Friday, July 9, 2010

How to Break Up With Someone You Just Can't Get Rid Of

If you find yourself having a hard time breaking it off with someone you know you should have already broken it off with, follow these steps. I learned this trick from a very good friend of mine, who is well known for being awesome, and who knows how to create strength when you're at your weakest. This method works for anyone that isn't living/working together.

1. Think about the bad times. I know you were taught to let things go and think about the good times, but that's why you're still with this person when you clearly should not be. Thinking about the bad times gets you (rightfully) upset and that makes you strong. Get those emotions all pumped up, and then...

2. Pick up the phone. Yes, you will do this by phone, because if you meet up with this person, you will feel obligated to hear them out and they will find a way to convince you to stay with them because they deserve another chance or because you were just overreacting or whatever the excuse is. Here are the words you will use. "(name), this isn't working for me. I'm not happy being with you. I don't want to see you again. Please do not call me anymore." You can add a "you don't respect me" if you want but that's just call for protest, which I'm sure you will already be getting, along with stupid questions like "are you breaking up with me?" Yes!

Awesome Tip: Avoid getting into detail and having a conversation, it's a trap. You've already been through it a thousand times. They may be acting surprised, but it's just that, an act. If they're at all surprised, it's because they thought you would never grow a pair and get rid of them. Stick to the script and ignore everything else.

At this point they may be trying to give you the performance of a lifetime, like crying, getting mad, pleading, threatening. If any threatening does occur, write down the exact words and the time and date and give it to your most trusted friend, in case (s)he turns out to be crazier than you thought. If the threats continue, report that person to the police.

3. Erase everything. This is a very important step. Remember, you are using this method in the first place because you're having a hard time committing to breaking up. You've already done it so don't blow it now! First thing you do is go back to your phone and erase their number, followed by any text messages and especially pictures, as these will likely make you miss them. Erase call log? Check. Email? Erase. Pictures on your computer? Delete all. Do not hang on to a single keepsake that will make you want to go back and apologize or something ridiculous like that. Pretty soon, the nice person in you is going to start to feel bad about breaking up with the person who was treating you poorly. Fortunately, you cannot call them back because you already erased their contact information. Do not go to their house or job ever again. Enlist the help a friend to intervene if you feel you might do this. Do not answer their phone calls and erase your missed calls if they try to contact you. Consider it a sign of disrespect, since you told that person not to call you anymore. If you feel like you might falter on this step, do it before step 2.

Congratulations! You're free!

By the way, if you left anything at their house that you forgot about, let it go. Say to yourself, "I would happily give up my favorite shirt or a couple of dvds just to see that person gone."

The Opposite of Awesome: If you get back together with this person after this, they will OWN YOU in the relationship, armed with the knowledge that you will put up with absolutely anything and that whatever happens, they can easily get you back. You will have admitted through action that you lack self respect and that you are willing to be a doormat.


  1. What should we do if we want to eventually be friends with this person that we need to get rid of? We can't delete all contact information, because then how will we get in touch with them later? But if we keep it, then we will be tempted to use it unwisely!

  2. I'm not Dear Abby, but it sounds like you're approaching it with the wrong mentality. If you have someone who is mistreating you and you can't seem to get rid of them, then trying to be friends with that person is part of the problem, isn't it? I say, delete everything and leave it up to fate. Your focus should be on getting away from that person for now. If there's any hope of ever having any kind of healthy relationship one day, it won't come from trying to make a friendship now.

  3. Wow,this is just what I needed. I've done the doormat thing by giving in the last time and letting him move back in because he "got his sh** straight".
    I'm as miserable now as I was when I kicked him out last summer.
    My situation is just a tiny bit different than some. He live with me and has no job. I know, I know, sad.
    He's also sick, like a combo of mental and physical, but he doesn't take care of himself and is so negative that I can't take it anymore. I have to get free of him before I loose my mind totally.
    It seems impossible to get him out again. It took over a month last time. He gets so mad, and even if I do this over the phone, he's still there when I get home.
    Any further advice?

  4. Hey Liz, sorry I didn't see this until now. I'm hoping that, since it has been a month, he is already out of your house. If not, you need to put your foot down and tell him to leave. You can no longer be the one who takes care of him. In your case, I would suggest giving him a day by which he must be out of your house. If he doesn't get his stuff out by then, you put it outside and change the lock. Maybe you can be nice and give his stuff to his friend or family member, although you would be doing that person a disservice. If he is a genuine threat (his anger may be violent), I would suggest a restraining order and moving to a new location that he is unaware of.