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.
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.
Rebecca A. Marquis is the author of How to Be a Good Boyfriend: 34 ways to keep her from getting annoying, jealous, or crazy.