The Most Horrifying Real-Life Breakup Stories You’ll Ever Hear, Ranked

We complain today that phone calls, texts, and emails are no way to break up with someone. These easy outs are tame compared to the terrible ways some of these relationships ended.

These horrific breakup stories escalate quickly; each seems worse than the next, from extremely messy divorces to serious commitment-phobia. One specifically headline-worthy story takes the No. 1 spot as the most horrifying breakup story you’ll ever hear.

8. The birthday break-up

woman holding a bunch of colorful balloons

Could there be anything worse than getting dumped on your birthday? | jakkapan21/Getty images

More than one unlucky-in-love person admitted to being dumped on their birthday. BuzzFeed Community user ruthd4880eeed7 wrote that her boyfriend broke up with her while out to lunch on her special day. First he gave her his present; a singing cushion that reminded her to, “look on the bright side of life.”

Twitter user Susie experienced a similarly terrible birthday, shared via the #worstbreakup hashtag. “@peachesanscream Dumped me on my birthday …,” she tweeted, “and then text ‘oh crap, yeah… happy birthday.'”

7. The déjà vu dump

woman screaming at her boyfriend in the kitchen

This repeat situation is so bad, we can’t help but laugh. |

This Reddit thread allowed user captainbuckyohare to showcase his unintentionally tricky situation. On a trip to London, he realized he thought of his girlfriend “only as a friend,” and told her as such in the hotel they were staying in.

A few weeks later, he ran into his ex in a pub, where she proceeded to call him names. “… it’s much worse than I first thought … turns out she’d had a boyfriend the year previous, and gone down to London with him … he broke up with her there. I’d done it not just on the same day, but in the SAME HOTEL,” he wrote.

6. The casual vacancy

man taping up a box because he's moving

What would you do if your partner left with all your things? |

Nothing like a clean, fresh start after a nasty breakup … or a cleaned out apartment to let you know your partner wants a divorce.

Another Reddit user was surprised when she returned from a girls’ trip to find her entire apartment empty. “Everything was gone … most of my stuff. No note, no phone call, nothing. This was [eight] months after getting married; turned out he wanted a divorce,” tashke said.

5. Left at the airport

woman sitting on her suitcase looking bored at the airport

Her partner may never come get her after all. | ViktorCap/iStock/Getty Images

Some people are envious of couples who reunite in airports. We certainly aren’t jealous of this airport breakup, however. BuzzFeed Community member PHM8 waited for her boyfriend of over a year to pick her up after a weekend at home to no avail.

“This was pre-cellphones, so I was on a pay phone worried sick about him … Find him laying in bed watching MTV. I ask, ‘Did you forget about me?’ He said, ‘No, I just decided I don’t want to see you anymore.’ And that was that.”

4. We were on a break … or were we?

Woman's hands typing in her Facebook password on her phone

Facebook really does tell all. | Saed Khan/AFP/Getty Images

Ross and Rachel aren’t the only ones to trip up over what a “break” entails. BuzzFeed Community user Hannah didn’t think things were permanent when she and her boyfriend of nearly four years broke up after college due to distance. She realized it was probably for good once Facebook revealed that he was married to another woman.

“… after about two months of amicable breakup, I noticed he had blocked me on Facebook,” she wrote, “When my friend creeped, she saw that he had gotten married to a girl he dated in high school for about three months. He never thought to mention that during any of our long catch-up conversations, which had taken place AFTER he tied the knot.”

3. The relationship partner turned spin-class partner

men riding stationary bikes

Watch out — your partner may be introducing you as their friend from spin class, whether you work out or not. |

There’s nothing like surprising your loved ones for their birthday. Unless, that is, they surprise you with their husband at the same time. Reddit user Murrayftw faced this problem with his girlfriend of six months when he traveled to see her at work an hour away.

“She came walking out with her husband … got introduced to the husband as ‘my friend from spin class.’ Spent an awkward couple of minutes giving a feeble happy birthday, made my exit as quick as I could … they divorced when she got pregnant thanks to her next ‘friend from spin class.’ And no, I’ve never been to a spin class in my life,” he wrote.

2. Breakup à la mom

mother scolding her son and his wife

Getting the mom involved in a breakup is usually a bad way to go. | Monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Ali, 30, relayed her craziest break up story. While she knew her boyfriend was a, “serious mama’s boy,” she never expected he’d rely on his mom to do his dumping.

“… his mom looked at me, took my hand and said, ‘We have to talk.’ … he was just intently staring at his lap. She gently told me things weren’t working out between me and my boyfriend, and that she thought it was best for me to leave. I tried to convince my boyfriend to talk privately in the other room, but he wouldn’t respond,” she said.

1. The craziest: Leaving and camping out for 10 years

green tent outside in the woods

Yes, this man really did this. |

Malcolm Applegate, 62, didn’t break things off with his wife in a conventional way. In order to escape what he called a “controlling relationship,” Applegate camped in the woods for five years and cut off ties from his family and friends for a total of 10 years.

“The controlling behavior started to get out of hand and she demanded that I cut my hours. After a long time trying to stay in the marriage, I decided to leave for good,” Applegate said. He left his home of Birmingham, U.K. for London by bicycle on a three week journey. Applegate reconnected with his sister a decade later, but there’s no word on if he ever broke his silence with his wife.

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