This doesn’t apply to close friends, who you have complete permission to shit-talk with, but rather strangers, acquaintances, nosy coworkers and so on.
It can be so tempting. But don’t. Whether you broke up with him or he broke up with you and you’re indifferent/crushed/delighted, here are the talking points:
- Actually, so-and-so and I aren’t together anymore
- But he remains a dear friend (optional, and you have permission to use the term loosely)
- Period. Use vocal tone to imply the finality of what you’ve just said, then move on to another topic.
And then if the person presses for the reason, it’s super rude because their intrusive curiosity doesn’t warrant the possible emotional distress the subject could cause you. So don’t give them one. (But then remember this the next time you’re dying to ask someone why it didn’t work. Just ask a mutual friend later if you MUST know).
No matter why you broke up, reasons valid or not, here is the Official Reason:
"S/he is a really wonderful person, but we just weren’t right for each other."
Because this is unassailable. “Not being right for each other” could be anything! Cheating! General boredom! Horrific screaming fights! Hating their family! Really enjoying the relationship but having the unshakeable feeling that something is not quite right!
No matter which it is, this is someone that you once loved, and airing whatever happened to satisfy a random person’s desire to rubberneck is poor form.