Breaking up with a TEXT

I have to admit, I’m biased on this one.  Me and technology don’t mix.  I talk to people face to face for a living.  It’s amazing that I even figured out how to do this blog.  I usually hold out as long as I can to avoid new technology.  I’m weird, I know.  So when one of my students tells me that their boyfriend or girlfriend broke up with them through a text, I want to haul that person into my office and scream at them that they are a coward!   However, I can not do that for confidentiality and professional reasons.  So I figured I would post about it instead.

I will give this to technology, it has made a lot of things easier.  It has made it easier for people to connect and meet someone they would never have had the opportunity to meet otherwise.  The down side is that it has also made it easier for people to wimp out when they don’t want to face someone.  Conflict and problems are hard to deal with.  It takes courage to open up and tell someone things that may not be so pleasant to hear.  When I hear about all the negative comments being made on Facebook, email and text it makes me wonder how relationships survive today.  Some people would still be mean and hateful without technology.  However, I believe a lot of people say things now that they wouldn’t have said without the shield of technology to hide behind.

Being in a relationship means you decided to let this person into your life.  You made a choice to get to know this person better and see if things will work long term.  It is a risk and there is a chance it may not work out.  It isn’t easy to extract someone from your life, but no one forced you to date this person in the first place.  I would think they would at least deserve more than a text that says “I wnt 2 brk up w u”.   Maybe if you met at a party and exchanged numbers and then went on one date you could get away with texting them to let them know you aren’t interested.  However, if you’ve been dating a few weeks or more I think its important to deliver that kind of news in a more personal way.

I realize that it isn’t an easy thing to do.  Many people have a hard time facing someone when they have bad news to deliver.  This leads them to make excuses to avoid it all together.  Some people are scared of the other person’s reaction.  They are afraid of having a violent argument or being threatened.  This is the one excuse I do think is valid.  There are people who need to sneak out of relationships to avoid further abuse.  However, some people aren’t afraid of a violent reaction, they are just afraid the other person will talk them out of breaking up.  Yet, do people really think their boyfriend or girlfriend won’t text them back to try to talk them out of it?  Other people hate the thought of hurting the other person.  Guess what?  Getting broken up through text is still hurtful.   Some people choose the option of just not responding when their boyfriend or girlfriend tries to contact them.  They think the person will get the message easier if they just start avoiding them.  This is fine if you have faced the person and given them reasons for the break up.  After that it is good to try avoid further communication.  However, not telling the person where they stand and breaking up by ignoring them is the highest form of disrespect.  This  is usually just going to drive them crazy and your phone and Facebook are most likely going to blow up with messages.

The moral of this story is that using technology to break up with someone isn’t going to make it easier!!  They are still going to be hurt.  Only now they are also going to feel even more angry because of how you handled it.  I don’t know anyone who feels more respected when they are broken up over text or through Facebook.  When I listen to people talk about this issue, it seems like their ex didn’t just stick the knife in, they also twisted it to do more damage than necessary.

Again, I realize I might be biased because I listen to people who are hurt by this every day and I’m not the biggest fan of technology.  I do believe though it is best to face the person you have chosen to let into your life.  Do you really think they will react to a text or Facebook message better than if you did it in person?  That you’ll be able to avoid drama by doing it this way?  I can assure you that isn’t true.  If you disrespect them by doing it the coward’s way, don’t expect them to do you any favors and just walk away quietly.  Break ups are usually messy, but you can avoid a lot of drama by just talking to them in person and letting them have some much needed closure.

2 comments on “Breaking up with a TEXT

  1. Who says there is a right way and a wrong way to break up with someone? And who decides what the cowardly thing to do is? Maybe folks who prefer texting or e-mailing are better at getting their feelings out via writing than in person. Or maybe they know the truth about how their significant other will handle something in person. Sometimes emotional boundaries/distance are a good thing.

    Sure folks are hurt by those text break-ups, but they are hurt anyway. When people complain about this, I always think it is simply a way of connecting more with the anger and injustice than the hurt. It’s a way for girls to obsess over “he did it the wrong way,” rather than on the rejection (they can feel disrespected and call him a coward rather than feel their hurt). Girls say they want to “the truth” and they want “someone to say it to my face,” but, guys know the truth about this. Break-ups are drama either way, but each person has to figure out what is best for himself/herself (and not necessarily the other person at times).

    The interesting thing about technology is that we seem to have a love/hate with it. And we’ve decided that there are these arbitrary rules…you can text this but you can’t text that…If you can text and tweet EVERYTHING these days, why not a break-up? Entire relationships exist on-line. Apparently, we don’t seem to value face to face contact as much as you (the writer) would like.

    Young people aren’t taught how to manage conflict on any level (they were raised to tell an adult if something was wrong). How do you expect them to know how to deal with something as difficult as a face to face break-up?

    • I appreciate your comments. I was pretty clear that I am biased about technology and its uses. This blog is meant to give my insights from the experiences I have when counseling others about relationships. I do apologize if I have offended anyone who uses technology for everything including break ups. I’m just saying there might be a more respectful way to handle some situations in relationships. I’m married and when I have a conflict with my husband I have to deal with him face to face because he lives with me. I can’t just text him from across the living room when I have a conflict with him. I think its important to learn to deal with things, especially hard things face to face if you ever want to have a long term live-in relationship with someone.

      I agree that a lot of people aren’t taught how to manage conflict. Part of the reason I’m writing this blog to help people learn and understand new things to help them manage their relationships better. That is why most people come into counseling. I don’t see most people because they have major mental illnesses. I see people who are trying to learn how to deal and cope with things that happen in life and in their relationships with others. I don’t expect everyone to agree with all my insights or suggestions. Take the ones that you think will help and forget the ones that won’t.

I would love to hear what you think about this post or about my blog in general. Also, feel free to leave any suggestions or ideas for new posts in the future! Thanks!

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