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28 Subtle Ways to Get Someone to Break Up with You If You Can’t Do It

You know your relationship is nearing the end. But you don’t want to hurt their feelings, so you need to know how to get someone to break up with you. 

how to get someone to break up with you

Breaking up with someone is never easy regardless of your reasons why. But if you feel the relationship has run its course then you’re most likely right. But you don’t want to do the dirty deed, instead, you want to know how to get someone to break up with you instead.

Even though you want to end things, how are you going to do it?

Perhaps you know a girl who dumped a guy over the phone after telling him that he’s more like a brother figure—ouch. But some people are young and clueless about the whole breakup protocol.

But, even though you might want to end it, it’s still a hard move to make. Sometimes, we stay in a relationship longer because we’re terrified of making that step. But listen, the time is now. You can do it. [Read: When is it time to break up? 15 signs it’s right now even if you’re feeling awkward]

What makes someone leave you?

If you’re wondering how to hint that you want to break up so that they will break up with you, then you first need to know what would make someone want to leave you. While there are endless reasons, here are some of the most common ones.

1. Selfishness

No one likes to be in a relationship with a selfish person. When they only think of their own needs and desires, then it creates resentment in the other person.

The selfish person rarely thinks about what their partner needs. Instead, they just do what they want, when they want, regardless of the effect it has on their significant other. [Read: Are you the selfish one in the relationship? 19 signs you’re being a user]

2. Incompatibility

There are a lot of ways that people can be incompatible with each other, but one of the most important ways is in their values and outlooks on life.

If they have wildly different political points of view or religions, then they won’t be able to be in a relationship with each other very easily. [Read: Sexually incompatible? 13 unlucky signs that confirm bad sex]

3. Clinginess or independence

If one of the people is very independent and likes their space and “me time,” and the other one is chasing them and acting clingy, then this will be a big problem.

The independent one feels smothered, and the clingy one feels rejected. These emotional attachment styles do not go well with one another.

4. Toxic behaviors

There are a lot of different toxic behaviors a person or couple could have. Whether it’s physical, emotional, or mental abuse or something like substance abuse, the toxicity in the relationship will just rot the partnership from the inside out. None of that is healthy.

5. Emotional and physical distance

If one or both people are withdrawing emotionally to the point where you feel like strangers, or at best “friends,” then that’s not a good environment for a happy relationship.

And physical distance can be a factor too – whether it’s a long-distance relationship or just sitting on the other side of the room instead of cuddling with your partner. [Read: How to recognize a socially distant partner and deal with them]

6. Personality differences

Maybe one person is an introvert and a homebody. They never want to leave the house and are always on the couch watching TV or playing video games.

And if the other person is an extrovert and wants to go to restaurants, bars, movies, and hang out with friends, then the two people are very incompatible.

7. Fighting too much

While it’s not reasonable to expect that a couple never has any conflicts, it’s how they work through the disagreements that can make or break a relationship.

If the two of you are doing nothing but fighting and never having any fun together, then that is something that will break you up. [Read: Are relationship fights normal? 15 signs you’re just fighting too often]

8. Financial irresponsibility

Some people are good with money, and some people aren’t. There are ones who are natural savers, and others who are natural spenders.

When two people aren’t on the same page regarding how to spend money, this can be a huge factor in why they break up. [Read: How to talk about money with your partner without fighting about it]

How to get someone to break up with you and the best ways to hint you want to break up

To be honest, you shouldn’t try to get someone to break up with you. If you really want to end things, you should approach them directly and talk about it with them. That way, you’re not playing with their emotions. But no one can make those decisions for you.

If you don’t want to face them, you should know that you’re acting like a huge coward. Of course, there are other ways to dump someone. They’re not nice but people use them.

After this break up though, you should take a break from dating. If you can’t break up with them properly, you shouldn’t be dating. [Read: How to break up with someone you love – 18 steps and the exact things to say]

1. Give the relationship space

If you want them to break up with you, you’re going to have to show that you’re distancing yourself from it. It’s a shitty move, but it gives a strong hint.

Try not to spend so much time around your partner, slow down the number of calls and texts you send out to them. Overall, just take a step back from the relationship. They’ll notice. [Read: How to tell someone to leave you alone and get out of your space]

2. Stop bringing up the future

When you’re in a happy relationship, you’re always talking about future plans. But, if you want to end it, cut all talks about the future.

They may be making plans with you for future events, but you need to not commit to anything. You can mention things with your friends, but do not include them. Oh god, this is cold. [Read: Understanding the psychology of ignoring someone]

3. Minimize affection

If you’re still sleeping with them, holding their hand, and telling them that you love them, you’re leading them on. So, you need to cut out all signs of affection.

Yes, you’re going to look like a cold a-hole, you should know that. Can’t you just tell them you don’t want to be with them? It would be so much easier.

4. Tell them you need space

Well, this is a pretty obvious one when it comes to knowing how to get someone to break up with you. If you literally tell them that you need space from them, it’s a strong sign that a storm is coming in their direction.

They should get the hint that you’re not happy with them and will hopefully end things with you or at least confront you on it. I’m telling you, this is more difficult than it needs to be. [Read: Relationship break – 41 ways to taking a break and how to plan for it]

5. Complain

About anything. Just complain and complain and complain and literally drive them away with your complaining.

No one wants to be with a Debbie Downer, and right now, that’s what you have to play. Just try not to get sucked into your new annoying character. See, this is gonna backfire!

6. Talk about your ex

No one wants to be with someone who’s not over their ex. So, start talking about them. Mention their name in conversation, memories you have with them, and regrets over ending it.

They’ll start to question whether you’re actually over your ex or not. Which is good for you, even though it’s a complete fabrication. [Read: Why using this dating tactic makes you a jerk]

7. Comment about their friends and family

Now, don’t insult their friends and family to the point where you’re blacklisted from your community, but people become very defensive over who they hang out with, obviously.

If you don’t fit in with their friends and if their family doesn’t like you, you’re not going to be around for too much longer. That’s what you wanted, right?

8. Act single

Ideally, you could be acting single already if you just made the move to break up with them before starting all this drama, but no, now you’re here and we have to deal with it.

If your social media looks like you’re single and you act like you’re single, well, not much is stopping you from being single, right? [Read: Should you really break up? 17 signs you’re past the point of no return]

9. Have more “me time”

You need them to realize that you’re selfish. Because let’s face it, if you’re reading about how to get someone to break up with you, you are.

But if they’re able to see your behavior and label it as selfishness then they’ll be more inclined to end the relationship. Do more things that you want to do on your own without their opinion or consultation.

10. Social media is key

If you’re always posting photos of you and your partner – stop. You can’t try to break up the relationship when you’re still acting like you’re together. No, you need to completely change your behavior.

Stop posting pictures and videos, stop tagging them, and stop commenting on their posts. Just stop everything. [Read: Your girlfriend follows back hot guys on Instagram – Should you panic or stay calm?]

11. Tell friends

Gossip flies around fast, and if you tell the right people who have a big mouth, your partner will eventually catch on to the news that you’re looking to break up with them.

Naturally, no one wants to be dumped, so they’ll run to make the first move.

12. Stop having sex with them

When you’re in a romantic relationship, you want to have sex, right? Well, if you stop wanting to have sex with your partner, then they will feel rejected and want to find it elsewhere. 

13. Act bored when you’re together

Whenever you are with your partner, you can act like you don’t want to be there. Keep your head in your phone and sigh a little. You can even speak about how bored you are. They will get sick of hearing it. [Read: Relationship boredom – Why it happens and 23 zesty quick-fixes to beat it]

14. Stop having good conversations

When you first start dating someone, usually you stay up all night talking and getting to know each other. The conversations can go deep. So, if you start only talking about the weather and stupid things, they will see that you are getting bored.

15. Don’t reach out first

In most relationships, the power balance is relatively equal. In other words, both people maintain two-way communication.

But if you stop doing that and make your partner be the one who always has to text or call you first, they will notice it eventually. 

16. Stop making plans with them

Similar to not reaching out first, stop making or initiating any plans to hang out. That is unusual for a relationship since that’s the point in being in one – spending time together. [Read: How to break up when he doesn’t want to – the step-by-step guide]

17. Talk about how busy you are

If they get frustrated that you never reach out or initiate seeing each other, they might demand why that is.

Well, if they do, you can just talk about how busy your life is. Make excuses for why you don’t have time for them anymore. They’ll get the hint.

18. Act clingy, if they are independent

If they are the type of person who is independent and likes their own space, then if you act clingy it will drive them nuts.

On the flip side, if you are independent and they are the more clingy type, you can act even more independent and that will make them very anxious *not that it’s a nice thing to do.* [Read: 21 signs of a clingy girlfriend and how to avoid turning into one]

19. Stop prioritizing your relationship

In healthy relationships, each person puts their partner as a top priority in their lives.

So, if you make it clear that your significant other has slipped pretty far down the list of what matters to you, they will eventually figure it out, get resentful, and probably break up with you.

20. Criticize them all the time

Now, this isn’t a nice thing to do – obviously. But if you want to break up with someone, then there are probably things about them that annoy you. So, if you start talking about all their qualities that are irritating, then they will get sick of hearing it.

[Read: The 25 most important things to know to end a relationship without making it messy]

Listen, the best way to break up with someone is to talk to them and be honest. It’s hard, but they will respect you versus learning how to get someone to break up with you instead.

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...