Breakups always suck, no matter what, for both dumper and dumpee, or even if it’s mutual. But there are certain kinds of breakups that suck worse than others. That’s just true, the same way that certain ways of dying suck worse than others, in your sleep versus slowly and painfully of cancer. God, this is getting really macabre really fast. I’m sorry.

You can probably tell by my tone (and the fact that I’m listening to The Smiths) that I’ve just gone through a breakup. As some of you know, I was trying to be Switzerland, which worked for a while, and then I couldn’t remain neutral any longer. Our breakup was mutual and amicable and about as pleasant as something so unpleasant could be. I’m grateful for that. But still, BLERGH.

Here’s the thought I’m left with at the end of this relationship (to quote a Broadway song because I love Broadway musicals and I don’t care if that’s embarrassing): “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.”

Endings really do matter. They matter more than beginnings. Beginnings are easy. Endings are hard. Endings say everything about your character. Daters of the world, don’t fail at finishing. It’s important to put forth your best effort, to do the right thing, so that your ex can be left with decent memories of the time you spent together, and not fixated on how fucked everything got at the end.

And with that, I present the kind of breakups which suck the very most. At least I’m not mucking through one of these right now, but I have mucked through most of them in the past, and let me tell you, they SUCKED.

1. The complete ghosting. I’ve written about ghosting at length. It’s when a person who you thought you were dating vanishes into thin air without a trace … or any explanation. Like a ghost. It’s the coward’s way. Let that thought provide you solace, if nothing else, you really could never truly love someone who is such a coward, could you? This has happened to me a number of times, and I will say, it’s the most heartbreaking because it leaves you trying to put the pieces together.

2. The stand-up. This is a form of ghosting,performed by slightly less of a coward, but still a coward. It’s when you schedule a time to talk about things, aka breakup, and the other person cancels, reschedules, comes up with all kinds of ridiculous excuses (the best one I ever heard was, “I’m itching all over”) or just stands you up altogether because they don’t have the balls to face you. It’s avoidance behavior at its absolute worst. The difference between this and complete ghosting is that, in this case, at least you know there is a breakup on the horizon. Not that it makes it any more bearable.

3. The text breakup. Once, I was supposed to go out on a Saturday night with a guy I was dating. At 5 p.m. or so, I texted him to ask what the plan was. He texted me back saying, “I can’t do this anymore.” That was our breakup. And it was bullshit.

4. The I’m not calling it a breakup, but it’s really a breakup. When the person you’re breaking up with doesn’t have the strength to be honest, they’ll often dangle a “maybe we’ll get back together” carrot in front of you when they truly have no intention of ever getting back together. For anyone who’s done this and thought they were being kind, I hate to break it to you, it’s incredibly cruel to give someone hope if there is none. It’s selfish. If you respect the person at all, let them move on.

5. The I’m cheating breakup. A particularly heinous way to find out your relationship is over is by discovering that your S.O. has another relationship going on. It doesn’t matter how you found out, once you have, there’s no turning back from the rage, humiliation,(add whatever other feelings you’d like to this list because there are going to be a lot of them).

6. The dump you during a special occasion/hard time breakup. Your birthday, Christmas, days before your brother’s wedding, right before you’re about to leave on vacation, immediately following the death of a family member, the day you’ve been laid off from your job. A person who chooses to break up with you during a special or difficult time in your life never really cared about you in the first place, because if they did, they would have a shred of decency and compassion and wait for a more appropriate moment.

7. The heard it through the grapevine breakup. If you’ve ever found out you’ve been dumped third hand — on Facebook, from a friend, on Twitter, then you’re probably still shock about it. It begs the question: WTF? It’s an insult of the highest order to tell the general public about your breakup before it’s even happened. Seriously, WTF?

8. The never-saw-it-coming breakup. You show up for what you think is going to be a romantic night together only to get dumped out-of-the-blue without any warning signs. This kind of breakup is lethal, not only because you are caught unaware, with your emotional pants down, but also because it completely fucks with your sense of reality and leaves you questioning how you missed such a thing. Chances are you missed nothing. If the person was having issues with the relationship, they should have had the respect to clue you in. It’s screwed up that they didn’t.

9. The make-you-feel-bad-for me breakup. So, one of the most confusing breakups I ever had was when a serious boyfriend, who was dumping me, started crying so hard that I had to comfort him. He made me feel so bad for him, that I forgot to be upset until he walked out the door and it hit me. I was like, Wait! You just dumped me! Why am I the one comforting you, asshole? He robbed me of my breakup experience by eliciting sympathy from me and I was left to sort through all the shit on my own. Not cool.

This post originally appeared on The Frisky. Republished with permission.

  • Whatever

    10. The I fell in love with you, dedicated 4 years to our relationship and thought we would be getting married and having children for sure, however, we broke up over something that seemed like such a huge issue at the time but now I can barely even remember what exactly we were arguing over break up.<——- THE WORST.

  • Whatever

    Goes hand in hand with…

    11. Shit, now I have to swallow my pride, push my ego to the side and admit that we were BOTH wrong. Apparently, it wasn’t just you makeup

  • got dumped , lol

    i got dumped via number 3 and 8 combined, lol. we had been talking about me meeting his parents on the phone , and a day later i sent him numerous textsto which he didn’t reply. upon asking him why he responded, “this is you getting dumped.”

    i was so shocked (not to mention hurt ) i didn’t reply.

    a year later he starts calling me nonstop out of nowhere saying he was sorry and we should pick-up where we left off. i told him to go to hell.

    some of these people.


  • B

    I definitely experienced the ghost breakup after dating a guy in high school. He didn’t even have the decency to tell me he was leaving. Thank goodness I didn’t sleep with him (which is probably why he broke up with me. Douchebag!!)

  • JN

    well ain’t this some Lauryn Hill “Ex-Factor” ish…

  • naysue

    And if you’re a woman whose done any real dating, you’ve experienced more than one of these, whether the giving or receiving end.

  • Ange B

    He sure had a lot of balls for acting like things could just pick up where he left off! Wow my sympathies to that style of break up and admiration at you for letting him know where you can go!

  • Candi83

    I went through a break up that was a combination of 2,3,4 and 8. The breakup was out of the blue, which messed me up for a while. Apparently he wasn’t happy and we had been in a relationship for almost 3 years. I knew there was a break up on the horizon (initiated by a “we need a break” text) but he came out and said that he didn’t want to meet me to talk. A few days later, he texted me at night saying that he didn’t want to be in a relationship. After the break up he was texted me and complaining about the new girlfriend, saying that he missed me and was not happy with her but never came out and said he wanted get back together (not that I wanted his punk ass back).

  • NewYear’sEve (He’s yours)

    I experienced #8 , #8, #8! I had to say it three times because I cannot lie, it is still a stinger.

    My boyfriend at the time was a man who I simply respected and adored. I was strongly attracted to him and admired his work ethic. We met each other years prior and went out on a few dates. At the time, I wasn’t ready to commit to a serious relationship. I told him this and he understood. So we parted ways. First forward to three years, I coincidentally run into him. Naturally, I’m thinking it is meant to be. His actions support my belief as well. So we dated for 12 months. I visit his home, met his colleagues, and became reacquainted with his family. I’m done, this is it; I truly believed I have been removed from the dating scene. Then on the following New Year’s Eve, I was introduced to the worst heartbreak I’ve ever experienced till this day.

    I called his house and another woman answered the phone. I ask to speak to him. You can hear him whisper in the background, “O’sh*t!” So he says, I thought you were going to church. I’m quiet b/c obviously this chick was not a relative. He proceeds and says, “I am sorry and I will call you tomorrow.” I didn’t even have the opportunity to curse him out. Once we did talk, he explained it was a woman visiting from out-of-town who he had been dating. He wanted to reconcile with me, but I was too devastating to try again. From this experience, it taught me whoever a man is with on New Year’s Eve is who his heart is with. It’s something about toasting to a New Year. I know I shouldn’t, but when New Year’s Eve comes around I think about this dreadful moment. I think it is one of those heartbreaks I won’t forget.

  • Me

    I must be the only person who doesn’t think breaking up via text or phone is horrible. Why would I want to have to sit there and stare in the face of the person that is breaking up with me? That is so awkward. I’d rather it not be done face to face.

  • Candi83

    I don’t mind the phone because looking into someone’s eyes and telling them or them telling you it’s over is tough. I think texting is very cold and cruel.

  • Candi83

    Over a year ago I was dumped by a combination of 2, 3, 4 and 8. The fact that it was out of the blue hurt the most. After the break up, I spent a long time thinking of what I did wrong. I realized that he was an ass hat for not letting me know that he wasn’t happy and he was wrong for that. Later on I found out that another girl he was going out with did the same thing to him. Payback’s a bitch!!

  • Ravi

    through facebook inbox. “we need to talk”

  • DownSouth Transplant

    Ravi we have been talking/thinking about ya, check the Jet mag article from a day or so ago :)

  • MissRae

    Wow, that’s f****d up.

  • rastaman

    I have being the dumper and the dumpee and what I have learned is that there are no good ways break up that doesn’t cause someone some degree of heartache. Sometimes it is not even because the other person meant so much to you but simply that your ego is bruised by being rejected.
    Not everyone who shts on you harms you and not everyone who cleans it off means you well.

  • binks

    That happened to me and trust it is mean, especially if it was a serious relationship as in my case I believe everyone is at least worth a phone call if you don’t want to do the face to facw thing. And on top of it I truly didn’t see it coming. It is one thing to not see it coming but to do it through text is just plain cowardly, wrong and tacky. If you are going to rip someone’s heart out at least have the balls(or ovaries) to say the words…(breathing deeply…whew got a little angry there…lol)

  • Candi83

    I’m right there with you Binks :)

  • She works hard for the money

    Recently discovered I’m number 1
    No explanation
    No phone call
    No text
    Feeling like my heart has sank to the bottom of the ocean were it will never be found the pain is unbearably my confidence is non-existent and I’m now frightened to love again
    This is an excellent article now please write one about how to get over it when it happens to u

  • RenJennM

    I’m not gonna lie, I’ve done #1 (“ghosting”) to a guy. But he was controlling and a womanizer; I had to get up out of there. Confronting him with a breakup failed in the past and always resulted in him using head games to reel me back in. If I wanted to be done, the only option was to vanish.

    But I have had a weird combination of #4 (“I’m not calling it a breakup” breakup), #5 (“I’m cheating” breakup), and #8 (“never-saw-it-coming” breakup) happen all at once before. I’ll explain:

    Back when I was 20, I was dealing with this guy for 9 months. (He ended up being the guy I gave my “V-card” to. smdh) One day, he called me and sounded really melancholy on the phone. When I asked him what’s wrong, that’s when he confessed: he’d been in a two-year off-and-on relationship the entire time he and I had been together, but apparently he met me when they were at their “off” stage. Three months into me and him dealing with each other, he and the “wifey” got back together, but he didn’t want to stop dealing with me. While trying not to set fire to the world, I calmly asked him why he was just telling me this. He said: “Well… I proposed to her and thought you should know”. My heart caught in my throat, “You’re engaged?!!!!” Him: “Well… yeah.” So, I’m like, “OK… thanks for telling me.” As I’m about to hang up, he says: “Wait! That doesn’t mean we have to stop seeing each other. I still want to be with you!” That was it. I snapped. Lost my cool. Screamed at him at the top of my lungs and called him everything but a child of GOD. He was stunned into silence. After I finished my tirade, he said: “Wow. That was really cold. You hurt my feelings.” I ended with a huge “F*CK YOU!” and hung up the phone.

    The nerve of people.

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  • Sarah

    Number 8 and I are well acquainted. My ex-fiance broke up with me after a four 1/2 year relationship and 3 year friendship prior to that. I had no clue it was coming and was completely blindsided by it, especially when he proceeded to tell me he hadn’t loved me for the last year of our relationship. He thought he was doing the right thing by being honest, which he was… just a year to late. I went from expecting a date night with him after work that night to loosing my fiance and best friend in a single sentence.

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