Yes, shockingly there is an art to the breakup and certain unwritten rules to follow in order to save yourself from coming off as a douche. It is understandable that it is not easy to be the one doing the breaking up because it is in our nature to want to avoid confrontation or uncomfortable situations. However, if you have made the decision to end a relationship, you have common courtesy’s that should be considered during the process.
There are several ways to breakup with someone, and how you do it will be dependent on the reasons for the breakup, you’re soon to be ex-partner’s personality, and geographical issues. As in any case in which rules are involved, there are always exceptions, however those are few and far between in the case of breakup etiquette.
- Face the music or the screams. Obviously though this may be the most uncomfortable way to breakup with someone, the in person breakup is the most respectful. You loved this person and made a commitment to them at some point, and even if you are angry with them or it just is not working out, a face-to-face explanation and breakup is ideal. This way is not without risks be they physical or emotional so it may not be the right choice if you will be in danger of being hurt. You could also choose to do it in a public place to minimize these risks, however you are dealing with a highly emotional moment and would be risking embarrassment.
- The 411 is…we are through. The over the phone breakup is a lot less risky and still has that person-to-person contact that should be afforded your soon to be ex-partner. Though you may still be uncomfortable with this method, it is still a respectful way to let someone you cared about go from your life. It also might be a matter of location; if you are at a distance a phone call may be the only choice. This also eliminates the possibility of the confrontation becoming physical or to spin out of control.
- DearJohn@ yahoo.com. In years gone by a person was sent a letter via the mail breaking off the relationship and giving an explanation of this decision. In more recent years, through the advances of technology, the “Dear John” letter has become the “Dear John” e-mail. This is a less acceptable means of breaking up, as it does not afford the receiving party to have an immediate response. Again obviously there are some exceptions to this rule, but very few exceptions exist that would excuse this type of breakup.
- Btw we r thru 4 good no lol. There is one way that is never an acceptable means of breaking up, the text message. Okay admittedly texting has become a great way to communicate that is less intrusive and more private when in public. And we all know it can be fun to send your honey a sexy text in the middle of his boring meeting or to send your friend that is having a bad day a joke or couple of words of encouragement. But under no circumstances is it ever okay to use it to break up with someone. It is cowardly, it is cold, it is deplorable and no matter what your current feelings are for someone, you owe them so much more than a text message saying that you are through.
The bottom line is you should still treat the person you are ending a relationship with, with respect and dignity. If they choose not to return the same attitude once the deed is done that is out of your hands. Breakups no matter what method is used, are rarely pretty, however if you act like an adult and handle yourself well, in all likeliness, so will the person on the other side of this difficult moment.
For more info:
Relationship Breakup 101
Videojug Dr. Lillian Glass on Breaking Up