Wellbeing

How NOT To Dump Someone

Being on the receiving end of a break up is as enjoyable as a frontal lobotomy. But being the person to instigate the break up is just as pleasant.

I was reminded of this recently when I re-watched an episode of Girls. One scene nailed it.

Hannah, our selfishly loveable protagonist and her guy Fran are on a road trip. In an abrupt, panic-induced decision she’s decides she no longer wants to be with Fran. She makes him pull over and then nervously texts him from the toilets ending the relationship unceremoniously. What ensues is a hilarious three-minute cat and mouse pursuit, as he chases her around the toilet block trying to get answers. She finally screams “I don’t want to be with you anymore and I don’t know how to get out of it!”

Haven’t we all felt like Hannah at some point? Wanting to run rather than face the disappointment in someone’s eyes?

Like most of us, I’ve been the evil breaker upper who’s squashed someone’s hopes and dreams in a millisecond, and I’ve also been the one falling to the floor in that one crushing moment where it has dawned on me that I’m being dumped. I’m not sure I’ve dealt with either scenario to the best of my abilities and I’m equally as confident that although I’ve never done a Hannah, I’ve never delivered a very clear or honest breakup speech either.

There’s no manual on how to end a relationship. There’s certainly no one-size-fits-all way to deliver the news but thankfully we have Dating and Relationship coach, Renee Slansky to help us out.

She believes that harnessing self-control, using emotional intelligence and being respectful are all ways in which the break up can remain clean.

“Breaking up with someone shouldn’t be about trying to inflict as much pain as possible on the other, regardless of fault or bad behaviour,” she says. “It will be uncomfortable and unpredictable as we don’t know how the other will take it but acting with integrity will give you the best outcome from a sad event.”

So how can we act with integrity? Here are her tips on what not to do:

Want to ghost? Wait for Halloween

I’ve lost count of the apparitions I’ve dated in the past. Sometimes I wonder if they even existed. It’s a frustrating behaviour that leaves you confused and blaming yourself for the disappearing act. It’s also common practise when you don’t have the words, the respect or the balls to end it properly. Slansky can empathise.

“Disappearing off the face of the planet with no communication or closure is the worst way to ever end a relationship,” she says. “It leaves the victim in a state of confusion and shock which is not only immature but incredibly selfish. Under no circumstance is this a good break up choice.”

Breadcrumbing belongs at the bakery

Similar to ghosting in its dishonest and cowardly nature, Slansky feels just as strongly about breadcrumbing as she does ghosting.

“As painful or as uncomfortable as it might be, don’t be a coward by stringing someone along,” she says. “Whether it’s because you’re not 100% sure if the relationship’s a good fit, or you want to keep your options open, it’s not fair to the other person who continues to hold on to hope with every crumb you throw their way. There’s nothing crueller than false hope.”

Keep your cool

No matter how psycho you want to go at your partner for cheating or generally being a shitty boy/girlfriend, resist getting nasty, Slansky urges.

“It’s much better to say less and use the energy saved to move on rather than seek revenge through your words,” she says. “Trying to hurt one another because you’re hurting won’t help the situation. Maybe find a time to end it when emotions are less heightened and you have control again.”

Don’t drink and dump

Alcohol and life altering discussions aren’t compatible at the best of times but drink dumping is not advised if you want clarity and a clean breakup.

“Keep your actions accountable and your words simple. Why complicate an already difficult situation?” Slansky says. “The key is to heal and move on quickly with minimal damage.”

Do the deed face to face

Slansky suggests there are a few variants on this rule depending on the length of relationship.

“It goes without saying that if you’ve been in a long term relationship, you give the ending the respect it deserves and this means in person, not text,” she says. “If you can’t bear to see them again, it’s been a short fling, they’ve cheated or the relationship has been particularly damaging then a well-thought-out text, email or voice message is acceptable. Never lower your own self-respect based on someone’s lack of it towards you.”

Slansky leaves us with this. “Remember, sometimes it’s not about how you do it but what you say that’s important”.


A published freelance writer from print to online,  Katy’s passion is honest authentic writing. From the mundane experience to a sensational observation, Katy always finds a way to voice what she sees. Relatable and quirky, she writes with warmth and familiarity. She also loves lists, matching socks and edamame beans.