Updated January 2016
With the steady rise of matchmaking sites — not to mention that Mr or Miss Perfect must be somewhere among a rapidly mushrooming eight-odd million — London's denizens are dating with the voracious appetite normally ascribed to the cast of Friends. Londoners aren't just dating more though; they're ditching more too. And if you're looking for ideas on the latter, you've just found them.
For a quiet break-up
No one wants their “we need to talk” rebuked by a rowdy public airing of “that thing you did was rubbish anyway”. Perform the break-up in the wrong place with a mouthy paramour and your bedroom-based inadequacies could soon be the talk of Tower Hamlets. Swerve the problem by taking your intended dumpee to one of the meditation classes at the London Buddhist Centre or Covent Garden's Inner Space, then whisper the bad tidings just before the class gets started. They'll be forced to keep shtum, and who knows, maybe by the time the session is over, they'll have transcended their state of annoyance/anger/despair.
For a break-up with perspective
It's never nice being told you're not The One. But a little perspective does wonders to soften the blow. For instance, Henry VIII's separation from two of his wives — Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard — also entailed the separation of their heads from their bodies. Hammer home the 'things could be worse' message by doing the deed at Tower Green, where the two ex-queens met their fate.
Otherwise, blind your victim with comedy. Tim Key ('the first poet to tackle the thorny issue of love') is never short on relationship advice, and is often on at The Invisible Dot. Another comedian with a thing or two to say about relationships is Sara Pascoe; she always seems to be on at one London club/pub or another. Are those tears of grief or laughter? Both probably.
For a break-up with a quick getaway
If you predict the break-up isn't going to go well, arrange to put plenty of distance between the two of you in a very short amount of time. How? Announce your split in the lift at the bottom of the Shard, then jump out just before it begins its ascent. Your befuddled now-ex will be catapulted 244.3 metres upwards — that's the most vertical distance you could put between you and them. Unless, that is, you travel to the deepest tube station on the network, Hampstead, where you'dd add on another 58.5 metres for good luck.
If your wallet doesn't stretch to lofty London landmarks, go for the budget version — just as your partner steps onto the escalator at Angel. At 60 metres, it's the longest escalator on the network, and you'll be long-vanished by the time the dumpee gets back to the top/bottom.
For a break-up with instant rebounds
Maybe your partner isn't the moping type, in which case it only seems fair to offer them the chance of an instant rebound. Set them free at Slagbox, where chat-up lines are read out to punters in a cleverly clandestine way.
Or, if you're both open-minded, up the ante by ending the relationship in the (literally) steamy Kentish Town club Rios or salaciously liberal experience Killing Kittens. Who knows, perhaps after that, you'll both find yourselves suitably refreshed and ready to give the whole thing another try.
Disclaimer: At least some of these suggestions are tongue-in-cheek. Always be nice to your fellow Londoners.