13 Surefire Signs It’s Time to Break Up With Your Girlfriend

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by  Joshua Sigafus | Last Updated: 

I once dated this cute girl for about 4 months. But truth be told, that was about three and a half months longer than it should have lasted.  

I’ll be honest—she was a rebound girl. Originally, I only dated her to distract myself from a recent more-serious breakup. 

She was good-looking and intelligent, and the sex was wild and fun. She was a blast to hang out and chill with. 

But she wasn’t what I wanted in a life-partner. We were just too incompatible as people, and our goals were leading us in different directions. 

Even so, I got sucked into this ‘situationship’ further than I should have. Before you knew it, we were social-media official, and I had the ‘boyfriend’ title.

I knew that I needed to end it. 

But, when the time came to pull the plug, I balked. 

I hesitated, and I let it go on for a lot longer than it should have gone. 

Why Some Men Have Trouble Ending Relationships 

The Mans Guide to Women Quote

Why was I staying and playing the part of the ‘boyfriend’ in what should have been a week-long fling for fun?

There are a lot of reasons for why men struggle with knowing when to properly end a doomed relationship. 

But at the core, it usually stems from either a fear of being alone, or an aversion to the ‘conflict’ that must take place to properly sever the cord. 

It can happen in short-term flings—but it can also happen in long-term marriages. 

As men, we may ‘sense’ that it’s over. And yet, pulling the trigger makes us pause. We don’t want to make the wrong choice. 

So how do you know when the time has finally come to call it quits?

I’m no stranger to this quandary. And in this post, you’re going to learn exactly how to read the signs that the relationship should indeed be done with, and that you should just move on to the next chapter of your life. 

Let’s jump right into it. 

Should I Break up with My Girlfriend? 13 Surefire Signs

1. You Find Yourself Wondering If You Should

Mark Twain Quote

Do you find yourself (often) wondering if you should break up with your girlfriend? 

Here’s the truth. The simple fact that you contemplate this question on a regular basis is probably the number-one sign that the end is near. 

Make no mistake, men desire commitment just as much as women. John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman put it quite eloquently in their book The Man’s Guide To Women:

Contrary to popular perception and gender stereotypes, men want commitment just as much as women do. Sometimes it takes them longer to get there, and sometimes they have more ambivalence about it—two different evolutionary strategies at play—but research suggests that most men are (eventually) as interested in finding “the one” as women are.

But if something beneath the surface is making you pause, there’s likely a reason for it.

A doubt here and there is normal. But if this same doubt keeps coming back week after week, odds are good that you’re picking up on something deeper. 

If this woman was ‘the one’ for you, you wouldn’t be contemplating whether or not you should get out. You’d be happily living your life alongside her, and everything would feel right. 

2. You’re Only with Her Because You’d Feel Guilty about Leaving

This can be a tough issue for men to overcome. 

But it’s vitally important to understand that every human is responsible for their own happiness in life

If you want to stay with her, that’s fine. 

But staying because you’d feel guilty about leaving isn’t going to do you, or her, any good in the long-term. 

Chasing that guilt will only lead you away from your true purpose in life. This is definitely not the alpha male way, and it’ll only hurt you in the long term. 

Take responsibility for yourself, and do what you need to do to get your life headed in the direction that feels best for you and aligned with your life’s mission. 

3. She Isn’t a Complement to Your Life

In the book Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder, one of my primary thought mentors, Arnold Schwarzenegger, gives some surprisingly useful and wise advice about women and dating. 

He was describing one of his first serious live-in relationships with a girlfriend (Barbara), and was looking back on the first real conflict that developed between them.

She was a well-balanced woman who wanted an ordinary, solid life, and I was not a well-balanced man and hated the very idea of ordinary life. She had thought I would settle down, that I would reach the top in my field and level off. But that’s a concept that has no place in my thinking. For me, life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer. 

She ended up moving out—and Arnold went on to have one of the most successful acting careers in the history of Hollywood. 

But had he not had the presence of mind to understand that this particular woman wasn’t necessarily a complement to the life he wanted, he might have been tempted to give-up on his goals to appease her. 

As men, we must never choose a woman over our goals. 

We must only maintain relationships with women who are a true complement to the life we desire for ourselves. Nothing less will do. 

4. She’s Not Helping You to Accomplish Your Life’s Purpose

Every man should have a purpose in life. 

Every man should be striving to solve a problem in the world, to bring value to others, and to leave a lasting ‘dent’ in the universe. 

This is how a man creates a legacy, and becomes a high-value man. 

But here’s the thing. 

Your choice of dating partner has a drastic effect on the pursuit of your life’s purpose every day—and staying with a woman who isn’t contributing to this will hurt your ability to live an effective life on a day-to-day basis.

For example:

I used to date a woman who would wake up and start arguments with me almost every morning. 

That relationship ended very quickly—because I needed my mornings to be conflict-free so that I could focus on my work and make progress. 

I couldn’t afford to have her in my life anymore. She caused too many arguments, too much drama, and too much damage. 

She was literally holding me back in life. And at that point, I had a responsibility to myself and my life’s purpose to walk away. 

5. There Are Other Women You’d Rather Be With

Attractive woman flirting with a guy on a couch with a coffee cup 3

As unsettling as it may be, the truth is that even people in relationships keep a constant ‘eye’ on their outside mating opportunities. 

And for good reason.

David M. Buss describes this in his book The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating:

“Men’s banter, when it does not center on sports or work, often revolves around the appearance and sexual availability of women in their social circles… These discussions accomplish the critical goals of exchanging information and assessing the mating terrain.” 

If your eye is wandering, and you start to feel particularly drawn to other women outside of your relationship, it makes evolutionary sense to ask yourself a very important question. 

“Is my current relationship actually beneficial and fulfilling, or has my partner simply become less desirable to me?”

If your partner’s perceived mate value has declined by too much, it favors you to consider other mating opportunities. The inner cave-man in you realizes that this is not only better for your happiness, but also better for your survival. 

6. You Prefer to Be Alone Than to Spend Time with Her

A bit of solitude every day is good for you

But if you find that you’re increasingly favoring solitude over your partner, there may be a problem. 

In my life, I truly enjoy spending time with my girlfriend. I like to:

  • Share meals with her
  • Watch movies with her
  • Spend my time off with her

And I find these things much more enjoyable with her.  

But if you find that you’re usually looking for ways to get away from your dating partner—well, that’s not a very good sign. 

As social creatures, we’re hard-wired for social relationships

And while a bit of solitude is good for us, it’s also good for us to want to spend time with our significant other. 

Anything less is a bit of a red flag, and should be taken as a sign to at least contemplate whether or not this relationship is actually good for you in the long run. 

7. You’re More Invested in the Relationship Than She Is

Here’s something that a lot of men don’t understand. 

Most women are born into sexual abundance, while most men are born into sexual scarcity. 

And so, the vast majority of women have more mating opportunities than most men. 

When you track these differences and meet in the middle, every male-female relationship should find a balance where the woman is at least as invested as the man in the relationship, if not more-so. 

Any relationship where the man:

  • Wants her more than she wants him
  • Is more invested in the relationship than she is

Is almost certainly doomed to fail, and fail miserably. 

You can learn more about sexual abundance and sexual scarcity in this post

But at the end of the day, this is the important takeaway: 

Only date women who are at least as invested as you are. 

And to be honest, if we really want to get technical, it’s a lot better for her to be more invested than you are

This is the only way for a high–value man to find balance in his relationship life. 

If she isn’t as invested in the relationship as you are, it’s time to consider walking away. It’s just too risky, and nature shows us that men who ‘settle’ for women who are less invested are bound to get burned.

8. You’ve Decided That You Aren’t Ready to ‘Settle down’  

As Professor of Psychology David M. Buss says in his book The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating:

Why men would ever commit to just one woman poses a puzzle. Since all an ancestral man needed to do to reproduce was to impregnate a woman, casual sex without commitment woud have achieved this goal.

Of course, he goes on to explain how powerful adaptive advantages were afforded to men who chose to successfully invest in long-term mating strategies with high-value women

But the simple truth of the matter is this:

As a man, you may need to explore, adventure, and ‘sow your wild oats’ before heeding the call to ‘settle down’ with one woman. 

This is not only understandable—it’s also foundational to what it means to be a man. 

And to be quite honest, if you feel that you aren’t ready to settle down into a domestic relationship—and if you feel like your ‘adventures’ aren’t ready to be over yet, you may find greener pastures and greater excitement in life by cutting loose and striking out on your own. 

In many ways, this is how sigma males conduct their lives, especially in regard to relationships. 

There’s nothing wrong with this mentality. It’s natural for men to crave adventure. And sometimes, you need to get those adventures behind you before you’ll be truly ready to commit to one woman and settle down. 

9. She Creates More Unhappiness Than Happiness in Your Life

This may seem like something that most men would understand. 

But trust me—men love to complicate their lives over their feelings for attractive women. 

I once knew this couple who fought constantly when they were together. At parties, they would literally get drunk and scream at each other about how much they hated one-another and how miserable they were when together. 

I would often ask him why he stayed with her. 

And he could never give me a straight answer. 

In truth, they were both afraid of walking away—even though it was obvious that they created a lot more ‘unhappiness’ for each other than ‘happiness.’ 

Eventually, they finally spit-up. And both of them went on to become much happier people as a result. 

Men, take the hint. If she creates more unhappiness than happiness in your life, you’re more than justified in your desire to sever ties and move-on to better things. 

10. You Consistently Revisit the Idea of Ending Things, Even When Things Are Going ‘Well’ 

Mandy Hale Quote

Small doubts—especially during times of conflict—are normal, and may not be a reason to end everything altogether. 

But in my experience with relationships, I’ve learned an important lesson. 

If you consistently doubt the relationship, and if the doubt keeps happening on a regular basis, for months on end—it’s probably not a coincidence.

This is especially true if the doubts persist during good times. 

Do you find yourself feeling ‘detached’ when she tries to cuddle with you?

Do you feel a bit ‘grossed out’ when she tags you in mushy posts on social media?

Are you so put-off by her presence in your life that you find yourself trying to avoid her without making it obvious?

These are all signs that things may have run their course, and that it’s time for you to strike out on your own and start over. 

11. You Feel Unfulfilled—Sexually, or in Any Other Way

Oscar Wilde Quote

As strong, masculine men, we shouldn’t need other people to complete us. 

But this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t always strive to find fulfillment in our relationships. 

How do you define ‘fulfillment?’

To find ‘fulfillment’ in your relationships means to receive resources of equal or greater value in exchange for your investment, and to feel a ‘peace’ about the state of the relationship and its effect on your daily life. 

I once had a female friend who was trying to make a failed relationship work with her ex husband. 

She wasn’t attracted to him at all, but she felt like she ‘needed him’ because he supplied her with a car, a house, and monetary support. 

She once showed me a secret ‘calendar’ she kept hidden away from him. On this calendar, she recorded the date and time of every sexual encounter they had together. 

As long as we have sex about once every two weeks, I feel like I’m being a good enough sexual partner that he can’t really complain,” she explained to me. “Also, this keeps me from feeling guilty for not wanting to have sex with him. Every two weeks I ‘do my job,’ then I just come up with excuses for the next two weeks, even though he asks for it several times per day.

She literally left him as soon as she was able to buy her own car and get a job, which took about two months. 

Men, I’m going to shoot you straight on this. 

Life is far too short to put up with a relationship where your mind isn’t ‘blown away’ sexually. 

Sex is a huge part of life, especially when you’re young. 

Don’t feel bad for wanting out of a relationship where the sex has dwindled down to the point of being disappointing. 

12. You Believe You Could Do Better

A group of woman sitting together at a coffee shop outside

Kezia Noble, in her book The Noble Art of Seducing Women, says something that a lot of men fail to understand, and failing to understand this crucial point keeps a lot of men in relationships that they probably have no business being in. 

The successful seducer has learned that the outcomes of his interactions are very much in his control, and without control he will rely on only the fickle game of chance. 

I’ve known so many men who only stay in their relationships out of the fear that they won’t be able to find anyone better. 

Why? 

Because they don’t think that they have any control over their dating lives. 

But if you’re an alpha-minded man who’s on his game, who understands what it means to level up and become a better man over time, then odds are very good that if you have a feeling that you could do better, you’re probably right. 

Don’t doubt yourself. 

If you see the problems, but struggle with believing in yourself enough to move on, odds are good that you should probably take the leap, face the devil you don’t know, and start fresh. 

It’s a big world out there, and there are many incredible women to meet. Don’t sell yourself short. 

As Kezia Noble says, don’t rely on the fickle game of chance. Take control of your destiny and make your dating life the masterpiece you’ve always desired. 

13. You’re Only with Her Because You’re Afraid of Being Alone

Oneitis Man in Bed with Phone Sad Waiting for a Text Message From His Crush

As Helen Fisher so pointedly describes in her book Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love:

Nothing can affection’s course control, or stop the headlong fury of his speed.” Shakespeare believed romantic passion was uncontrollable. I think this addiction can be conquered; it just takes determination and time. A little knowledge of brain function and human nature can be helpful, too.

The fear of being alone, and of the ‘sadness’ that comes with a breakup can sometimes cause men to hesitate when they should be letting go. 

But here’s the thing. Helen Fisher understands what most men don’t—that while love often feels like a ship that can’t be controlled, the truth is quite a bit more ‘hopeful’ than that. 

Breakups happen. And with them, new beginnings are born. You’ll get sad, you’ll find ways to cope. You’ll live your life, you’ll get better, and you’ll find yourself again. 

And this time, you’ll have a whole new opportunity to meet people, date the kinds of women you want to date, and experience the joy of ‘new love’ all over again—this time, maybe for good. 

Don’t let the fear of being alone keep you from ending a relationship that isn’t ‘best’ for you.

If you’re striving to be a man of excellence, you’re highly likely to upgrade every time you get into a new relationship. 

As Franklin D. Roosevelt said:

There’s nothing to fear but fear itself.

How to Break up with Your Girlfriend like a Man

Unhappy man walking away from crying girl

Breaking up with a woman isn’t always an easy thing to do. But if you follow a few basic steps, you can make it easier not only on yourself, but also on her. 

In this process, it’s important that you maintain your self-respect as a man. Don’t sacrifice your integrity by delving into drama, anger, or bitterness in this crucial, final moment of the relationship. 

For best results, follow these five steps to sever that chord with a masculine, decisive cut, and end the relationship like a man. 

1. Decide on the Course of Action and Commit to It

Is breaking up what you truly want to do?

If so, commit to it. 

She may try to talk you out of it, so it’s very important that you go into the conversation with a strong, firm mind and a plan.

Don’t let her sway you. 

Don’t let her change your mind. 

Understand that if this is what you want, there’s nothing wrong with that. 

You don’t have to defend your decision. You just need to execute and get it done.

2. Do It in Person

Attractive girl rejects touch of man

Unless she’s actually severely unstable and you fear that she may over-dramatize the situation, it’s always better to have this conversation in-person. 

No, it isn’t easier. But it’s the right thing to do. 

This may not be the woman you want to be with, but the two of you have shared intimacy, special moments, and memories together. You owe it to each other to provide the closure and respect of an in-person conversation.

On the flip side, if she’s legitimately the type of woman who might pull a knife or throw bricks at your car, you may want to leave a note and get the hell out of dodge instead.

And if this latter situation is the case, you shouldn’t feel bad about doing so. 

I’ve only ever been in one such relationship, where I feared that she might fly off the handle so hard that it could be dangerous. I broke up with her over text and made sure that she knew never to come to my house again. 

It sucks, but sometimes wisdom and caution trump closure in such situations. 

3. Hold Masculine Frame

If she loves you, she may cry. 

She may get angry. 

She may start saying very unpleasant things out of pure emotion and hurt-feelings, and those things may or may not be true, respectful, or kind. 

But in this final chapter of your relationship, it’s essential for you as a man to hold masculine frame, to refrain from delving into drama, and to leave the relationship with a legacy of mental strength and emotional fortitude. 

At this stage of the game, there’s no reason to get mad or have an argument. Say your part, thank her for the good things she’s done for you, tell her that you 100% know that this is better for you (don’t try to tell her that it’s better for her—that may or may not be true), and walk away.

4. Give Her (and Yourself) a Clean Break

Some men get through the breakup just fine, but then balk at the finish line. 

They’ll get second thoughts later on, and may start texting or calling her a few days later. 

Some do this out of guilt. Some do it out of loneliness. 

In any case, it’s a terrible thing to do. 

Maybe they’ll even try to hook-up with her. Or worse, they’ll start entertaining thoughts of getting back together if they hit an emotional rough patch. 

Don’t do this. 

Maintain masculine frame. 

You just broke up with this woman. There was a reason for it, and that means that you’re NEVER going to get back together with her. 

Give her a clean break. Move on with your life. Lose her number. Unfriend her, or even block her on all social media. Stop trying to hang out with or talk to her friends. Sever the ties—for good. 

Become a ghost and disappear from her frame of vision. 

If she tries to message you, I highly advise you to not even look at it.

A clean break is difficult. But it’s essential.

As a strong, masculine man fulfilling your purpose, your chapter with this woman is over. Get out of the house, go hang out with your friends, give yourself some time to move on if need-be, and then start dating other women.

Life goes on. Leave this relationship in the past and get on with your life. 

5. Learn from Your Mistakes

Even if the breakup wasn’t your fault, this is a great time to reflect on it and figure out where it went wrong. 

It’s also a great time to reflect on your own performance during the relationship, and to figure out where you could have done better. 

Then, commit to not making those same mistakes again in your next relationship. 

As men, we owe it to ourselves to learn as many lessons as possible from our breakups. 

As we learn and grow, we become better men. 

Don’t think of a breakup as a failed relationship. Think of it as a relationship that you enjoyed for a certain amount of time, that you can learn from to grow and become a better man than you were before. 

Should You Get Your Girlfriend to Break up with You?

The strong, masculine answer to this question is definitely a ‘no.’ 

Some men will try to get their girlfriends to break up with them so that they won’t have to be the ‘bad guy.’ 

But here’s the issue. 

This is the coward’s way out. 

If you can’t even face the woman you’re in a relationship with and communicate to her that it’s done, you likely have severe conflict aversion issues that are also hindering your life in other areas.

This may be very hard for you. But it’ll also be very good for you as a man to see this through on decisive terms. 

Make the decision. Take action. Communicate with her and let her know that it’s over. 

Don’t wait for her to do it. 

Be the ‘man’ in the relationship, and take the action you need to take to get your life on-track.

Do what’s right for you. 

Conclusion

Hopefully this post has shown you when it’s time to break up with your girlfriend, and how to go about doing it like a man. 

Just remember. 

Ending a relationship isn’t ever necessarily ‘easy.’ 

But there’s always something better on the horizon. 

Don’t fear it if it’s the right choice for you. 

Embrace it, get through it, and move on with your life. 

For more tips, tricks, and advice for men, check out our YouTube channel

Go with grace, and never give up your power. 

FAQs

Does a break up strengthen a relationship?

Some people think that breaking up, and then getting back together can be good for a relationship. 

But here’s the thing. Breakups happen for a reason. 

If the relationship has already ended once, odds are good that it’s not going to last a second or third time, either. 

A breakup is highly unlikely to strengthen your relationship. Instead, it’s highly likely to cause you to compromise on your integrity as a man. 

Leave past relationships where they belong—in the past. Get out there and date some new women, and move on with your life. 

Should you break up with someone you still love?

This can be a difficult thing to do, but the truth is simple. 

If the relationship isn’t healthy, and if the two of you aren’t jiving together in a healthy, compatible, functional way, then no matter how much you love the other person, it’s not going to be enough. 

You can absolutely love people who aren’t good for you. 

This is one of the ironic tragedies of life. 

I’ve ended many relationships with women I loved. Not because they were bad people, but because we just didn’t function properly together as a couple.

Should I break up with my girlfriend in person?

I 100% believe that in-person is the best way to break up with someone. 

With that being said, there are also exceptions. 

If you live a long distance away from the person, then a phone call may suffice as an alternative—especially if the relationship wasn’t exactly ‘long term.’ 

If she’s literally dangerous or unstable, you should NOT break up with her in-person. Leave a note and get the hell out. 

If the relationship was more like a short two-to-three week ‘fling,’ a phone call is fine.

If it was just a hookup or two, a simple text message will suffice.

But if you were officially ‘together’ and in an actual relationship, then talking in-person is definitely a more respectful and honorable way to end things.

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