Christian Dating Advice: When to Break Up

Sometimes, enough is enough. That point tends to be different for different people, but we all know when that personal threshold has been reached.

However, when it comes to dating, some people are built to various degrees of temperament than most others. They tend to be near one end of the extreme or the other regarding what they will tolerate. This makes them either too rigid or too flexible, and that’s why it helps to have some standard guidelines behind what warrants a breakup for a relationship – especially if one of those people is you.

Beliefs and behavior are the two primary causes of a breakup, and we want to provide you with a quick but reliable list of understandable reasons for breaking up with the person you’re dating. If you don’t see one of your reasons on this list, you might be in that “too rigid” camp from above. But if you see a few of these reasons on this list that you’ve let slide, you might be in the “too flexible” camp.

Regardless of where you land on that scale, we encourage you to prayerfully consider your relationship after reading this article.

man and woman sitting next to eachother

Objective Reasons

This category contains the big red flags for every Christian relationship. These are the types of circumstances that cause other Christians to emote things like “get out while you still can” and other similar expressions on their face. We’ve all seen one of those looks before.

There are three objective reasons that are always problematic and warrant a breakup. They are almost always signs of deeper concerns, both mentally and spiritually. We do not suggest trying to save the relationship if any of the following situations are occurring: Heretical Beliefs, Cheating, and Abuse.

Heretical Beliefs

Go straight to jail, do not pass GO, and do not collect $200 (also don’t use potentially outdated references like that) if your partner holds heretical beliefs about or contrary to the Christian faith. 

The Trinity isn’t really true? Next. Jesus wasn’t fully God? Next. Jesus is actually the archangel Michael? Next. Jesus is a created being and didn’t preexist eternally with God? Next. Every religion is a pathway to right-standing with God? Next. I am my own god? NEXT!

It’s important to have a grasp on the fundamentally orthodox beliefs of Christianity. The beliefs above and more are ecumenically condemned throughout Christendom and will eventually land those adherents in God’s prison system (#hell). They are definitely sufficient grounds for ending the relationship.


Cheating is another problem worth ending the relationship over, but it needs a bit of clarification and qualification. If you haven’t “made it official” as a couple, you’re dating each other; you’re not in a relationship. Dating other people isn’t cheating, but once you’ve mutually decided to be in a relationship together, dating someone else becomes an act of cheating.

A Christian relationship is supposed to mimic the dynamic of marriage. It’s essentially a trial run with lower risks, and as such, their decision to breach the trust of the relationship is not the type of foreshadowing desired for marriage. Infidelity is always wrong and definitely a dealbreaker for any romance.


Abuse should never be tolerated and is a very serious problem. It comes in two types, mental and physical. Both types must be escaped and are grounds for halting the relationship.

Mental abuse is the most common type. It comes in a variety of forms, but it most often manifests in controlling behavior through conditioned responses. If you’re afraid to do or say something benign because your partner will make you suffer if you do (ex: visit parents, go to church, voice concerns, etc.), you may be experiencing mental abuse. It’s always advisable to get an outside opinion before self-diagnosing this to be true.

Physical abuse isn’t just wrong, it’s also a crime. Romantic relationships are anything but when physical abuse exists in them. Not only do we advocate terminating this relationship, but we also encourage you to press charges against the abuser so others don’t have to suffer the same fate.

Subjective Reasons

This category contains issues that aren’t necessarily dealbreakers, but they might become problematic over the long term. They’re subjective reasons because some couples will work to pacify these types of conflicts, but other couples will find them worth concluding the relationship.

Each couple is different, and each person in that couple has their own limitations. Hence, there are two subjective reasons for ending a relationship: Spiritual Differences and Personal Differences.

Spiritual Differences

Any type of non-heretical spiritual difference can be an insurmountable issue for some couples. Differences can include things like denominational divides, theological incompatibilities, prayer practices, or spiritual commitment. Each of those aspects has varying degrees of significance and merit.

There is a range of problematic potential under the umbrella of those examples. While the estimation of those differences might be mild to some couples, they can be meaningful enough to break up for others.

Personal Differences

We’ve saved the most common reason for last. Personal differences are the primary cause of heartbreak and the majority of couple breakups. It’s usually never the decision of both people.

The reasoning behind the decision to end the relationship is often highly subjective. It could be over something as fickle as an annoying habit while eating, or it might be over something as significant as consistently rude behavior to others. There is a spectrum of personalities and, therefore, a spectrum of reasons that contribute to this decision-making process.

Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that not every personal difference warrants a breakup. A considerable number of them are in fact trivial, but that’s the accommodation of the dating dynamic compared to the marriage dynamic. Since romantic relationships are meant to be a trial run before marriage, these types of “minor issues” are permissible reasons for a breakup but would not be acceptable reasons for a divorce.

When you decide to get married, you’re also deciding to forego your ability to break up over these types of small issues.