The Worst of the Worst: 25 Horrid Ways to Break Up with Someone

Breaking up is hard to do. Why not share the pain? Here are 25 heinous strategies for sending your relationship to splitsville.

horrid ways to break up

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon famously wrote that “there must be 50 ways to leave your lover.” There may be. But some are beyond the pale. Here are 25 of the very, very worst ways to break up with someone you once cared about.

1. EMAIL

Several of the worst break-up strategies have one thing in common: fear of seeing your soon-to-be-former-partner’s face as you do the deed. Cowardice is no excuse. Your future ex deserves better.

2. TEXT MESSAGE

This is a great alternative for those who lack even the minimal class to send a cowardly email message. What emoji goes with “U & I R thru”?

3. VOICEMAIL

Another cowardly move. Call when you are sure your partner is away from the phone and leave a message. “Wow, sorry I missed you. I’m just calling to say I’m breaking up with you. Text me and I’ll let you know when it’s convenient for you to come over and pick up your stuff.”

4. TWITTER

You’re kidding, right? Absolutely out of the question unless you’re the President of the United States. And even then – no.

5. GHOSTING

What better way to say “you’re a waste of time” than simply disappearing from their life? No phone call, no explanation, you just disappear. Yeah, you’re a class act.

6. POST-IT NOTE

Yes, you could leave a yellow sticky on the refrigerator or on the screen of your partner’s laptop. “We’re through – Bye!” A hand-drawn smiley-face is optional.

7. LETTER

Yes, a letter is one way of ensuring you get the last word. You won’t have to listen to your future ex protesting your decision or see any tears – that’s a plus. But your ex is sure to share the letter with everyone you both know. Are you ready for that?

8. IN A SONG

Talented people write songs to celebrate relationship milestones all the time. First dates, anniversaries, birthdays – so why not a break-up? How about…because it’s offensive and insensitive?

9. IN BED, RIGHT AFTER SEX

“Thanks for the oral, now would you please pack up your stuff and get out? I’m seeing someone new and I expect them to be here in about an hour, so would you hurry it up, please?” Utterly heinous.

10. ON FACEBOOK

Just change your status from “in a relationship” to “single.” Your partner is sure to notice. Go ahead. It’s how all the 11-year-olds break up.

11. BEING EXTRA-MEAN

This is clever. Become so awful that your partner breaks up with you! That way you don’t have to live with any of the guilt. Gaslight is always in fashion.

12. IN HAWAII

Why not dump your partner in a tropical paradise? The beach is full of singles who can ease your pain – and your partner’s! You can even volunteer to fly to another island if your ex objects to sharing a room with you after you’ve dumped them.

13. WITH FRIENDS

Everybody loves drama. Why not invite all your friends over, or meet them at your favorite restaurant, so they can be part of your break-up the same way they were part of the happier times you shared? Everyone is bound to appreciate being included. And having witnesses around can be helpful if your future ex tends to get violent.

14. IN FRONT OF YOUR FAMILY

There’s no time like Thanksgiving for breaking up. Your partner won’t feel comfortable counter-attacking in front of your mom and dad, and if you have planned ahead, will even have a car there for making a hasty exit. Think of all the post-break-up sympathy you’ll get from your family!

15. IN A PUBLIC PLACE

The benefit of a public break-up is that you can be prepared to deliver the blow quickly and make a get-away while your partner is still looking around, hoping no one has heard anything. Clever!

16. EMOTIONALLY CHECKING OUT

This advanced move should be attempted only by experienced dirtbags. The idea is that you become less and less involved in the relationship, less and less interested in your partner, over time. Eventually, your partner realizes the relationship is dead and breaks up with you. You’re the victim – hooray!

17. AT THE SCENE OF YOUR FIRST DATE

Take your soon-to-be-ex back to a site that factored early in your romance. Your partner surely will not see the break-up coming. Treasure the look of surprise on your partner’s face!

18. ON VALENTINE’S DAY

Why not wait for an especially romantic day to break up? “I hate to break up on Valentine’s Day, but the truth is, you’ve sort of killed the idea of love for me, so it somehow seems appropriate.” That’s the way to twist the knife!

19. AT YOUR PARTNER’S BIRTHDAY PARTY

A surprise break-up is always the right size and color. You can whisper the news in your partner’s ear between present-opening and cake-cutting. What a birthday surprise!

20. GET A FRIEND TO DO IT

Can’t bear to break up face-to-face? Why not get your old college roommate to do the deed? Let your roomie know there’s a good chance of revenge sex and it won’t even count as a favour.

21. AT A WEDDING OR FUNERAL

There’s nothing like getting all dressed up and letting your partner know it’s over. You can make a clean getaway during the ceremony so you don’t have to face any emotional reaction that comes later.

22. BY CHEATING

Get caught being unfaithful and you can almost guarantee your partner will break up with you. Your conscience is clean and you get a little strange on the side.

23. ON SKYPE

A video call may be the ideal way to break up. You get to see the tears and hear your partner’s reaction, but you don’t need to worry about a violent response. Brilliant.

24. BEFORE A JOB INTERVIEW

Reserve this strategy for breaking up with someone who you have really come to hate. A well-timed pre-interview break-up can almost guarantee your ex won’t get the job.

25. ON APRIL FOOL’S DAY

Your ex will gather friends and tell them the bad news, and they will all wonder if maybe it’s just an April Fool’s Day joke gone bad. So your ex will have to ask, which gives you the pleasure of breaking up a second time as you say it wasn’t a joke.

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