How To Break Up: 10 Worst Ways to End a Relationship


Face it — there’s no easy way to tell someone you’ve been dating for two months or two years that it’s time to break up. But, there is definitely a right and wrong way to cut ties with your significant other that doesn’t involve texts, e-mails or avoidance. Whether you are uncomfortable with confrontation or afraid of their reaction, delaying the inevitable will only make matters worse. So, before you start writing a “Dear John” letter or planning a breakup at your favorite restaurant, consider the other person’s feelings, do it in person and let them down gently. Here are the 10 worst ways to end a relationship:

    1. Dear John Letter “Dear John” letters have long been used to end relationships that were strained by distance, war and infidelity. Today’s relationships are still torn by these factors, but “Dear John” letters have not gotten any less painful or heartbreaking to read. Although it may be hard to break up in person and it sounds kinder in letter-form, “Dear John” letters are a miserable thing to receive and should be avoided at all costs.
    2. Text Message Imagine hearing the bzzt, bzzt, bzzt of your cell phone and seeing a text message that says, “I think we should just be friends. I’m sry,” or “It’s not u, it’s me.” This is how low text message breakups look and sound. No matter what you say or how you word it, the fact remains that sending a text message is a pathetic, inconsiderate way to dump someone. It only fuels a text message battle of mean-hearted messages that get you nowhere and rack up your phone bill. Just don’t do it.
    3. Over the Phone Dumping someone over the phone might keep you safe from embarrassing public arguments and getting slapped, but expect to have your ear chewed off and hear about what a coward you are. Breaking up with your significant other over the phone or on their voicemail is not a suitable way to end a relationship, and only makes you look like a wimp because you didn’t do it in person.
    4. E-mail E-mail breakups are today’s version of “Dear John” letters, but worse. No matter where you are or who you are with, opening up that unexpected e-mail and reading it back and forth in silence is one of the worst feelings. Chances are, you’ll read the e-mail when you’re at work, school or in the middle of something really important, and the only rebuttal you have time for is a series of expletives. E-mail breakups leave little room for discussion and, once again, make you look cruel and cowardly.
    5. Facebook/Twitter/MySpace Instead of screaming it from the rooftops, people nowadays profess their love on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other social media sites so the whole world can see. Unfortunately, when that relationship crumbles the whole world sees that you’re suddenly single and were dumped through newsfeeds, wall posts and tweets. Breaking up with someone on a social media site is disastrous because it is seen by hundreds of people, which is not only mortifying but makes you look like a huge jerk or jerkette.
    6. Word of Mouth Like a game of telephone, word-of-mouth breakups move through a group of people, get twisted and reworded and you end up being the last one to know. This usually happens within a group of friends, who either assumed you already knew or like to gossip. It doesn’t matter if one comment turned into a rumored breakup, or if you intended for it to get back to him/her, breakups are a private affair and the dumpee deserves to hear it first from you.
    7. Under the Influence Some people need liquid courage to break things off with someone, but end up losing their pride and then some during the process. Being under the influence when you end a relationship not only shows disrespect, but you may say things you don’t actually mean and end up losing a potential friend. So, skip the bubbly and face him/her soberly.
    8. In Public Don’t take you soon-to-be ex to a restaurant or baseball game to tell them you want to end things. Nothing but bad things will happen during this unexpected public break up, like yelling, crying and possibly drinks thrown in your face. Instead, pick a quiet, private place, like your house or a park, to let them down gently.
    9. Disappear and Avoid Don’t go MIA on your boyfriend or girlfriend to avoid the inevitable. No one likes to be avoided or ignored, especially when they might think something bad happened to you, and putting off the breakup until they show up at your door is down-right disrespectful and cowardly. Disappearing or avoiding them will only make the breakup that much harder, by putting a bad taste in their mouth and making it difficult to stay friends.
    10. Have Someone Else Do It Whether they hear it from a mutual friend or a singing telegram, having someone else tell your significant other that “it’s over,” is one of the most spineless, sad ways to end a relationship. Not only are you putting your friend or a complete stranger in a terribly awkward position, but you are saying that you don’t care about your girlfriend or boyfriend enough to do it yourself. Man or lady-up and don’t have someone else break the bad news for you.
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Alex Wise served over 5 years as relationship expert helping women from around the world figure out the men in their love lives from an honest, male perspective. Alex is one of the contributors and editors for dating website. He is passionate about thought leadership writing, and regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and online dating communities.