Everybody has fears. Maybe spiders or centipedes make your skin crawl, or heights make you dizzy, or perhaps the famous clown from a fast food chain sends you into fits of uncontrollable terror. There is one fear that is particularly annoying to the friends and family of those who have it—it’s the fear of breaking up.
Have you ever had a close friend or family member who complains constantly about their partner, but still won’t leave them? Either they like to complain or they may have Fear of Breaking Up (FOBU). In some cases, FOBU can lead to annoying situations and lingering bad relationships. In more extreme cases, it can cause people to end up trapped in disastrous marriages for the rest of their lives. Here are 10 signs that that you may have FOBU:
#1: Every Day Is a Fight
If you are fighting with your partner constantly and making each other miserable, but you still can’t seem to end the relationship, one or both of you may have fear of breaking up. Some fighting is normal in a relationship—if it’s all you do, the sane thing to do is to break up.
#2: Weddings Tick You off
If seeing happy couples get together―even if they are both friends of yours―is really, really unpleasant to you, you may be in a bad relationship with a fear of breaking up. Or maybe you thrive on chaos. Or maybe you’re just a jerk.
#3: You Have Nightmares about Rhett Butler
If the words “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” terrify you and you have to hide under the covers during breakup scenes in movies, you probably have FOBU. If you will not allow your partner to watch movies with breakup scenes in them for fear that he or she might get ideas, you have an especially bad case.
#4: “We Fight, We Break Up; We Kiss, We Make Up.”
Katy Perry was describing a classic case of FOBU in her popular song “Hot ‘n Cold.” You get to the point of breaking up and you finally do it, but instead of celebrating your independence from a horrible relationship, you run back and make up with the person you were in such a hurry to get rid of. Maybe it takes a day, a few days, or even a week or two, but you always go back, even if you have to grovel and apologize to do it.
#5: You Believe This Is the Only Person for You
If you truly believe that you will never find another person who will deal with your particular level of weirdness, you probably have FOBU. Yes, you are probably really annoying, but there are also probably millions of people out there desperate enough to date you. If the thought of being thrown back into the dating pool again absolutely paralyzes you with fear, you may have serious FOBU.
#6: Your Friends Are Getting Irritated with You
They can only take so much—if you complain about your boyfriend or girlfriend constantly to all of your friends, but never do anything about it, you will find that your friends get irritated. Then you may start to develop fear of breaking up with your friends as well as fear of breaking up with your boyfriend or girlfriend. You’re a mess.
#7: You Have to Be Your Partner’s Defense Attorney
In this case, it’s other people pointing out your beloved’s faults and you find yourself constantly defending your partner when talking to your friends and family. Then you wonder why, since you really kind of agree with them. This is classic FOBU. If you actually find yourself constantly defending your partner in a court of law, you probably have bigger issues.
#8: The Love Notes Just Aren’t Doing It for You
Something about the way your partner is communicating with you is rubbing you the wrong way. If every note, text, or email you receive from your partner causes a reaction ranging somewhere between annoyance and rage, but yet you still don’t leave them, here’s a message for you—you’ve got FOBU.
#9: You Fantasize About Ending Your Relationship
If you rehearse your breakup speech in the mirror in the morning or plan out how you’ll spend your first two weeks after breaking up, you probably are with the wrong person. If you’ve been doing this for a decade, you’ve got bigger problems than FOBU.
#10: You’re Constantly Checking Out Your Exes
It’s natural to occasionally wonder what happened to people you used to date, but if you’re checking their Facebook page eleven times a day and writing them love letters that you never send, you may have issues. If you’re in a relationship with someone else at the time and can’t bring yourself to break up, one of your issues is probably FOBU.