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How To Break Up With a Jerk

Breaking up is hard to do. So, why am I writing about breaking up with a jerk?  Because that is even harder to do.  Let me explain.  Breaking up with a nice person is hard, but you can count on them handling it properly – no bad behavior, inappropriate comments or angry outbursts.  A jerk, on the other hand, is selfish and mean and doesn’t want to let you go.  I’ve seen some advice, both good and bad, about breaking up with a jerk, and I hope to provide a map of the high road for ending things with your jerk.

Social media break up is a no- no.  Don’t tell your jerk that you don’t want to be with them on social media.  It’s cowardly and uncouth. Most importantly, airing your break up on social media invites your now ex to broadcast your dirty laundry in public.

If you absolutely can’t see him or her, then an email or text would be better than social media.  The best way to break up with someone, if you don’t want to do it in person, is to call.

Don’t make it about them. One of the most important things I’ve learned is this: If you tell a jerk that you are breaking up because of their behavior, you’ve got a fight on your hands.  Jerks can be very self-absorbed, so if you say “you weren’t nice to me,” for example, a jerk will say “I’ll do better” or tell you what you may have done to make them be jerk-y. None of this is healthy break up talk, so I recommend saying something along the lines of “it’s not you, it’s me.”  I broke up with a jerk last fall and ended up saying simply, “I don’t like the way things are going and I’m out.”

Don’t engage in a post mortem.  If your jerk wants to dissect the relationship and discuss all the details of your time together, cut that off!  Once you’ve made the decision to end things, say your piece and end the conversation as quickly as possible. The post mortem is a strategy to get you to reconsider or an opportunity for your jerk to heap anger or guilt on you.

Don’t agree to be friends… at least not yet.  If your jerk asks to be your friend, he or she may be angling to try to get you back or re-negotiate the relationship (think friends with benefits).  If you want to be friends with your jerk, take some time away from the relationship before you commence the friendship.  I recommend just leaving this one alone entirely. Who needs a toxic person in their life in any capacity?

Andrea Groth Wellbeing Detective

Andrea wants to live in a world where the neighborhoods are walkable, bike lanes are plentiful, and the food is fresh, delicious and readily available.

A 20-year veteran of the health and wellness industry, she started her career in the fitness industry while earning a master’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion, and then on to the burgeoning field of worksite wellness. Andrea has competed in collegiate level soccer, worked as a personal trainer, fitness instructor, wellness coach, and master trainer, climbed 14ers, and completed cycling centuries and metric centuries. All of these experiences give her the opportunity to view well-being from many different perspectives.
When she’s not helping others to be their healthiest self, you can find her at a farm to table restaurant, down dogging at the yoga studio, or experiencing the Colorado landscape on a bicycle, snowshoes, cross country skis or on foot.

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