Disclaimer: That was not a sarcastic title. This is actually the perfect tool guide to ruining a relationship. Sorry to everyone who was hoping for a cute and sappy article right in time for V-day, because this is quite the opposite.

Unfortunately I recently succeeded in ruining a romantic relationship with a really great guy. You may be wondering, “Why would you do such a thing, Hannah?” To that, I say, just because someone is “perfect” doesn’t mean they’re perfect for you.

Now I’m going to explain to all you lovelies out there how you to can ruin a relationship, just like I did (yay)!

The first step is obviously to meet someone you find genuinely interesting. Now, read carefully because what I’m about to say is a vital part of this process. Make sure to connect on a really deep level of consciousness. In other words, fall in love with their brain before their looks. Once you’ve done that, the two of you will naturally become something we all like to call BFFs.

So now you’re in the BFF stage. During this time you need to text every day, hang out at least twice a week, get really drunk together (without hooking up) and meet each other’s families. This part is really fun, so enjoy it while you can.

This next step is optional but relevant to my personal experience. Make the relationship an LDR (long distance relationship). When a friend transfers to a different school than the one you’ve attended together, it’ll be sad and the both of you will miss each other. Now you’ll be asking yourself — “Why do I miss them so much, is this more than a friendship, should I act on these feelings?” This is hard and a time where you’ll need to dig deep into your unconscious mind, to find the “right” answer.

After pinpointing how you really feel, hang out with them when they visit home and have a candid discussion about what the relationship means to the both of you. If it turns out the way mine did, you two will decide that dating each other is the way to go. How exciting!

Your new boyfriend or girlfriend will eventually go back to school. Don’t worry though — calling them every day will take place. Make sure to talk for an hour or two, recapping each other’s days and talking about mindless things that seem much funnier than they actually are. Gossip about your friends and vent about your problems, they will prove to be a great sounding board.

The leap from friendship to relationship will be easy enough, and you will find that things are going super well. You’re comfortable around this person — they lift you up when you’re down, they get along with your friends and family. Soon you’ll find that you both perform small (or really big) gestures for each other. Things like buying gifts for each other (even when it’s not a special occasion or holiday), surprising one another by coming home or going up to visit. You could even throw them a surprise birthday party (it was really fun).

This next part is a good test to whether or not you two can really stand each other for long periods of time. Do what I did (if you can find the time and funds) and take a vacation together over a long weekend. You’re essentially living with this person for three or four days. Sharing a single space for both of your things, deciding who gets to shower first and what you’d like to do on your mini-trip — all things that you both have to agree on. If you find yourself compromising, that’s okay! Compromising with your partner is key. Either way the memories you’ll make during this time will certainly be burned into your brain forever.  

So now you’ve been with each other for around eight months. Of course you’ve hit a few tiny road bumps along the way, but everything was solved and forgotten about with ease.

For some reason the once-tiny road bumps slowly start to get a little bigger. Sometimes damaging the metaphorical vehicle you’re both driving in together. You try to brush it off and ignore the bigger underlying problems. This person is just so perfect, and you’re the center of their universe, so it’ll all be okay right? (Wrong.)

The holidays come around, so naturally everyone is happy around this time. A few issues arise as to where or with which family you’ll spend the holidays. Here comes our friend compromise again. After you’ve both made some compromises, you decide to be with both families for the holidays. Now things seem to smooth out once more.

Things are going well, but maybe too well? Start to question yourself, your relationship, and your partner. Agony is what you’ll be feeling for a while now. Your partner will feel anxious; they may even start to project their insecurities about themselves and the relationship onto you. This causes quite a stir, but remember you started it.

The holiday break is over and it’s time to go back to being in an LDR. At this point you have a nagging voice in the back of your mind that keeps getting louder. It’s telling you that you shouldn’t be questioning things, you should be sure, you’re too young to be so serious and finally, it tells you that maybe you should just end it. These are scary thoughts, but if you want to ruin a relationship the right way, you will succumb to them.

Tonight is the night, you two are together again but you aren’t feeling anything except that you might vomit at any minute. You made an executive decision that the breakup is going to happen now, you can’t question yourself any longer, it’s unfair to yourself and your partner.

This is the worst because you still care deeply for the person and you do still love them, but you’re no longer “in love” with them. Finally you say the words and things get emotional, like zero to 100 real quick. You beg with them to one day have the friendship you started out with, but you just hurt this person, so don’t expect them to agree with that. You drive home feeling like your insides are disintegrating, your heart physically hurts, your vision is blurred by tears and you think to yourself, we were so close to making it to one year.

Now it’s over, you’ve successfully ended a relationship. You may have even lost someone who was once your BFF. You will attract all the “feels.” Sadness, loneliness, confusion, happiness, relief and maybe even regret, but let me say this — it gets better.

Although your relationship has come to an end, you look back at it with such fondness that it can only make you smile. Maybe here and there you shed a tear but you know you’ll be okay. You also know your ex will be OK. Eventually, one day you will talk to this person again. It may take time (maybe longer than you’d like) but you will come into contact again. You may never have the friendship that once was, but you two, at the very least, will be friendly with one another.

This is life. We will all have this happen at some point, but if for now you’re “in love” and you aren’t questioning things — do not follow this advice. Either this information will help you during your breakup, or this can be used as the perfect “what not to do” guidelines.

That’s all of my tips and tricks. Hope this helps!

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