The Modern Break-Up: Text Messages And Email

A vast majority of people meet online, either through one of several social media platforms or dating sites. Gone are the days where a blind date is truly that if you are savvy enough to Google the person first. Though every rare once in a while someone can still manage to get catfished.

Meeting through the internet has shed the sad stigma it once had.

So if more people are meeting online than in person and maintaining interactions primarily through email, texting, and social media, what’s wrong with breaking up that way? According to Katy Perry, that’s how Russell Brand broke the disheartening announcement that he wanted a divorce on New Year’s Eve in 2011.

Is it really any different than leaving behind a break-up letter?

Sure it seems tasteless, classless, and cowardly. You avoid the awkward, lengthy discussion about one another’s faults and how they contributed to putting the relationship on the crazy course that ultimately took it off the rails – allowing it to crash and burn as you both incessantly argue over the charred remains.

Or you’ve broken up face-to-face with someone multiple times – the clingy one who just won’t let the relationship end without one more chance – insisting over and over again to the point where you just can’t stand having “the talk” one more time.

A thoroughly worded reply in your phone and a tap of the send button later and there, done. Easy peasy.

Are we losing our ability to perform conflict resolution as technology advances? Or do we just not have the heart to deal with the emotional mess breaking up creates? Perhaps it’s a matter of wanting to perfectly formulate how you feel and convey it without the hate and interruptions, pleads and protests.

Whatever the reason, accountability has gone out the window with the rise of technology. Internet and smart phones gives us the option of not dealing with the immediate fallout of a situation. If you are mad at someone, you can leave a nasty comment on their Facebook wall. If you want to break up with your girlfriend, but don’t want to deal with the tears and cries of harbored injustices, you can shoot her a text.

The main reason we run into conflict is because we are encountering others, in this case our partners, who have a different value system. Your values are put to the test every time you come into conflict. The conflict allows you the opportunity to see the other person’s point of view and/or to understand why they want something different than yourself. It also affords you the opportunity to re-choose or to stay steadfast with your values.

Failing to confront the issues that have led you down the unhappy path of breaking up likely means you will be doomed to repeat the same flawed habits instead of thoroughly examining them.

For instance, the soon-to-be-ex complains you are a lazy slob. Did you ever consider that your girlfriend or wife is not your mother? She wasn’t put on this earth to tidy up after you – doing dishes and laundry while you watch television and play a video game for six straight hours instead of helping. But to her a clean home is important.

Does your man accuse you of being financially irresponsible? Spending both his and your money on things you really may not need, just want, but you petulantly lash out every time he ever brings it up. Did you ever stop to think how unfair it is to lavishly spend someone else’s hard-earned money or expect them to cover you when you a seemingly broke all the time because of a chronic inability to save?

People will tend to obsess more over how a breakup happens than why. Instead of forgoing the awkward conversation and shooting off a text message, resist the urge and consider thoroughly hashing out your issues. Try to see the other person’s argument; even if you are still going to break up afterwards.

Have you broken up with someone using email or a text message? Would you announce the desire for a divorce using a text?

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