today i saw a pal i hadn’t seen in a long time, maybe a year or two. we filled each other in on our juiciest gossip, and she mentioned she had dated a few guys and been dumped by both of them via text. not surprisingly, she wasn’t thrilled about this. most people i know think breakup texts are the height of cowardice, but i actually like them.
here’s why: breakups suck, and if it’s going to happen, i just want to get to the meat and potatoes of the conversation and then have some time to process how i feel about it before we bother delving into it any further. ideally, the text conversation would go something like this:
you: hey i don’t think we should see each other any more. you’re too needy, surly, depressing, covered in fungus, you eat with your mouth open, etc.
me: ok no sweat. i’ll stop by after picking up groceries to kill you later tonight
what more needs to be said? i think both people will be dealing with some complex and conflicting emotions after that exchange so why not mull it over for a few days, and then possibly have a phone or email conversation to talk about the details? i’d rather do that than break up in person at starbucks and bawl my eyes out in front of a bunch of people or have anyone bawl their eyes out in front of me. i don’t want to share those hyper-emotional, tedious, embarrassing moments with anyone.
i also don’t want to have to rub anyone’s back and give them some bullshit pep talk about how it’s not you, it’s me, and i sure as hell don’t want them to do that to me. plus it’s too easy to indulge our emotional selves then and ask pointless questions like why? and say stupid things like i pictured us getting a dog together but i guess that’s never going to happen now. most of that stuff doesn’t need to be said at all, and the stuff that does need to be talked about should be done when you are both able do so without yelling, blubbering, moaning incoherently, etc.
phone call breakups are ok but i have some of the same problems with them as in-person ones. there are still too many opportunities to drag out the breakup conversation and make it more excruciating. at least you can do it from the comfort of your respective homes, and one of you can easily bail on the conversation and hang up at any time if it’s getting too agonizingly tiresome, but i’d still prefer a text or email any day.
i know most people feel like partners “owe it to them” to break up with them face to face, but i don’t understand exactly what is supposedly owed. maybe they want the dumper to have to witness the emotional turmoil they are causing, or to support the dumpee as they wrestle with the things they are feeling. i don’t care about either of those things. breakups generally aren’t done out of spite or malice so i don’t think anyone should feel repentant about hurting the other one’s feelings. supporting the dumpee makes the most sense to me but i still don’t relate to it. if i’m going to sob like a poopie diaper baby, i want to do it alone in the comfort of my damp, sparsely-decorated basement suite, and i wish other people felt that way too. people should be ashamed of their ugly crying faces.
it seems that what this boils down to is that a) i like to be alone during intensely emotional times, and b) i lack sympathy.
i’m fine with both of those.