or, we can 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 are substantially higher. In this article, we talk about how to know when your relationship is over. We also provide insight on recognizing the signs your relationship is over for men and women in failing relationships, who may simply be delaying the inevitable.

How To Know When A Relationship Is Over

Instead of trying to hang onto your partner kicking and screaming, it’s important to understand that romantic relationships come to an end for many reasons. In most cases, it does have to do with changing desires, personal growth, or circumstances beyond our control. However, in some cases a relationship where certain factors were initially in your control – or at least they seemed to be. Maybe while it was coming to an end and you’ve been missing all of the signs.

The signs of a failing relationship are eerily similar for both men and women, with a few slight differences. The number one sign of a failing relationship is one partner or the other willfully engaging in activities and taking on activities – that don’t include their partner. When one partner suddenly begins to constantly work late, 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 as arguments seem to come out of the blue. Constant arguments make the relationship unbearable, and both parties may 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.

5 Signs A Relationship Is Over (For Women)


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

#2 Hiding Their Phone – If your man used to be an open book and his phone is suddenly locked down tighter than Fort Knox, this is a sign that he has plans or interests that don’t include you.

#3 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? Chances are it’s not you – it’s them.

#4 Obvious Lack Of Interest – If your husband or boyfriend used to shower you with affection, and now barely notices that you’re in the same room. This could be a sign that the relationship is getting stale.

#5 – He says, “It’s Over” If a man starts jokingly (or seriously) dropping hints that he wants to end your romantic relationship – he probably does. Pay attention if break-up teasing and hints become a regular part of your routine. Most likely, your guy is trying to tell you something.

5 Signs a Relationship Is Over (For Men)

#1 Working Late – Does this sign look familiar? Just like their male counterparts, women often use working late as a way to get out of coming home, breaking dates, or having to spend time with you. If your girlfriend or wife is suddenly volunteering for unpaid overtime, she may be losing interest.

#2 – Hiding Their Phone – Women who suddenly become secretive with their phone (when they weren’t previously) may have something to hide. At the very least, they no longer feel comfortable sharing their personal lives and social media accounts with you.

#3 No Conversation – If your wife or girlfriend suddenly stops filling you in on all the little important details in her life like she used to, she may be thinking about ending the relationship or sharing the details with everyone else – but you.

#4 – Making Excuses – Has your wife or girlfriend been making tons of excuses for not answering your calls, abruptly canceling dates, or not remembering your birthday? Sorry guys, this is a sign that your relationship may not be her number one priority anymore.

#5 – She says, “It’s Over” – This sign is hard to miss. If your wife or girlfriend tells you that she wants to end the relationship you have to believe her. While this may not mean the end, at this point, she wants to end the relationship.

Now that we’ve covered five signs a relationship is over for men and women, the next step is to move on to learning how to pick up the pieces once 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 we deal with the pain. Some of us explode on the world, while others implode on ourselves as we search for the source of the blame. At times like these, we often want to disappear from the world and snuggle up in bed for as long as possible.

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 to use this time when you’re alone – to put yourself back together.

Self-care is more critical now than ever as you’ve suffered a terrible loss. Remember to rest, exercise, and focus on deep breaths and meditation to process the hurt and pain you’re feeling healthy. 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.

  1. Exercise

The last thing you probably want to do after a painful breakup is exercise. What’s ironic about that is exercising is exactly what you need to do. Get your body moving for at least 10-15 minutes a day and work your way up to longer sessions as your energy increases. Exercising is important for helping you to process the mental and physical aches and pains that often accompany a breakup.

Keeping 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 symptoms of anxiety-like panic attacks. People who have mental illness may experience an onslaught of mental health symptoms 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.

  1. Get Counseling Or Therapy

When the pain of a breakup becomes overwhelming or more than you can handle, it’s time to seek emotional support. Taking part in counseling or therapy can help you learn new coping strategies for dealing with the loss of your romantic relationship. A licensed counselor or mental health professional can also provide advice and support for concurrent mental health issues like anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Online therapy is a great option for people who are suffering from depression, unmotivated, or unable to leave the house. These feelings or lack of motivation can be due to the current situation or due to a previously existing mental health concern. Either way, online therapists and licensed professional counselors understand – it happens – online therapy sites like have compassionate therapists onsite that can guide you along your journey to healing.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to recognize the signs that your romantic relationship is 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 to save your marriage? Or will you make the hard choice and go it alone? Whatever you decide, the family of counselors is here to support you. If you need someone to talk to, we’re here. Contact a licensed mental health professional and get support today!

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