I don’t even know what you’d call this era. The ‘Modern Love’ Era? The ‘Post-Modern Love’ Era? The ‘Don’t You Dare Call Me Instead of Text Me’ Era? I’m not sure, but either way, I am sure that the rules of modern love simply don’t apply to dating anymore.
Before first dates, I made it a habit of listening to the My Girl soundtrack. My Girl came out in 1991, when car phones still weren’t even all that common. But the movie’s namesake song by The Temptations came out in 1964 when people were more likely to have dance cards in their pockets than credit cards. Dating consisted of talking face-to-face, getting set up by a friend, or meeting while twisting-and-shouting on a dance floor. You know, pretty much the opposite of how everyone operates today – texting, meeting on a dating app, or making out on a dance floor while a shitty rap song makes it difficult for you to exchange even names.
I’m not saying either means of finding a partner is the correct way to do it. Being compatible with someone is more unlikely and difficult than it is to land your dream job. If you figure out a way to do it through good old-fashioned conversation, I applaud you. If you need to rapidly swipe through every person within a 200-mile radius with an age range between 18-45 years old, so be it. I’m not here to tell anyone how to date because I’m certainly no expert. As someone who got a bloody lip from braces the first time he made out with someone, it’s simply not my job to tell you how to love.
But love’s angry ex is, obviously, heartbreak. I’m not sure how 1991 or 1964 handled breakups. I assume a conversation or phone call sufficed. There were probably some awkward run-ins in diners where one person assumed they were going to share a milkshake while the other decided it was time to stop going steady. Some people probably went home and listened to an REM tape while sitting down in a cold shower. I don’t know and I don’t care to know because breakups are normally hell.
What I do know is that, in this day and age, it’s generally not acceptable to break up with someone through any means that don’t require spoken words. And while I do think an email comes off as impersonal, cold, and shallow, I truly don’t see the issue with cutting ties with someone through a simple blue-bubbled text message.
When relationships are in their infancy, the largest amount of communication you have with one another is going to exist through typing. You can say that you’re chivalrous and that you’re more likely to pick up a phone than you are to text someone about grabbing dinner, but you’re a liar. We look at screens more than we look at eyes and that’s just a fact. Congratulations if you’re an outlier, but I’m not talking to outliers – I’m talking to everyone else.
Is ending a relationship the same way as the way you started it really that taboo? It just seems weird to me that most people in their dating prime are willing to sleep with someone after exchanging some texts but aren’t willing to call it quits using the same means. After all, your first kiss or sexual encounter is normally a much bigger life event than your first breakup.
If you tell someone that you dumped someone through a text message, you’re going to look like an asshole. That’s just a fact. And if you tell someone that you were dumped through a text, people are going to scorch the other person off the face of the earth over a shared bottle of wine on the couch. That’s even more of a fact. But I’m just simply not convinced that using text messages to end a relationship is the worst possible way to call it quits.
This isn’t a high and mighty declaration about the “delicate snowflakes” out there who can’t handle getting dumped through a text message. Admittedly, I’m a delicate snowflake when it comes to relationships. I’m mushy. I treat first dates like romantic comedies. And yes, I’ve been dumped through a text message before. And honestly, it was easier that way.
This methodology isn’t for the overly invested. If you have your things at one another’s apartments, you naturally won’t be prone to ending things through text messages because that’s simply not in the run of play for you. There would obviously have to be a conversation that occurs after that would remove the phrase “a clean break” from the equation.
This is for the relationships that fall in the one-month-to-six-month range. The relationships where you still haven’t felt everything out and are getting used each other’s nuances and intricacies. I’m talking about the type of relationship where you’re still apt to fight via texts underneath a dinner table at a group dinner rather than have the peace of mind to sort things out after.
There’s a high chance that you planned your first date through a series of text messages where each of you jockeyed for position. And on the off chance that you established this in person or one the phone, well, you’re probably the type to break up in person or on the phone because that’s more your style. But you simply can’t be furious that someone fires off a 9 p.m. Sunday text that reads, “I just don’t see this going anywhere,” when that’s how it all began in the first place.
I’m not going to condone ghosting or breadcrumbing or whatever other kind of weird relationship terminology Elite Daily has drummed up to justify being a shitty person, but I’m also not going to condemn someone for having a blunt conversation in place of an overwrought one that’s not going to go anywhere. If the person doesn’t hold you to a high enough esteem that they don’t tell you to your face, you should probably be okay with that person exiting your life anyway.
And if not, just curl up with a bottle of red and My Girl and pray that the other party dies from bee stings. That works too. .
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