Relationships are hard enough to get into, but they’re more of a nightmare to get out of unless the move is a mutual one done with the best interest of both parties in mind. So how do you get out of a bad relationship or break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend?
Well, you’ll get tons of advice about how to do it right, but we feel that you’ll get a much better perspective on things if you know how NOT to break up a romantic relationship.
Because knowing what not to do leaves you with the answer to what you can do, morally and humanely speaking. With that, we introduce to you the Top 10 Worst Ways to Break Up a Relationship or End It with a Friend.
#10: Act Like a Jerk
“It’s brilliant,” you think. I’ll just act like a total jerk and she’ll dump me for someone else. Wrong! Acting like a jerk is just hurtful and insensitive. It doesn’t do her any good to show her your rotten side because – think about it – how would you react if a good friend suddenly started acting all uppity and dismissive one fine day, saying mean things and being rude and abrupt? Obviously, you’d be hurt, right? And you might even go one step further and try to dig into what’s going on. The last thing that will strike you is that they want to end the relationship.
So don’t think you’re playing the martyr by letting her think she wants to break up with you. It’s not brilliant, it’s just dumb.
#9: Ghost Him
Another brilliant idea that’s actually quite moronic and cowardly, not to mention spineless, insensitive, cowardly, craven, lily-livered, cowardly, chicken-hearted, and downright mean. Oh, and did we mention cowardly? Ghosting your boyfriend or bestie is not the way to go. You might think that doing this is an effective way to send the message that you’re not interested anymore. After all, isn’t that how it’s done nowadays? Nope, sorry, you’re on the wrong street going the wrong way.
Ghosting shows fear, immaturity, and possible signs of mental disorders on your part. Well, that last bit might be a stretch but it’s still a sick thing to do – and we’re not talking about the slang usage of that word, just the proper dictionary one – someone in ill physical or mental health.
#8: Fade Away, Slowly
This is even worse than ghosting because it’s confusing to them, at best. At worst, it’s a slow and painful process – for them as much as yourself.
To give you an analogy, a man once wanted to cut his Doberman Pinscher’s tail to make the dog more aggressive. But he thought it too brutal to do it in one go, so he decided to cut off just a little every day.
Fading away is like that. In many ways, it’s even more brutal than ghosting because the pain is prolonged. You think you’re being kind to them but you’re not. You’re causing new injuries to that poor animal on a daily basis. What could be crueler than that? Well, we’ll tell you…
#7: Tell Her “It’s Me, Not You”
Oh, God! Not the “it’s not you, it’s me” spiel! Anyone can see right through this. It’s like people who say “it’s not about the money, it’s about the principle.” Do you EVER believe that? No? Well, neither will she.
Don’t try and play the martyr here by trying to show that you’re the one with the problem and you’re extricating yourself from the relationship as a favor to her. You’re not the martyr; you’re like a hangman trying to convince the person about to die that it’s your fault, not theirs. And if you don’t think that’s ridiculous, you’re going to have a tough time in any relationship.
#6: Criticize Him Continuously Until He Can’t Stand You
Another cruel way to break up with someone or end a friendship is to suddenly become critical of everything they say or do. Now, you’re thinking, “Hey, at least I’m finally being honest” but that’s not how it comes out. To him, it’s ‘daily de-validation’ from the person he loves or respects most after his parents, probably. It’s insensitive, mean, and amounts to psychological torture.
Imagine you’re a world-class athlete and your coach, one fine day, starts criticizing absolutely everything you do. Every step you take is wrong and every performance is inadequate. Your posture is wrong, you don’t know your technique, you’re the worst athlete he’s seen, there’s no way you’re going to make it in that field…
Wouldn’t your ego and self-confidence be pummelled to the ground after just a few days of such behavior? Then why would you do that to someone else?
In the worst-case scenario, he’ll probably leave you and you will have gotten what you wanted. But do you think he will ever respect you again? Years from now, will you be able to face him on the street and be happy about what you put him through?
#5: Break Up with Her in Public
Another cowardly move that guys tend to resort to is to break up in public. They know that she wouldn’t want to cause a scene so she’ll quietly cry into her handkerchief and it will be over in minutes and both of you can go home all the happier for it. Correct? You couldn’t be wronger if you tried. An act of bad faith is what this is.
Sure, you’re no longer happy in this relationship and you want to make a clean break of it. That’s understandable. Relationships don’t all work out for the best. At least you were man enough to do it to her face. But does that absolve you from being too chicken to do this in private and accept her reaction, whatever that might be?
Breaking up in public merely shows that you’re too scared of how she’ll react if you did this when both of you are alone. It’s not a good way to end a relationship.
#6: Tell Him on Valentine’s Day or His Birthday
You need to have a real mean streak in you to tell someone you’re ending the relationship on a day that’s probably very special to them. Why did you have to wait until that particular day? Did you really think it would be easier on him, or did you especially want him to feel that intense pain and hurt when everyone else is celebrating love and experiencing joy? Why not just stab him in the back instead. It’s got to be less painful for him. Why drag him through the emotional mud of being dumped on a day he thought was going to be very special?
#5: Tell Her It’s Temporary and You Just Need to “Clear Your Head”
This is an especially artful yet spinless way to break up. Telling her that you think it’s a good idea to “get some space” or “take a break” when you actually intend to break it off completely is one of the worst things you could do. The reason it’s worse than the other ways we’ve discussed so far is that it tortures the other person with the promise of something that will never be.
On the other hand, if you’re doing it to keep your options open after sowing your oats around for a bit, that’s even worse because it reveals the darkness in your character. Let’s admit it, we all have a dark side that we try hard to keep hidden from the world. But doing this will make your dark side surface in a blatantly apparent manner. And, if you’re willing to string someone along emotionally for your benefit, it’s going to backfire on you at some point. That much is guaranteed.
#4: Break Up by Text Message
Whoa there! You’re not thinking right. Plug your brain back in and think about this. This isn’t some job interview you attended where you later received a notification from HR that “we have found a more suitable candidate so we will not be pursuing your application for this role.”
This is one of the absolute worst ways to break up with someone. You’re simply taking the easy way out and not facing the consequence of what you’re setting in motion. Think about what this might do to your social life. Do you want your friends and family members to know that you ended a relationship with a text message? Do you seriously think she’ll say “oh, well, we tried” and swipe to the next text message and simply go on with her life?
If you had cancer, would you want your doctor to send a casual text saying, “Your results just came in… You’re going to die in 3 months. Talk later!”? Ridiculous, right? Then why would you resort to doing something just as callous?
#3: Break Up with Him in Front of His Friends or Family
Aside from breaking his heart and crushing his confidence, do you also want to embarrass him in front of people he loves and respects? Why on earth would you do that. Even if he’s been the mean one in the relationship and you’re trying to get back at him by punishing him in front of his friends or family, don’t forget that you’re the one they’re going to criticize. They’re obviously going to side with the ‘victim’ in this scenario, and that’s not you. You will lose respect in their eyes, don’t forget that.
If you’re fine with that, then go ahead, but understand that you’re the one who will take all the blame for it for years to come. In fact, you’re only going to be increasing the amount of goodwill for him as far as they’re concerned. It doesn’t serve you well and it could traumatize him for life. Then why do it at all?
#2: Date Her Friend
Are you kidding? Is that the way you want to communicate that the relationship is over? You’re not only destroying any chance of reconciliation after a breakup, but the break up itself is one of the cruelest ways anyone can think of. Not only are you blindsiding her with the news that the relationship has ended, but you’re rubbing salt in the wound by dating her friend.
Even worse, they’re probably never going to be friends again. Even if her friend is doing it out of spite, she’s going to try and justify the decision to your girlfriend by saying that you’re the one who made the first move. That makes it even worse for you because now you’re a louse as well as unworthy of trust. And the word will get around, you can be sure of that.
#1: Post it All Over His Social Media
Ouch! This one will hurt long after the dust has settled. Not only have you crushed his spirit but you’ve also successfully embarrassed him in front of his entire social circle – family, friends, and even acquaintances.
Granted, you deserve a medal for achieving a ‘high degree of bitchiness’ that even Regina George from Mean Girls would be proud of, but what else will you achieve other than being known for your complete lack of morals, decency, and social etiquette?
But if you want to go down in flames, this is probably the best way to do it. Make it as public as possible, and don’t stop with just one social media account – Facebook it, Tweet it, Insta it, and even email his entire address book while you’re at it!
If you’re going down anyway, why not go down big? You’ll never be respected in this town again, anyway, right?
A Footnote About Breaking Up
After reading this article, you’re probably wondering if breaking up is worth the effort at all. If you’re going to be portrayed as the bad guy or the biatch, why bother? Well, just because the article only covers the bad ways to break up, that doesn’t mean breaking up is a bad thing. Sometimes, a relationship just runs its course or it’s one-sided or unhealthy or whatever.
If you feel that you need to break it off, then do it. Just don’t do it in a way that will leave a mountain of hurt, animosity, and anger in your wake. Preserve your boundaries and your self-respect at all times, but also be considerate of the other person.
Most of all, remember that the best break up is one that leaves both of you ’emotionally intact’ and open to finding new relationships to enrich your lives. If you’re able to continue being friends after the break-up, all the better.