There was a Sex in the City episode a few years ago where Berger broke up with Carrie by Post-it Note. That is, rather than telling her to her face that he wanted out of the relationship, he wrote it on a Post-it Note and left it for her to find the next morning after he’d left. Everybody –on the show and in real life– agreed it was a pretty lousy move. (Everybody = women).
Of course, that show was television and not real life (though it certainly felt like it from time to time). Recently, though, my friend Lana’s boyfriend broke up with her via text message. (And, no, he’s not twelve). It’s Berger and Carrie, 2010; the technological equivalent of the Post-it Note breakup. This guy, too, didn’t have the balls to “man up” and tell Lana he didn’t think the relationship was working out.
This is what I wonder about: what is the conversation a grown man has with himself that allows him to be convinced that ending a relationship by text message is acceptable? I’m thinking he must feel pretty sheepish…but maybe not. Lana was, of course, stunned that he chose this method to break-up. Technology can be efficient and practical…and cold. Break-up texts are definitely cold.
When she told me, I was disgusted, but not completely surprised. A few years ago, I took the time to write a thoughtful, heartfelt letter to a guy I was seeing to explain why the relationship wasn’t working for me. I used my personal stationary, put a stamp on it, and mailed it the old-fashioned way. He responded by text message (a rather incoherent one, at that). I remember thinking “what a jackass”. The good thing about it, though, is that it reinforced how right I was to get out.
After talking with a few others, I learned that this isn’t as uncommon as it should be. See what you started, Berger? Apparently there are lots of men who leave relationships this way. Isn’t this how Kelsey Grammer told his soon-to-be-ex-wife that he wanted a divorce? Or was it by email? Same difference. What is up with these chickensh*# men? Is a phone call just too hard?