The Worst Places to Break Up With Someone

Written by Nora McInerny

Where not to call it quits

If nothing else, the world can agree on one thing: there is no good place to break up.  No matter where it happens, the location will forever reek with the bitter smell of heartbreak (it smells kind of like burned hair and popcorn). 

When you’re the broken up with, you don’t exactly get a say in the matter, but when it’s your turn to do the heart-breaking, it’s important to pick the least horrible place possible. How do you know which is the least horrible?  Ask yourself a few simple questions:

Are we at a restaurant? 
Restaurants are magical places where you sit down and pay somebody to make your food and bring it to you.  People typically visit them with friends and loved ones in order to have conversations and enjoy each other’s company.  Should you drop the hammer here, you will have to contend with the clinking silverware, gregarious laughter and potential eavesdropping of strangers. Not to mention, the stress of waving off the waiter while you try to quietly and diplomatically explain that this entree has come with a side order of It’s Just Not Working Out and a nice, cool glass of Seriously, This Is Over.

Am I on the Internet? 
The benefits of e-mail are obvious: there will be no awkward silences, no bargaining and no messy human emotions getting in your way.  But no matter how easy it seems for you to click send, delivering a break-up over e-mail is the equivalent of being an emotional sniper.  Trust us: even if you think you shot to kill, they will fire a damaging message right back at you that will haunt your in-box for eternity. Save e-mail for the perfunctory post-break-up follow-up when you find yourself rethinking your decision on a cold, lonely night.

Am I on my phone? 
Texting is a sacred and ancient form of communication.  Since the turn of the century, we’ve been using it to inefficiently communicate using poor spelling and diction.  It is best used for short-form flirting, sending pictures of your dog sleeping in funny places and letting your friends know you are running five minutes late for dinner.  A text break-up is like taking 25 words to say, “Hey. I wanted to break up with you but I didn’t want to spend more than 30 seconds actually doing it.  I would have done it in person but I didn’t want to have to see you.  And I would have called but then I would have had to hear you cry about it.  And I would have e-mailed you except I just didn’t want to. I’m hoping this message will suffice, but if you’ve got something to say about it, I hope you remember that you didn’t sign up for unlimited texting because you’re cheap and stupid.”

Are we on vacation? 
Travel stresses every relationship. If you’ve ever been on a cross-country road trip with your mother, you know that no matter how much you love somebody, sometimes a few too many days together can make you want to jerk the wheel into oncoming traffic.  Unless you want to spend the rest of your trip tip-toeing around the resort avoiding your now-ex, or sitting in stony silence on the airplane hoping he doesn’t try to smother you in your sleep with a germ-filled airline pillow, we recommend waiting until you reach the baggage claim to go your separate ways.

Are we on horseback? 
If there is a worse place to be dumped than on horseback in front of a waterfall in Mexico, we want to hear about it in the comments. And we mean now. 

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Nora McInerny


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