Admit it. Nobody is ever really 'blindsided' when their partner leaves them. There was always something that wasn't going paticularly well, no matter how hard you tried to ignore it.
Being broken up with can be a surprise, but rarely were you without any kind of suspicion, even if you chose to give your partner the benefit of the doubt.
A study published in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science in August, found 23 common reasons people give for ending a relationship.
Look out for these signs
- Partner's personality - considering someone to be lazy, boring, or flaky were cited as examples
- Breach of trust - such as infidelity, or a lie
- Partner withdrawal - essentially jumping before you are pushed, as the partner suggests they are no longer interested
- Physical distance conflict - bad sex, not enough sex, or lack of affection
- Social consequences - parental disapproval, social pressure from friends
- 'Deal breaker' - an addiction, abuse, legal issues were examples given of 'deal breaker' issues
- Alternative partner - self explanatory.
The same study also found 27 different reasons people stay in a relationship which they have reservations about.
These included things like emotional intimacy, a good sex life, financial benefits, feeling guilty about a breakup, and the validation a relationship provides.
Overlaps existed between the two lists. For instance 'social consequences' could also be a reason to stay in a relationship, for fear of losing friends, as well as a reason to leave.
The authors, based at the Universities of Utah and Toronto, wanted to better understand the decision process of leaving someone, or dumping them.
In a release from the University of Utah, lead author professor Samantha Joel said:
Most of the research on breakups has been predictive, trying to predict whether a couple stays together or not, but we don't know much about the decision process -- what are the specific relationship pros and cons that people are weighing out
The list of 52 reasons were converted into a questionnaire and given to a separate group of participants. They were all either married, or had been in a relationship with their partner for at least two years.
Comparing the two groups, the study found that they had distinct reasons for staying with someone. If you're trying to work out if you significant other is going to leave you, it therefore depends if they are your spouse or your partner.
People in unmarried relationships tended to give positive reasons to stay in a relationship, such as aspects of their partner's personality they liked, and enjoyment of the relationship. Married couples on the other hand gave reasons regarding constraints and obstacles to ending the marriage, such as family responsibilities, and logistical barriers such as finance.