In the movies, books and on TV, love almost always gets a happy ending. Even couples who repeatedly break up and get back together somehow wind up married in the end. In real life, however, romance can fizzle and relationships end for good. But, believe it or not, even the worst breakups can spark a successful business venture.
These businesses know what it's like to get dumped and are taking advantage of it. But don't worry, unlike your ex, they're not really taking advantage of you. In fact, most of these companies exist to help you mend your broken heart while they turn a profit, too.
Here are eight breakup inspired businesses to help you learn to love again.
Let's face it: breaking up is hard to do. So what do you do when you're ready to call it quits with your significant other but you just can't find the words to let him or her know? You use the BreakupText app.
The iPhone app prompts you to plug in your name as well as your soon-to-be ex-lover's name and phone number, select the commitment level of your relationship and why you think it should end. It then sends a text on your behalf relaying the bad news. [10 Ways to Identify a Great Business Idea]
Consider yourself warned, though - the app was meant to be taken as a joke. In fact, the creators felt so bad about ruining real relationships that they launched an app called MakeupText to help customers fix their broken relationships.
BreakupText is available for 99 cents in the app store, but you can also use it via the Web, too. (MakeupText is currently free, as what appears to be a peace offering.)
Whether you've been dumped, or called things off yourself, going through a breakup can leave you feeling forlorn. Bummer Baskets capitalizes on your post-breakup sadness and your friends' empathy by selling specialized gift baskets tailor-made for helping you get over your lost love.
Featuring things like broken-heart-shaped chocolates, personalized greeting cards, a "happy endings"-themed wineglass set and more, Bummer Baskets are all hand-made and assembled with care. You can also build your own custom gift basket, buy T-shirts, barware and more. Basket add-ons include things like candy cigarettes, condoms, bottle openers (to go with the barware, of course), sleep masks and oversize chopsticks perfect for emotionally indulging in a little too much takeout.
And if your friends don't send you a Bummer Basket the next time your heart gets broken, you can treat your newly single, independent self. Bummer Baskets will ship your goodies within 48 hours of your order so you can grieve ASAP.
The House of Voodoo
The House of Voodoo is the business you can turn to once you've gotten over the sad and mopey early stages of your breakup. If you're feeling vengeful (and a little superstitious, of course), then a custom voodoo doll made to look exactly like your ex might be just the thing you need.
Send a photo of the person you'd like to put a curse on to The House of Voodoo and a local New Orleans voodoo society member and artist will create a one-of-a-kind, handmade voodoo doll in their likeness. Then you can stick your ex with as many pins as you'd like. You'll be over him or her in no time, and they may suffer some serious bad luck.
If you're ready to "Hex You Ex!" like the company's website says, The House of Voodoo is here for you.
Whether you believe in voodoo or not, revenge, of course, isn't exactly a healthy concept. So if cursing your old lover isn't how you want to channel your relationship rage, the Anger Room in Dallas, Texas, could be a good alternative for you – especially if thinking about your ex makes you want to break things.
How does the Anger Room work? Well, first you sign up to reserve a room and choose a package that meets your stress level. Options include "I need a break," which lasts for five minutes, "Lash Out," at 15 minutes, and full on "Demolition" mode, lasting a whole 25 minutes. Once you make your reservation, you head on over, get suited up in protective gear and goggles, enter your room and start breaking things.
Anger Room is in the process of upgrading and will be closed until later in 2014, but in the meantime, if you have frustrations that just can't wait, you can play the company's Virtual Sofa Bash game online.
And if you want to help others experience such smashing satisfaction, Anger Room accepts donations of items like old computers, mirrors, tables, chairs, vases and more.
When you've finally passed the breakup rage stage, it's time to start ridding yourself of everything ex-related. It's bad enough that you're newly single and not so happy about it, but social media makes getting over it that much more painful. Why? Every time you sign online, you're forced to look at Facebook posts and all the photos you're tagged in together. And even if you want to delete everything, you still have to go through it all one at a time to do so.
Luckily, there's an app for that. Killswitch allows you to set and identify your target (your ex) and what kinds of posts you want to hide, like photos and status updates, and then the app goes through your account to hide everything.
But don't worry, Killswitch also saves all of those old photos in a hidden album on your Facebook page. So if you and your old flame rekindle your relationship (or you just want to laugh at them later when you're finally over it), they're not gone for good.
The app is available free in the iPhone app store, and the company also donates a portion of its proceeds to the American Heart Association. The Killswitch website says this is "so broken hearts can help broken hearts."
Never Liked It Anyway
Aptly named, Never Liked It Anyway is the website you can turn to when you realize you really never did like that necklace he bought you for Valentine's Day or that sweater she gave you last Christmas. While there's some satisfaction in throwing out or burning your ex's stuff, why not kill two birds with one stone and make some extra money from it instead?
With Never Liked It Anyway, you can sell all the gifts your old partner gave you to others and buy new stuff that you actually like. Some of the things you can find in the online store? Jewelry and clothing, of course, but also weird knickknacks like kitchen timers and home décor items.
And the best part? Each item displays the original cost of the item and the new "break up price" so you can see what kind of deal you're getting. You may not be able to put a price on love, but with Never Liked It Anyway you can put a price on getting over it.
I Do Now I Don't
I Do Now I Don't is the more serious version of Never Liked It Anyway. Instead of selling your old unwanted gifts, I Do Now I Don't is there for you when your wedding gets called off or you get divorced and you need to sell your engagement ring, wedding band and other expensive pieces of jewelry.
The business operates on the concept that jewelers often mark up diamonds by 200 to 300 percent, and when you try to sell your pieces back they offer you much less than what you paid. Another alternative, pawn shops, will probably offer you only 10 percent of what your items are worth, according to the I Do Now I Don't website.
The company boasts that sellers can earn up to two times more for their diamond jewelry using their marketplace. And while nobody wants to be left at the altar, getting more of your money back does soften the blow a little.
No matter how long it's been since your breakup, you might find not contacting your ex a more difficult task than you initially realized. Few things are more embarrassing than going out for drinks with your friends and waking up the next day only to realize that you texted your old flame, "I miss you," or left them a voicemail. Don't Dial is a smartphone app that saves you from the humiliation of drunk dialing.
So how does it work? Once you download Don't Dial, set your target contacts before you go out (e.g., your ex, and maybe your boss, for good measure) and either set a timer so that you can’t contact them until a certain time the next day or let your friend or "designated dialer" put in a password for you. The app then locks those specific contacts for you, so you can't get in touch with them.
And if you think you can give this app the slip by deleting it, you might want to think twice. Deleting the app while it's in lock mode will also delete your target contacts from your phone. Like it says in the app's description, "This is for your own safety!"
Don't Dial is available for download in the iPhone app store for 99 cents, serving as a reminder that love may not cost a thing, but shame can be a little pricey.