Ah, relationships. Full of soaring highs and then gut-punch-level lows, right?

Sadly, most relationships have a use-by date on them – sure, some will last forever! But given we’re all in our 20’s/30’s it’s highly likely we’ve either experienced a relationship breakdown, or we’re gonna experience a relationship breakdown at some point. Bleak, sorry. But it’s true.

Because we’re all gross voyeuristic nosy parkers, it’s always an enjoyable time to hear about other people’s shit. So I asked a bunch of people about the moment in one of their past relationships that they just knew things were in the crapper. Not necessarily the moment it ended, but the moment it ended ~in their soul~, you feel?

Lots of names changed for obvious reasons (avoiding angry DMs).

My first ever serious boyfriend realised at around 5 months into our relationship that he hadn’t sorted out another lease after his current living situation wrapped up. He was basically facing homelessness in the interim, and because I’m a fuckin’ legend, I was like “oh, just move your shit into my basement that no one uses and bunk with me for a couple weeks”. SEVEN MONTHS LATER, he suddenly decides to start looking for a place.  So he moves out. About 4 days later I go over to the new place and offer to help him unpack. He’s very quiet and a bit snarky. Then he goes “NO the DVD’s are sorted by GENRE”. It was then I realised that he had been wanting to end it for a while, but didn’t want to be homeless. Bugger. – John

I was at the beach with my ex, and we had this huge fight in the car because for, well, pretty much the entirety of our relationship he rarely made time for me, and that was meant to be our nice beach day but he decided to work on some completely not urgent business-related thing for most of the morning. Anyway, we are frosty as hell at the beach, have the worst time, and I literally remember going “I’m going for a swim” and him not joining me as being the defining moment. I could tell the relationship was just completely over somewhere deep in my psyche. We didn’t break up for about a week after that, but if I look back I can tell it was that specific fight that was the nail in our coffin. RIP. – Ella

My boyfriend of five years and I tried to do the last year long distance, me flying to Hong Kong and him staying with me in Sydney at least once every couple of months. We both really struggled with it, and on my last trip to HK I remember saying that I needed a time limit on this. He ummed and ahhed – the plan had been to move together to London after a year or so of him living in HK – and I remember the last time we slept together having this weird bittersweetness to it, like we both knew somewhere in the back of our minds that this was the end. We didn’t actually split until a month later, about two days after my birthday, and less than a month before he was due to stay with me over Christmas and NY. – Hannah

We had a really whirlwind romance, we went from our first date to pretty much living together in a tiny room in a terrace house with a door that was a shared door with the bathroom, lol. Anyway there were a lot of red flags – his family were hoarders, when I went to his house it was horrifying, he was obsessed with breaking into song after like half a beer, he dressed like a pirate – don’t judge me please I was 18. I knew our relationship was over when he became completely emotionally invested in his audition for X-Factor. He got through the first round, and we went to the rounds where you audition on stage with the cameras for the celebrity judges. He sang a song from Les Mis and completely forgot the words and was just generally not a very good singer anyway. So Red Foo and Dannii Minogue just eviscerated him and his pirate hair and his pirate outfit. He had a full scale crisis level breakdown afterwards, and I was just sitting there like, “it’s okay, you’ll be okay” in my head thinking “would it be bad to break up with him right now”. So as he mourned his x factor career i was mourning the relationship. – Ally

I’d been dating a guy for about six months and he still hadn’t come out to any of his friends or family, so we spent most of the time going on ‘secret’ dates which wasn’t great for the old self-esteem. Anywho, one night I got ridic drunk and called him crying, and then things ended pretty quickly after that. Don’t drunk cry on the phone people, you’ll cringe for the rest of your life. – Louis

I feel like I can always tell when a relationship is over during the final time we have sex. It’s extremely grim, but I have this moment where everything feels like it’s “the last time”. One ex of mine and I were having dramas about whether he could “be in a relationship right now” or not, and we’d had this big, teary discussion about it which turned into boning. It was extremely intense sex, like super, super emotional, and I cried immediately afterward, which I’ve never done before or since. It’s like I knew it was over and I think he did too. It was the saddest thing I think I’ve ever experienced. We didn’t break up for another 2 weeks, but everything was off from that point onward. – Gemma

We caught up for my birthday, and everything was great until we started discussing that time Josh from Queens Of The Stone Age kicked a photographer in the head. He was saying it happens all the time at gigs and she was just profiting from the attention and should suck it up. I felt that maybe people should be able to do their jobs without getting kicked in the head. That was it, I was done. – Blessi

So I had been dating this girl for a couple of years back in the days when MSN Messenger was still a thing. I had that thing where the song you were listening to would show in your display name and at the time, the Misery Signals album ‘Controller’ had just dropped. I was obsessed with it. My girlfriend logs in and immediately starts asking me why I’m listening to metal and argues that I should listen to something else for at least half an hour. I knew at that point it just wasn’t going to work. I mean, I fucking love metal. – Ted

We’d been together for 6 years, doing long distance for the past 3 months when he randomly uploaded an Instagram pic of him with some chick and captioned it “my girl.” I confronted him about it and he said there was “nothing to see”. Fast forward four years and they are married. – Holly

Basically, I was 19, he was 24 (I think) so like a bit older. He told me he wanted to marry me and all that real drunk one night, I was super awks about it and like the drunk emotional girl I am I ended up crying and was like aww… Then after a 2 day hangover and I saw the light and went “nup this cannot happen”. I started to pick fights with him for no reason at all, because I am a horrible person, and started to resent the whole relationship, he would always say sorry and it got really just toxic. I ended up breaking up with him about a month after all of that, but the semi-proposal was definitely the defining moment. – Amy

When my grandfather passed away while I was in college, I wanted to call my best friend but instead I called my boyfriend. After about 3 minutes on the phone with me (I was a blubbering mess) he said he had to go back to studying for a test the next day. We hung up, and I called my best friend. Long story short I broke up with that guy and the best friend and I have been married for over 10 years now. – Jennifer

When he wanted to watch a rerun of an old football game in the hotel room (a game he had literally SEEN BEFORE) instead of explore Siem Reap with me. – Libby

I was only 14 so obviously it was pretty serious, but I decided to call it off with a girl I had been seeing for six weeks because, fresh in the wake of the Cronulla riots, she expressed tacit support for the racists and intimated that the non-white people were the real problem, for fighting back. I do not know whether or not she is still racist to this day. – Ben

I once realised that I needed to break up with a partner when instead of coming on family holiday with us he spent a considerable amount of money on a remote control car that was like 1/5 the size of an actual car. He then went on to not bother to check in with me at all when I was away, and I burst into tears in the middle of the airport on the way home because I was just so frazzled and upset and done. When I got back we stayed together for a bit and then I had a revelation whilst driving when I heard Solange’s ‘Losing You’ for the first time on the radio. We broke up over lunch, I sobbed out of sheer relief and he paid for our meals. – Courtney

Last year I was dating a guy and we were about to book a holiday to New Zealand together. As we were organising everything I started thinking about how I really wanted to go to NZ but wished I was going on a holiday with my bestie… or my sister… or just like not him. Broke up with him a week later and booked a holiday to Vietnam with a school friend instead. – Dina

It was my birthday, and he started opening all these bags of things he had bought for himself, I’m talking jeans, sneakers, after shave. Then gave me a key ring for my birthday; granted it was not a bad key ring but I knew from then it was done. – Annie

I’d been seeing this guy for about 8 months and it was just getting serious, you know all that ‘we’re bf/gf now, yay’ stuff. Anyway, he gets a great job opp in the USA. I was in Canada at the time so that wasn’t such a big deal and we were still planning on making it work. Then a month later he informed me he ‘can’t let me go’ but that his work visa hadn’t come through so he was marrying his ex (who was a US citizen). I didn’t even know there WAS an ‘ex’. I made him let me go. – Kassia

I dated this guy from high school for about 3 years, he was my first boyfriend. It just started to fizzle out as we finished year 12. I remember one day he said that maybe we should go on a week break (whatever that means? What the fuck is a break? What is a 1 week break? How does that fix things? I don’t even know!) Anyway, he said we should go on a break and just have time to ourselves. I was pretty cut up about it at the time but after a brief chat with my mum she just said: “Do you really want to go through life with this person.. having been with only just this one person..?” It all clicked pretty quickly and that’s when I knew it was over. – Georgia

Image: Kath and Kim