1. Your person has crossed an unforgivable line. Something happened you can’t picture recovering from. It’s not something you can forgive and forget. It’s not something you can ignore. It’s not something you can overcome. It’s a complete dealbreaker for you, and the only reason why you haven’t ended the relationship yet is because you have so much history together, because you’re trying to test whether you could potentially make things work. But if your trust was breached, and you can’t imagine ever rebuilding that trust, then this is much more than a rough patch. This is a reason to break up.
2. You’ve grown into completely different, incompatible people. It’s natural to change as your relationship changes. Sometimes, it can take a little while to adjust to each other’s differences as you age into new versions of yourselves. You might need a little time to get used to the new yous. However, if you want completely different things now, if you see your futures differently now, if you’re simply incompatible now, then this is probably not a rough patch. This is probably a sign you should separate. It doesn’t mean you’ve stopped caring about each other. It simply means you’ve started to grow in different directions and are going to flourish fastest without each other.
3. You’ve been in this place before — multiple times. If you’ve been having an argument about the same thing you’ve already argued about months ago or years ago, then this clearly isn’t a temporary issue. This is a serious problem. You either need to fix whatever is wrong so you never have to repeat the same fight again. Or you need to come to terms with the fact you’re never going to fix it and walk away from each other. If you don’t choose one of those two solutions now, then even if this blows over in the short-term, you’re going to end up fighting the same fight again sometime in the future.
4. It’s gotten past the point of being annoyed with them. It’s not occasional, little things about them that are bugging you. It’s everything. You leave conversations with them more exhausted than before you spoke to them. You find yourself coming up with reasons to avoid them. Honestly, you don’t just want a little space from them. You want constant space from them.
5. You don’t have the energy to fix your issues. If you’ve stopped communicating with them, if you’ve stopped confronting them when they’ve upset you, if you’ve stopped bothering to try to get them to see your side, then it’s probably time to end the relationship. Even the best relationships require work. If neither of you are willing to put in the effort anymore, then you should save yourself the drama and walk away.
6. You’ve been feeling this way for a long, long time. Every relationship is going to have its rough moments. You’re not always going to feel the giddiness of new love. It’s normal to get frustrated, to get bored, to get confused. But you need to be honest with yourself. If you’ve been questioning your relationship a lot for a long time, then you probably need a fresh start. You probably need to keep putting off the inevitable.