Fairytales and rom-coms lead us to believe that love is enough to sustain a relationship — and to live happily ever after, of course. But the reality is, it takes a whole lot more to make things work because relationships are complicated AF. Distance, misaligned goals, or conflicting values are all very valid reasons to end a relationship that seems happy. Sometimes, people split simply because something doesn’t feel quite right in their gut.

I should know — over the course of my adolescence into adulthood, I have observed with astonishment as a number of relationships that I thought were rock solid crumbled before my eyes. I’ve seen friends’ parents who appeared to have the model marriage got divorced. And I’ve watched as girlfriends who gushed about their partners decided to call it quits seemingly out of nowhere. I even ended a healthy, basically happy relationship that seemed perfect on paper. Why? Because I simply had this nagging feeling that something was missing for me, and I couldn’t put my finger on what it was.

There are so many legitimate factors that may lead someone to end a relationship, and not all of them have to do with betrayal, fighting, distrust, or incompatibility. Case in point: these seven women all broke off basically happy relationships for very valid reasons.

He got baby fever.

— jko42

It was nothing personal.

— busterlungs

He came out.

— Shannon, 28

It was purely a logistical problem.

— CatrionaShadowleaf

The relationship was imbalanced.

— PanDukeBandit

The spark was MIA.

— Southernms

Distance can be a b*tch.

— Diana, 30

The bottom line is, just because a relationship seems happy doesn’t mean it’s built to last. There are so many factors that need to fall into place for a partnership to work, and most importantly, both people need to be equally invested and interested in making it work. If only love were enough, right? As it turns out, relationships require a whole lot more to result in a fairytale ending.

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