I did one of the things you always say is bad, immature and hurtful. I was a jerk to my girlfriend for weeks because I wanted her to break up with me. It wasn’t on purpose, it wasn’t a plan, I know it was cowardly. I think she is a great woman, I just wasn’t into it and I let it go longer than I should have. I felt terrible that she loved me and I didn’t love her back and didn’t want to hurt her. My question is, why do you think sabotaging a relationship is so bad? I'm glad she hates me now. She can feel anger instead of sadness. I didn't want to be a "great guy" that did the right thing when the relationship needed to end. I wanted her to think I’m awful so she can move on with her life. If I say all the right things, that makes me more attractive and a loss. I’ve had women do that to me—break up with me the "right" way—and all it made me do was respect them more and feel more in love with them and miss them more. I still think about them because they were so kind and respectful when they dumped me. I prefer the relationships I've had that ended with hatred because at least I knew we weren’t good for each other and the end was no skin off my back. Isn't it better this way?


I’ve got no sign-off that creates a clever acronym. Make one up if you want to publish it.

Annoying Shittiness Should Help Outraged Lovers Escape

I did what I could with your sign-off.

And I'm gonna toss this one to the commenters: Which would you prefer, gang? Being dumped honestly and with some compassion by a kind and decent person who wants out and then possibly missing your kind and decent ex? Or having a boyfriend/girlfriend/enbyfriend who wants out but doesn't have the decently to end things dial the assholery up to eleven until you're forced to dump them and then "getting" to hate on your asshole ex?

Since I've already stacked the deck with that framing, I might as well tip my hand too: I don't think being a jerk to someone you're not interested in seeing anymore in the hopes that they'll dump you is ever okay. It's certainly not a favor you're doing them, ASSHOLE, if for no other reason than they're unlikely to call it quits at the first sign of your assholery. When someone's actions (jerkishness, assholery) conflict with their words ("I love you, too, sweetheart"), the person on the receiving end those crazy-making mixed messages rarely bolts immediately. They seek reassurance. They ask the person who's being an asshole to them if they're still good, if everything's okay, if they're still in love. And the person being an asshole can't answer those questions honestly, ASSHOLE, because honest answers would end the relationship. And that's not what the asshole wants, right? The asshole doesn't want to end things themselves honestly, the asshole wants to dishonestly (and dishonorably) force the other person to end the relationship. So the asshole says we're good, everything's okay, I still love you, etc., and then dials the assholery up a little more. Does the other person bolt then? Nope. The other person asks all those same questions again, the asshole offers up the same lying assurances, the other person asks all those same questions again, more lies, more asks, more lies, more asks, more lies.

This sometimes goes on for years before the person being emotionally abused can't take it anymore and ends the relationship—often over the objections of the person who wanted out all along!

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Gaslighting isn't a term I use often or loosely, ASSHOLE, but this may be the most common form. And being gaslit like this doesn't make it easier to bounce back after a relationship ends. It makes harder. Yeah, yeah: your ex "gets" to be mad at you and may not miss you. But she's going to have a much harder time trusting anyone after dating you because your assholery—your gaslighting lies—will cause her to doubt her own judgment. ("This new guy says he loves me but the last guy—that fucking asshole—said he loved me, over and over again, and it was a lie. What if this guy is lying to me too?") Her insecurities, a parting gift from you, may lead her to end or sabotage relationships that could've gone the distance. As for what you claim to be worried about—a person may wind up carrying a torch for an ex who broke up with them the right way, e.g. a person who ended things with kindness and respect—torches have a way of burning out in time, ASSHOLE, and it's even possible to will yourself to set a torch down and walk away from it. But the kind of emotional damage done by actions likes yours, ASSHOLE? That shit can last a lifetime.


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