Five Ways that You Aren’t Allowed to Dump Somebody

Dump, break up, whatever you want to call it. I know how much it sucks to dump and be dumped. Now, I have recently learned that text messaging is a socially acceptable way to break up with somebody. My world promptly crashed. I did my research (read: I asked my friends), and I’ve uncovered a couple of lines that you aren’t allowed to use when dumping somebody. Ever. If any of these become socially acceptable, I might just have to be forever alone.


“Check Facebook.”

Do not change your Facebook status instead of actually telling the person yourself. Change your status, sure, but after you formally break up with them. Imagine somebody coming home to see that they are now “in a relationship” and there is no more “with <insert your name here>”. Oh, the anger that ensues. The text messages and the phone calls that you will receive. Oh dear.


“It’s not me, it’s you.”

I have legit heard this several times in various forms. The question “Why are you breaking up with me” should never be answered with a list of vague personality traits such as “you’re stupid / lazy / annoying”. Hopefully this goes without saying, but saying “it’s not me, it’s you” isn’t acceptable either. That’s the same as telling somebody that they’re just a crappy person. You’d never dump somebody by saying, “Well, you’re a crappy person, so I’m out.” I hope.


“I’ve been seeing someone else, and I like them better.”

Imagine dating like some sort of Pokémon-like “I choose you!” type of thing. Using this line is like Ash abandoning Pikachu. Not only are you admitting that you cheated, at least emotionally, but you’re also telling them that this “somebody else” is better than they are. In their minds, this “somebody else” is already the worst person in the world (or close, in any case), so telling them that they’re worse than one of the worst people in the world is not the best strategy. Actually, it’s a terrible strategy.


“I love you, but I can’t do this anymore.”

This is by far one of the most baffling break-up lines that I have ever heard. It actually confuses me to no end. I understand that you can love somebody and not be with them, but that’s usually because they don’t love you back. Maybe I’m just an idealist who believes that if two people really want to be together, they will be. If anybody has an explanation for this…comment below. Please.


“Let’s just be friends.”

Contrary to popular belief, using this line doesn’t soften the blow. I’m also pretty sure that this only works if neither one of you really liked the other to begin with. Or you dated in high school and are now committed to somebody else. Or you haven’t spoken to each other for like fifteen years.


I like honesty, but I think in this case, sugar-coating is acceptable.


About the Author: Vanessa Lam is a first year student at the University of Western Toronto. A big advocate of mental health and social wellness, she loves to give people advice about navigating your own personal health while surviving the social confusion of college relationships. She is an editor at Surviving College.


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About the Author,

College is a struggle. You know it, and so do we. That’s where Surviving College comes in. It’s a blog about all things college – academics, jobs, friends, you name it, we’ve written about it. Roommate troubles? Got a low mark on your last exam? Trying to land that summer internship? We’ve got you covered. The Surviving… series is written by Pamela Nguyen, the Managing Editor, and Vanessa Lam, the Editor, at