It has to be face to face, a phone call, text message or 'Dear John'' letter are cowardly ways out, and it should be somewhere private.

I found that "way-out" means "unusual". But I could not find anything about the phrase "ways out". What does "ways out" mean in the above context?

2 Answers 2


A way out in this context means an exit (from a relationship). WordNet defines the phrase as:

an opening that permits escape or release

Moreover, ways out is simply the plural form.

The text is saying that if you are going to break up with someone, you should have a face-to-face conversation about it.


Ditto JR. Let me add that "ways out" here is essentially literal and not a figure of speech or idiom.

A "way" is a path or method. "This is the way we fill out time sheets here." "Do you know the way to San Jose?"

"Out" of course means the opposite of "in", not within the border or heading to a place not within the border. "I am going out this door."

So a "way out" is a method of getting outside the border, i.e. an exit or escape. "The only way out of this room is through that door." "The only way out of this sales slump is with a whole new marketing strategy."

In this case, the writer is saying that the proper "way out" of a romantic relationship is a face-to-face conversation, as opposed to sending a text message saying "sorry we're through i just met someone prettier than you".

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .