A body language expert has revealed the signs to look out for that may suggest your partner is thinking of calling time on your relationship.
Nobody likes the feeling of being dumped out of the blue, so British expert Judi James has identified some of the small indications that could be a clear give away – including tapping of the foot and an increased time spent on appearance.
She goes on to say that in today’s modern world, partners who look at their phones more than they used to might be looking for support outside of the relationship – by communicating more with friends and family – or for a distraction from finally calling it off.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Judi also said little details, such as your partner’s pupils and their facial expressions could reveal their true intentions.
British body language expert Judi James has shared the signs to look out for which may suggest your partner is looking to break the relationship off. Partners who act impatient might do so because they’re mentally preparing to leave. Pictured, stock image
1. METRONOMIC RITUALS
Judi says there’s often a sense of impatience at the end of a relationship.
‘Impatience to get away and impatience to get the actual dumping over and done with,’ she explains. ‘When we’re in love we dwell on every moment together but before a split each one of those moments can feel like a week.
‘The non-verbal cues can emerge in the form of metronomic gestures that tap or beat out a quick rhythm to speed things up.’
The expert went on to give drumming fingers, tapping feet or a leg judder as examples of such metronomic rituals.
2. SELF-COMFORT GESTURES
If your partner starts vbting their lips or nail, it might e that their body is betraying the guilt they feel about ending things (stock picture)
Breaking up with a partner can bring a lot of stress, and a partner might unconsciously resort to small gestures to comfort themselves, according to Judi.
‘This emotional pressure can lead to an increase in self-comfort rituals, like fiddling, hair-preening, face-touching or fidgeting,’ she says. ‘These relate to childhood rituals of self-calming during periods of anxiety.’
She added they can also adopt ‘self-attack behaviours,’ such as biting their lips, cracking their knuckles or biting their nails.
‘Animals often “attack” themselves, biting out their own fur or pulling their own feathers when they are unable to attack their enemy and this can also be seen in humans who are having to bide their time before hurting their partner,’ Judi explains.
‘Check the side of his cheek while you’re talking, too. If you see the small muscle there working away he might just be suppressing irritation or boredom.’
If your partner starts to use their bags, phones or other objects as a way to block physical contact, they might be considering ending things
3. BARRIER GESTURES
Couples in love will tend to constantly touch each other, or have their arms close enough to facilitate touching, the body language expert claims.
‘When a split is looming on the horizon, not only with touch rituals decrease but these intentional gestures will be replaced by barrier rituals,’ she says.
‘Examples can include carrying a phone, bag and/or car keys in the hand closest to you to avoid hand-holding or sitting with their legs crossed away from you to avoid foot or leg touch.’
She adds that they may fold their arms to avoid touching, but might still spread their legs to feel braver and on top of the situation.
4 THE PHONE-A-FRIEND
In this modern day and age, phones are the perfect distraction if you’re thinking of ending a relationship, says Judi.
‘For someone about to end a relationship the phone is like their escape route to the real world when they are with you,’ she explains.
Partners who are on their way out might be on their more because they’re turning to their friends and family for support, and communicating with them more (stock picture)
‘It signifies support, friendship and morale-boosting, especially if they are super-active on social media.’
She goes on to say that while preparing themselves to dump you, a partner will look for support in their loved ones, complaining about you and painting you as the bad guy to gain sympathy.
‘They will become ferociously protective of their phone, too,’ she adds. ‘This can be a sign of an affair but it can also be because they see it as a private lifeline to friends.’
5. STRESS SIGNALS
‘Splitting can be most stressful just prior to the announcement itself so an increase in signals of stress, pressure and anxiety when there seems to be no other external causes might suggest he’s building up to it,’ Judi says.
‘An accelerated blink rate, a contraction of the shoulder and neck muscles causing an upward hunch, accelerated and more shallow breathing, face or head-rubbing, lip-licking or a small tongue-poke and an inability to sit still can all be common symptoms,’ she adds.
6. THE EYES
The eyes are the most expressive part of the body, says Judi – adding that humans can communicate the smallest of emotional change through their eyes due to their small muscles.
‘This is why, when we are wanting to hide or mask our thoughts, we will often use cut-off rituals to hide out eyes from the other person,’ she says.
‘A partner on the brink of breaking up will tend to avoid eye contact at all costs, looking down or away or keeping busy with small tasks like continuing to look at their phone or their keypad while you are talking.
And the expert adds that your partner might also be giving you looks when you’re not paying attention, only to look away if you try to meet their gaze.
‘This pensive watchfulness often means they are role-playing the split in their mind, working out how it will feel and how you might react,’ she explains.
7. PUPIL DILATION
Judi also says there’s a physiological sign that the end of a relationship is nearing, which your partner cannot hide from you.
‘When we look at someone we love our pupils dilate,’ she says. ‘When the love dies expect to see those pupils contracted when they look at you.’
8. THE HARDENING OF THE FACIAL FEATURES
Signs that a person is stressed, such as blinking their eyes, accelerated breathing, rubbing their face or inability to sit still might be a sign your partner is preparing to end things and are feeling guilty or stressed about it (stock picture)
Just like the eyes can betray your partner’s feelings, Judi says their facial features also explains a lot about how they feel.
‘When we love someone our entire face changes when we look at them,’ she says. ‘The eye muscles relax and the cheeks rise slightly, causing a softened eye expression, and the muscles around the outside edges of the lips relax to form a smile while some muscles of the top lip might pucker to try to subtly suppress that smile.’
She continues: ‘It is an expression from your partner that will be uniquely aimed at you and it is commonly referred to as ‘The look of love’.
‘An alteration of that expression is often the first signal that a relationship is on its uppers.
‘The softening vanishes to be replaced by a much harder eye expression and when there is a smile it might be a polite rictus rather than a congruent look of affection.’
9. SUBLIMINAL MIRRORING
Another change might that your partner will no longer mirror your attitudes or gestures, according to the expert.
‘A close couple will usually mirror one another’s posture and gestures, even when they aren’t looking at one another,’ says Judi. ‘Mirroring is a sign of like-minded thinking and tuning in to one another even when apart.
‘When one person tunes out emotionally the natural choreography will instantly go out of kilter.’
10. MOCKING EXPRESSIONS
Judi also says that your partner might try to paint you as the bad guy to alleviate the guilt they might feel about ending the relationship.
‘It’s a denial process that aims to protect the ego, which hates to believe it is doing anything wrong,’ she says.
‘This will cause body language over-reactions to anything you might do or say, including eye-rolling, sighing or throwing out their arms in displays of acted exasperation.’
She adds that during interactions, they might ‘play to an invisible audience in a bid to keep their own reputation spotless, with a kind of an “There you are, I told you so!” selection of gestures to prove to the world they are justified in what they are about to do.’
Judi goes on to say that a partner on the brink of breaking up with their significant other might also try to provoke big arguments over small things in hopes of using it as a reason to break it off.
‘Even if they have a new relationship in the pipeline, your partner might begin to “Peacock,” Judi says, referring to a partner preparing themselves to get back on the dating market.
‘Expect their eye to be caught by every mirror they pass, plus some exaggerated body posturing like leg splaying and chest-puffing in a man and back-arching and pouting in a woman.’
12. ANIMOSITY SIGNALS FROM THEIR FRIENDS
Judi also warns that even if they are putting on a polite face prior to the split, their friends probably won’t.
‘It’s common for someone thinking of ending a relationship to paint their partner as the bad guy, hoping their friends will egg them on to split, which will make them feel less guilty,’ the body language expert says.
‘Their negative PR pitch about you should mean their friends’ acceptance signals diminish out of loyalty to them and they might even begin to look openly hostile.’