#dating | The No.1 Way to Break Up With Someone Is Now Via Text Message

I’m not going through a breakup right now so I’m not sure why I keep writing about dump-y stuff, but hi. Here we are. I suppose I AM an expert of sorts, having been dumped countless times by an unsavory array of dudes AND having the dubious honor of dumping many men myself. Maybe this makes me a horrible person? Or maybe it just makes me 37? It DEFINITELY makes me a breakup master.

Anyway, a rather shocking study made its way into my inbox last week. That study, via something called Voucher Cloud, found that, among 2,712 men and women age 18-30 (all of whom had gone through a breakup in the past year), the NO.1 DUMPING METHOD was … via text message (25 percent). The No.2 method? Social media (20 percent). And 11 percent of respondents opted to do their dissing by email.

Eeeegjgjgjjjjhhhhh is it just me, or is that all … messed up? I know we live in a warped “future is now” era in which nobody bothers to open their mouths to emit actual sounds at each other — we prefer to do it all, EVERYTHING, via little screens. But still! We’re talking about breakups here — love and war and the soul-pummeling death of real-world entanglements!

Joon urges all of us idiotic humans to return to the halcyon days of breakups via handwritten letter. Or, better: carrrier pigeon (yum?).

IMHO it’s just outright cruel to dump someone via text message. So callous. Same goes for breaking up via social media, though to me that one’s actually worse; you can’t deign to call or, very least, send a damn message? Instead you announce you’re done via Facebook or Insta-whatever? Cannot.

In that study I mentioned, the majority of people who’d ended their relationship via text message said they did it because “it made the process ‘less awkward.’” And 58 percent of those who broke up with someone via email claimed they chose that method because it allowed them to “fully explain their reasons.” Yeah, OK.

The meanest short-term breakup I’ve experienced was done via email. It was all thanks to a hot Brazilian man I dated for a few months in 2011-’12. We met on OKCupid; he was affectionate and romantic and 100 percent up my ass whenever we were together, but then, between dates, he’d completely disappear. It was infuriating, but when I could cajole him out of his hidey-hole, I had enough fun that I valiantly attempted to overlook the random vanishings.

We became exclusive after a few months, took our dating profiles down … aaaaaand he dumped me via email a week later. The same day he was supposed to come into San Francisco to hang out with me. (Here’s a SPECIAL BONUS HIGHLIGHT from his email, cuz I know you’re curious: “I’m realizing that, despite liking you and having fun when I spend time with you, I don’t feel a strong connection. … Add to it the fact that we’re not getting any younger and I don’t feel it’s fair for any of us to invest so much time in a relation that probably won’t go somewhere.”)

That breakup wasn’t a big deal in the overall scheme. I wasn’t in love with the guy, and I thought the way he dumped me was incredibly cowardly and offensive, which only helped confirm that he wasn’t the person I’d thought he was. No — he was, in fact, a cold, unfeeling robot-man, and I felt sorry for any poor sucker he managed to convince to date him later. I responded to his truth-bomb in what felt like the best way possible: I didn’t respond at all. I’m still proud of myself for that! Flagrant douchery doesn’t always deserve acknowledgment.


Still, I’m human (haven’t quite reached full robot status, myself) and thus not immune to occasionally booting people from my life in shitty ways. I try not to, obviously — I try to get it done as gracefully as possible, in the most appropriate and respectful manner. For example, if we’ve been dating for a year, I’ll talk to you in person. If we’ve been dating for a few months, I’ll probably do it over the phone. If we’ve been kind-of sort-of seeing each other for a week or two, I might do it via text, even though I admittedly might feel a bit weird about it.

My preferred method (both to dump and be dumped) is over the phone. No, it’s not as intimate as doing it in person, but it gives both parties a chance to air their grievances while retaining a modicum of privacy. Because who doesn’t appreciate a bit of space in which to do your painful breakup business — i.e. choking back tears, silently seething, thrusting a middle finger in the air and waving it defiantly in the general direction of the phone, etc.?

So! What do you think? Dumping people via text or social media — A-OK or hideously cruel? What’s your favorite method? Worst digital dumping experience? Spill it please.

Written by Laura Barcella

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