It’s true that breaking up with someone is hard to do. I don’t know anyone who actually enjoys telling someone it’s time to call quits on a relationship. Gone are the days it seems when you would meet up face to face and tell each other over dinner or coffee (as weird as that now seems looking back) that your relationship was over. Now it is all about being dumped by text, or even worse by social media.
And that is exactly what happened to a friend of mine this weekend. She phoned me in a state of disarray saying that her latest online dating match had texted her saying ‘that on reflection his life was too chaotic to add a relationship into the mix’. Whilst sympathetic to her tears, I did mention that they’d only just moved off WhatsApp messaging and gone on two physical dates, so surely he was just sparing them some social awkwardness in person. Alas, she didn’t quite see it in the same way.
But in reality is it THAT bad to dump someone by text? Surely there are times when it’s socially ok to spare each other the embarrassment of tears in public.
In an attempt to offer some impartial advice here are some instances it could be considered ok to dump someone by text.
It’s a new relationship – if you and your date are still relatively new, and have only been out three or four times then dumping by text is totally acceptable. You barely know each other and so there is nothing to be gained by a long drawn out letter (you probably don’t even know addresses yet) or a face to face meeting. In fact, if the relationship is that new you could probably just get away with disappearing off the face of the earth rather than an official break up text. No big drama.
Your date is avoiding you / you suspect they are cheating – let’s face it if the person you’ve been dating isn’t returning calls or texts or you have suspicions that they are playing the field then frankly they don’t deserve the courtesy of a break-up text. Just move on.
Your relationship is purely a digital one – if so far your relationship has been purely screen-based and conducted by social media then putting the brakes on it in the same way won’t come as out of the ordinary either.
The relationship is toxic – so you’ve been on a few dates that seemed ok, but then came a turning point and your date’s behaviour has become unstable, unhealthy and overall a little bit toxic. In this case breaking up by text message is absolutely the safest thing to do. Don’t put yourself in a 1:1 situation with them where you might get hurt. Distance is safest.
You are in a long distance relationship – if your location was poles apart and you rarely saw each other and your relationship was all done by Skype and text then it is obviously more logical (and friendly on the bank balance) to break up in this way. Seriously, though if you’ve spent months writing heartfelt essays to each other then that someone deserves a little more than your standard digital breakup.
Whilst this post is a lighthearted jest about digital breakups, if you’ve got to a point of emotional closeness, or been dating for longer than three months, seen each regularly, slept together and been mutually exclusive to each other then you really owe it to the other person in the relationship to give them your time and honesty face to face.
Have you ever dumped someone by text message or social media or had it done to you? How did you feel? Would you ever end a relationship in this way?