Breaking up is pretty much always hard to do, but understanding what truly went wrong is often even harder (and less fun). While it’s natural to knee-jerk blame your ex when a relationship takes a turn for the donezo, it may actually be in your long-term best interests to examine your own accountability in the situation. Why? By acknowledging your responsibility in a romantic split, you’ll be better equipped to move on — and to have healthier relationships in the future.
If you’ve gone through a breakup, the first step is to take a step back and assess what’s really gone down. To assist with this, with help from sex and relationship expert Claire AH — matchmaker, dating coach and owner at Friend of a Friend Matchmaking — we’re presenting 10 common signs that your breakup might be on you.
Your lifestyle did a 180
“Lack of attraction, major differences in lifestyle and life goals, incompatible values…" Claire says, “These aren’t all that exciting and can so often be glossed over or even avoided in the name of keeping the peace, but these are the insidious things that eat away at the foundation of a relationship, often paving the way for the relationship-ending incident.”
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The déjà vu is real
“I think it’s tremendously important to take stock of past relationships,” says Claire, “to look at how you were involved in the creation, maintenance and dissolution of your relationships, and to reflect on how those things were helpful or hurtful to you, your partner and the relationship itself.”
Your BFF is super quiet
Those closest to us usually want to take our side — sometimes even blindly — so if they’re hesitant to jump on the blame-game train, there’s probably a feelings-sparing reason. Take a step back and ask for their real opinion on the situation, but don’t beat yourself up too much if your friend pours some hard-to-hear tea. Even if you have real responsibility in a breakup, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. “You don’t need to rake yourself over the coals and focus on every little thing that went wrong,” says Claire.
You miss the game (not the player)
RELATED: 10 signs your partner is a narcissist.
You can’t make your case
When there isn’t one big, easy-to-identify reason (like cheating, lying or stealing) for a breakup, it’s a good opportunity to look at the relationship on the whole to see where you were incompatible or not supportive of your partner.
You cheated (even emotionally)
SEE ALSO: How to catch a cheater: 16 ways to spy on a cheating lover.
You’d checked out
In any case, it’s a good idea to assess where you stood and how you acted towards the end of your partnership, while not overly fixating on the idea of blame — a concept that Claire says isn’t always the most constructive thing to focus on. “It feels a lot better to chalk everything up to your ex than to acknowledge that you’re not always perfect,” says Claire. “That said, there are also people who blame themselves exclusively and really dwell on every little thing they may have said or done wrong. The truth is most often somewhere in the middle, and the concept of blame is not always the most helpful thing when looking at the dissolution of a relationship.”
RELATED: 10 sneaky predictors you're headed for a breakup.
Your crew knows it all
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You’re (really) relieved
One positive way to channel those feelings is into a self assessment of your part in the relationship, so you can repeat positive behaviours and learn from your mistakes. As Claire says, “Addressing the good and less-than-good contributions you made to your relationship will help you go into future relationships with a sense of the great things you do and an idea of other things to try differently next time."
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You want to apologize
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