Published: June 14, 2012
I'm a 28-year-old guy who was broken up with via text by a girl I had been dating for two months. She is dealing with the loss of a family member and some other personal issues, and she sent me this message while out of state for a week or so. Two months is a short time, I realize, and we never discussed the nature of our arrangement. But we spent a few nights a week together and agreed that we had something special. We had a chemistry that I haven't experienced in my last few relationships. How much respect do you maintain/lose based on something like this? Would you characterize this short-term-dating text-message dumping as spineless, flaky, a reasonable reaction to the issues she's facing, or what? What are the standards of a classy exit in the digital age?
Scumbag Move, Savage?
When I listen to someone complaining about how he was dumped, SMS, what I often hear is someone complaining that he was dumped. Finding fault with how – reading some previously undetected character flaw into the method your ex employed to dump you – is often the ego acting in its own self-defense. You're hurt, she hurt you, and you've latched onto the dumped-by-text issue so you can tell yourself that you were mistaken about her, that you didn't have chemistry, that there really wasn't something special here. Nope, she's a scumbag. Dumping-by-text proves it.
Two quick things: Getting dumped in person sucks, getting dumped over the phone sucks, getting dumped through snail mail sucks, getting dumped via text sucks. Getting dumped sucks. It would've hurt just as much if she had dumped you via Goodyear blimp or if she had shown up in person to tell you herself. And while dumping-via-text was viewed as a cold move 10 or 15 years ago when texting technology was new and texts were uniformly brief and inscrutable, these days, people do most of their communicating via text. So old notions about text-message dumpings – they're not classy! – don't apply these days. A longish, thoughtful and well-written text message is now a legit way to dump someone. Particularly someone you've been dating for only two months.
Let's say your girlfriend had waited until she was back in town so she could dump you face-to-face, SMS. What if you had met someone you liked and passed on an offer to hang out and/or hook up in the days, weeks or months between the time your girlfriend made up her mind to dump you and her arrival back in town? Then you would be complaining about how you passed on a date with a woman who could've been your soul mate.
Finally, SMS, the best course of action when you've been dumped by someone you really liked is to accept the bad news with as much grace as you can muster. The world is full of couples that got back together after a breakup, and your odds of being in one of those couples shrink if you act like an asshole about being dumped (which it doesn't sound like you're doing) or if you convince yourself your ex is an asshole for dumping you (which it sounds like you're doing). Good luck.
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