These are the warning signs you should break up, according to dating coaches

We're told what to do after a relationship ends, but what about *before*?

hands ripping apart a pink paper heart
(Image credit: jayk7/Getty Images)

We don't have a crystal ball—or do we?!—but we've learned to spot a few breakup warning signs that spell trouble in the making. 

Women are often told what to do after a split: listen to empowering breakup songs, find solace in your favorite self-care practices, but what about before?

We spoke to relationship experts and rounded up concerning behaviors that might cause you to reevaluate where you stand with your partner. While only you can determine the fate of your relationship, these metaphorical red flags should not go unnoticed. 

Breakup warning signs to spot, according to relationship experts

Experts say these traits are the ones that have raised eyebrows, and at times, often lead to couples parting ways. (That's why they insist this is the one thing you have to do after a breakup.) 

1. They love bomb

Love bomb cycles prove you're dating a narcissist, according to sex and dating expert Pippa Murphy, and that can come with challenges. 

"They go from totally love bombing you, then something will set them off and they become extremely nasty, even abusive, saying things that really hurt and make you question how good a person you are, then soon after they switch back to love bombing you, so you forget how nasty and hurtful they were," she says.

Don't let bad behavior go unpunished. It's normal to have disagreements, but if they continually treat you poorly and try to make up for it with kind words—and no actions to back up the "I'm sorry"—it's time to have a think about the value this partnership brings into your life. logo
Pippa Murphy

Pippa Murphy is a sex and relationship expert at which provides access to safe and trusted brands within the sexual health industry, as well as information about your sex health.

2. You feel anxious

"One red flag to be aware of is if you feel anxious or exhausted after hanging out," says Maria Sullivan, a dating expert and the vice president of

You should look forward to spending time with the one you love, but if you start to dread get-togethers and look for ways to get out of a date, there might be a reason why. Sullivan said the D-word—a.k.a. "dread"—is a telltale sign that things are in trouble and need to be altered. logo
Maria Sullivan

Maria Sullivan is a dating expert and the vice president of

3. You're not staying true to yourself

You should be able to embrace all parts of yourself when you're with the right person, and if you're starting to feel like your partner is making you a little less, well, you, it's a red flag. 

"It’s all about how you feel when you are with them," says dating coach Rikki Dymond. "In a good relationship (platonic or romantic), you should feel happy, open, free, and like the truest version of yourself."

Rikki Dymond
Rikki Dymond

Rikki Dymond is a dating coach and Flirtini dating expert. Her mission is to "help women reconnect with themselves and use their natural feminine energy to bring forward mature and lasting love."

4. There's always drama

Every partnership has its ups and downs, but if you're starting to feel like your relationship is turning into an episode of a reality show, you're going to need to put on the breaks.

"Whilst passion can be a good thing and kickstart your relationship off with an instant connection, if these feelings are intensified throughout the relationship, it may lead to drama," Pippa says. 

5. You don't communicate well

The only way you can progress in a relationship is through honesty, but if one party cannot effectively get their emotions across, there's a roadblock that needs addressing. 

"Where discussions end in arguments or one partner (or both) feeling they’re not understood this can close down or make one or both partners wary of future communications," Pippa explains. "Ultimately partners can stop talking to each other about big things and just fill in how they think each other is feeling."

Never assume folks, especially when you're with your other half. 

6. There's a need for control

While being a team is amazing, everyone deserves some alone time. Everyone needs to do what makes them whole, without someone hovering over them. 

"An unusual need or even craving for control and power is when things can turn toxic, abusive, and manipulative," Pippa says. "It indicates unsolved traumas and inner issues that are very problematic for the person dealing with them but also the people and beings around that person."

On the flip side, here are all the dating green flags that make relationships strong.

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.