by Rebecca Agocs, March 16th, 2018
In a world where it seems that face-to-face conversation has fallen second to texting—and emailing is the best way to communicate with one another—the communication lines in relationships are more blurred than ever.
What instances in a relationship elicit a phone call? What about an in-person conversation? What’s okay to just send over in a quick text? Questions like these are one of the many reasons that relationships can be so difficult to navigate.
While I understand how there can be some confusion around, say, the best way to reschedule a first date (Should you call? Could you send a text instead?), one place I don’t think there should be any confusion is: the best way to break up with someone.
But in today’s digital age, it appears it’s not quite so straightforward. A recent survey found that 69 percent of millennials have been broken up with over text—and 66 percent of millennials have done the breaking up over text too.
How is it that more than half of the millennial generation group feel that texting is an appropriate way to end a relationship?
The ending of a relationship should be treated with respect. As a simple best practice, breakups should be done in person whenever possible, not over the phone or email.
So, now that we’ve established some of the wrong things to do when breaking up with someone, what’s the right way to do it? Unfortunately there’s no exact science to breakups, but there are things you can do to make it more tolerable for both parties.
The most effective breakups are those that are straightforward and direct. End the relationship, and leave little room for confusion—either you see a chance of reconciling, or you don’t. To help keep things direct, try to truly leave once the relationship is over. Lingering opens the door for more questions and potentially unproductive conversation. It’s a fine balance between hearing the other person out, and not offering false hope that the relationship can be salvaged.
While this relationship is over, if there are things that contributed to the demise that the other person can change to improve on future relationships, tell them. Again, it’s all about balance.
Find an even ground between just being and just being mean. If you question whether you should say it—or if it’s not something that will improve their future relationships—keep it to yourself, as it may hurt them more than it will help them.
While there’s technically no right way to end a relationship, I hope some of these suggestions will help ease the pain and anxiety surrounding the breakup for both parties involved.
Remember that each breakup with the “wrong person” gets you closer to the “right person”—so onward and upward!