Text / GChat
This is likely the most common terrible break-up offense. A lot of couples are text fiends, and I’m not opposed to that. Texts are like painkillers: They are not inherently bad, and can actually often be used for good, but when mishandled, can really fuck up your life. I’ve had relationships where our iMessage archive, if printed out, could easily encircle Earth. But the cardinal rule of relationship texting is simple: No big, important moments can occur over text. If you want to ask someone out for the first time, call them. The first time you say “I love you” should in person. Anyone who dares attempt a marriage proposal via text should be promptly jailed. The rule with break-ups: If you’ve slept together or been dating at least a month, you should always call it quits in person if at all possible. If you’re doing a long-distance break-up, Skype or, at the very least, a phone call. Never text break up. I feel like I can’t say that enough. Get your shit together, humans. We need to be better at communication than this before we all turn into robots.
You know that moment of clarity immediately post-orgasm when you look down at the person whose genitalia you’re still attached to and realize you just can’t picture yourself growing old with them? That moment is real. I’m not denying that. But, like, have some manners. At least wait until you’ve trashed the condom before being all “we need to talk…”
Actually, dumping someone immediately after sex is tacky too, not to mention a total waste of a post-coital high. Even if you weren’t just using them for sex, if you haven’t been dating for that long, they’re going to feel pretty devalued and will later question a lot of things about themselves and the nature of what you were doing together. They just are. It’s circumstantial, granted, but also avoidable by just holding your tongue and breaking up with them at a more respectable moment.
One thing most people need immediately following a break up is space. They need to retreat to lick their wounds, consume many calories, sleep, cry, and set about healing their hurt feelings, which is a thing that really needs to be done in the comfort of one’s own environment. Dumping someone when they don’t have the option of doing that is brutal. Even worse, assuming you’re vacationing together, you’re stuck staying there. Together. Traveling home. Together. The vacay break-up sentences you both to having to stick around each other and do things that were previously intended to be romantic. Plus, you’re ruining the vacation for both of you, and like, maybe you’re rich and go on vacation all the time, but the rest of us didn’t save up for 6 months to afford this Airbnb near the beach to deal with this shit. Can you not save the sads for real life, which already kind of sucks?
I mean, I applaud the effort it takes to actually convince another person that you’ve died. And if you loathe breaking up with someone so much that you would rather go to the trouble of arranging what I have to assume is the highly complex feat of falsifying your own demise, I almost want to give you a pass. Hey, at least you can commit to something.
On a Post-It
Even if you make the choice to break up with someone in writing (still not the best move), at least have the decency to write a thoughtful, substantial letter. Scribbling “I can’t, I’m sorry, don’t hate me” on a Post-It and slinking the fuck out while the other person is sleeping is still every shade of not okay.
In front of other people
I get the logic behind this: You’re afraid of how someone will react to the news that you no longer want to mash genitals with them, so you make the cut while safely surrounded by a barrier of other people. The assumption is that even the most upset, jilted person is less likely to go nuclear on you in a public setting. This is a terrible, selfish way to break up for two reasons: It’s possible that they won’t give half a fuck if everyone you know if sitting within earshot and will unleash the full force of their feelings anyway, which will undoubtedly be intensified by your callus decision to tackle such an emotional thing in that kind of setting; If that doesn’t happen, and they do have the good social skills to not openly display their feelings in public, you are depriving them of their legitimate right to express how they feel. Thus the selfishness of this move – you’re forcing someone to put their emotions in a little box so that you don’t have to deal with them.
You gradually (or not-so-gradually) stop returning calls and texts, make less of an effort to spend time together, and just kind of assume they will eventually get that you’re not into it anymore. Do you know why people agonize and obsess every time it takes someone they like/are dating a long time to reply to a text? Because of people like you. Because this shit happens. Ghosting out on someone is some cruel business.
Trying to make them hate you
It’s amazing that some people think that sabotaging a relationship is an easier option than just making a clean break as soon as you know you want out. Like, how terrified of honest communication do you have to be to choose this route? Whether it’s doing something as extreme and shitty as cheating for the purpose of them finding out, or the more traditional route of being passive aggressive, moody, picking fights and generally letting your worst traits start ruling your behavior, making attempts at causing the other person to become so dissatisfied that they end the relationship is a really cowardly move. Instead of just being forthcoming and direct about the fact that you no longer wish to see this person, you dodge the responsibility of ending it, and in the process, subject both of you to a lot of unnecessary negativity.