Women often complain that men are bad at talking about their feelings, and one of the effects of this is that a breakup can come literally out of the blue. Obviously it hasn’t really, but because their ex never talked about the relationship they didn’t realize that he was dissatisfied or unhappy enough to be thinking of ending it. And so they are blindsided, and engulfed in huge emotional turmoil wondering Why It Happened. To help you focus your thoughts a little better when you’re feeling so much at sea, these are the top five reasons men give for breaking up.

1. Other Things Are More Important to Him

He’s finding he hasn’t time for the things in his life that are more important. On the face of it this sounds like a classical case of ‘he’s just not that into you’, but there are two different versions of this problem.

In the first version it really is just a lack of enthusiasm for spending more time with you. If he prioritises everything else in his life over you (career, friends, family, just chilling out…) then he is obviously pretty lukewarm about your relationship. And if you have been complaining about it too then he’s more motivated to solve the problem by simply ending things and moving on. You can reverse this but you need to change the way he sees you first (go here to find out how).

In the second version he has genuine reasons for not being able to spend much time with you and he may feel you both deserve better. If has heavy commitments elsewhere then they may be temporarily more important than you, and so a lot depends on how you react when he fails to make you the priority you believe he should.

In this case you should talk calmly about the situation and try to understand his point of view. If you can find a way forward then it could ultimately strengthen your relationship and deepen the intimacy between you.

2. The Relationship Didn’t Develop Into Anything Deeper

You both enjoyed the first date but although you continued to see each other things never really moved on from there. That might be because despite enjoying each other’s company you didn’t have enough in common to forge a deeper connection. Or it might be that he was only marking time and now someone else more alluring has come along.

Or it might be that he suspected you were developing deeper feelings for him that he couldn’t reciprocate. It’s never comfortable to be in a relationship where the people involved have different expectations and a decent man won’t want to lead you on. In this case be glad that he liked you enough to want to save you from future disappointment and pain.

And remember it’s not your fault. You were just wrong for each other and it’s better to find that out sooner rather than later.

3. The Relationship Didn’t Give Him What He Wanted

He started out with high hopes but now it feels as if he’s in the wrong relationship. There might be several reasons for that, but it usually becomes clear as you both begin to relax and be more like your natural selves. Everybody puts on their best behavior when they start dating someone new, but as he got to know you better he found that you weren’t the woman he thought he was dating.

Perhaps you became too needy and demanding and made him feel trapped. Maybe the spark disappeared. Perhaps you began to argue too often and he wasn’t emotionally invested enough to tolerate it. When a relationship begins to feel like work before you are even committed to each other men don’t often think it’s worth pursuing.

The other reason might be that he didn’t feel respected which made him unwilling to take the relationship to the next level. And if you would counter that he needs to earn your respect then of course that’s true, but if he failed to do so then you should ask yourself why you wanted to be with him anyway. Respect has to be a two-way street.

4. He Didn’t Think He Could Make You Happy

There were tensions in the relationship that made him feel he was trying to push a boulder uphill. This happens when you fight a lot or when something always seems to be wrong. If you were unhappy enough to feel the need to criticise him regularly then he will feel pressured and inadequate.

Obviously he is not the man you want, and he’s not going to try to become someone he isn’t just to please you. And he’s right. No-one can keep up such a pretence for long, and it won’t lead to happiness for either of you.

If you are highly critical of your boyfriend than you should be asking yourself why you are staying with him. Are you settling? Is it a case of any old port in a storm? Because it obviously isn’t a match made in heaven.

If you are constantly irritated and disappointed with your boyfriend then you are just wrong for each other.

5. He’s Not Ready to Commit

You’ve been together a while, long enough for you to have started to think more long term about the future. It this for keeps? Or is it impossible to imagine ‘forsaking all others’ for this person?

Some men will allow a relationship to drift on knowing they have no intention of making any real commitment. “Things are fine as they are” is the usual response when you ask about moving your relationship forward. But a decent man who is sure that he’s never going to want to commit to this relationship won’t want to lead you on. He will prefer to be honest, even though it’s painful, and set you free to find someone else; a man who will want to commit himself to you.

If you are still sure he’s he one for you then can try to change his mind. If you can recalibrate the chemistry between you so that he sees you as the one woman he has to have, then everything will change. It can be done.

The Reasons Men Give For Breaking Up Can Be Counteracted

You can see that the reasons men give for breaking up can really be treated as excuses for not trying harder to make the relationship work. But although that might be obvious to you, you need to persuade him to see things differently too.

The way to do that isn’t to argue or use logic to convince him. That never works. This is an emotional problem so you must appeal to him through his emotions. And there is way to do it. Go here to find out more.