We know a lot about what makes relationships work — and fail. If you're too much of a wuss to break up with someone yourself, here's how to do the exact opposite so they will break up with you. Illustration by Tina Mailhot-Roberge.
As we've said time and time again, good communication is vital to any relationship. You should be open, talk about your problems, and connect on multiple levels. So, cutting off that communication is a great way to sabotage the relationship.
You can read this advice in any number of ways. You can literally stop talking. You can stop talking about important things. Or you can stop talking about your problems. It just depends on how quickly you want them to end the relationship.
You'll need to proactively avoid talking about anything important. If your significant other wants to "have a talk," say, "maybe later." Likewise, if you stop talking about the future, whether that means potential vacations, marriage, joint purchases, or even just meeting the parents, they will get frustrated with you and back away. Talking — even about nothing — is one of the foundations of a good relationship, so if you can avoid that the relationship will eventually self-destruct.
This method can take a while in some cases, so make sure you're up for the emotional drain of it all. The good news is that stonewalling is a great indicator that your relationship is doomed, so the more you tune out and withdraw, the better.
Make a Point to Prove You're Always Right
You know what people love? Know-it-alls. One of the best ways to burn through a relationship is to make it a point to prove you're right at every opportunity.
One common piece of advice in every relationship article ever written is to let certain things go. Don't worry about proving a point. So if you really want to screw up a relationship, make sure your partner know you're right as often as possible. If that also happens to prove them wrong, then that's even better.
So, every time you're right about something, make sure your partner knows it. If it's an argument you have or just some stupid trivia, be sure to tell them all about how correct you always are. If you're not right, that's OK. Go out of your way to shoehorn an explanation as to why you were close enough to being right. If you want to up your game, go ahead and also nitpick everything they're doing while suggesting that your way is the best (and only) way of doing things. If you really want to up the ante, start keeping score of how often you're right and they're wrong. People love that.
Eventually, you'll push the other person away with your cockiness, arrogance, and inability to let the little things go. Obviously this won't work with everyone, but it's a pretty easy way to turn just about anyone off. Within weeks they will be breaking up with you.
Put Your Relationship Last
A good couple puts the success of the relationship near the front of their priority list. You'll make some sacrifices. You'll do things you don't want to do in an effort to make the other person happy. If you want someone to break up with you, just do the exact opposite of that. Make your relationship the last thing on your priority list.
Football? Video games? Yoga? Beers with friends? Work? All of these things are more important than your relationship now. Get used to saying things like, "Sorry, I can't go out to dinner tonight, I have plans to head to the go-kart track to race with Jeb," or "Dinner on your birthday? No can do, Jen's having people over for a wine tasting."
The more selfish you can be, the better. Go all in if you can and avoid doing anything new as a couple. Within a month your significant other will get the hint and dump you.
Bump Up Your Jealousy Game
If pop songs are any indication, jealousy is a huge reason relationships come to an end. Why? Well, Psychology Today suggests jealousy stems from insecurity, obsessive thinking, or a paranoid personality. The best way to manifest that to get someone to break up with you is get clingy in the relationship. Plus, as we've seen before, most successful relationships maintain friendships and hobbies outside of one another, so if you can prevent that from happening, you're sure to sabotage the whole thing. The more clingy you act, the quicker you can scare someone away.
If you're not sure how to do this, you can start small and work your way up. Question your significant other about where they were, what they had for lunch, who they were with, and what they really think about that new employee in accounting. From there, you can start accusing them of spending too much time with other people, spending too much on their hobby, or whatever else. If that doesn't seem like it's working, start insisting that you accompany them everywhere they go. The idea here is to make it seem like you have no life outside of the relationship. Jealousy just happens to be the easiest way to show that.
Getting someone to break up with you is all about inhabiting undesirable traits. That could be as simple as laziness or as complex as jealousy, but either way, you'll have to live with that for a few weeks or months (or even years if you're in a particularly long relationship) before someone will ditch you.
If any of this stuff sounds familiar, you're already well on your way to wrecking your relationship. Good job!
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