How NOT to Break Up with Someone

Learn the absolute don’ts when it comes to ending a relationship.

Richie Frieman
5-minute read
Episode #135

In the previous episode of Modern Manners Guy, I touched on how to properly handle a breakup. With such great feedback from everyone, I wanted to take it one step further to discuss how to properly break up with someone. Taking on this topic also occurred to me when a friend of mine (age 26) informed me that he wanted to end his current relationship because it was too close to the holidays. What?!? Being a happily married man and having dated my wife for years beforehand, I know I’ve been out of the dating game for quite some time, but last time I checked I didn’t know dating was a seasonal thing. But the worst part came next. “So how do you end it?” I asked. Very matter-of-factly, he replied, “It depends. Text. Email is always good; or just don’t call. They’ll get the idea.”

How NOT to Break Up with Someone

After hearing my friend’s bizarre dating ritual, I was shocked! Where have I been? Have all the John Cusack and Julia Roberts movies led me down a path of naïveté? 

After further research involving some close friends, I realized I wasn’t the wrong one and I came up with my top 3 ways NOT to break up with someone.

How NOT to Break Up With Someone #1: A Text

Let’s establish something about texting: it’s the lowest and laziest form of communication. Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone because typing letters wasn’t efficient enough. Now over one hundred years later--when we have cell phones and Internet in the palms of our hands--people find it necessary to revert back to the 1800s and type a message. I don’t get it. But back to the disaster of breaking up via text, which my one buddy calls, “A go-to if you’ve only gone on a few dates.” So sweet.

The texting break up has become stuff of legend, seen in movies (Up in the Air) and among the teen set (One of the Jonas brothers to Taylor Swift). If you are going to ruin someone’s happiness for the day (or weekend… or month!), texting is not the way. A text breakup casts a nasty shadow on the entire relationship--as if to say it was never that important anyway. No matter how eloquent you try to make a text break up, this is how it reads, “Hey there, I’m about to walk into the office but wanted to tell you it’s just not working for me. Best of luck. Hope we can still be friends?” Yeah right, friends? Are you kidding me?

If you’ve just been dumped by text, delete it immediately and try to move on—even if moving on means a carton of Ben & Jerry’s. They do not deserve a response.