‘Why do so many long-term relationships end in breakup?’ ‘Is it because of time, because they lasted for so long?’ ‘How can you unlove somebody you love?’

These questions puzzled me as I saw so many long-term relationships ending and so few of them succeeding. I couldn’t help but investigate why. I had long and thorough conversations. These are the reasons I got:

1. Love turned to habit.

You just get used to that person and can’t imagine not having them around. Love just faded away like it did to some of the old married couples. All of a sudden you realize you are staying because you have already spent too much time and effort on that person.

You have shared so much. You are scared of change so you stick around. But there is a point where you have to decide whether you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody you are used to.

2. Love vs. ‘In love’

When two people love each other but forget how to be in love. You know they are good—they are worth it, part of you doesn’t want it to end, but it’s just not working. You love them as you love your family but nothing more. The passion is gone and you don’t want to continue without it.

3. Starting too young.

You don’t know who you are when you are alone because you spent most of your adult life with that person and you are starting to miss you. You feel lost and trapped.

 

Young same dressed couple sitting on bench

4. Changing.

You outgrow one another in every sense of the word. You simply become incompatible because you are not the same person you were when you started the relationship. You want different things now and it just doesn’t seem like you are on the same page anymore.

5. Lack of compromise.

Over the course of the years, people change and they fight a lot because of it. When the relationship feels more like the war zone and you are never at ease, it’s time to leave.

6. Family pressure.

The person you are with becomes an integral part of your family—they attend family reunions, weddings, they go out on a casual coffee get together. That’s generally a good thing. But if the only reason you are staying in a relationship is not to disappoint your family members, you are not doing anyone a favor. That’s not the right reason to be in a relationship.

7. Cheating.

They just fell in love with somebody else and were selfish enough to peruse it before ending a relationship they are already in. Or they wanted to stay in a relationship and have somebody on the side. So disrespectful. But it’s better to end a long-term relationship than to get married, have kids, and than realize what is happening.

See also: Honestly, Why Do We Cheat?

8. Masks down.

People just get tired of pretending, so the worst of them come out at some point. There are all sorts of cases from physical to mental abuse of any sort. You should be grateful they revealed their true colors no matter how long it took them, and thank God you got rid of them.