The thing with many relationships is they have a certain shelf life, don’t they? When you’re in them, and know you need to be out of them, it can actually be difficult to move things along to their natural end.
Sure, you don’t want to be with this person any more, but it’s not like you want to kill them. What you need is a catalyst, that spark to ignite the fireworks that will send your relationship bye-bye, to that great love nest in the sky.
So if you’re eager to move on to the next stage of your relationship – jealously scouring their Facebook for new loves, bitching about your ex on WhatsApp and crying whenever you hear a Celine Dion – take your pick from this list of guaranteed relationship destroyers.
1. Put together a wardrobe from Ikea
There’s an old cliché that going to Ikea itself can cause catastrophic rows between couples, but if you can’t handle a three-hour schlep round a furniture shop without tearing each other’s heads off, you’re basic or whatever. Nobody argues in Ikea any more. It is the bootcut of argument-starters. Over.
What you really need is to buy, arrange delivery of and attempt to build, the hugest wardrobe you can find in Ikea. Tell yourself that you’re “dead handy” and “it will be fun, our little project” all you want – by the time you’re on to the second door you’ll be wielding drills and tearing the joint apart screaming at each other about how bad the sex is.
2. Fart in restaurants
3. Watch The X Factor
How can watching The X Factor end your relationship? Easily. Simply take note of whichever judge or contestant your soon-to-be-ex has taken a shine to, and berate them regularly. And then pick a judge or contestant that nobody in their right mind would ever stan for and praise them so hard, you practically disappeared right up inside them.
Do you know how difficult it is to enjoy a TV show when there’s an acidic little parrot on your shoulder telling you how awful it is? Ask my boyfriend what it’s like to watch Hollyoaks with me in the room.
They’re going to want rid of you way before the final. Start looking for flats now.
4. Pretend you had a sex dream about their father
5. Get things cooking
Have they got a signature dish they love to prepare? Perfect. Simply stand next to the hob with a sickly smile on your face and try to add turmeric. Even if they’re making cheesecake.
After they’ve slaved over a hot stove for hours to prepare a delicious romantic meal, pick up your phone and really loudly order a Domino’s.
No cook worth their salt will tolerate any interference in the kitchen and you’ll be eating cold beans in a damp bedsit before you can say “Great British Bake Off”.
6. Go on holiday
So many couples break up while on holiday that I wonder whether airlines are missing a trick not offering a pricier, flexible return fare that allows you to sit in separate rows. Or planes.
If you’re in charge of planning this ultimate vacation – in every sense of the word – arrange to fly out via Ryanair, get the time of the flight wrong so you have to run through the airport screeching, right past all the Duty Free opportunities , and make sure your cabin baggage is sliiiiightly too large or heavy and has to be put in the hold.
Arrange a resort and hotel that only the criminally insane would be happy to stay in, and cheerfully ignore every cockroach, bout of salmonella and dead lizard in the bidet.
To be honest, that’s all quite an effort. You could just as easily organise a perfectly nice holiday and then irrevocably fall out in a souvenir shop, but where’s the fun in that.
7. Sing the jingle from this song over and over and over again on long car journeys
8. Take up a new saying
Maybe start saying something is “bare good” or “sick” –this is especially effective if you are in your mid forties and can rest a plate of paella on your belly.
The more embarrassingly anachronistic the saying, the better. “Schermazing.” “Skill.” To really set the cat among the pigeons and have the divorce lawyer at the door, plump for “groovy” or “funky”.
9. Go on Don’t Tell The Bride
You’ve seen this show, right? Usually, the hapless twat groom pulls it back from disaster because the bride is so exhausted from freaking out about lack of hen night/decent bridesmaid dresses/wedding gown that looks like a bin bag, she’s just relieved it’s happening at all.
Instead, then, do everything right – luxurious hen, beautiful dress, bridesmaids all decked out like models – and then at the last minute, reveal to your beloved that the ceremony is taking place atop the municipal tip, with boiled eggs dipped in shit for the wedding breakfast and Vanilla as the wedding band.
10. Write about them
Yeah, they’re not too mad about that, usually.
11. Just be you
That should probably do it, to be honest.