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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

Want A Non-Confrontational Breakup? Buy Them A Pair Of Shoes

In the era of commitment issues, ghosting someone has become a favored way for non-confrontational folks to silently end a relationship. If you’re committed to fickleness, don’t like feeling like a villain, and need a cop-out of a situationship that’s way too clingy, all you need to do is buy them a pair of Nike Killshots. 

Let me explain. Since last Christmas, the “shoe theory” has been trending on Tik Tok, causing all the girlies to freak out and deeply contemplate the state of their relationship whilst carefully selecting holiday gifts.

The basis of the theory is that, when you buy your partner a pair of shoes, you’re quite literally giving them the means to get up and walk away from your life. Although some TikTok cynics are writing this online theory off as mere superstition, the idea is apparently grounded in Chinese history, culture, and lore. In fact, after the theory started trending at the height of the holiday season, many TikTokers shared their eerie tales of partners dumping them shortly after receiving gifts of Jordans, Hey Dudes, and Hokas. 


Never buying a man shoes again. And don’t even get me STARTED on scrapbooks. 😤 #shoetheory #breakup

♬ original sound – <3

does anybody want these big ass jordans i’ve been holding onto for an entire year😳

♬ original sound – <3

The fortunate social media users who haven’t suffered the post-footwear rejection are claiming that, if the shoe theory is true for some, the relationships were fated to never work out. While these level-headed TikTokers may be right, there are just too many videos and testimonies to make the shoe theory a mere coincidence. 

This brave Gen Z heartbreaker admitted to leaving her ex soon after receiving shoes for her birthday.

While many cuffed folks are in a frenzy because they already bought their SO footwear, I think we can use the shoe theory to our advantage. Along with commitment issues, another Gen Z dating trend is not sticking around for people who belittle their worth. Hey, since your card has already been charged and those Killshots are destined to arrive on your doorstep soon, leave the fate of your relationship to the Nike box. If your partner decides to hit the road while flaunting those new Adidas you got them, don’t let the door hit them on the way out. If all it takes is a pair of shoes to find out if your partner is forever or not, the $105 you lost just might be worth it. 

Whether this theory works through activating unconscious parts of your SO’s psyche or for its proverbial Chinese power, you need not live in horror of the Academy shoe aisle. If you’re tired of the mixed signals that that lacrosse player from your college sports team is giving you, hey, why not give the shoe theory a try?

Ashlynn is a published poet who studies Religion and English at Southwestern University. On the off chance she isn't writing or burying her nose in another psychology book, she is probably eating sushi with her friends. She loves boba, doing yoga, and rummaging antique vinyl stores!