Should you break up with your girlfriend?
The choice to break up with someone is a difficult and painful one. Even if you’re feeling unhappy in your relationship, it’s scary to let go of somebody you’ve become intimate with. Nobody chooses to become exclusive with a partner if they expect the relationship to fall apart. But when the foundation of your relationship becomes fractured beyond repair, it’s time to move on.
So when is it the right time to break up with your girlfriend? How do you know if breaking up is the right choice?
As a dating coach with years of experience, I’ve helped many men navigate their way through painful relationships. I’ve also offered guidance to men on how to heal after a heartbreak.
The truth is every relationship is different. Several factors go into deciding whether or not you should break up with your girlfriend. Below, I’ll break down the most common reasons for ending a relationship and how to proceed.
When You’ve Been Dating Under Two Years
Even six months can seem like a long time when you’re romantically involved with someone. But the truth is, relationships are still fairly new up until the two-year mark. Let’s take a look at some of the common reasons for breaking up with your girlfriend that typically occurs when you’ve been dating someone for less than two years.
Reason #1: You Jumped Into the Relationship Too Quickly
When you’re first dating someone and the chemistry is there, some interesting things occur. You feel an insatiable desire to be around them at all times. Everything they do and say seems perfect and you think they may be “the one.”
The thing is, there’s no way to truly know if someone is lifetime partner material after a few weeks or even months of dating. Infatuation occurs during the initial stages of dating, which is also known as the “honeymoon phase.” Infatuation is an intoxicating, wonderful feeling, but it can also lead to impulsive decisions — like becoming exclusive before you’ve gotten to know a person.
The Problem with Infatuation
The reason infatuation feels the way it does is because of brain chemistry. During infatuation, the brain releases a variety of chemicals, including dopamine, nor-epinephrine, and serotonin. These feel-good hormones are what make you feel intoxicated with someone.
Because you feel so enamored with someone during infatuation, you can easily confuse the feelings with actual love. But true love takes time, trust and commitment. When you love someone, you know everything about them and the feelings of love remains after those first few months of a relationship.
The problem with infatuation is that it makes it easy to ignore red flags or other traits in a person that may be completely incompatible with you. If the honeymoon phase is over and you realize that you jumped into a relationship too quickly, it’s probably time to break up with your girlfriend.
Reason #2: Her Colors Changed After a Few Months
Let’s start out with a true story. My friend ended a relationship with a man after seven months of dating. Although they dated for more than half a year, she said that she felt the breakup should have come after only a few months.
He treated her well, they seemed to have a ton in common and the chemistry between them (both physically and intellectually) was electric. Infatuation led to a whirlwind romance where they were exclusive in less than a month.
But it wasn’t long before things took a sinister turn. Her boyfriend started getting angry…A LOT. At first, he just seemed frustrated with things in his work and family life, but later his temper turned on her. Everything she did was wrong in his eyes. Sometimes he would scream at her and other times he would find ways to manipulate situations so that she felt like everything going awry in the relationship was her fault.
By the end, she had been lied to, verbally and emotionally abused and even taken advantage of financially. These, along with other instances, signaled that the person she was dating had characteristics in line with an antisocial personality disorder and/or narcissistic personality disorder.
How Do You Know if You’re Dating a Sociopath or Narcissist?
Sociopaths and narcissists have many things in common. However, there are differences between the two. People with an antisocial personality disorder often:
- Cheat on significant others or have a history of infidelity
- Are extremely charismatic
- Behave impulsively
- Are irresponsible at work and with finances
- Have difficulty in relationships
- Manipulate and deceive people
- Become violent and/or emotionally abusive
- Use pity plays to get what they want
People with a narcissistic personality disorder often:
- Undermine people at work in order to advance their own career
- Won’t allow you to get a word in edgewise during conversation (they’re obsessed with the focus being on them and them only)
- Are prone to sudden fits of anger
- Try to make significant others jealous
- Dress and act provocatively
- Are terrible friends
Two manipulative tactics that both sociopaths and narcissists use to get what they want and control their partners are:
- Love bombing
Why You Need to Understand Gaslighting and Love Bombing
Love bombing is a manipulative technique where a person you have just started dating will be overwhelmingly affectionate toward you.
People who love bomb coax you to get really serious about the relationship fast — as in, they may want to put an exclusive label on the relationship in as little as a couple weeks. They may say “I love you” prematurely, describe you as their “soulmate” or “destiny” and wax poetic about how they’ve never felt for anyone the way they feel for you, even though you haven’t known each other for very long.
Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that is intended to make you question your own reality. This form of manipulation often starts off slowly and builds over time, which is why it can be extremely hard to spot at first.
When your partner hurts you, instead of apologizing, are they able to convince you that it’s your fault? Do you feel like your head is spinning after a conversation with your partner? Have you found yourself spiraling into shame and blame since you started dating them? They’re gaslighting you.
How to Break Up with an Abusive Partner
Obviously, if your partner is abusive, it’s time to break up with your girlfriend. But if you think your girlfriend is a sociopath or narcissist, you also need to put your safety first.
Tell your friends that you might be in danger. Then make an appointment with your psychologist to confirm your situation. They will likely help you create a relationship exit plan.
I also highly recommend calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, call 1-800-787-3224) or visit thehotline.org/help for more information.
Reason #3: You Know You’re Settling Out of Insecurity
Sometimes fear over never finding “the one” leads us to settle for the mediocre. And when I say mediocre, I don’t mean that the person you’re with is mediocre. But if you settle for less than a fully satisfying relationship with a quality, compatible partner, your relationship is subpar.
A lot of times people settle out of insecurity. Maybe you feel like you’re not “good enough” or “good-looking enough” to find the woman of your dreams.
But here’s the thing — everyone can find a dream relationship. And you don’t have to be really, really ridiculously good-looking or rolling in riches to do so. If you’re settling for someone you’re not that into because you’re insecure, it’s time to break up with your girlfriend. Let her find someone compatible who appreciates her in a way you’re unable to.
Once you’ve broken up and healed, it’s time for you to really focus on the thing that has been holding you back — your self-esteem and fear of never finding “the one.”
Check out my article, Why Feeling Worthy Will Help You Attract Any Woman, for several strategies that quickly and effectively improve self-esteem.
One of the best strategies you can use to stave off insecurity, improve confidence and avoiding settling for the mediocre is MegaDating.
What is MegaDating?
MegaDating is a dating process that involves going on dates with several different women at the same time. A lot of people mistakenly believe you should date/get hung up on one person at a time, even if it’s just the first date and the two of you are not exclusive.
When you get fixated on one person at a time, you end up being at risk of ruminating over whether or not that person is “the one,” can get infatuated and clingy, and ultimately become frustrated or settle out of fear that the “perfect girl” isn’t out there. Settling in relationships can lead to dissatisfaction in a relationship, an unfulfilling marriage and — in some cases — can even result in divorce.
When you MegaDate, you see that there is plenty of fish in the sea and that settling isn’t necessary. This allows you to open yourself up to new opportunities and actually enjoy your life as a single exploring different dating options.
Finally, MegaDating is just plain fun. When you meet a variety of women, you get to explore different interests and discover exactly what you want in a partner.
Reason #4: She’s Taking Advantage of You Financially
If she’s taking advantage of you financially, it’s time to breakup with your girlfriend. No relationship is worth ruining your credit score over. Don’t end up living in squalor because this woman demands a lavish lifestyle from you or is a gold digger.
Check out this EmLovz article, How to Not Be Taken Advantage of Financially, to learn about the signs that your girlfriend is in it for the money.
When You’ve Been Dating for Two or More Years
Sometimes a relationship is successful for years until one or both parties realize it isn’t meant to stand the test of time. If you’ve been with someone for more than two years and find yourself longing for singlehood again, the desire can be more than a bit conflicting. You may feel guilt over questioning your relationship.
But remember that people change and grow through the years. Unfortunately, this can lead to you and your girlfriend growing apart. Below are a few reasons you may want to breakup with your girlfriend of two or more years.
Reason #1: Your Commonalities Have Shifted
Maybe you or she has changed over the years. Your commonalities have changed and suddenly you can’t connect in the way you used to. Shared interests are an important part of trust and bonding in a relationship.
If you no longer feel connected, it may be time to breakup with your girlfriend.
Reason #2: You’re Longing to Be Single
During ups and downs (which every relationship has), it’s understandable that thoughts of the grass being greener on the other side would creep in. However, if you desperately miss being single, it may be time to break up with your girlfriend.
Reason #3: You Constantly Look at Other Women
Let’s be real. No matter how in love you are with someone, you’re still going to be able to recognize when other people are attractive. Heidi Klum and Beyonce aren’t suddenly going to look like chopped liver simply because you fell in love with your girlfriend.
However, there’s a difference between recognizing other women as attractive (and even having a little innocuous crush here and there) and feeling like you want to cheat on your girlfriend. When you’re pining for other women and resent the fact that you can’t explore other options because of your relationship, it’s likely time to breakup with your girlfriend.
Having the Conversation
Every relationship is different. You may need to explore other options (like counseling or talking through issues if your communication has been lacking) before deciding to break up. Or, maybe all options have been exhausted and now is the time to break up with your girlfriend.
The type of conversation you have depends on your specific relationship and issues.
And if you need some guidance, I’m here to help.
Head over to my calendar and book a 1-on-1 Skype session with me today. During our session, we can discuss your specific relationship and issues. Together, we will create an action plan to help you navigate exactly what you need to do. Whether you ultimately need to break up or decide to stay with your girlfriend, my goal is for you to get the most success and happiness out of your romantic life.
I look forward to connecting with you.