The A**hole's Guide to Breaking Up with a Significant Other Before Valentine's Day
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The A**hole's Guide to Breaking Up with A Significant Other Before Valentine's Day

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | February 11, 2014 | Comments ()


Valentine’s Day is on Friday, and there’s nothing more embarrassing than giving a bad, generic gift on that very special day of manufactured commerce. There’s a lot of anxiety built in to finding the perfect gift, and a lot of people decide, quite frankly, that it’s easier to simply break off a relationship than try to impress a significant other with the appropriate Valentine’s Day gift.

It’s the asshole way.

But if there’s one thing more difficult than finding the ideal Valentine’s gift, it’s breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. This is especially true if you’re a spineless asshole who’d rather get caught cheating than actually go through the painful process of dumping someone. But a cheating partner is not always so easy to find. Most of the time, it ultimately comes down to a painful, long drawn-out process that requires a series of “talks,” the frequent exchange of texts and emails, and a few late-night calls. If you try to let someone down easy, there’s always one more conversation to be had — you’re left with an endless series of “it’s not you, it’s me” pep talks, where you’re attempting to prop up their self-esteem so you the break-up is not compounded by the guilt of tearing down your ex. In the end, though, you always have to resort to harsh words to clean the break: “Go away, please leave me alone, I don’t love you anymore. Goodbye. Forever.”

But, there are more subtle ways of accomplishing a break-up, if you’re the passive aggressive asshole type. I really can’t recommend a thematically appropriate movie marathon enough — it’s all about letting the characters in movies do all the talking for you. Let’s face it: Hollywood screenwriters are just much smarter than we are: They can put feelings into words and actions that the rest of us simply cannot.

So, if you’re an asshole, here’s how you manage this feat just days before Valentine’s Day, you cretin. Watch one or more of these movies, and by the end of the night, you should be completely free of your relationship, just in time to avoid Valentine’s Day!

First, start out the movie marathon with a nice glass of wine. Set the mood. Start with some music. Maybe try “I Can’t Make You Love Me” (any version). Then sing along. Loudly. And pointedly. It sets the mood for the rest of the evening.

With the mood properly set, try out a few of these break-up gems:


500 Days of Summer: This one is nice and to the point: It says, “You’re a really great person that I like hanging out with. But I don’t love you. And I never will. I’m really sorry. Try to avoid a pointless, months-long downward spiral. I hope you find your Autumn. See ya!”


Lars and the Real Girl: You may have to do a little massaging of the message post-movie, but this one basically says: “I’d rather be with an inflatable doll, darling. There’s a lot less hassle; fewer conversations; no presents; and the sex is surprisingly decent.”


Forgetting Sarah Marshall: Watch this one in the nude, and when it’s over, tell him or her that you really prefer “That ’70s Show” to “Veronica Mars.” Bonus points if you can tell him or her that you’d like to see other people using hand puppets.


High Fidelity: After the movie, turn to her and say that you’ve completed a list of your top five break-ups of all time, and that she is number one. She’ll be heartbroken, but flattered!


The Break-Up: This one says a couple of things: 1) I really don’t want to do the dishes. Who wants to the dishes, and 2) I’d like to break-up, but I can’t afford another place. Can we figure out some sort of arrangement where we both stay in the apartment/house?


Kissing Jessica Stein (Same-sex female partners only): This one says, “I’m sorry. I love you. I think we’re soul mates, I really do. I just wish you had a penis.”


Better off Dead: “Yes. You probably are. But I’ve found someone else (someone who can ski the K-12).” (After you’ve dumped him, if he asks for directions back home, tell him: “Go that way, really fast. If something gets in your way: Turn!”


Unfaithful: Adrian Lyne’s adultery flick puts it bluntly, “I’ve been fucking Diane Lane, and she is fantastic!”


Dancer in the Dark: Show her this movie, and she’ll be so emotionally devastated by the end of it, you breaking up with her will feel like the least of her problems!

War of the Roses & The Money Pit: These two movies send a very clear message: “I’m keeping the house, even if I have to kill you to do so.” If you go with The Money Pit, show them the scene above. Nothing cures heartbreak like insane laughter.


Celeste and Jesse Forever — See The Break-Up, only this is a sweeter, nice way to say the same thing.


Closer: “See! See! See how much better it is to be alone and single?!”


Almost Famous — About halfway through the movie, have your best friend and break up with him/her for you. Coward. (On the bright side, he/she can still finish Almost Famous, which is probably better than the relationship anyway.)


Under the Tuscan Sun: Just in case he/she didn’t get the message about Unfaithful.

Blue Valentine — Well, now you want to get back together, don’t you? DON’T DO IT. You’re just dragging out the inevitable and making everyone miserable in the process.


Trash Humpers: Oh, don’t worry about it. He/she broke up with you about halfway through the movie.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • bastich

    Someone needs to use that "Trash Humpers" pic in a PSA. Whatever it is they'd want me to stop, I'd friggin' stop.


  • Target_Blonde

    Just whatever you do do NOT watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind after this marathon - then you're just cruelly giving that person undeserved hope.

  • kirbyjay

    I strongly suggest Bonnie Raitt's version of "I Can't Make You Love Me"

  • Bill Haverchuck

    If you have yet to hear Justin Vernon's version you are in for a treat.

  • Mrs. Julien

    [whimper] I remember the first time I heard it. She sang it on SNL. Gutting. Adele did a cover, but the original is better.

  • e jerry powell

    Just me taking back being a total hypercritical ass.

  • GrungellaCronk

    Say what you need to say but I'll always watch "Unfaithful" alone :)

  • Guest

    Say what you need to say, I always watch "Unfaithful" alone. :)

  • phofascinating

    I'd add Take This Waltz to the list because Jesus Christ that movie.

  • "Let’s face it: Hollywood screenwriters are just much smarter than we are"

    I'm sure that's what they'd like us to think, but remember, they're just as responsible for 'Movie 43', 'Safe Haven' and 'Avatar' as they are for their successes.

  • BWeaves

    Watch "I Spit On Your Grave" and make lots of comments about how it's your favorite all time movie. You'll be single before it's half way through.

  • bastich

    That reminds me of that old "Kids in the Hall" skit about the guy who watched "Deliverance" over and over again, but only the "squeal like a pig" scene, driving his date out of the house.

  • Scooter

    I dumped someone for someone else on Valentines day...after a 6 year relationship! We were young and stupid and it was a horrible, toxic relationship. It actually felt really good and I have only felt guilty about it a few times. That was 16 years ago and I have been married to the other person for almost 14 years!

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I hope there was at least A Big Gesture on someone's part involved in the Valentine's Day get together/breakup.

  • Holly Martins

    This makes me so happy. It's like jumping in a big fluffy puddle of dysfunctionality.

  • BlackRabbit

    Actually, Kissing Jessica Stein could be used with any couple, depending on the harshness of the breakup.

  • mairimba

    The best way to avoid any of this crap is to not celebrate the stupid day.

  • stella

    Holy shit I think my boyfriend just broke up with me. Im not even kidding...

  • Sara_Tonin00

    let's all egg his house.

  • Berry

    Or devilled egg his car.

  • Dumily

    Uh oh, which movie?

  • Mrs. Julien

    No time for questions, get the ice cream!

  • Faster way to do this: Rent all the Twilight movies and spend the entire time gushing over the deep story, stellar acting, beauty of any/all of the stars. If that doesn't work, as soon as it's over, insist on watching it straight through again. Of course, this only works if your SO isn't actually into sparkly vampires. Also, it's sort of torturous for you, too, but that's the price you pay for not having enough skirt to dump your partner directly.

  • Nah, just do it with poetry. I like:

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    I'm banging your sister
    Sucks to be you

  • Bwaaahahahaahhaahha! You have no idea how much that downvote made my day. That's just awesome!

  • FireLizardQueen

    Oh, ugh, I forgot about Closer. My husband and I went to see that soon after we started dating, not the best movie to watch early in a relationship but, you know, it worked out in the end. Still love "The Blower's Daughter" though.

  • laylaness

    I can't listen to Damien Rice without ugly-crying.

  • Mrs. Julien

    May I suggest Crumb?

    Thank you for adding that glimpse of Raoul Bova to my afternoon. Don't know who Raoul Bova is? Look him up. You'll thank me. Profusely.

  • was Jason Segel in That 70s show? I don't understand that reference.

    PS: with the exception of the Diane Lane films and Closer and Trash Humpers (wtf?), I really love a lot of these movies. does that say something about me?

  • Dumily

    Kristen Bell > Mila Kunis.

  • kirbyjay

    Mila Kunis > Kristen Bell
    I fixed that for ya.

  • Dumily

    Our love affair is over. At the very least, you have to admit Dax Shepherd >>>>>>>>> Ashton Kutcher. So using the Porking Transitive Property (PTP in math terms), Kristen Bell > Mila Kunis. Also I would not be friends with a woman who would bang Kelso.

  • Uriah_Creep

    I'm going to find a way to use the term "Porking Transitive Property" at work as soon as possible. I'm hoping that the person I'm doing work for will think it's a real electronics term and I'll be able to laugh madly (like I just did when I read your post).

  • kirbyjay

    You do have me there.. Gotta admit that my same sex crush on Mila waned when I heard she was hooking up with Mr. Demi Moore. I was never a top math whiz so the PTP kinda stumped me BUT if you subtract the PTP from the equation you still have
    BPP - PTP = MK > KB (BPP being Basic Porkable Property)
    Interesting coinky dinky. Did you know that Dax Shepherd was one of the punkers on Punk'd?

  • Target_Blonde

    Kelso is actually a pretty decent human being in real life. Shitty actor but I really really wish he'd get back into TV producing. Prank'd I could take or leave but good god damn I loved me some Beauty and The Geek when that first came out.

  • Dumily

    I'm not saying the Kutch is a bad person, I'm just saying, in the immortal words of Ms. Jackson, "What has he done for me lately?"

  • Bananapanda

    He has stayed on CBS. Which is easy to ignore.

  • oh. duhhhhhh. [hides sheepishly in the corner.]

  • lowercase_ryan

    it's a round room just for that reason. I didn't get it either.

  • lowercase_ryan

    If you really love someone.

  • Mrs. Julien

    My brain went from this to John Turturro licking his ball in The Big Lebowski. THANKS, RYAN!

  • lowercase_ryan

    Now Mr. Julien knows what you get you.


  • Sara_Tonin00

    Hahaha. This is funny to me as my ex just mentioned the time I made him watch Dancer in the Dark with me, thinking that I liked that director, when really, I just like Bjork, and I knew I shouldn't watch the movie alone.

    Of course, this ex also told me, fairly early in our relationship, that High Fidelity was one of his favorite books. So I was, to some extent, forewarned as to how we would play out. (I probably count as his Charlie now.)

  • Dumily

    But Charlie is awful. Don't be anyone's Charlie.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Charlie is only awful if you trust Rob Gordon's judgment.

  • Dumily

    Exhibit A.) Charlie's shirt.

    Exhibit B.) Charlie says "In fact I thought you were more, shall we say, attractive than him."

    Exhibit C.) Charlie does not get back together with the man that shouts "Charlie, you fucking bitch, let's work it out!"

    Therefore, I submit Charlie is awful.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I own that shirt!

    Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

  • Dumily

    You lie.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I totally do. (lie, that is) It's because I'm Awful.

    (does it count if I own a negligee kind of like that shirt?)

  • Dumily

    Nope, then you're golden.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I agree. I thought the movie made it clear that he felt she was out of his league and therefore his insecurity got the better of him. No wonder she preferred The Dreaded Marco.

  • Mrs. Julien


  • emmelemm

    Beautiful music, isn't it?

  • Dumily

    You would not believe how difficult it is to work that reference into your wedding vows.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I bought Mr. Julien the DVD of High Fidelity for his birthday the first year we were together AND made him a mixed tape to go with it.

    I worked a Caddyshack reference into my wedding. Not the vows, but I did tell Mr. Julien I felt like a hundred dollars when he complimented my appearance. He didn't hear me, but the best man thought I was hilarious.

  • Dumily

    And since he eventually became Mr. Julien, he loves High Fidelity, yes? He understood the overwhelming awesomeness of that gift?

  • Mrs. Julien

    Yes, we had already watched it together.

  • "But a cheating partner is not always so easy to find."

    Maybe for you, brosef. Step your game up, Rowles.

  • csb

    It's just as glorious in reverse.

  • Target_Blonde

    Fuck me, that is fantastic.

  • Joe Grunenwald

    What in the world is that gif? It is magnificent.

  • It's from a 2012 Lakers game. Kobe got an and-1 and these clowns went HAM. Hypnotic, isn't it?

    Interview with the guys here:

  • letsspoon

    I remember watching this game live and being SO PUMPED on this kid, knowing that it would become an incredible gif. Thank god for the internet.

  • TK

    Love to shred the pow, bro.

  • May works, too. Oh, you want to date me? Are you sure? Enjoy the ghastly vet story and bloody sex, then.

  • "Dial M For Murder"

    For that really dense partner in your life for whom these other films will not resonate.

  • Zen

    Oh man, Blue Valentine. That's a movie I will never see again. It was like watching your own open-heart surgery.

  • letsspoon

    Okay but.. I'm still curious to know how Ryan Gosling went from super stud hipster dude to balding white trash alcoholic in 5 years. I DON'T GET IT!

  • Every hipster stud has a balding white trash alcoholic inside.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Not enough spooning.

  • Michelle

    This is exactly why I've never watched this.

  • Haystacks

    Jesus, that is a lot of white people.

  • e jerry powell

    They do make up the majority of the U.S., though (between 63 and 72 percent depending on linguistic breakout), at least for another few years.

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    ★★★ ★★★ ★�★★ ★★★★ �★★★ ★★★Adrian Lyne’s adultery flick puts it bluntly, “I’ve been fucking Diane Lane, and she is fantastic!

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