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When’s the Right Time to Break Up with Someone?

Well, it’s not on your three month anniversary date (ahem *DEAN&RORY*), and it’s also not your wedding day—or, rather, ideally it’s not either of those days. But the fact is, there is no right time to break up with someone, which means there is no wrong time either. Most relationships don’t end in drama as they do in the movies; they often seem to end for no reason, from the weird slippery feeling of “not rightness”—and that is totally fine. You might not wake up one morning and realize *BOOM* you’ve fallen out of love. Actually, you’re probably always going to love your ex on some level (remember, hate is a form of love; indifference is the real hate), which means you’re probably going to break up with someone you love, or at least like a whole lot.  So, the question is: how do you know when—and if—you should break up? Unfortunately, you may never be entirely sure if you should end your relationship, but here are a few reasons to help you through the process:

You’re unhappy. There are so many reasons you can be unhappy, but don’t rule out the possibility that it might be because your foolish heart doesn’t want to be with your awesome, loving, handsome partner.

You don’t enjoy the same activities. You’re a runner, your partner’s a couch potato; you’re a foodie, your partner’s a white rice and salt eater; you’re a Kanye fan, your partner’s a Swiftie. Not all differences are irreconcilable, but it can really help to share some interests.

It just doesn’t feel right. Your partner’s hasn’t cheated or betrayed your trust in some other terrible way: you just don’t want to be in the relationship anymore. Trust your gut.

Your friends have expressed concern about the relationship. They might be able to better see your relationship for what it is, you know, without those pesky emotions getting in the way.

You keep fighting over the same thing. There’s one conflict that looms over your relationship, one you can’t seem to get past and overshadows even the good moments. If you can’t resolve it now, you might never be able to resolve it. If you could resolve it if only you or your partner made a change, consider the fact that you might never be able to make that change.

Your partner checks out other people. Yes, it’s normal to notice that very fine someone eyeing you across the room, but if your partner’s consistently scoping out others, it might indicate underlying dissatisfaction.

One of you is still hung up on an ex. The focus on an ex might be another manifestation of a feeling of “not rightness.”

You choose to spend more time with friends or Netflix than your partner. You might not actually be thinking, “Wow, I’d so much rather watch Gilmore Girls with Nancy than hang out with Ed,” but your subconscious is probably thinking that. The subconscious is a strange and powerful force.

Abuse of any kind—verbal, physical, sexual—is a glaring red EXIT sign: get out, get out!

You break up, you make up. Once—okay. Twice, thrice, more than that—you have to ask yourself: why do you keep breaking up? There’s probably a serious reason you’re just not dealing with. Tip: that fatal flaw won’t magically disappear during the two months you’re broken up.

Your partner doesn’t support you. Your partner should support your goals and ambitions and do everything in their power to help you achieve them—and anything less is another glaring red EXIT sign.

You read this because you’ve been looking for a reason to break up with them. This is your reason.

Have you ever broken up with someone? How did you know it was “the right time”?