Breaking up is never easy, especially if you’re the one getting dumped. No longer are the days where he would come to your house, sit down with with you, talk about the problems, and then mutually decide that it is not working (ok... well some real men still do... but certainly not enough). No, now it is treated like a quick and dirty job where you are the plague and he is running for his life. At least you can take some consolation in the fact that it didn’t happen in one of these 15 ways…
15 The obvious infidelity
You think things are going well, and everything has been coming up sunshine and roses. They, on the other hand, have some other ideas. And instead of trying to work things out, or you know, just tell you in person it’s not working out, they come up with an elaborate scenario so that you catch them cheating on you, and then you have to break up with them. There are no wins in this situation. It’s hurtful and embarrassing to you, obviously reflects very poorly on them, and sucks for the person being used to act out this situation- they probably don’t know what’s going on.
14 Facebook official
It’s not official until it’s Facebook official, right? Apparently that goes for breakups too. Imagine opening up your Facebook on your morning commute, just wanting to pass the time with some cat photos, and you notice your significant relationship’s status has changed to ‘single’… Not only does seeing this status hurt, but the hundreds of comments by women asking 'oh why?' makes it even worse. He couldn't even tell you in person, he waited for you to see this heartbreaking Facebook status.
13 The Post-It note
Things have been going great. You’ve been living together for a few months, and if anything, you’ve been waiting for things to move on to the next step. You’re ready for it. You wake up and go about your day as usual, thinking about what you’re both going to cook for dinner that night. Only to find it- the pretty inconspicuous Post-It note saying things aren’t working, and you need to move out asap. What?! It’s like you’re in an episode of Sex in the City. Who does this? Too many people- there are stories about Post-It notes found on coffee pots, in a favourite book, on bathroom mirrors, and even worse, at the bottom of laundry baskets. You just did their smelly laundry so you could find the most devastating Post-It of all time?!
12 The Christmas Card
Who doesn’t love getting a piece of actual mail every once in a while? It happens so rarely that it’s exciting every time, even if you know it’s just a generic Christmas card from a distant relative. Until you open it up and the message scrawled inside is ‘Merry Christmas! Enjoy being single!’ That’s not a Christmas gift… that’s heartbreak. And it’s taken all the fun out of opening the mail! Maybe it is a Christmas gift in disguise- the gift of realizing you’re better than them and it’s probably best if you move on.
All of your single friends have just downloaded Tinder, and they’re excited to try it out, so you’re all sitting around debating over whether they should swipe left or swipe right, and laughing over all those high school boyfriends that keep showing up. You’re doling out sage advice about whether that guitar playing dog lover will be a good match or not… until someone goes silent, and hands over their phone… and you see your significant other staring back at you. Hmm. Looks like you may be getting in on the Tinder game too.
The person you’ve been seeing has just become a ghost. You think. No phone calls, texts, Instagrams, Facebook posts, letters, dates… anything. They just stopped contacting you and responding to any of your communication attempts- they’ve basically disappeared off the face off the earth, and you’re left wondering if they’re sick, dead, missing, if you should send out a search party, if they’ve gone on an expedition, or if they’re just a sucky person. This is frustrating because you have no closure whatsoever, and part of you might always wonder if they’re going to pop back up like nothing ever happened.
Social media is great. Usually. But finding out you’ve been broken up with, on a public site, in 140 characters? Not great. The same goes for any other form of social media- vaguebooking the breakup or all the divorce details, sending a Snapchat, posting on Instagram, or any other form of social media. None of those are great. It’s disrespectful, embarrassing for both of you, and basically lasts forever. At least there’s proof out there about how unprofessional they are… what employer doesn’t Google potential employees now? Karma.
8 Using their friends
You have not been in junior high school for a very, very long time, but you wouldn’t know with how some people act. Remember those times with your first crushes and dates, where you’d send friends back and forth to see if you liked each other? And to deliver the bad news for you? It’s like you’re in a time warp… because you’ve just received a message from their best friend saying they won’t be seeing you anymore. Or even worse, their mom called to tell you. Proof that people don’t always grow up, they just get older.
7 The unclear statement
‘I think we should take a break.’ What does that even mean?! Who knows? The ambiguity in this statement is completely frustrating, and only results in questions on both sides. For how long? What does it entail? Are you still together, but just not seeing each other for a while? Are you officially broken up and can do what you want, but you’ll get together in a few weeks to see if you want to get back together? Are they just saying ‘break’ but they have no intention of ending the break? Whatever it means, they should be clear about exactly what they mean. It’s only fair for both of you.
6 Text messages or email
Sure, they’re slightly more personal than Twitter, Facebook, or all those other forms of social media- at least they’re directly contacting you, using your personal information, but it’s still the easy way out. There’s no chance for closure, or you’re then stuck in a back and forth for days or weeks discussing the matter, where you’re constantly waiting for their replies, and half hoping you’ll change their mind. It’s just so much easier to have this conversation in person, where you can have the discussion in a timely manner, leave no room for interpretation, and it’s just respectful.
5 In public
‘We need to talk.’ You know what might be coming… and it sucks. But at least it’s going to happen in person, right? You can talk out all of your issues, end things in a civil manner, on the same page… until somehow you’ve ended up at a café or your favourite restaurant, surrounded by people, stuck there as you eat your meal, trying not to dissolve into a ball of tears as your world crumbles around you. You’re trying to hold back the tears, and they’re happy it’s working- that they won’t have to deal with them. Or worse, you can’t hold them back, and it’s just awkward for everyone.
4 April Fools' Joke
If someone were to dump you on April Fools' would you assume that it was a joke, or would you take it seriously? It is difficult to tell, but when Hayleigh McBay decided it would be funny to fake dump her boyfriend on April Fools, she did not expect what happened next. Her boyfriend, secretly knowing it was a joke ended up acting like he agreed with the breakup. Her prank fail went viral and the couple are happily still together.
3 Staging a fire drill
You’ve had a great weekend with your partner- lots of Netflix and Chill and ordering in your favourite food. Suddenly, the fire alarm goes off, so you, and everyone else in the building, dash outside as quickly as possible. You must have lost your partner somewhere in the crush of people on the stairs. No big deal. You’ll see them soon enough. You get the go ahead to head back in, make your way back up- and find your partner’s door locked. They’re nowhere in sight, and they’re not taking your calls. Was this seriously a ploy, arranged with the building manager, to get you out? Yes, yes it unbelievably was.
2 Using a service
Ah. Technology. There are so many great things about technology that make things so convenient- Uber, grocery delivery, take out, paying bills online. You don’t even have to talk to anyone! But breaking up with someone should not be on this list. But alas, there are now several online services that will manage your breakup for you. Companies like The BreakUp Shop are now making breakups even more impersonal than before. Just choose from a range of options and price points, and they’ll do all the dirty work for you! And ibreakup.net lets you send an instant email (although they also have a ‘makeup’ option. So romantic…)
1 Chopping off your head
This is an extreme example, but really. All of the above are really awful, but at least we don’t have to worry about some of history’s worst breakups. When Henry VIII of England decided it was time to move on, for example, you had absolutely no say in the decision, and could find yourself locked away in a tower, accused of treason, or beheaded (let alone the infidelity and everything else in the meantime). This could also be dangerous for your family and friends. It can be good to be queen… but not always.