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Body language expert reveals subtle signs your partner is about to break up with you

Body language expert reveals subtle signs your partner is about to break up with you

There are many signals to be on the lookout for

Now that we're a week clear of Valentine's Day the dust might be settling on some relationships that were perhaps formed in an unwise rush.

In the run-up to 14 February there was plenty of 'avalanching' going on as singletons scrambled to have someone to love on the big day but that could have left people in relationships they didn't really want.

Sorry to be a bit of a downer but there are certain relationships that just weren't built to last, and the final days can be quite different to the rest of the time you spent together.

But you might get a bit of advance warning that you could be about to become the latest citizen of dumpsville as body language expert Judi James laid out the subtle signs to watch out for to the Daily Mail.

These signs may not mean you're about to be dumped, but they could give a bit of a clue to vibe you might be getting that things have changed in your relationship.

Many relationships end with a break up, but could the signs have been there.
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Rhythmic rituals

While they say time flies when you're having fun the opposite is equally true, and if you're in a relationship you're looking to end the days aren't exactly going to be whizzing by.

That's why James says one of the main signs to be on the lookout for is a partner performing rituals which signal they're impatient, like a metronomic tapping of the fingers.

It could be a signal that they're bored and literally counting the seconds until it's all over.


Breaking up is hard to do, so even if the person who has decided they're going to be doing the dumping has locked in their decision that it's all over it'll still be a stressful time for them.

According to the expert, this could lead to a rise in certain behaviours a person exhibits when they're trying to comfort themselves.

Fiddling with their hair or getting fidgety apparently harks back to the days of childhood when we learned how to soothe our own anxiety with just a few gestures.

"You can't hold my hand if I hold my chin." "Well you can't hold mine if I hold my drink."
Nick Dolding/Getty

Putting up barriers

This is one of the big body language clinchers according to the expert, who said that lovey-dovey couples will be very happy to be up close and personal with each other.

However, when it's all over, the opposite is true as someone looking to break up will keep their distance and start putting up barriers.

It could be holding their bag on your side so you can't hold their hand or folding their arms so there's no 'in' with them to make physical contact.

If your partner is making signs that they're not letting you close, it could be a sign that they're planning on ending the relationship.


One of the most popular barrier signals is 'phubbing', a word created from the combination of 'phone' and 'snubbing'.

Our phones let us look busy while not having to engage with the person in the room with us, so this could be the mother of all barriers to indicate that a partner doesn't want to communicate with you any more.

Studies into phubbing found that people who'd had it done to them more had lower levels of satisfaction in romantic relationships, so if you want to make it work maybe put your phone down.

Putting up barriers by being on their phone all the time in your presence is a sign to watch out for.
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The truth is in the eyes

James said a person's eyes were the most expressive part of their body, so if our bodies have language then our eyes might as well be shouting.

Avoiding eye-contact is a bad sign if you're wanting your relationship to continue, as if your partner seems intent on not looking at you that really can't be a positive.

The body language expert also said that you might catch your partner looking at you when you're not really looking at them, and then turning away when you spot their gaze on you.

James said this could indicate they're trying to gauge your reactions and figure out how you'd take a break up.

If you can make eye contact then the truth might be there as people's pupils dilate when they're looking at someone they love, if that's not happening for you then I'm very sorry.

A different outlook

This one's pretty obvious, you need only look at your partner's face according to James.

She said that you'll likely be able to recognise 'the look of love' in your partner's face as there'll be a certain way they look at you when things are going really well.

However, once you stop seeing this face and their expression becomes hardened then it's a sign of trouble ahead.

You might notice their expressions change, or they may wish to avoid eye contact.
Olga Rolenko/Getty

A poor reflection

When we want someone to like us we tend to mirror their behaviours, so couples will often adopt similar postures and gestures to subconsciously show they're in sync with each other.

Just like the 'look of love' being over, once this stops happening, James said it was a sign to be wary of.

She explained that when one person's mind switches off from the relationship a couple's 'natural choreography will instantly go out of kilter'.

Mugging to the crowd

Ever been in the dying days of a relationship and felt like you're being watched by an invisible audience that your partner is playing to?

According to the body language expert that's a bad sign, as a partner who starts making fun of you and what you're doing to some invisible third party could be looking to break things off.

James said that this was all part of them trying to make sure they're not the bad guy by ending the relationship, so they'll paint you as being more unreasonable than you are.

That can mean over-exaggerating what you said or did in an attempt to convince this invisible audience that any impending break up isn't their fault.

Your partner over-exaggerating things you do for the sake of argument is a really bad sign.
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Proud peacock

Ever heard of 'peacocking'?

It's basically showing off and trying to get noticed, which your partner wouldn't need to do if they were already loved up with you.

James said a partner appearing to be showing off for other people was a sign that they were getting ready to get themselves back out there again.

You're not our friend any more

If you wanna be their lover then you gotta get with their friends, and if you suddenly find yourself no longer with their friends that can't be good.

Getting a sudden cold shoulder from your partner's friendship group might be a sign that they know the relationship is over and basically see no point in chatting to you.

They might also have heard some horror stories about you from your partner as they've cleared the ground for a break up by explaining why they're calling time on the relationship.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Topics: Sex and Relationships