How To Break Up With A Guy Who Did You Wrong Without Being Petty

Being petty after a breakup can feel pretty satisfying, especially if the person did you wrong, but it won’t make you the bigger person. Sometimes it’s better to be honest and direct and then move on with your life when it comes to pulling the cord on a relationship. After all, breaking up with someone is about getting rid of unwanted baggage not creating more.

  1. Tell him “It’s not me, it’s you.” Honesty is the best policy, right? It doesn’t make you petty to tell someone directly why you want to break up with them, so long as you do it in a respectful way. Tell him what the problem is and that you don’t want to work through it. Hopefully he’ll appreciate your honesty, or at the very least, he’ll learn what he did wrong so as to avoid similar mistakes in the future.
  2. Pack up his stuff in a box. It’s not rude to give back someone their things if you’re breaking up with them. The petty thing to do would be to throw it in the trash or out on the sidewalk. Show up to your S.O.’s house with a box filled with their belongings and it will totally get the message across. If you forgot anything, tell them you’ll leave it outside your house and they can come to collect it.
  3. Spam his DMs with breakup songs. If you want to use as few words as possible, then consider letting your favorite artist do the talking. Fill his inbox with lyrics from (or links to) your favorite breakup songs. Pick the perfect lyrics so he knows exactly what he did wrong. Was he unfaithful? Send him Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats,” especially if his car is his most prized possession.
  4. Announce you’re single before he knows. No one likes to be the last person to know, but if he did you wrong, then that’s the least he deserves. Change your Facebook status or make a flirty Instagram post about how happy you are to be single. The point is to let the whole world know you’re back on the market before he does. It’ll be embarrassing for him without making you look petty.
  5. At least do it face-to-face. It can feel like the simplest option to send someone a text or give them a quick call to let them know it’s over. But that will definitely make you look like an a-hole. Give your soon-to-be ex the decency of meeting in-person. Look him in the eyes when you tell him it’s over. It may be tough, but it’s the right thing to do. Besides, telling him what a jerk he is in-person will be therapeutic (and cost-free).
  6. Tell everyone the truth about what he did. You don’t need to do something petty to make the rest of the world aware of how much of a douche your ex was. Instead, be honest when people ask you what went wrong in the relationship. That way he’ll get second-hand embarrassment from his own actions and everyone will be on your side when they realize what a jerk he was to you.
  7. Write him a long letter.  Not everyone is good at communicating their feelings face-to-face. So, if you don’t want to go that route, then get it all down on paper. Tell him exactly where he went wrong and how he screwed up. To make it even more satisfying, show up somewhere that you know they’ll be other people. Hand him the envelope, say “I’m breaking up with you,” and walk away.
  8. Make him vanish from your photos. Give him anxiety by deleting all traces of him from your social media before you deliver the break-up news. Delete those old photos together and change your status! He already knows he upset you, so when he sees this, he’ll know that a breakup is coming. Then let him stew in his own feelings before you finally tell him you’re done.
  9. Give him the cold shoulder. Ghosting someone is petty but giving someone the cold shoulder after they’ve wronged you is understandable. Start ignoring his phone calls or messages or tell him you’re busy when he tries to make plans. If you play hard to get, he’ll understand just how upset you are. Then finally pull the plug and tell him it’s over.
Alexandra is a freelance writer in Montreal, Quebec. She enjoys shopping as a sport, Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-runs, and being a plant mom.