It seems to show up on everyone's list of dating rules. Don't text a break-up. Have enough respect for the person to say it in person. Texting a break-up is rude and lazy. Blah, blah, blah.
I have two complaints about this.
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Firstly, I really don't need to see a guy's face if he's telling me he doesn't want to be with me anymore. I don't need the visual to go with the memory. And I don't need him to see my face either, especially if I'm going to cry. My eyes get puffy when I cry. It's not my best look. I rather his last image of me be something a bit sexier. Also, I don't really need to hear his voice say the words. I don't need the audio memory, either. So by all means, let him text. As long as he is willing to answer any questions I might have, texting is fine with me. I won't think he's rude. I won't think he's lazy. I would think he's sparing my feelings, and I would appreciate that.
Secondly, let's say I'm ending things because he's been acting like he doesn't really care about me. Am I supposed to wait until he's good and ready to have another date to tell him how I feel? Or wait for him to call me back? Umm, no. I'm going to tell him when I'm good and ready. I may think carefully about what I say, even run through a couple of drafts before I finally hit send. Or, I may write the text in a completely emotional moment. Either way, he'll know how I feel, and it'll be over in my head. Is that selfish? Maybe. But if he's not caring about me, I should certainly care about me.
And to all those rule-makers who think texting is the cheap and easy painless way out, I assure you neither of the above situations would be painless for me. When I date, I care. And any break-up hurts.
I'm not saying that texting a break-up is always appropriate and never rude. I'm saying that sometimes it's OK. I've done it. I'd do it again. And I'm not going to feel bad about that.
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Rebecca A. Marquis is the author of How to Be a Good Boyfriend: 34 ways to keep her from getting annoying, jealous, or crazy.