Revealed: the number one reason that women break up with their partners

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Elle Griffiths
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Words: Elle Griffiths

Whether you’re the dumper or the dumpee, breaking up is hard to do.

But one of the hardest things about it is that you’ll rarely get or give a totally honest answer for the reasons behind the relationship breakdown.

Which is why a survey of dating site users on why they called time on their partners in 2016 makes for fascinating reading.

In a huge sign of the times, the number one reason cited by 35% of women was ‘political differences’. Which – given that the participants were all American – sounds like code for ‘not wanting to date someone who’d vote for a man who boasts about sexual assault’, to us.

It was a different – slightly more superficial – story when it came to male participants.

An overwhelming 27% of men revealed that a partner’s ‘weight gain’ was more than enough reason to call quits on the relationship. Another popular reason was the more vague issue of ‘attachment’, which the study’s authors attempted to shed light on by saying: "As feelings deepen, they become harder to control. Intense feelings can lead to crazy thoughts and irrational decisions.”

Or, in other words, it’s commitment-phobia.

Both men and women place a high premium on all things physical, it seems, with 'bad sex’ high up both lists of reasons for giving someone the boot.

Check out the full list for yourself below:


  1. Political differences – 35%
  2. Bad sex – 24%
  3. Finances – 13%
  4. Jealousy – 10%
  5. Mistrust – 6%


  1. Weight gain – 27%
  2. Attachment – 20%
  3. Jealousy – 18%
  4. Bad sex – 12%
  5. Infidelity – 8%

‘Jealousy’, ‘mistrust’ and ‘infidelity’ also appear interchangeably on both lists, all boiling down to the same issue of trust... or lack thereof.

The study’s creator, dating site What’s Your Price explains: “Jealousy, infidelity, it all comes back to lack of trust. Relationships are built on this. The second someone starts to question the integrity and the motives of the other, it is game over.

“If they have no reason to think you are unfaithful then you shouldn’t let them treat you like you are.” 

It’s important to remember whether you ended your last relationship or someone else ended it for you, the real reason it ended.

And that is that, for at least one of you, it just wasn’t working.

Images: Rex Features


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Elle Griffiths

Elle Griffiths is a freelance writer living in Brighton. She divides her time pretty evenly between despairing about American Politics, watching Mad Men re-runs and complaining about Southern Rail delays.