10 Ways to Break Up a Couple Who Shouldn’t Be Together

When someone you care about is hurt because of the guy she’s with, do you watch the pain unfold or do you step in and save the day by breaking them up?

how to break up a couple

Cheating and plain douchebaggery are two things on a long list of why your BFF’s string of beaus are not for her. After all, you care about your girl friend, and with each ended relationship, you’re the one who has to bear the brunt of her seemingly endless *and rather annoying* heartbreak stories and mood swings.

So, when this new guy comes along, you are, again, on alert. And rightly so. You find your best friend’s man dating someone else in a restaurant close to where you work, perhaps. While you try to not meddle in your friend’s affairs and let her figure out she’s dating a big-time asshole, this time you just can’t take it. You seriously think about taking things into your own hands and, for once, saving your friend the heartache.

You know that if you tell your friend, she will never believe you, and it may even cost you her trust. She might think that you really don’t like ALL her boyfriends—when, in fact, she just has poor choice in men. What do you do?

You break them up, of course. Covertly.

Start your engines

Here, we give you all you need to know to break up a couple that shouldn’t be together. Get ready; this isn’t going to be easy.

#1 Keep him closer. You know the saying, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer,” right? Be friendly, agreeable, and sympathetic. Listen to his woes and give sound advice, like you’re an expert on your best friend. Soon enough, you’ll be his well-trusted confidant. From there, you can gain deeper insight into what the guy is all about, giving you plenty of opportunities to give advice that will eventually break them up.

#2 Incite trouble. When your girlfriend comes up to you and gushes about how her guy took her to this great new restaurant she always wanted to go to, ask about the details. If she tells you the guy arrived late or didn’t pick her up, that’s your cue. Ask why he’s late or wasn’t able to pick her up.

Bring up that other time he was late or wasn’t able to come with her. Tell her his actions seem shady. While the guy may really just be busy or something innocent made him late, that’s not the point. You should be able to make your friend suspicious about her man’s activities. [Read: 16 signs your boyfriend’s definitely cheating on you]

#3 Exploit his weaknesses. After some time, you may know a lot about your BFF’s guy from her stories and rants. When she is mad at him, fan the flame and exploit his weaknesses. Keep conditioning your friend’s mind by feeding her all the negative traits of her boyfriend and, in time, she will start to believe you and see her man as you want her to see him.

#4 Bring an ex back into the picture. You know that other guy she last went out with, whom you also didn’t like? Well, now is the time to like him—or at least, his memory. Whenever your friend complains about her current guy, bring up how her ex used to be this good guy: caring, remembered anniversaries, brought gifts, splurged on fancy dates…all of it. And if that still doesn’t work, reach out to her ex and actually bring him into the picture, and make the current guy jealous, suspicious, or at least uncomfortable.

#5 Time apart. One way of slowly, unassumingly breaking people apart is by keeping them apart. You can do this by asking your friend to come with you as much as possible—especially on the days that you know she’s supposed to go out with her man. Introduce your friend to a new hobby or ask her to go on trips with you. If necessary, you can even pretend to have a huge problem *like a breakup of your own* so you need to have her by your side.

#6 Someone new. While it’s a given that your friend has poor taste in men, you, as her best friend, have a pretty good idea of what kind of guy she likes. Set her up with a guy you know she’ll like. Heck, you can even pay someone to be her date. Then, brief that guy about what your friend likes and how she wants to be treated. Engineer a dream meet-up and a dream guy. Once your friend comments that the guy looks cute, or shows the least bit of interest, you’ll come in strong. Compare the guy to her current beau and criticize the boyfriend, so she’ll start thinking about her possibilities with other men.

#7 Get him to cheat. If you’ve become close to the guy, you can hang out and talk with each other or join them on their dates. During these times, you can make the guy eye another girl. You can point to a random woman at the bar, for example, and comment on how great her body looks. For you, it can be an innocent observation, but for him, there’s a possibility that his imagination will be working.

Keep subtly presenting him with opportunities to look at other women and soon, your girlfriend will catch him in the act and get angry. Best-case scenario: he’ll really be hooking up with that girl at the bar behind your friend’s back.

#8 “Don’t let it affect you.” Pinpoint a minor criticism about her guy and blow it up. Something along the lines of, “He’s too carefree. I wonder how it will be when you guys start becoming serious. Is he really the marrying type?” With the right words, you can twist any minor flaw into something that could be serious—at least in your friend’s mind. And then say, “Don’t let it affect you.” These are the magic words, because that’s when the issue will really affect her. The secret here is to drop subtle things that slowly, but surely, erode her trust and security with her guy.

#9 Gossip. If worse comes to worst, you can take the low road and spread gossip. In this case, you HAVE to be careful. Cover your tracks and make sure whatever you spread won’t be traced back to you, or your best friend will not only lose her man, she will also lose you. Spread lies *or half-truths—whatever is better or convenient* about the guy and make them very uncomfortable with each other.

#10 Act as if. You can also spread around a rumor that their relationship is on the rocks—even if they are perfectly fine. When your common friends ask about your best friend and her man, just shake your head sadly and hint that the couple is not doing great. Once this news reaches them, it will, of course, make them feel uncomfortable. By doing this, you’ve managed to make them question their relationship, why people think they’re not doing well, and if they really are fine.

Whether you saw your best friend’s boyfriend with another girl, the guy is abusive, or you know that the guy is absolutely not right for her, there really are times when you have to take the bull by the horns and break up a couple. However, doing this can be tricky, and you run the risk of losing your friend, who may feel cheated, betrayed, and hurt.

So, before you even think about breaking up a couple, study what your real motives are and if your friend would really come out better after you meddle. Examine what you and your friend will gain from this, or if you are just being selfish and looking after your own well-being. If your reasons are questionable, then stop right now. Breaking up a couple, especially one in love, can have very unpleasant consequences for the couple and yourself.

[Read: 12 undeniable signs a couple will break up in a few months]

While it’s not advisable to be in the middle of two people in love, even if you have the best intentions, sometimes someone really has to do it. And that someone is you, especially if you’re the type who feels morally obligated to act when you see that there is something wrong. Be very careful when doing this and discreetly try out our tips to pry a problematic couple apart.

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Tiffany Grace Reyes
Tiffany is a wordsmith who has played with words ever since her letter-to-the-editor was published nationally at the age of 9. Since then her writing has gone f...
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