Breakups are hard enough as it is: Even with your bestie’s full support, they can still have a pretty devastating effect on your mental health. While there are plenty of things that suck about ending a relationship, one of the hardest things to deal with is feeling blindsided. Chelsea Leigh Trescott, a breakup coach and advice columnist, has some pro tips to help ensure you never have to be blindsided by a breakup again.

“The only thing worse than going through a breakup is anticipating yourself going through a breakup,” Trescott says. “Sometimes this anticipation comes from within ourselves. It’s this dreadful, and often unexpressed, intuitive understanding that your partner just isn’t right for you or vice versa.” If that intangible feeling is setting in, you probably can ascertain that your partner is thinking about a split. However, if the signs are more subtle, you might want to see if they match up with Trescott’s red flags.

A woman sits on a swing as she sadly reads her phone

The Warning Signs

1. They’re making big declarations about your relationship. “It sounds counterintuitive, but this may really be a sign that your partner is trying to overcome this aching feeling that something is off by talking themself back into love,” Trescott explains. “Make sure the words are matching the actions.” In this case, your partner is probably experiencing cognitive dissonance, which is a mismatch between their thoughts or feelings and their actions.

2. They start checking out. When your partner is thinking about ending things, they probably will begin to pull away from you when it comes to hanging out. For example, they might spend more time on their phone while you’re on a date or insist that they can’t call you in the morning like they used to. If you notice this behavior and call your partner on it, pay special attention to their reaction: “If you’re lashing out and claiming that your partner is no longer the same, and they aren’t trying to prove to you otherwise, then a breakup is most likely on the horizon,” shares Trescott.

3. You feel pushed away. While the way you spend time together reflects the state of your relationship, the way your partner speaks to you can also be a clue to what they’re thinking. According to Trescott, these signals can include comparing you to past partners/relationships or even to other women in general.

A woman argues with her partner

How to Deal

Put simply, the best thing to do when you see the signs is to see the signs. Although it can be really hard to admit the truth, Trescott encourages you to face what’s happening head-on.

“The surest way to feel powerful in the face of rejection and in the wake of heartbreak is to see things for exactly what they are and let go of whoever is trying to leave you,” she reminds us. “Do not force anyone to stay, do not ignore that feeling in your belly that says something isn’t right, and always remember that overcoming a breakup is always easier than anticipating the breakup itself.”

How have you coped with this sticky situation? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)