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Breakup by text?? Dump someone with dignity

  • Rebecca Cardon is the author of 'Breakups Blow'
  • Here's her advice for getting over a text message breakup
Breakup by text?? Dump someone with dignity
Rebecca Cardon
Breakups Blow

Editor’s note: Rebecca Cardon is the author of “Breakups Blow: A Guidebook to Help You Break Free.” She has appeared on reality TV shows “The Amazing Race” and Bravo’s “Work Out.” She is on Twitter.

It seems like just yesterday I watched incredulously, along with millions of other woman, as Berger broke up with Carrie on a Post-It.

The “Sex and the City” episode, titled “The Post-It Always Sticks Twice,” aired during a time when we still had answering machines and a diminutive caller ID box attached to our home phones, enabling us to screen. We had cell phones, but texting via T9 mode made it too difficult to become our primary method of communication so we were forced to make an actual call when we wanted to talk.

We sat on the precipice of technological innovations so advanced they would change the way we interacted with each other forever.

If Berger and Carrie dated circa today, he wouldn't have gone to the trouble of leaving a handwritten note. He, most likely, would have sent his "I'm clipping you" text well after he had cleared the building.

A coward is a coward is a coward no matter how you slice it, and smart phones have only made it easier on the yellow bellies to skulk out of our lives with little accountability.

Katy Perry recently admitted that Russell Brand called off their 14-month marriage over a text message. Regardless of their dynamic or who is to blame for the relationship’s demise, when a marriage ends, it is a loss that should be respected. I don't personally know Russell — outside of a few spottings at my juice bar and yoga class — but, in general, sending an “I want a divorce” text is cold and callous and speaks volumes about how little regard one has for his spouse. It leaves the recipient with a question mark rather than a period, making it truly difficult to move on.

Certainly, it is up to each of us individually to find our closure, especially in the face of a breakup text. Waiting around for an explanation from the person you once loved as to how they could be so heartless will just leave you bitter and stuck. As our society evolves — or devolves, depending on how you look at it — we are becoming more and more dependent on our phones. They make our dinner reservations, book our flights, and tell our taxis exactly where to pick us up, but is relationship-ending going to be a new app?

I understand the feelings of being "done" and yes, I am guilty of ending early-stage relationships immaturely from my phone, always assuming the guy will eventually "get it.” Marriage, however, and long-term dating is a different story. The dumper may have closure, but to sever the limb without a conversation is cruel and disrespectful to the dumpee.

Ending a relationship can be tricky and hiding behind your cell can certainly seem easier, but there is a more dignified and courteous manner to dissolve a partnership that at one point made you happy. In a perfect world, people would close the door of their relationship the same way they opened it: Face to face, with love. Unfortunately, this is not the world in which we live. 

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