“You may be perfect but not perfect for me.” I gave her my heart and she gave me a text. It broke my heart and broke off my relationship. Would it have hurt less in person? Doubtful. It did save me the embarrassment of not being able to hide my sad puppy left out in the rain look because I don’t have a stone cold poker face. None the less…inappropriate and an unacceptable way to break up with someone.
Break-ups are usually blindsided meetings that begin with ‘We need to talk’ or “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking’. After that, nothing good can come of it. So just what is an acceptable way to break up with someone? In public? In private? At your home or theirs? Luckily yours truly hasn’t been on the receiving end of too many of those uncomfortable moments. But in the times I have, I had the sit down where I could. If someone has truly meant something to you and they didn’t cause you physical or mental anguish or irreparable harm, they deserve a face to face meeting. It’s what is called ADULTING.
While letters, rehearsed phone calls or texts may provide the magic words for your release, saying ABRACADABRA informally and impersonally is just not an acceptable means of ending your relationship. If you have spent a considerable amount of time with this person, then you should realistically know your audience. Will they blow up and make a scene? Will they be calm and internalize it? No doubt feelings will come into play and if you think one or both of you will become overly emotional, then save the embarrassment and do it as privately as possible. If you know that it will be agreeable and mature, then a public place is acceptable. These factors should be taken into consideration and determine whether you can do it in your home or cut ties in the back corner of a Starbucks.
I say these things because I believe in being the bigger person when possible and giving people respect. If you give someone the floor to allow their voice to be heard, even if you are steadfast in your decision, you will give each other a better chance for closure. In the short-term, they might feel slighted, angry or disrespected. However, when they reflect back on it in a week, a month or a year, they will know that they were treated fairly at the end and will ultimately gain a deeper sense of respect for you. While that may not be your endgame, no one can take that away from you and you can walk away with a clearer conscious. Acceptable is not always painless but it will allow you to say anything that a pen or text could never emote.
I have been broken up with many times. None of which ever seem to go as planned I’m sure. There isn’t a phone call to talk, there isn’t a discussion during a level-headed conversation where two people decide they have given it their all and it isn’t working and they should go their separate ways. It has come in many dysfunctional, immature, non confrontational ways that have left me feeling disrespected and empty. guess that’s how it goes when things come to a screeching halt. No one is concerned with saving face or doing the right thing or not hurting one another, they want out and they want it effective immediately.
I know breaking up is hard, I’ve done it myself and it’s totally uncomfortable, it makes me feel weak and guilty and a myriad things, but sometimes, it’s still the right thing to do, but it doesn’t have to be nasty. I’ve had the text come through that just clearly says we are over. It’s like a shot through the heart. You can’t even pick up the phone and say it? You leave the words ever out there hanging on my phone for me to look at over and over as each time I read it, my heart breaks a little more? So selfish in my opinion.
I’ve had the long email, giving me all the reasons why I’m not what you thought or wanted or needed and again, it lacks personal accountability. Those words are forever engrained in someone’s head without explanation or the ability to question anything. It’s just a litany of why you have to do what you have to do. Why couldn’t you have said it to my face? It seems cowardly and downright mean in my opinion. At least have the guts to look me in the face and say what you have to say. Give me the opportunity, as a person you used to love to hear your words and see your face and be able to say goodbye.
In my humble opinion, even calling on sucks, but at least you hear their voice. Break ups suck no matter what and there really is no right way to do it, but there sure as hell are a lot of wrong ways.
For more on unacceptable ways to be dumped – see my Article on ModernMom HERE