November 18, 2020 | Maria Cruz

People Share Times They Knew Their Relationships Were Over

It’s tough to know when a relationship will run its course. Sometimes it comes after years of dealing with their lies. Other times, it happens out of the blue in a totally civil departure. Whatever your story, when you know it’s time, you just know.


#1 The Same Page

I had a really cool break-up a while ago. Me and my ex (who I had been seeing for three years or so) had gone a few weeks without seeing each other when I was out of town. I got back and we decided to go to the hardware store for something or other. We shopped together, got in the car, looked at each other for a long time and he said, "This is over, isn't it?" and I said, "Yes, I think so" and that was the end of it. It was really weird, but we both just knew it at the same moment. I guess we just had no feelings left for each other at that point.


#2 No, You’re Right

My first serious relationship lasted roughly six years. It came to an end when we were having a tiff and in her typical passive-aggressive manor, she said, "You don't love me anymore." Now, she fully intended on this resulting in me saying something along the lines of, "No, of course I love you," but instead it hit me like a sack of bricks. I just said, "No, no I don't love you."


#3 Less and Less Effort

She slowly started talking to me less and less. I had to make a lot of effort just to communicate with her. It got to a point where when we were out with a group, she acted almost as if I weren't there. I don't know if there was a point of sudden realization, but I slowly had to accept that she didn't want me anymore. It hurt.


#4 Romantic Future

When I really sat down and thought about how our communication problems never improved and that our future paths wouldn't work out in the long run. I also realized that as much as we had a lot of fun together, I wasn't really happy in the relationship.  Basically, I realized that we had no romantic future together.

But also, realizing that I cared about him so much that I dreaded breaking up with him. I wasn't in love with him, but I did love him dearly. I still do and we even went back to being close friends. I'm happily in a relationship with someone else now, but I honestly can't imagine my life without my friend and ex.


#5 The Girl I Marry

When, after two and a half years, he told me, "You will never be the girl I will marry, I just couldn't ever have kids with you." I had given him everything, he had been with multiple women, would tell me he loved me then take it back multiple times. He was emotionally hurtful and made me feel like I was worthless every single day. I was never good enough. He had said things to that effect before, that I just wasn't the kind of girl he'd pictured himself with. But for some reason that day, the day he said those words I just got it. He didn't love me, he never really had.


#6 Much Better Future

She came home from a work trip. I met her at the airport and kissed her. She laughed uncomfortably and half-turned away. I planted the kiss half on her lips and half on her cheek. It's weird to feel awkward with someone you've known intimately for so many years. This kicked off several weeks of weirdness, deception on her part and snooping on my part.

It ended with the final realization that she went behind my back during her work trip and it was still continuing. It was the worst feeling in the world. But, it ended up being the best thing for me. The relationship sucked and once I got over the initial rejection, I soon realized I was in for a much better future.


#7 Babysitting a Man

I was with my ex for over five years and spent the last two years financially supporting him. I did everything (and more) that I could to make him happy. He knew I wanted to get married and have a family, but kept dragging his feet. He never really contributed anything to the relationship. I finally realized he needed to learn to make himself happy and that I was done babysitting a 28-year-old man. I've been happier since then than I ever had been.


#8 Stop Crying

I had a heart attack a few years ago. I was in emergency and crying because I was afraid I was never going to see my son grow up. My wife leaned down and whispered to me, "Stop crying. You’re embarrassing yourself and me.” I lost 22% of my heart muscle that day and lost all of my heart for her. But, we’re still together for the kid’s sake.


#9 Can I Let You Go?

I realized it when I called my then-long-distance girlfriend to tell her that one of my best and oldest friends had taken her life while she was on vacation in Thailand. All she said was, "I'm sorry. That sucks. Me and the guys are about to go to the beach, so can I let you go?" That was rough. We broke up over Skype a week later.


#10 Sad Thing to Realize

Late one night, I was super depressed and crying. I made sure to be quiet, I didn't want my sleeping girlfriend (at the time) to hear me because I knew she wouldn't make things any better. It was a pretty sad thing to realize at the time. I still stuck in there a few more months until she dumped me, stating I never opened up to her emotionally.

The thing is, early on in the relationship, I opened up to her all the time. But over time, she began to ignore what I was saying or do something to make it worse so I stopped. Also noteworthy, it’s not as if I was talking about my feelings all the time and being whiney. This was stuff like having a bad day once in a while or my grandfather's funeral.


#11 Stimulating Conversations

I realized I couldn't have interesting, stimulating conversations with him. He just didn't care about learning. I came to see that we'd never have challenging conversations, only me trying to explain why I even cared about things. We didn't last very long after that realization. I'm now happily married to a guy who loves to learn and discuss. It's awesome.


#12 Another Future

He made his plans for the future without me in it, without even considering my wants or dreams. He just assumed that I would be there to take care of him like I had been. I thought about it one day and realized that he had been planning his future like this for three years. I just went along with it. It would never have worked.

He let me stay in his apartment when I lost my job and couldn't afford mine, that was the nicest thing he did for me in the last six months of our relationship. When his "friends" were rude to me, he never said anything to defend me. I paid for all his food, all our dates, etc. He never wanted to spend time with me and didn't make any effort to talk. When I moved out after three months, I was the most miserable I had ever been in my entire life. Even though I tried to tell him this, he would just cry and apologize. I wasn't strong enough to just walk away. I had to give him chance after chance.

I realize now that I was just an object to him. Looking back on it, I was just some device that dispenses money and food like a Stepford Wife. We're still "friends." Sometimes we IM and he doesn't even remember details about my life like where I work. It hurts my feelings a little, but reaffirms my decision.


#13 Giving Up Beliefs

I am polyamorous, a love whomever you want sort of person. When she told me that no one should ever have to give up anything to be with another person. No one should ever have to change anything to be with someone else. Three years prior, I had given up a dozen friendships and an amazing apartment. I cosigned for her car. I gave up being poly, and the other romantic relationships I had, to be with just her because she couldn't deal with it.


#14 Trapped and Lonely

I'm mid-breakup with my boyfriend currently. I realized something had to change when I would go out of my way to avoid talking to him or being around him. It's not that I feel any sort of strong emotion against him. The passion fizzled, the desire to be around him shrank to nothing and I lost all drive. I feel trapped and lonely in my own relationship.


#15 What I Want

My ex-boyfriend and I were up at 3:00 a.m. one time. We were fighting because I had turned him down for relations. It didn’t take long for me to realize that it was over. I knew when he finally asked, "What do you want? Do you want to break up or something?" I simply responded with, "Yes... that's exactly what I want."


#16 In Spite of Things

When I realized I was loving him in spite of things (partying too much, lack of ambition, hurtful). I realized that he had just become a habit. Realizing that you'll never have a future you're capable of because you're compromising for others is really just shortchanging yourself. That's when I decided it was over.


#17 Saying Goodbye

When I got into a car accident, called her and told her, and it didn't seem to phase her one bit. All she said was, "Oh. I'm sorry." Nothing about if I was okay (I was), if my car was badly damaged (I totalled it), nothing. From there, she texted me less, showed less affection towards me, and eventually just stopped contacting me all together without an "official" breakup. We just went our separate ways without saying goodbye.


#18 Bus Ride Epiphany

I was with my ex for five years and he was the first guy I really loved. When I went off to college, he became emotionally and verbally harmful. Every time I saw him, I felt like garbage. I was constantly turning to my friends for comfort. He became the one who made me cry instead of the one who made me feel better. One day when he was out of town, I was sitting on a bus and realized I was smiling like an idiot. I looked down at my phone and noticed that we hadn't talked in a week. I felt so happy without him. That was the moment I finally realized that I didn't love him anymore.


#19 Going Separate Ways

When I left for college, I went out of state and she stayed in state. I realized that I had a lot of options and that she had just as many (probably more since she was quite good-looking). I realized we didn't have as much in common as I thought, and that it was best we go our separate ways. So, that’s what we wound up doing.


#20 Out of Nowhere

My partner of six years texted me one day, "I don't think we should be together anymore.” It was out of nowhere. We were literally talking about hanging out three hours earlier, as we usually spent every day together. Me, being the stubborn idiot that I am, responded only with "okay" because I didn't want to seem like a coward. It’s been three years and we still haven’t talked. I still have no idea what happened, and I think about it every day. People suck.


#21 That Very Night

I told my ex-girlfriend I no longer loved her the day after she struck me. She had a tendency to be physical when we would fight. I told her if she did it again, I'd leave her. She did it that very night. She didn't believe me, for good reason as I did still love her. But I could never go back on what I had said.


#22 Company Event

I started a new job and there were company events that employees could bring their significant others to. I realized that I didn't want to introduce my girlfriend to my co-workers. Partially because I thought it wouldn't last much longer and partially because she would serve as a reflection of me, which I didn't want to show them. That picture was no longer an accurate reflection of me since I no longer loved her.


#23 Moving to Texas

My ex said earlier that she stopped loving me and we were discussing what options we had. She said it was either move back to Texas (with or without me) and be with her friends and family or stay in California and try learn to love me again. I asked her, "What do you really want?" The answer was Texas. My response, "Okay, let's start the divorce paperwork tomorrow."


#24 Someone to Take Care Of

She said, "I just want someone to take care of me," which is cool. Everyone kind of wants that a little, but then she followed it up with, "like so I don't have to work or go to school. I also don’t want to cook or clean or do any financial stuff. I just want someone to pay for everything because I'm tired of doing it for myself. It's not fair!" That kind of explained how my bank balance was almost at zero at the end of that relationship.


#25 Something Was Up

My boyfriend and I had been dating for almost a year and things were great in the beginning. But when he didn't come over to see me anymore and didn't even want to call me, I knew something was up. I found out he was trying to get with a friend of mine and I suspect they had already fooled around behind my back. We broke up and sure enough, he was with her 24/7 for the next couple of months. It ended up being the best thing for me. I fell in love with my now-husband and my ex got engaged too. But that didn't work out for him. We’re still friends.


#26 Sorry For Her

When I realized she had nothing to offer me except that when I was with her, I wasn't alone. I realized she was going to make every aspect of my life more difficult and challenging. Having kids with her would be a nightmare. Her life was a slow train wreck that just happened over and over again. Her parents had spoiled her to the point where she never even considered how she could help, pull her own weight or be of assistance to anyone else.

I realized that I was waiting for her to grow up and it was finally clear it was never going to happen. I think I realized it when she was emptying the dishwasher for the first time in about six months. She turned a simple task into the biggest, most ridiculous production I have ever seen. I realized all those things then, as I watched her. For a while, I resented her for being that way. Now it just makes me feel sorry for her.


#27 “She’s Not My Mom”

My mom spent 11 weeks in the hospital last summer, mostly in the ICU, because she was septic after a botched surgery. We weren't sure she was going to make it. I saw her every single day and my fiance wouldn't go with me once. My dad and I went with all my siblings once and went out to eat afterwards. Only then did he show up, for a free meal. His explanation was, "She's not my mom and I hate hospitals." He doesn't have a phobia or anything; he's an EMT.


#28 Rough Summer

I thought he stopped loving me once. He became secretive. He was rehashing old friendships with females and hardly talking to me. Turns out, he was seriously addicted, trying to self medicate and didn't want to tell me because he thought I would leave. We got him the help he needed and now we're great, but it was a really rough summer.


#29 Call it an Epiphany

One day, he was professing his love for me and the next day I got a text asking for a few weeks to "think about things.” 24 hours later, he was with another woman. We had three months of basically no contact. But for some reason, my mind didn't accept it until three months later. I was speaking to him and he tried to tell me he still loved me. But, it hit me that he really didn't, that no one would have treated me this way if they really loved me. And at that moment, I realized I no longer loved him. Call it an epiphany and I’m 43.


#30 Being “Merciful”

When my boyfriend "mercy” ended my rabbit’s life because "he was 10 and probably going to go soon." Honestly, just knowing that my boyfriend could harm an animal like that just for the sake of it being old turned my gut. I told him to get out the next day and have since burned all of the pictures I had of him.


#31 With Other People

I think I knew that my relationship was over when I realized that I was getting more enjoyment by spending time with other people. That’s never really a good sign when you pick up on it. Not to mention, I noticed that helping her through all of her problems was more of a chore than something I actually wanted to do.


#32 The Right Time

I realized it was over she told me that she felt like our relationship was developing problems that would eventually grow and metastasize into things that would destroy it, harder on. Basically, we were different people, in her view, and after the initial happiness together wore off, our relationship didn't have the type of future that she was looking for.

To be fair to her, I will have military commitments soon and she has a very specific desire for a life plan. My mom was an army wife and put her career on hold for some time to follow my dad and have kids. I don't blame her if she doesn't want to deal with that down the road and wanted to end it before it got too painful or complicated. However, to her credit, the split was very amicable. I think she just felt that we weren't the right people at the right time.


#33 Christmas Night

It was Christmas night and my husband said, "I don't love you and I don't think I ever did.” We have been married for 21 years. I'm starting to realize that I was holding this whole thing together on my own. We are really great business partners, though, which is what you have after so many years and we want each other to be happy. He's being very generous with me and I'm letting him.


#34 Monotone and Bored

We hadn't kissed in a month. We hadn't hugged in two weeks. In the one class, she sat in between two strangers "so I could sit with my friends." I heard from the grapevine that she wanted to "slow things down." When she was affectionate with me, it felt like she did it because she thought she was supposed to, like a robot.

I never felt contempt about any of this until the day I broke up with her. She dryly remarked about how "all relationships go through rough patches." But she said it so monotone and almost bored. It was like she said it just so she could bring up to her friends about how she tried. The rest of the day, she tried to justify herself by acting sad.


#35 Expiration Date

A few minutes after we went to bed for the first time in weeks. She looked at the scratches she had made and said, "Wow, those will be there forever. I bet you'll have to explain them to whoever you end up marrying." She was joking and it isn't like I was intending on marrying her any time soon, but just knowing that she had put an expiration date on our relationship was enough for me.


#36 Letters From Home

I was 15 and had no self-confidence. I turned to him because I wanted to think somebody loved me. I thought I loved him, although he manipulated me countless times. Then, as I was at a retreat, everyone got letters from everyone that loved them. I got so many, and read every one of them except for his. I couldn't bring myself to even read it because I knew it wouldn't even compare to all the others. That's when I knew I couldn't be in that relationship anymore.


#37 Strike Two

I realized that she wasn’t trustworthy, had put no effort into our relationship and made zero sacrifices. I highly doubt she loved me. It may have taken a year, but I’m glad I dumped her. As for my ex-girlfriend before my most recent one, I realized it was over about the time she slept with my ex-best friend.


#38 No Remaining Desire 

She just told me. She had broken up with me and we were trying to work things out. I remember asking her if she even loved me anymore and she just said she can't. She keeps trying to force herself back into my life as a “friend,” but I honestly have no desire to be anything with her, in a relationship or otherwise.

She just can't seem to wrap her head around the fact that I can still care about her and want nothing to do with her at the same time. I've never had trouble being “friends” before, but it's different with her. She was the first girlfriend I actually saw a future with, so it’s harder now than it would have been with others.


#39 Out of Love

We were in a long-distance relationship (separate towns), and he started blatantly ignoring me. I tried to make plans, but he always had stupid excuses. I knew he was falling out of love, and at that time, I was too angry with him for being a coward about the whole thing that I fell out of it too. I was sick of him and all his nonsense.


#40 The Will to Fight

I think we both realized it at the same time. We'd been together for five years and because we were living together, it was really bad timing. But, it was incredibly civil. I knew it was over when the happiness we had shared turned into complacency. We weren't enjoying each other anymore, we were merely really good roommates. That’s not love. Love takes work, and neither of us were working on our relationship anymore, nor did we have the will to fight for it.


#41 Upon That Realization

I had been in a relationship with my partner for three years. One of those years was long-distance, about a three-hour drive from each other. He was working and I was in university. Long story short, I got attacked by someone I thought was my friend. I knew that if I told him, he would blame me. Upon that realization, I knew I didn't love him anymore.


#42 Out of Habit

I spent the night with my ex once after she broke up with the guy she left me for. There was a moment where I was putting my shoes on, getting ready to leave her place, when I made eye contact with her. She smiled and I almost said, "I love you" just out of habit. But then I looked at her for a moment and realized it just wasn't true anymore. It surprised me at first, but then was just a relief.


#43 Ignoring All Efforts

When she began spending more time with her ex than me, had sleepovers twice a week at least with her, and consistently ignored any and all efforts I made to spend time with her. She’d even ignore my efforts to just talk to her. This lasted for six months. Then she broke up with me. I wasn't even strong enough to leave her.


#44 Dirty Laundry

I was in denial for a while. She said she loved me throughout the tough times. During our final argument, she pulled out all of the stops. She made it clear how she was going to send all of our personal conversations to my company so that everyone knew about "my dirty laundry." I was unsure of my love before this, but there’s no longer any doubt in my mind that I no longer love that vile creature. It made the break up a lot easier on me.


#45 Finally Giving Up

When not hearing from him made me happier than when I did. It's weird being with someone who's controlling, how you put up with it for so long because in the back of your mind you remember the man you fell in love with. You know he's somewhere deep down inside and there would be moments when he would shine through. But after so many months of emotionally feeling beaten down, I finally gave up.


#46 The Right Thing

In my first "real relationship," I realized I wasn't in love anymore when I just didn't want to be around him. Quirks that I once found cute and fun started to annoy me. I liked having him there for me, and it felt nice knowing that someone loved me so much… but I thought it was so selfish of me to keep someone around for that reason. Of course, he didn't think that was a valid reason, so he hates me now. But, I know I did the right thing for both of us.


#47 Perfect Storm

I started tearing up at the end of Perfect Storm (whatever year it came out on home video) and she called me a baby and started laughing hysterically. I don't know what movie she was watching that she wasn't moved in the least. Regardless, I married her 12 years after the fact. I’m still not 100% sure why I did that.


#48 Not Going to Argue

When he started sleeping on the couch to "help my back" and I was glad I wouldn't have to deal with him cuddling with me in bed anymore. I have a bad back, admittedly. It aches something fierce most all the time. That said, though, I don’t know why he felt sleeping on the couch would help it, but I didn't argue.


#49 Falling Apart

When my ex and I got into a really nasty, hour-long argument, I muttered a curse to myself after she had left the room. I was almost shocked - up until then I never would have let a thought like that even cross my mind. I realized that if I had reached the point where I would actually say things like that about her, then the relationship was falling apart.


#50 Pillow Talk

I remember waking up one day and my partner was still asleep next to me. In my head, I knew right then and there that I didn't love him anymore. Four years of a long and tedious relationship filled with deceit, lies and pain had finally caught up to me and I felt empty. I silently mouthed "I'm sorry" and soon afterwards, it was over.



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