And now comes the awkward time in the relationship when you know it has to end. But how do you go about a breakup, especially early on? Let’s explore some pros and cons of modern breakup tactics, shall we?
1) BTW, I don’t <3 u: Since you don’t need to have any real contact with the recipient, breaking up with someone via MMS is a great way to be a total pansy. I mean, why don’t you just have your mom do it for you? Don’t get me wrong, I understand the draw of a split that is instant, impersonal, and electronically documented (so there can be no he said/she said battles), but that’s too easy. Plus, a serious drawback is the likelihood that you’ll be misunderstood because of Autocorrect or just because it is impossible to be 100% clear about things like sarcasm in a text.
2) …leave a message after the tone: Equally as bad as texting is breaking up with someone in a voicemail. It’s like a text, but the person on the other end can hear in your voice just how angry, sorry, indifferent, or hurt you are, but can’t retort. Also, keep in mind, that half the times you leave a message the recipient won’t even listen before calling you back. And who wants to say the whole spiel twice?
3) FaceBook: Dislike button. If you would do that, then I can confidently call you a douchetard without even knowing you. Please refer to the Krisrael rules of FB.
4) The Earhart: Look here, Amelia, the disappearing act is a totally spineless way to get rid of someone. Plus, at least at the beginning, you run the risk of coming across like you are playing hard to get, which is the opposite of what you want! You and your (former) partner deserve to get as much out of the relationship, including its demise, as possible, and dropping off the face of the earth doesn’t leave much room for personal growth. I believe every situation can be a learning experience, and pulling a Houdini is like cheating on a test: it may get the job done, but what do you really take from it? This tactic is especially uncool once you’ve been on more than a handful of dates with someone. And trust me, the more you act against the urge to disappear, the easier it gets, which brings me to numbers 5 and 6.
5) We’ve gotta talk: In a long-term relationship, or even one that has reached the “exclusive” zone, an in-person breakup may be the way to go, but please, for the love of Cupid, don’t begin with, “We have to talk…” That’s too cliché, and it automatically puts the other person on the defensive. Another thing to consider is setting a time limit for this convo. For example, do it before you have to be somewhere (even if that somewhere is fictional) so that you can say your piece and pull the plug. Even in mano a mano breakups, keep in mind the essential rules of engagement, section 1 and section 2.
6) Hey, it’s me. Got a minute to talk?: I have discovered that breaking up over the phone is the best way for me to do the breaking. It may seem like I, of all people, would advocate the in-person method over this one, but hear me out. I have issues with direct confrontation, but on the phone, I feel far enough removed that I can say what I need to say without getting as emotional as when I have to look someone in the face. I once broke off my two-year engagement over the phone. Granted, it was a 4-hour conversation, and I didn’t intend for it to go that way, and almost two years later we’re back together. But still, I only had the guts to do it because we were on the phone. I didn’t cry as much or get as angry, so I was able to keep a clearer head and say what I needed to say.
With all this being said, choose your breakup tactic wisely, and please share the story of your lamest breakup.