Why It's Over

Relationships end all the time for a variety of reasons. It's not enjoyable, but it is a part of life, so we thought we'd look a little closer at some of the main reasons why couples call it quits. What we've come up with are five factors that seem to be responsible for the demise of most relationships.

Couple in conflict breaking up


Some couples, no matter how hard they try to get on the same page, just aren't compatible. Things usually start off OK because their differing opinions about everything make things interesting and actually create a lot of passion. But eventually, once they want to settle down and start making some real life, adult decisions, their opposite points of view start to cause conflict. Opposites attract to a certain extent, but when it comes to creating a life together, raising children and staying connected, incompatibility can cause more frustration than it's worth and will often be the main factor driving a couple apart.


There really isn't too much to say about this one. Some couples make it through a case of infidelity – while others simply can't. Cheating is often a deal breaker for many people since making a commitment means staying faithful, and if your partner can't do that, how can you trust them? The other issue is that cheating often happens when there's something already going wrong within the relationship, so by the time one person finds their way into someone else's bed, the relationship may already have been on a downhill trajectory.

3Growing apart

The bond that keeps every relationship going and moving in the right direction (forward) can end up frayed and tattered as time passes. What began as a strong connection that drew the two of you together doesn't always hold up under pressure. What felt like the ultimate connection between two people at the beginning can end up completely changing. When this happens, you're left staring at someone you've known and loved but who now feels like a stranger. There aren't many couples who can survive growing apart, and usually it just means the relationship has run its course and it's time to move on.

4Faded chemistry

It can be frighteningly easy to mistake lust for love. You want to be with someone (and in their bed) 24/7 so it must be love, right? Not so fast. Many relationships end simply because the initial chemistry wears off and there was no substance backing up the sex, so when one (or both) of you are bored with the physical aspect of what you had, there's nothing else keeping you connected.

5Different paths

This is probably the most frustrating cause of breaking up because even though you might want different things in life, that doesn't mean you don't still love each other. If you want kids but your guy doesn't or he wants to settle down in the suburbs and you want to travel the world – these are tough situations to deal with and when a compromise can't be reached, there's often no other choice but to part ways despite any lingering feelings you might have for each other.

More about breaking up

Find value in a failed relationship
4 Signs you're totally over your ex
Avoid breakup remorse


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Comments on "Top 5 reasons relationships end"

Kane December 08, 2013 | 2:08 AM

Hi, I think you should add "dishonesty" to the list. I saw your list and I have been trying to classify people who break up that I know of. One of the things I find is that sometimes people tell a lie and it comes back to haunt them. A girlfriend of mine just broke up with her 2nd BF. She sometimes exaggerates to get attention and her bfs get tired of it and leave. For example, her last person broke up because she kept claiming she was busy and at work and such to look unavailable (or as she says to make him jealous). It backfired because he says if she lies about unnecessary things, then what of necessary ones. For guys, I know people who get dumped for lying that they own the car, or live in an affluent area, or own the house, or such. Sometimes, it may even be a few years into marriage.

donwreford October 21, 2013 | 12:09 AM

One issue that seems omitted is materialism or money, people can grow apart because one partner may feel the money is more important than the relationship.

Duncan August 26, 2013 | 10:58 AM

I like to comment on these issues. Incompatibility is incompatibility the definition stands on what it means. You cannot work at it you cannot manipulate it; it is what it is regardless! Couples want different things however majority of couples mostly 99% don't realized how to compromised or be flexible in a relationship. Majority of couples cannot communicated correctly, verbally and non-verbally. What I see among couples is that they tend to listen to other people seeking advice on outsiders or friends. If you feel having outsiders play on your decision making then there will be an always chance that you're not going to have a long relationship. I feel people are smarter and capable of handling issue in their relationships. Reading some of the issues majority is American hardly you see divorce in other countries or towns. The Faded Chemistry is a real eye opener I see this happening more and more people being bored or "feeling to comfortable" or "it feels right, but I don't like it" type of attitude.

Theresa September 19, 2012 | 11:46 AM

Incompatibility is a big one, but I believe that can be worked on. Now, if you are incompatible on HUGE issues, you really shouldn't have gotten so serious with that person. I would advice to seek counseling before quitting if the issue really is just incompatibility.

Hannah September 19, 2012 | 11:45 AM

I'm definitely terrified of growing apart from my spouse. I know we would never cheat, but growing apart seems so easy in our busy lives. He comes home from work and we're both exhausted or I go grab dinner with a girlfriend. I'm just scared that slowly overtime we will simply be "room mates."

Gigi September 09, 2012 | 2:19 AM

I was in a long distance relationship and we live only 4hrs away. At one point we were seeing eachother everyday since we went to college together, then when he graduated one year before me we saw eathother often, then when I graduated a year after we were seeing eathother occasionally...it had been only 1 month of not seeing eachother when he broke up with me couple weeks ago. We started off as friends for a year before being in a relationship. He claimed its the distance and we are not able to see eachother espeacially since we both started working a lot. He said he wants to be with me, but it doesnt even seem like we are in a relationship by not seeing eachother, so he wants to go back to being friends but with benefits and would still want me to go visit him and be able to see eachother. Now I know at the end of the day he is a guy and has needs, and long distance relationships are tough,and maybe he just got comfortable and use to seeing me all the time, but Im starting to think there's more to it than just the distance,...what do you think? I'm confused :-/

Cynthia June 12, 2012 | 11:47 AM

These are all very true and helpful. It also goes to show that if you are in a relationship and fight over little things, that it really is no reason to break up. If you stop communicating and growing apart from your loved one, that's a more serious issue than bickering over the small stuff - atleast you're talking!!

Emma May 11, 2012 | 2:55 PM

I think the idea that faded chemistry is a leading cause to ending a relationship shows that it is important to build a relationship before you jump into bed. Sure, it is fun! But it is hard to build a relationship just on the physical. Try waiting if you are really interested in the long term.

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