I know, I know — text breakups suck. They can be a horrible way to treat someone you’ve loved. But in one of my previous relationships, I felt I had no other choice. The dude was unstable and I really didn’t want to be in the same place as him. So, I tried to make the text breakup much better while getting what I wanted, which was to move on with my life without putting my life in danger. Here’s what I did.
I poured my heart out.
I thought that if I were on the receiving end of the text breakup, I wouldn’t want the person to be abrupt. I would want them to talk to me and explain things. So, I wrote a long text that explained that I just didn’t see us as being right for each other and I didn’t want to drag things out.
I waited for a response.
Instead of turning off my phone so I wouldn’t be disturbed as some guys who’d broken up with me via text had done in the past, I waited for his response. I was ready for anything he threw at me because I didn’t want to just leave him hanging. This wasn’t a dump and dash situation!
I let him express himself.
I had expressed my feelings and wants and it was only fair that he should get a chance to do the same thing. He expressed anger and sadness and I let it come without interrupting him.
I actually replied.
It was hard, yes, but I felt like I had to reply to his messages. I apologized for not wanting to be with him anymore. He had a lot of questions and I tried to answer them as best as I could to prevent him from feeling bad. But I also had to be honest: sometimes he was too temperamental and I wanted to be with someone calmer. I tried to relay this to him as nicely as I could.
I didn’t add cliches.
One of the things I really avoided in this conversation was to give him horrid generic compliments like “You’re so amazing, you’ll be the best boyfriend for someone else.” Ugh. I wanted to keep it real instead of trying to tell him what I thought he wanted to hear.
I did compliment him, though.
I wanted him to know that at one point I had wanted to be with him and I had seen a future for us. It wasn’t like I was just breaking up with him because I didn’t have feelings. I told him that being with him had been interesting and he’d made me feel a spark even when I’d thought I’d never feel one again. This also helped to ease into telling me that I wanted to end things.
I was gentle but firm.
I knew I couldn’t be too gentle with the guy. Once I apologized, he carried on wanting to talk. A whiff of my kindness was enough to make him try to push his luck. He wanted to meet so we could continue this conversation over dinner. Oh no. I told him I didn’t want that because as much as I wanted to be kind, I didn’t want him to think there was any hope here.
I refrained from using vague terms.
Linked to the above point, I didn’t say things like, “I’m not ready for anything right now” because I knew this could give him the wrong impression and make him think that I could change my mind in the near future.
I made it about me.
Instead of making it seem like he was the problem and the reason for the breakup, I realized I didn’t want to start a fight or leave things on a bitter note. So I focused on myself and my feelings instead.
I said no to friendship.
It was hard but I knew that a clean break was best, so when he suggested that we remain friends, I told him that I preferred not to stay friends with exes. It was so much better than to lie and say, “Sure, we can see how things go.” Ugh, who had time for that? It was just so much better to be clear about the boundaries and say goodbye without worrying that he’d send me a “Hey” text within a few days.
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