Break-ups are almost an inevitable part of most relationships and, nowadays, people can find very creative ways to break up with you. Gone are the days when experts advised people to take their lover to a coffee shop for a break-up, or to do it in a dignified way with flowers and chocolates to soften the blow.
Those words have fallen on deaf ears, and with the fast-paced life of today's youth, breaking up is almost as nonchalant as ordering pizza over the phone. But what are some of the most heartless ways to break up with someone and, as the one being broken up with, how can you overcome the shock and humiliation?
Nonceba Dlamini, a 24-year-old student from Pietermaritzburg, says her break-up takes the cake, as her ex broke up with her at her father's funeral.
"We actually had been dating for a few months, and I realised that we had very different likes and interests from the onset. He liked partying, and I didn't. So, I would always be the one calling, only for him to answer the phone with a lot of music and noise in the background, and I got a lot of 'I'll call you back's'. I would go weeks without seeing him, but when we were together, it was great. He would totally make up for his disappearing antics.
"When my father passed away in May, I was devastated, and, of course, he was one of the first people I told. He was very sympathetic, and I was so happy when he came to the funeral to support me. After the funeral, I made sure that he ate, and checked on him to make sure he was okay and did not feel out of place. As he was about to leave, he pulled me aside and gave me a long speech about how he did not deserve me, and how he was letting me go, how I need to heal and deal with my father's passing. All the while, I could not believe it. I just kept thinking: couldn't you have waited a week or something before dumping me? You really decided to dump me on the day that I put my father into the ground? I was devastated and, more than that, humiliated. It was a double blow, and I could not stop crying. I will never forgive him for that."
Relationship expert Gift Sukazi tells us some of the worst ways someone can break up with you .
"Someone breaking up with you at your loved one's funeral is heartless - plain and simple. I had never heard of that one before, and I thought I had heard it all! It just shows a complete lack of respect for the other person. As much as it was devastating, the truth is it was better for the person to show their colours early on in the relationship because, if they could be so heartless, imagine what else they were capable of later. So that was a definite bullet dodged."
Sukazi says that any break-up done with the intention to show off, or in a way that is meant to be hurtful, is not a proper way to break up.
"As much as people want to avoid the conversation like the plague, a proper break-up involves an explanation for why the relationship is not working, what needs are not being fulfilled, what the other party did to remedy the situation in vain, and a wishing well thrown into the mix for good measure. Any break-up that lacks either of these is not proper, and will definitely leave a gash with the one being broken up with."
1. Social media
Who can forget the Bonang and Slikour mess of a break-up that happened over Facebook? Sukazi says this is an immature method that usually comes with an ulterior motive.
"There are two components [here]. The first is to show off and humiliate the other party, to cause drama and scandal. The second is to show that they are now available. It is an immature, hurtful way to do it."
2. Appearing on a reality show
Social media tongues wagged when a certain bachelor appeared on Mzansi Magic's Date My Family looking for love, while it was well known he was dating someone else. Speculation flew, until it dawned on everyone that it was actually over.
"If the bachelor had a proper break-up behind closed doors with his ex before going on the show, I see nothing wrong with it. But if even his ex was among the shocked audience that was a definite jab to the heart. Cruel and uncalled for."
3. Having a friend do the break-up
"Believe it or not, some people actually send someone to break up with you on their behalf. It is cowardice, and does not enable the other party to ask questions, make statements and get closure, because they are being told the bad news by a messenger. It is the ultimate sign that you meant absolutely nothing to the person."
4. Disappearing act
"Some people think that avoiding calls, messages and any form of contact is the best way to break up, because the other party will eventually get the hint and move on with their lives.
"On the contrary, some people will spend months wondering if it was something they said, if their lover is dead or lying in hospital. So this is by far the cruellest way to break up with someone because nothing is worse than not getting closure. It eats you up inside."