Rules For Breaking Up

Katie Blog 2 Comments

Remember the episode of Sex and the City when Burger broke up with Carrie via a Post-it note? It was the late 90s. She was hurt. How could someone be so insensitive and cowardly? I remember asking myself at the time, and in times since, what is proper break up protocol? When does the break up need to happen face-to-face? When does a phone call suffice? Is a text ever appropriate? What are the rules?

A few months ago I signed up for a matchmaking service. (In all my dating experience, I had never tried using a matchmaker.) I was matched with a really nice guy within the first month. We talked on the phone often. We went out on two dates. The dates were very nice. He treated me very well.

I went on a post-Thanksgiving trip to Seattle and thought through my feelings a bit. I had internally questioned our chemistry from the beginning. I worried about a lack of initial spark. I did not miss him while I was gone. (I wanted to, but did not.) I was not inspired to buy him a souvenir. (Somehow, I thought if I was in to him I would have.) What tipped the scale of my emotion was the text message I received as I traveled back to Cincinnati. He let me know he wanted to get together to give me the Christmas presents he had for me. I did not want to get together. I did not want to exchange presents. I felt pressured.

The slow steady questions that had be percolating in my mind began to surface. I did not want to see him and speak with him face-to-face. I did not want to have a long phone conversation laden with drama and guilt. We had gone on two dates and I did not want to continue dating him. What kind of closure is needed after two dates? That might seem cold, but I wanted to end it.

So I broke up with him via text (a 2012 version of a Post-it, I guess). The text message was short and simple. Direct. I let him know I did not want to continue dating. I wished him well, and shared my hope that he finds someone who can love him the way he wants to be loved. I said I was not that person. He returned my text and requested to meet. I declined. He said he thought people that used our match maker were supposed to want relationships. I thought, but did not write, I do want a relationship, just not with you. Isn’t that my right?

So I am left having broken up with someone via text message. I don’t question my decision to break up. Do I question my method of doing it? Probably. Maybe I should have looked him in the eye? Maybe we should have talked it through? I am not sure what that would have accomplished. I am happy with the outcome. Back in the day, I thought Burger got it all wrong. Now I cut him a bit of slack. Confrontation is tough. Relationships are complex. The rules of breaking up are not a clear cut as I would like. My hope is that my next date will be with “the one” and I won’t have to break up with anyone via text or any other means ever again.



Comments 2

  1. TRS

    I think after two dates, a text is probably okay. A phone call would have been better… but as in the Seinfeld episode, if there was no sex… the text was not out of line.

    Burger on the other hand… they had a relationship. There were several dates, intimacy, they broke up and got back together. The post-it note was cowardly… which spoke volumes because Burger was cowardly.

    1. Post

      Well said. A phone call would have been better. He was a really nice guy and deserved to hear from me. Thanks for weighing in!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *