Caveat. This article should probably actually be called ‘how to break up with someone without being a giant douche’. It’s not called that because…well because it doesn’t fit neatly into my title space on my poorly designed blog so… there we are. Savour that behind the scenes info like the nugget of gold it is.
I feel the need to caveat this because you can, of course, break up with someone however you like. You can hang a 50 ft banner outside of their house saying ‘I DON’T WANT TO GO OUT WITH YOU ANYMORE’ and hire a band of humans to throw confetti in the shape of the baring teeth emoji over them when they emerge if you want to. You’ll be a douche and probably make it into Buzzfeed but you could do it.
If you want to not be a giant a hole though, there are a few simple rules to abide by when decimating another humans heart into a thousand tiny pieces.
Side note: I am quite well placed to write this article not because I am a ruthless heartbreaker skating from man to man with the icy ease of Kate Blanchett but actually because I have been dumped about ten trillion times in the space of two years.
So, as the holder of the dubious honour of ‘most dumped woman in London’ I am essentially the wise owl of break ups. There was the guy who just slowly started to introduce the words ‘pal’, ‘mate’ and ‘dude’ into all of our texts until I got the hint, there was the guy that dumped me because I wouldn’t lend him £300 quid and there was the guy who posted me back my necklace post-dumpage and in doing so spelt my name wrong on the envelope and didn’t pay any postage so I had to go down to the shitty post office and pay for the pleasure of getting my stuff back.
So, come on everyone. Don’t be those people. Take heed and be a nice human. Here’s some tips if you need them!
Do it in person
Why has it come to the point where this needs to be expressed? Seriously unless someone cut your legs off and hid them from you just get off your arse and go and dump the person to their face.
That’s literally all I have to say on that matter.
Oh a little addendum to this – if you are going to do it in person (well done you just wont the good human award) try not to do that thing where you send us a text at like 11am asking if we can ‘have a chat’ after work. We all know that this chat won’t be a chinwag about just how pretty we look in the mornings or where we might like to go on a minibreak this winter. We know it’s the dumping, you know it’s the dumping and now we have to stew on this for the next FIVE AND HALF HOURS.
That my friends is how you end up drinking a gin in a tin in a park with your bestest work pal at 11am like an actual tramp. Don’t inflict this on someone you once liked.
Ghosting is the lowest of the low
My friend G was recently ghosted by a man she met on a night out. My birthday night out actually. That’s not important but I do like to make things about me as much as humanly possible. ANYWAY – she met this man and they went on a date and she reports that they had a nice time.
Side note: G is a literal megababe who looks like the sort of elegant lady you wish you were all of time, is a proper adult with her own house and everything and is also really funny and nice. If she wasn’t my friend I would hate her. I would be reallllllyyyyyyy surprised if this guy was in any way superior to her but that’s just my personal opinion.
Yet after their date he fell off the face of the earth. He didn’t even reply to an invitation to an evening of free booze.
He’s clearly a monster. Who turns down free booze?
This is literally unacceptable. What on earth has the world come to that this is ok behaviour.
Let me clarify here. It’s not the fact that he didn’t want to date my friend that makes him an utter fucktard. (I mean it does but I’m trying to be fair here). It’s that it is literally the EASIEST thing in the world to just let someone know that you’re not feeling it. Here I’ll give you a template
Hey – I had a really nice time last night. Sorry to do this but I just don’t think I see us going anywhere as a couple and I don’t want to waste your time. I think you’re great though and I hope you have a nice rest of your week.
What is so physically impossible about that?!?!?!?!?!
Here’s a little newsflash to the ghosters of this world. I’m going to put the entirety of my bank account on the fact that no one will break down into a valley of tears because you’ve decided a second date isn’t on the cards. Life will infact go on for those you don’t wish to date. Life may in fact be much nicer for them because they won’t be dating a spineless weasel. Six pounds thirty five well spent methinks.
Just send a text. It’s not rocket science. It’s the Argos of dumping – plenty of options to choose from and minimal human contact. The end.
So, for anyone who’s been ghosted just know – it’s probably not about you. And even if it is, do you really want to date a cowardly weasel who honestly believes that if they stay really quiet you are stupid enough to just forget they ever existed. That is the same thing as when a baby puts its hands over its eyes and thinks no one can see it. And babies are stupid (sorry mumsnet they are) and crap themselves on the regular. Do you want to have sex with someone who shares these characteristics? Nope. Big pile of nope.
And if that doesn’t make you feel better maybe you should take comfort from the knowledge that I was once physically ghosted. Yep you did indeed read that right.
A guy I had been seeing (not hugely seriously but who cares for particulars it’s an excellent story) walked into a room in a house I was in, looked me in my face and ignored my presence. Like I was an actual ghost or wearing Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak. It was awful and made my tummy drop and feel all weird like when you’re at school and you look up from chatting and see the teacher just pointedly staring at you. I walked home with my mouth open like a nodding dog whilst my flatmate made ‘helpful’ (aka drunk) suggestions like
‘maybe he just didn’t see you?’
‘maybe it’s because you have your hair in a ponytail…. has he ever..hic..seen it in a pony tail?’
‘you’re wearing black sssus you probubbly blended in wiv the rug. yeahhhthat’s it. Oh no dun do a cry sssnot worth it… sorrrryyyy oh oops here comes some sick’.
So yeah take comfort my friends. Wrap yourself in the warm cosy blanket of your dignity and know that nothing will ever be more humiliating than knowing that the BEST possible option is that someone you like mistook you for a lamp.
‘Honesty is the best policy’ is a phrase that I highly suspect was made up by the kind of people who never do anything wrong and therefore can afford to tread the moral high ground. My pal B and I call people like this Beige Cardigans.
It’s also largely untrue. If we all went around telling the truth willy nilly it would be a horrendous state of affairs. I mean just imagine the horror if you casually asked your work colleague how their weekend was and they started crying about how their boyfriend had dumped them on the weekend.
Sorry Sandra I was actually looking for ‘fine thank you and you?’ I guess I’ll just save my pre prepared ‘oh you know bit of this, bit of that – very relaxed’ response for Mike the IT guy.
But when it comes to dumping I think we could all benefit from a degree of honesty. I’m not suggesting that you go into shouting ‘every time time we slept together you asked me if I was OK. EVERY FIVE SECONDS. I’m not OK anymore…IM NOT OKKKKKKKKKKK.’
But blatant lying never helped anyone. Take it from someone who got dumped by a guy who said he was just sooooooooo busy at his job that he didn’t have time to date anyone.
His job was a receptionist at a gym.
Look I’m not being rude to all gym receptionists out there but considering 2 and a half minutes after he dumped me with that wet flannel of an excuse he instagrammed a picture of himself holding a coffee cup with the caption ‘my life is one long coffee break’ I have a feeling he could have found the time.*
This kind of pointless lying just gets you in trouble and makes the other person feel shitty. It’s like when someone tells you they don’t want a relationship right now and then Instagram a picture of some thin blonde girl riding a bike in a hideously twee tartan hat. WITH A FUCKING HEART EMOIJI. It sucks.
*don’t cry for me Argentina. He had a nipple piercing, really enjoyed watching the undateables and did impressions of them all and wouldn’t let me have a glass of wine unless I also drank water with it. Bullet. Dodged.
Be considerate with your timing
I was once dumped by a boy I was in love with over the phone. At work. Whilst I was sitting at my desk. There’s nothing quite like having your heart broken in front of your finance director who has no idea who you are or what you do. This was topped only by the indignity of trying to sneak out of the office to bawl my eyes out as they ceremonially brought out a birthday cake to another employee. Have you ever tried to sing happy birthday whilst disguising your gulping sobs as a vibrato? It’s not easy I’ll tell you that for nothing.
I’m not saying you can predict that your dumping text/phonecall/sky banner won’t reach your victim at some completely insensitive time but on the most part you roughly know their movements. You know that they will probably be at work between the hours of 9 – 5 (what a way to make a living eh Dolly) and that they probably won’t want to receive something like that on a Sunday evening. Come on people – lets be decent humans shall we.
On that note here’s a shout out to the absolute douchebag who decided to dump me whilst I was in the middle of running a half marathon. That he said he was going to come and support me at.
Oh so when you said I’d see you at mile 8 what you actually meant is you’ll see the BACK OF ME at mile 8…. got you! Silly me!
Weirdly it ended up being a pretty good time to be dumped as I literally looked it at it and said out loud ‘I have bigger fish to fry right now’ at which point an American lady dressed as a fairy said ‘right on sister’ and I ran the rest of the way feeling like a heroine in a 90’s teen movie who would soon be serenaded by Freddie Prinze Jnr in a bucket hat.
Here’s another one to the guy who decided that the best possible time to tell me he didn’t want me to be his girlfriend was directly after sleeping with me. That was just lovely. Especially as he and I both knew that I liked him tremendously. That time there was no fat lady in a fairy outfit to help me feel all Sarah Michelle Gellar about it and it’s extremely hard to maintain your dignity whilst wearing nothing but a t-shirt that says ‘I came, I saw, I crawled’ on it.
Be cruel to be kind
False hope is a pretty hideous beast with the ability to turn nice normal humans into completely weird trainwrecks.
After the guy who dumped me at work (see above) came around to my flat with my stuff he decided that a really nice and appropriate thing to say was “is this over forever…if I want to come back, can I?” Which considering it was him who dumped me and my heart that got broken was pretty cruel if I’m being honest and lead to me walking around the corner to my flat every night after work with a weird half hope that he’d be sitting on my doorstep with a sad bunch of flowers and a handwritten poem about my beauty vs. his stupidity.
NO ONE SAID I DIDN’T DESERVE TO BE DUMPED OK
When I broke up with a guy I went out with for 5 years (I know guys, it’s a baffling amount of time to put up with someone (me) who likes to bring grab bags of wotsits into bed when they’re drunk as a snack, only eat one and cover the bed in orange dust) it was so tempting to say that I’d reconsider, to pretend to myself and him that there might be something salvageable there. But ultimately I knew that what would be far worse would be having to watch him look that upset ever again. It was sodding awful enough the first time around.
So, stand firm, don’t ‘go on a break’ or ‘take some time’ if you already know how you feel. You’re just prolonging the inevitable. Get in, break up, get out – preferably to a pub with all your pals.
So there we have it folks. It’s not that hard after all. Be kind, be honest and be present unless you want to be known as ‘that douche who broke up with me via email’.
Oh and a wee message to the dumpee’s – we all know being broken up with is hard and awful but so is actually breaking up with someone. So do yourself and your soon to be ex a solid and just say ‘ok – thanks for being honest’ if you possibly can and don’t emotionally blackmail them or tell them what a shitty person they are. Unless they thoroughly deserve it.
Just remember there are better times ahead than you could have ever had with someone who didn’t really want to be with you. And leaving them a three minute long voicemail that ends with…’sooo…..lemmmee knoooowwwwww’ will only result in that becoming a catchphrase amongst that mates that way outlives your memory (miss you midget magee).
Go out and do you, take up a new hobby, get really thin, do whatever makes you feel good – I promise you’ll be happy again and then one day this will be your ex:
and this will be you
And in the mean time you get to have your ‘just been dumped slutty phase’.