Breaking Up Over the Phone

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In today’s world of dating – both online and offline, the rules and etiquette of relationships are rapidly changing. For many people, this has them confused about whether such things like breaking up over the phone or via test message are acceptable forms of ending the relationship. According to a survey from Marie Magazine, some folks – especially men, are prone to NOT breaking up at all and just leave a long period of silence to act as the notification that the relationship has ended. So maybe sending a quick text that says, “It’s been real but I got to run,” is better than nothing at all, right? Wrong!

Decency should still prevail in your life whether your relationship is virtual or otherwise. In fact, according to a Decent Persons Guide to Breaking up, doing so over the phone or via text is only acceptable if the relationship is a long distance one. Meaning you are in West Virginia and your partner is in California and there is no chance that the two of you will be seeing each other any time soon. (Or maybe have never seen each other in person to begin with) Another time when breaking up over text or the phone, or email may be okay is when you aren’t really in a ‘real’ relationship to begin with – and have only seen one another once or twice (most likely for sex). In which case, there probably isn’t much of a relationship to end.

If you are dating, and you are not under the age of 16 – the act of ‘breaking up over the phone’ really makes a statement about what kind of person you are. Cowardice and lacking compassion come to mind first and foremost. This is especially true if you are in a relationship that has been ongoing for a month or more, that has settled into a routine of seeing each other several times per week and communicating often whether on the phone, via text or email and skype. In this case, chances are pretty good that the other person has developed feelings for you of some sort, and deserves a few minutes of your undivided attention so that you can break up. It’s a matter of respect, rather than a matter of making things easiest on yourself.

The reason most people break up in such heartless ways is because they are selfish and quite simply don’t want to see the hurt they have caused on another persons face. It’s one thing to call your boyfriend or girlfriend and tell them it’s over and then hang up knowing they are crying alone in their bedroom; but altogether different to sit over a lunch and watch the tears actually fall from their eyes. For many people, they continue relationships longer than they should for just this reason - they don’t want to hurt another persons feelings. But prolonging a relationship for the sake of savings someone’s feelings and preserving your own shutters of guilt is not the solution either.

The best ways to break up with someone while keeping your dating karma in tact, is to do so privately and in person. This means not meeting them at a crowded restaurant where they are sure to exhibit strong emotions in front of a bunch of strangers. Instead, choose a setting that is private, and enables both of you a quick get away. Ask that they MEET you somewhere, rather than drive together which leads to awkward moments in the car together on the way home. You should also avoid breaking up with someone in either your home or his or her home - where the emotions in the aftermath may lead you back into the bedroom with the person that you just broke up with. (Big mistake!) You also should avoid breaking up with someone while they are at work, at a family function, on their birthday, during a funeral or during any other special time. In other words, use your brain and common sense and don’t be so insistent on your own will to break up that you are willing to leave a dent in what should be a special time for someone else. Obviously, you have been thinking about the break up for a while, so putting some extra planning into breaking up well is just common decency. Some ideas are to meet at a park, or to meet somewhere where the two of you can for a walk together.

Once you break up the other person will probably want answers. Try to be nice here. Just because they were annoying, or possessive or overly jealous, or a complete raving lunatic doesn’t mean you have to add insult to injury by picking apart all their flaws. Just tell them that the feelings you were expecting to develop aren’t developing, let them know you think they are a nice person – and move on. And move on swiftly. If the person asks if you can still be friends, then make sure that you tell them you don’t think it’s a good idea. And also remember, that once YOU break up with someone – you should have the decency to not call them, or text them, or tell them you are thinking about them after a few drinks when you are feeling lonely. This only prolongs the break up and increases the hurt.

Another terrible way to break up with someone is to change your relationship status online on such social media devices as Facebook or dating sites BEFORE telling the person. These are the antics of a 14-year-old girl, and only serve to embarrass the person you were dating.

Listen, dating is touch and go. Relationships start and end, come and go. Breaking up with someone (or being dumped) is never easy. But it should still be done with respect.

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