Love Better

People Tell Us the Worst Things They Did After Their Break-Up

Nothing makes you spin-out quite like a broken-heart.  

Relationships can send us to pretty extreme places – from shaving all over at 1am and heading to some gig you don’t care about because you’re pretty sure the person you like is gonna be there, to pretending you love tramping so you have something to bond over, to not being able to sleep because you’re hanging on for a reply from them.

And while there is some degree of joy in the madness of love and pursuit, it’s the end of a relationship that really brings out the beast within. Break-ups are everything from “not ideal” to “completely horrific”, and when the driving force for your behaviour is sadness and anger instead of love, that’s when things can get… out of character.


If you’ve been through a break-up before you’ll probably have a few cringe-inducing incidents to look back on, even if you handled things well – and for some people you’ll have a list of absolute disasters to reflect on. 

And while acting out is normal, if you’re considering keying your ex’s car or drinking yourself into oblivion it’s important to take a breather, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by a momentary urge — and if you’re feeling really riled up, pull in a friend and talk it out.

There’s a chance that your actions could cause real harm, to yourself or others, so don’t let hurt or anger or fear drive your decision making. In general, talking to friends, mentors and professionals throughout a break-up is the best way to keep grounded and stop yourself from behaving rashly.

So rather than be kept awake at night haunted by every dumb decision you’ve ever made, sometimes it’s nice to hear about other people's mistakes. 

So to relieve you of some self-reflective dread, VICE asked people about the worst thing they’ve done after a break-up, and they vary from silly to genuinely scary. Warning: bodily fluids. 

“His new girlfriend's car was always parked on a resident’s parking street and I used to call the parking wardens on her. I did it, like, 3 times before I realised I was acting crazy.”

“I tried to sleep with as many people with the same name as them as I could.” 


“My friend and I drove to his house at midnight and I threw rocks at it.” 

“Continued living with him in lockdown after I’d broken up with him.”

“I climbed into his room through his window at night. It woke him up and he was so scared. He told his parents who called my parents and I ran away screaming barefoot through Karori. I was 14.”

“Cut my bangs.”

“Slept with their best friend. Immediate regret.” 

“I broke-up with a guy just after his mum had given me one of her dresses to wear to the ball. I kept the dress and went with a different guy.” 

“My best friend spat in his macaroni when he went to the place she worked on a date.” 

“Telling them I was happy to keep things going casually when I knew I wasn't. Even when they started dating other people I tried to kid myself I was fine with it, but I should’ve cut contact when we broke up.”

“Still buying stuff for my ex after we broke up.”

“Left tuna by the aircon in her roof.”

“I was working at a cafe and he had the audacity to bring his supposed new girlfriend there, so I put dishwashing liquid in his coffee. He told my boss but she pretended not to know what he was talking about.”

“Started my vaping addiction.”

“Every time I saw my ex on Tinder I reported his account and some of my friends did, too.” 


People do act on their hurt – that’s clear. No one in their right mind is serving a customer a soap-latte, or breaking and entering on private property, but sometimes we find ourselves feeling out of control and doing some ridiculous (and often hurtful) things. 

As if we need to say it: don’t follow in the footsteps of our friends above. But if you feel like you’re not thinking straight and wanting to act out on that near-inevitable post break-up mania – or have even gone as far as doing something you regret – remember, we all do dumb shit, and although sometimes it’s not okay, it is… okay.

Own your mistakes, accept you screwed up, and be prepared to hand-out some apologies and explanations and know that you’re not the only one who’s been there. 

Own the Feels is brought to you by #LoveBetter, a campaign funded by the Ministry for Social Development.

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Rachel Barker is a writer / producer at VICE NZ in Aotearoa. You can find her @rachellydiab on IG and Letterboxd and see her film criticism on Youtube