Breakups are hard for everyone. Emotions are heightened, and it can be so tempting to tell off a person when you’re mad or hurt by them. There’s an old saying that explains, “When emotions run high, logic runs low.” And romantic relationships bring out the worst in people so quickly.
After a breakup, your emotions are pumping, and you may not find the perfect words to say to your ex. Some people can stay away from an ex after a breakup, but most people will run into exes from time to time. You don’t need to repair the relationship. However, you may want to stay on good enough terms to avoid making these encounters super awkward for you and everyone you know.
In the interest of keeping everything copacetic after a relationship ends, here are all the mean things you should not say to your ex. No matter how bad you feel, no matter how much time has passed since the breakup, never utter these phrases.
5 Essential Things Not to Say as the Dumper
While there are things you shouldn’t say in general to your ex after a breakup, some things come off much worse if you were the person to do the dumping. Sometimes you say mean things you should not say to your ex to make the breakup easier, or when you’re feeling low. However, you should avoid the following phrases.
I Want to be Friends
It may seem like a fantastic idea to friend zone an ex after a breakup to keep things amicable and considerate. But consider what you’re saying. Is remaining friends with an ex a good idea?
Chances are, you’re not ready to fully let go of your ex yet. Staying friends is a way to continue reaching out to each other without going through the intense feelings that come with any breakup alone. It allows you to move away from them slowly.
You may even still have romantic feelings for your ex. If that’s the case, hanging out with them can bring back memories. You may feel things for them you didn’t even realize still there. It’s just not healthy for anyone.
The problem is that becoming friends seems like a compromise to make the process easier for everyone, but it’s not. It makes things more complicated and causes you to take more time before you can truly move on. The process is only more painful in the long run.
I Don’t Understand Why It Didn’t Work Out
You did the breaking up, so you should know what happened. If you’re feeling unsure about the decision you made, maybe you’re just down. Guilt and loneliness can make you confused, and you may not see the situation with clear eyes right now. You broke up for tangible reasons. Remember them.
I Miss You
If your ex broke up with you, you might want them back in your life. Avoid telling them how much you miss them at all costs. Let’s face it: your ex probably doesn’t miss you. Even if they did, there was a good reason for you two to break up. You should stick with the decision and move on.
Telling an ex that you miss them means you want to get back together. Unless you think that’s a decent idea, don’t. It’s not a nice gesture. Your ex’s heart won’t melt. Even if you do want your ex back, never say, “I miss you.” Psychology shows us that saying this phrase can push your ex further away. There are much better other ways to make someone miss you, like talking to them less.
I Still Love You
Anything along the lines of love or still having feelings for your ex is off-limits. Like saying “I miss you,” saying “I love you” shows too much interest. You’re better off taking a break from the relationship unless you want to push your ex away even more. The breakup is too fresh, and you may be feeling vulnerable and lonely for a moment.
Showing a lack of interest in your ex provides time for them to miss you and much-needed time for you both to get over the terrible aspects of the relationship. You both need time to heal and think.
Can I Borrow Some Money?
Relying on someone you just broke up with is odd, and frankly, it makes them think you still want or need them in your life. Maybe you do. But never ask to borrow money from an ex or say you won’t pay them back for something you may have bought together during the relationship such as a couch or other large ticket item like a television.
5 Essential Things Not to Say as the One Who Got Dumped
No one wants to get dumped. It’s a tough thing to go through, especially if you don’t see the breakup coming. But showing your ex how down you feel won’t make them want you back. Here are the things you should never say if you’re the dumpee.
My Loneliness and Depression is Your Fault
The sympathy play doesn’t work. Your ex won’t agree with you, and it’s not fair to place your emotions, mental health, or life troubles on someone else. Saying something along the lines of feeling lonely and depressed indicates you’re lost without your ex. Your life has more meaning than that.
Before saying something like this, stop. Put down the phone. Don’t communicate with your ex. You need time to get yourself back on track. Go out and meet new people, take a class, live your best life.
I Hated How You Treated Me
Confrontation, especially when approached using anger, is no way to go about talking to people. There’s no way the conversation will go smoothly. Even if you did want your ex back, trying to make your ex angry or any other emotional response won’t work. They will resent you. And if your ex did treat your poorly, why would you want them back? Move on with your life.
You Broke My Heart
Sure, you probably do feel heartbroken after a breakup. But again, letting your ex know that they have this power over you allows them to be in control of your emotions. Your life is in your hands. Saying this to an ex is like telling them you have no other high-value romantic options.
I’m Better Off Without You
Even if it’s true, saying this phrase to an ex is a cheap shot. It’s an attempt to tear down your ex from the pedestal you placed them on, but it won’t make you feel better. You’re still feeling angry. Perhaps you’re spending too much time focusing on what went wrong, which isn’t productive. Try focusing on what you can learn from the relationship and how this will better your life instead.
You Were Horrible in Bed
Another mean and cheap shot, mentioning someone’s sexual performance isn’t nice. Anything that puts down their sexual abilities is off-limits. It’s not going to help your ex in their next relationship, so it’s better left unsaid. You’ll sound petty and angry.
15 Mean Things Never to Say Regardless of Who Dumped Who
Some things are downright mean to say, no matter who dumped who. After a breakup, avoid saying anything in the list below.
The Breakup Was Your Fault
Telling your ex that the breakup was their fault is only going to point fingers and cause an argument. It’s a primal instinct to blame someone else for wronging us. However, saying a breakup is entirely your ex’s fault positions you as the enemy. There were two people in the relationship, and everyone makes mistakes. You may not see what you’ve done wrong, but chances are, you made mistakes too.
No one likes to be the cause of anything negative. Most likely, it’s not true. If you blame the breakup on your ex, they will hold a grudge against you. You might never be able to become friends in the future, and who wants that negativity hanging over their heads?
I Should Never Have Dated You
You might want to lash out in anger at your ex, particularly if you feel abandoned. Negative emotions won’t help you get your ex back, and it won’t heal the relationship.
If you feel angry, you need to deal with that. You may have reasons for your anger, but no matter how justifiable it is, you can’t take it out on an ex. Do something else to release your emotions. Studies show that exercise relieves and prevents anger.
I Wish I Never Met You
Like I never should have dated you, wishing you never met your ex is mean. Honestly, it’s a lie you tell yourself to make you feel better. But you shouldn’t have to make your ex feel bad so you can feel good.
I Have Someone New and Better
New relationships are exciting, but trying to rub your ex’s nose in it is going to result in resentment. Comparison phrases like this are an attempt to make an ex jealous. They’re hurtful and diminish what you two had in the relationship. Plus, saying anything like your ex about your new fling makes it look like you care too much about “winning” the breakup. If you’re truly happy, there’s no need to gloat.
While jealousy can be helpful if you’re trying to win back your ex, this isn’t the way to go about it. Your ex will see right through you. Try staying under the radar, or you will make your ex angry and create a worse situation.
I’m Removing You from My Life
Isolation is tempting after a breakup. You may want to delete your ex from social media, take down the photos of you two together, and delete their phone number. But by telling your ex that you want to remove them from your life, you’re showing them how much of a disturbance the breakup has caused in yours. It’s okay to remove them, but don’t tell them you’re doing so. You have nothing to prove.
Let’s Hook Up
Hooking up with an ex after a breakup is a huge no-no. It’s dangerous. No matter who broke up with who, couples have a difficult time keeping their feelings separate from sex. You might not think you have feelings now, but you might get hurt again later. And if you’re the one who got dumped, you may appear pathetic if you beg for a hook up to try gaining their affection. Sex won’t make him love you.
You Need Therapy
Among all the mean things you should not say to your ex, this is one of the meanest. A person’s mental health isn’t something to joke about. Even if your ex could benefit from therapy, who couldn’t? There’s nothing wrong with working on yourself. Going to therapy should be like going to see a doctor when your body is ill. We all must work on our minds sometimes too.
No One Can Make You Happy
Chances are, saying this to an ex isn’t true and just downright mean. You might not have worked out as a couple, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t someone else better for them out there. It just wasn’t you. Phrases like this are hurtful, and again, saying them makes you sound angry and petty.
I Hated Your Friends/Family
We all feel strongly for the people in our lives. Our support group is there for us through thick and thin, so saying that you never cared for your ex’s people is like saying good riddance. Your opinion will do nothing but hurt their feelings and make them grateful you’re gone now. The bond between your ex and their friend or family will strengthen. Your ex won’t leave them all behind to get back with you.
You Will Never See Your Pet Again
In relationships, many couples decide to get pets together. It’s an exciting step. You may have shared responsibilities you picked up concerning the pet. After a breakup, emotions can become heightened as you attempt to figure out what happens next. Who gets the pets? How do you split up the pack?
Whatever you decide, talk about it with your ex to come to a decision together. If you feel you should get to keep the pet, list out reasons why. Remember that keeping the pet means you will see them daily, and it may trigger memories about your ex sometimes. Sometimes it can fuel heartbreak. Sharing custody can seem like the way to go, but only if you can stand to see your ex around.
Never lie and say the pet died to keep it either. Manipulation is not a pretty trait, and you are bound to cause more misery and hatred than if you were honest with your ex. While you’re healing, it may be better to take time apart from your ex. Maybe you can set up a play date in the future.
You Will Never See Your Children Again
Like pets, withholding someone’s kids is a huge taboo. When you’re angry, you may want to keep the children all to yourself or use them to get back at your ex. It’s tempting to try to get the children to like you more by buying them gifts or sweets. Sadly, some parents even try to turn their kids against their ex. Sometimes it works. But most children love their parents unconditionally. Even if they have a terrible and abusive parent, they may still want them around.
However, withholding your children from your ex hurts the kids the most. Share custody because your kids deserve to have two parents in their lives. If your ex wants to see the children, you should be happy. Not all parents want to show their children how much they love them. You can’t legally keep your ex from the kids without a valid reason.
That said, sometimes you deserve full custody of the children. Toxic and abusive relationships should not end in co-parenting. You also shouldn’t force your kids on your ex. They may say they want to spend time with them in court, but not pay child support or show up on their days to have the kids. If that’s the case for you, you must carefully document the situation and file a court order.
I Hope You Die
Ouch. Wishing harm on your ex is unattractive. They hurt your feelings, but that doesn’t mean you should hope they get hurt or, even worse, die. Saying something like this is another vicious way of showing your anger, and you may need to find help to manage these intense emotions.
If you say something like this to gain attention, reconsider. No one will enjoy hearing something so mean after a relationship ends, even if your ex may have still had feelings for you. You may run into your ex in the future. Don’t make it extremely awkward by burning that bridge down completely.
What Can I Change to Make Me Better?
While this question isn’t mean to your ex, it is extremely mean to yourself.
You may want to start a conversation with your ex about getting back together, but don’t ask silly questions like what you can change about yourself. They won’t want to answer or enjoy the conversation because it shows how pitiful and needy you are. No offense. You don’t need to change yourself for a relationship to work out. It wasn’t the right fit. Some relationships end. Move on.
How’s Your New Soul Mate?
Again, any comparison between yourself and your ex’s new fling is not something to bring up in conversation. Don’t ask about your ex’s new partner, or you will look like you’re still hung up on your ex. Jealous and bitter exes can come off as psychotic, so it’s better to bite your tongue.
Also, never call your ex’s partner their “new soul mate.” It suggests your ex can’t find the right person, or maybe you think you’re a better soul mate. Either way, the phrase brings up a sense of being replaced. It’s awkward for everyone.
Never Speak to Me Again
Don’t tell an ex not to talk to you again unless you mean it. They may feel the same way and follow your advice. Tame your anger after a breakup with exercise and avoid talking to your ex when you feel upset. If you must see an ex, try to remain polite.
But if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. It’s okay to ignore your ex. If your ex traumatized you, why should you be nice? Moving on is different for everyone.
Other Mean Things You Should Never Say to an Ex
A few other hurtful things you should avoid saying to an ex because they make you sound angry and petty include:
- Karma’s a bitch
- You were my self-hate phase
- I pity your next girlfriend.
- You made me realize my value, and you can’t afford me
- Do you even have balls?
- The clitoris – google it since you can’t find it.
- You’re not who I thought you were.
- Try manscaping sometime.
- Your mother must be so disappointed.
- Your mother is biased; you’re not special.
- Now I can date your friend/sibling/parent.
- You’re such a slut.
- Now I know what not to look for in a boyfriend.
- Not even your fantasy girl would want to date you.
- Happy would-be anniversary.
- I’m happier than ever.
- How do you sleep at night?
- You don’t deserve me.
- Grow up.
Move on After a Breakup
Don’t stay angry. Holding onto negative emotions or wallowing for too long after a breakup isn’t healthy. It even takes a toll on your physical health as well as your mental health. In a study from the American Heart Association, researchers found high levels of anger can cause coronary heart disease. And while it’s more common in men than women, repressing your emotions can also increase blood pressure and make your chances of poor health more likely.
If that’s not a good enough reason to let go, I don’t know what is.