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Dumped

June 13, 2012

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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 on to 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—hey, you never know—could've been your soul mate while your ex was stringing you along.

Finally, SMS, the best course of action when you've been dumped by someone you really liked—someone you would still be dating if it were up to you—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.


Two years ago, I fell in love with a man. (I'm a bisexual woman.) A friend decided to take that as her cue to declare her love for me. I turned her down. This same conversation had to happen repeatedly. A few weeks ago, she was having a party at her house. She got sloppy drunk and said that if she only had a penis, I'd be with her. She became touchy-feely and aggressive. At one point, she told a man there that they needed to get me drunker so that I'd have sex with her. When I confronted her later, she said that her drinking was because I had been too harsh when I turned her down. Then she said that I'm constantly cruel to her and that's why she drinks. When I suggested ending our friendship if I'm so cruel, she got apologetic and came up with all sorts of communication strategies to try to preserve our friendship. If I am being abusive—or even if I'm not—what am I supposed to do?

Bitches Be Crazy

This is why they pay me the big bucks: Stop hanging out with that bitch, BBC, because that bitch—as you're well aware—is fucking crazy. You're welcome.


I am a 16-year-old straight male—I think. I know I'm 16 years old and I know I'm male. But I'm not totally sure about the sexuality. I'm into chicks, okay? There's nothing I love more than vagina. I have a girlfriend, and she's amazing. No argument. But recently, a gay friend told me he has a crush on me and has for a long time. He asked me to be his "friend with benefits." Plain and simple: He offered to give me head. I still haven't texted him back. I'm not totally against the idea. I've never thought about having sex with a dude, but I guess you could say I'm an open-minded person. So my question, Dan, is if I should become FWB with my friend. One of my main concerns is the fact that I'm in a relationship. So, yeah, I just don't know.

What Should I Do?

Ask your girlfriend if she'd be okay with you getting head from your gay friend. If that's not a question you can bring yourself to ask your girlfriend, WSID, then don't even think about becoming FWB with your gay friend.

As for your sexuality...

If there's nothing you love more than vagina—really? Not your mom? Not even oxygen?—then you're definitely not gay. You could be bisexual, I suppose, or heteroflexible. But I'm thinkin' what you are is 16 years old and horny as shit. If a talking skunk with a French accent walked into your room and offered you a blowjob, WSID, you'd probably say yes. Letting that skunk blow you wouldn't be proof that you're a zoophile—or a Francophile—just proof that you're so horny you decided to shoot (into a skunk's mouth) first and ask questions ("I let a skunk blow me—WTF?") later.

A sex expert I quoted in a recent column—he was responding to a question from a straight guy who wanted other men to bust his balls—observed that a person can have a kink that overrides his "usual erotic 'target interest,' i.e., women." You're not kinky, WSID, just horny. But the combination of intense adolescent horniness and a rare blowjob opportunity have overridden your usual erotic target interest, i.e., women.

I'm not saying you shouldn't do this. Gay/straight FWB arrangements can work. But you shouldn't do this if it means deceiving your girlfriend. If you want to take your friend up on his offer, WSID, clear it with your girlfriend first or wait until you're single. And if you're so tempted to do this that you're considering doing it behind your girlfriend's back, WSID, that's a pretty good indication that you'll be single soon.


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Comments (210) RSS

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1
I agree that it sucks to get dump no matter how it happens. If you're the dumpee, then it's pointless to obsess over the details, because at that point what's done is done.

However, if you're about to dump someone you've been seeing for a few months and you're asking yourself if a text is ok- no, it's not ok unless the person you're dumping was a complete asshole. If the person you're dumping was not that bad to you while you were dating, then I think they deserve at least a phone call.
Posted by Miss Manners on June 12, 2012 at 5:50 PM · Report this
mydriasis 2
Yeah, dumping through text is an absolute dick move if the relationship has moved into the "official" realm. If you're still just 'seeing' or 'talking to' someone or wtfever, then fine, dump them through text. Or maybe you caught them cheating, or something, go ahead, dump them through text.

But I think even Dan would agree that there eventually comes a point where a text is no longer an appropriate way to dump someone. Maybe not at 2 months, but I think we can all agree that "honey, I know we're been married for 25 years, but I want a divorce" is not cool.
Posted by mydriasis on June 12, 2012 at 6:07 PM · Report this
Sea Otter 3
Nope, sorry. Dumping someone via text message is still a dick move. It comes across as cowardly (because you're sparing yourself their reaction). It also suggests that you didn't have enough regard for their feelings to call them; if you can text someone you can almost always call them, too so there's no excuse not to man or woman up and give them a call. And texting is still "cold" - not only can the other person not hear your voice, but the necessary brevity discourages the level of nuance that you could put into something like an email (which is also preferable to text message as a dumping medium).
Posted by Sea Otter on June 12, 2012 at 6:08 PM · Report this
4
SMS-- I want to know what the text-dump said.

Was it:

1. I know it's awful to dump you like this, but I'm feeling so awful with the loss of my family member and some personal issues that I'm in no place to give this relationship the attention it deserves. Please forgive me.

or:

2. Get lost.

It makes a difference to how classy she is. That said, Dan is right. Getting dumped sucks no matter how it's delivered.
Posted by Crinoline on June 12, 2012 at 6:15 PM · Report this
5
Being dumped is indeed, sad, no matter how it happens. I list being dumped right there next unrequited love. Both suck.

Spot on advice, Dan, to BBC--RUN, GIRL, RUN!!!--- and also to WSID about clearing the FWB proposal with his amazing girlfriend first.
Thanks for this week's Dump and Hump!
Posted by auntie grizelda on June 12, 2012 at 6:20 PM · Report this
6
@3: Damn straight. Email is clearly the way to go. (Kidding. Dumping via any medium where you simply leave the information basically says to the other person, "I'm informing you what's what, and I don't care enough about how you feel about it to even receive your response. Just go away.")

That said, Dan is still right, that worrying about the details of how a dumping was carried out is an exercise in futility. Don't waste one more second of your life trying to figure out whether you should respect or disrespect that person for how they did it. The more you feel like you were yourself disrespected by them, the more your reaction should be "...girlfriend? what girlfriend?" If you were burned by a stove, would you leave your hand on it while you tried to figure out how hot it really was? "Just go away" may be harsh, but it's the best course of action for the dumpee to take. As the saying goes, "shake the dust of that place off your feet," pick yourself up, and move on.
Posted by avast2006 on June 12, 2012 at 6:31 PM · Report this
mydriasis 7
@6

Except for the part where he says it doesn't reflect on her. I think it does

If someone dumped my through text I'd cut them. But I'd also feel better knowing that I'm not missing out on anything.
Posted by mydriasis on June 12, 2012 at 6:40 PM · Report this
8
Maybe it's more polite to dump via text if you add the little sad face emoticon to show that you do, indeed, feel sorry.

I think part of the reason for the desire to have an in-person break-up is so that the dumper has to behold the dumpee's pain and feel remorse (or so hopes dumpee) before they go skipping off into the arm's of their new lover.

jill
http://inbedwithmarriedwomen.blogspot.co…
Posted by inbed http://inbedwithmarriedwomen.blogspot.com on June 12, 2012 at 6:55 PM · Report this
9
A text is a lot better than just never hearing from the person again. Getting dumped that way is really hard, because you hold out hope that you haven't actually been dumped. At least a text tells you where you stand.

I agree with Dan that she was considerate to let him know right away, instead of stringing him along.

Just speculating here, but having just known each other a couple of months and already spending "a few nights a week together", maybe she felt it was all happening too fast, and maybe smothered. Perhaps she found it easier to break things off once she got distance and perspective. Or maybe she reconnected with an old flame at home.

Getting dumped sucks. I liked the artwork for this week's column.
Posted by LiveAndLet on June 12, 2012 at 7:16 PM · Report this
10
Dear Dan,

I'm a straight 28 year old woman. Two months ago I started dating a great guy. We hadn't formalized our relationship, but we have been spending a few nights a week together and agreed we share a special chemistry together. The trouble is that I've recently lost a family member, and I have some personal issues. He's terrific, but I can't see this relationship going anywhere right now. Would it be alright if I broke up with him via text message?
Posted by Crinoline on June 12, 2012 at 7:30 PM · Report this
11
About texting break-ups: I actually would prefer a text break-up to an in-person breakup. If the text is very clear (there's no way it could be misinterpreted), then I'd much rather find out without the other person ever knowing exactly how much it hurt me. Breakups are unpleasant enough without adding personal humiliation into it.

A lot of people disagree with me. But I don't think I can be the only one who feels this way, so maybe people who break up over text should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Though @2 has a point, that you can't initiate a divorce via text. But I think the difference there is that in that case, you can't just be done with it in a single text. The mercy of the break-up text lies in the fact that the receiver of such a text never has to communicate with the person who just broke up with them again. I think at the point where more contact has to happen in order to finish breaking up is the point where a text is no longer acceptable.
Posted by alguna_rubia on June 12, 2012 at 7:44 PM · Report this
TheLando 12
Maybe it's a generational thing (you're old!), but I think dumping by e-mail or text is fine if you're talking about a brief relationship that's just not panning out. How exactly does the dumpee benefit from looking sad and feeling stupid in the physical presence of the dumper? I would rather be on my own to process that sort of thing, personally.

That said, I think the dumping text/e-mail should include an offer to communicate some more if the dumpee wants to discuss things, because it's only fair to let the dumpee have their say. But the relationship-ending has to be firm, because nothing is more pathetic than when someone tries to talk you out of dumping them.
Posted by TheLando on June 12, 2012 at 7:57 PM · Report this
13
@1 I agree. Text dumping is cowardly. It makes sense if you abhor the person you're dumping all of a sudden, or if you physically can't get a closer form of communication. Maybe a text with an offer to talk after for closure would be OK, but just texting seems pretty instant-noodly to me. Not authentic behaviour.
Posted by sfl on June 12, 2012 at 8:02 PM · Report this
14
@8 Yeah--that's because you're supposed to feel concern for those you bed. hello? meaning you treat them with gentleness--sometimes that means bearing witness to what you have meant to him or her. OK, so within reason and it varies, but you sound like you're saying, "Oh boohoo it sucks to be you..." which would make an average dumpee wish they had not humped you in the first place--gotta let people save some face says I.
Posted by sfl on June 12, 2012 at 8:16 PM · Report this
15
Although Dan has his points, in my opinion it's still bad form to dump by text. I'm just old fashioned that way.
Posted by spoon on June 12, 2012 at 8:17 PM · Report this
16
Spot. On. My best friend is going through a similar dumped-by-text situation, though, he and the guy only dated a week and two days. :/
Posted by dakoneko on June 12, 2012 at 8:17 PM · Report this
17
Thank God for targetted advertising. I was just on "Joe My God"'s blog (which I only started following thanks to Dan Savage), and at the top was a banner for the government's workplace safety branch. My homophobic, conservative, anti-choice, gun-toting province is advertising on Joe My God. I laughed.
Posted by scrappy_girlie on June 12, 2012 at 8:22 PM · Report this
18
I'd prefer a text in a just-starting or non-defined relationship, so I can have my initial reaction in private. I think once it gets to the point of calling each other boyfriend or girlfriend, I love yous have been exchanged, etc, a text is completely unacceptable. And I'm someone who loves texts and hates talking on the phone!
Posted by EmZy on June 12, 2012 at 8:36 PM · Report this
19
I think it is courtesy to tell people important things in person. When I had been with a man for about 3 months (we had been living together)I went out of town for a few weeks to handle some business. He wrote me a letter saying he was going back to his estranged wife and did not want to hear from me any more. I drove to his house and told him that was fine, I would walk away if he would tell me that he did not love me and would be happy with his ex. He couldn't do it. We celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary last month.
Posted by tachycardia on June 12, 2012 at 8:47 PM · Report this
20
@3 and @6 seem to have the unfortunate impression that the dumper owes the dumpee the opportunity to counterargue. Not true! @6 in particular seems to be outraged at the idea of the dumper just "informing you what's what." But that's exactly what a non-mutual breakup is--one person has decided the relationship isn't working for him or her, and they are informing the other person. It's not a negotiation. It's not even really a discussion. Fundamentally, it is just dumper imparting some (sad, hard to hear) information to dumpee.

Somewhat ironically, attitudes like this--that the dumpee is somehow entitled to something other than candor about the state of the relationship from the dumper--are probably highly correlated with being broken up by text, email, or other non-interactive medium. If you give off vibes like you think people's boundaries and decisions are always open to negotiation, your SO is less likely to give you the opportunity to turn a breakup into an argument.
Posted by Anon21 on June 12, 2012 at 8:55 PM · Report this
21
@3 and @6 seem to have the unfortunate impression that the dumper owes the dumpee the opportunity to counterargue. Not true! @6 in particular seems to be outraged at the idea of the dumper just "informing you what's what." But that's exactly what a non-mutual breakup is--one person has decided the relationship isn't working for him or her, and they are informing the other person. It's not a negotiation. It's not even really a discussion. Fundamentally, it is just dumper imparting some (sad, hard to hear) information to dumpee.

Somewhat ironically, holding attitudes like @3 and @6--that the dumpee is entitled to something more than candor about the state of the relationship from the dumper--are probably highly correlated with being broken up by text, email, or other non-interactive medium. If you give off vibes like you think people's boundaries and decisions are always open to negotiation, your SO is less likely to give you the opportunity to turn a breakup into an argument.

(apologies if this becomes a duplicate comment)
Posted by Anon21 on June 12, 2012 at 8:58 PM · Report this
22
I just might be a little impressed if I were dumped via blimp. Really.
Posted by dangerdarling on June 12, 2012 at 9:19 PM · Report this
23
Why can't WSID just get head from his girlfriend? If he truly loves vagina to such a degree, why take his buddy up on his offer when he has a presumably ready and willing girlfriend? It sounds more like he's intrigued by the thought of his buddy doing it that the act of blow-jobbing itself.
Posted by buzzinbee on June 12, 2012 at 10:00 PM · Report this
24
If he truly loves vagina, why does he want blowjobs at all?

Clearly he loves some other things (like blowjobs) in addition to liking vagina.

The question is, is he particular about the gender bits on the body of the mouth delivering the blow job?
Posted by biggie on June 12, 2012 at 10:55 PM · Report this
25
Dumping a two month relationship by text is not a scumbag move. Less than ideal, perhaps cold and/or tacky? Fine. But not a scumbag move. The first letter writer is sad and mad about being dumped, and has seized on the method to make his ex the villain. SMS's choice of pseudonym makes it pretty clear to me that Dan analysis was spot-on. I bet SMS's ex didn't want to deal with his bullshit drama, which dumping him in-person or on-the-phone would necessarily entail, thus the decision to dump him via text.

And yes, BBC, please run away, fast.
Posted by Functional Atheist on June 12, 2012 at 11:10 PM · Report this
26
Dan, you're good on matters of sex and ethics, but you still usually get into arrogant douche "it's all your fault you feel hurt" mode when it comes to your advice about emotions. Sure, getting dumped sucks, but getting dumped disrespectfully is doubly awful. Your advice here is so wrong.

No matter how short the situation (or casual), you gotta do it via phone or in person. Otherwise like other commenters said, you're just being chickenshit and sparing yourself the other person's face.

Not grownup, not cool. Period.
Posted by anneshirley on June 12, 2012 at 11:38 PM · Report this
27
Dan, while you're good at matters of sex and ethics, you still usually get into arrogant douche "it's all your fault you feel hurt" mode when it comes to your advice about emotions. Sure, getting dumped sucks, but dumping someone disrespectfully is doubly awful. Your advice here is so wrong.

No matter how short the situation (or casual), you gotta do it face to face or, if out of town, on the phone. Otherwise like other commenters said, you're just being chickenshit and sparing yourself the other person's face or voice.

Not grownup, not cool. Period.
Posted by anneshirley on June 12, 2012 at 11:43 PM · Report this
OutInBumF 28
@11&12- Great points about breakups. Thanks!
Posted by OutInBumF on June 12, 2012 at 11:55 PM · Report this
29
I agree with Dan, it's impossible to win when it comes to breaking up with someone. My now ex told me I was being weird with him over the phone and demanded I broke up with him then if that's what I was planning to do when we met up. So I did. Months later he was still moaning that I didn't tell him face to face. Ultimately, it's all just fuel for the person being broken up with to have a good old moan.
Posted by pavel filonov on June 13, 2012 at 12:03 AM · Report this
30
Yeah, my friend showed me your response about texting and I agree with her you're way off base.

A text adds to the shittiness of dumping exactly BECAUSE sex and dating and breakups ARE so personal. You get to find out all at once that you're losing the sex and dating and that the person you were into doesn't even respect you enough to pick up the phone or meet you for coffee. WTF?

Your argument that SMS would have felt just as bad over a different move is a total straw man, btw, unless SMS said that. You don't usually use straw man arguments. Weak, Savage, pretty weak. Sometimes I think you get off on sounding like an asshole at people who write you with honestly sad voices instead of edgy ones.
Posted by michaeljensen on June 13, 2012 at 12:44 AM · Report this
31
In general I'd say breaking up via text is wrong however in this situation she was out of town for an extended time, they hadn't been together long, and she probably was in no shape to have an emotional phone call. So given all of that she gets a pass but I hope this style of breakup doesn't become the norm!
Posted by PenguinGirl on June 13, 2012 at 12:57 AM · Report this
Sea Otter 32
@6 Well, I think email has a bit of an edge over texting, although phone call or face-to-face is usually ideal. I figure email has basically replaced letter-writing. No one likes getting a "dear John" letter, but it's preferable to a dear John text, which is just insulting. The difference, like I said, is the length, and hence the ability to express sentiments beyond "see you never."

@21 Um, no, it's not about giving the other person the opportunity to argue back (which is pathetic, as another commenter said). It's about acknowledging that they're a person with feelings, and that you still have respect for them as such even if you no longer want to date/fuck them.

I can also see not wanting to be dumped in person, as someone else suggested. However, having been dumped a few times, my experience is that I ultimately have more respect for people who bothered to tell me in person, even if it was humiliating at the time.

Posted by Sea Otter on June 13, 2012 at 2:18 AM · Report this
33
in her place, when dealing with lots of other emotional shit, i think i would have done the same. She may even have thought she was doing him a favour releasing him from feeling obliged to care for her through a difficult emotional time. Not everyone would want to deal with the jump from, having a casual fun dating relationship to dealing with a partner who is grieving.
Posted by UK girlie on June 13, 2012 at 2:30 AM · Report this
mydriasis 34
@31

Agreed. Her situation seems to be somewhat specific (not a LTR, special life events, etc).

Posted by mydriasis on June 13, 2012 at 5:19 AM · Report this
35
Let's be honest here: except in the rare instance where one is sending factual information of a specific nature (i.e. an address the receiver requires or a list of items to be purchased) texting is the refuge of those who are too pathetic to commit themselves to actual human interaction and the resulting commitments that it requires and a convenient self delusion to avoid the responsibility of owning up to being an asshole.
Posted by Whiteboyfunfark on June 13, 2012 at 7:09 AM · Report this
36
@11 - perfect.

We've been dating 2 months, you dump me via text? You are never, ever going to hear from me again. I'll send a :-( emoticon so you know I got the message and am as bummed about it as I am when Chipotle gets my order wrong.

And then you will spend hours and hours wondering if maybe I was never all that into you, that maybe I was relieved that *I* didn't need to be the one to end it.

Maybe it's shallow, but not going thru the humiliation of begging the dumper to change their mind is one of the few dignities left to the dumpee.
Posted by lizzielou1002 on June 13, 2012 at 7:11 AM · Report this
37
@32: While there are no good ways to break up with someone (excepting termination for cause, in which case a tweet of "We're through, you lying, cheating bastard" is entirely appropriate) some are worse than others. Of the non-real-time electronic channels, email is probably the least worst. Texting them is not the worst (Facebook post probably gets that honor).

@21: Being allowed to process together what is happening is not the same thing as expecting to be able to talk the dumper out of it. Besides, unless your text message includes "Please don't contact me again" you can expect that you will be doing some additional communication about it anyway, so springing it on the person via text instead of in person is just rude.

Yes, there can be extenuating circumstances, like being physically separated, that make face-to-face impractical. Still, an email (or an actual handwritten letter), in which it is much more possible to express nuance and some attempt at acknowledging this person, whom you supposedly cared about reasonably deeply, is much preferable to a text. All the wordsmithing in the world is not going to strip that 140 characters of their stink of 'kthnxbai'.
Posted by avast2006 on June 13, 2012 at 7:19 AM · Report this
38
@20/21 - I completely agree. Breaking up with someone is not a poll. You aren't taking a vote on whether they want to stay together, and using that information to make your decision. when it comes down to it: if one person wants out, then that is it. It's over. Besides, why would someone want to keep dating a person who doesn't want to be with them? That's just putting off the inevitable.

As far as being cold, I agree with Dan. There's no kind, loving way to tell someone you're dumping them. Especially when it's only been a few months. for crying out loud, 2 months is barely a fling! If you've been together for a year or more, I'd say a little discussion of what went wrong might be warranted, if the breakup is under somewhat amicable terms (just not working as opposed to walked in and found him fucking your uncle, lol). But thinking you're owed some kind of special consideration just because you exist is only ego. No matter how it's done, getting dumped would bruise that ego just the same.

Also, it isn't as though texting is a one-way street. If you feel some burning desire to "be heard" about your feelings, then respond. Just don't think you have a right to "make" them change their mind. that's ridiculous.

Posted by itsthatgirl on June 13, 2012 at 7:19 AM · Report this
39
@6/37: bravo. I'll be quoting you in the future.
Posted by charcoalhibiscus on June 13, 2012 at 7:38 AM · Report this
40
My husband asked me to marry him via Instant Message. Not the way I imagined getting a proposal, but hey, we've been married eight years now.
Posted by Dragonrose36 on June 13, 2012 at 7:48 AM · Report this
geoz 41
Great topic: how to break up? The context always matters. Maybe you really ARE saying "I'm not sure if this will work, convince me otherwise." or maybe you are saying "I've had enough. I'm outta here."

The medium of dumping and the communication during the dump are only known to be appropriate when one knows the context.
Posted by geoz on June 13, 2012 at 8:08 AM · Report this
42
No, texting is not a dick move. Its communication, words are still said back and forth, you are having a conversation. All you’re being deprived of is the chance to manipulate someone with your tears.
Posted by Karey on June 13, 2012 at 8:28 AM · Report this
AFinch 43
One more chiming in here with the opinion that dumping via SMS/email/whatever is still lame. Before three dates...OK. After that then it's just cowardly - the issue has nothing to do with the march of technology - it would be lame if it was a postcard (so 19th century!) and not so lame if it's a phone call.

What makes it cowardly and lame is the avoidance of facing the person you are potentially hurting. If you're gonna hurt someone - someone you've actively encouraged previously - you at least owe them the courtesy of letting them respond to you. Obviously there are exceptions (fleeing the abusive psycho while they aren't home) but for "normal" people, it's just good manners to treat them with respect and dignity: you as the dumper have enough respect for them to tell them, not avoid them.

And speaking of technology...even if she's three states away and busy with a family emergency...she could use that same cell phone to make a brief call.

I've been dumped, and it sucks...and yes, there's no doubt that finding something unattractive about the dumper helps soothe the dumpee's ego-wound. And we all do it, to some degree. I've been the dumper too and had to make myself make that phone call, even when I couldn't do it face to face (having chickened out) - often building up motivation by remembering how much it sucked to be the dumpee (and knowing that as the dumper it was probably a quicker move on for me).

So, um yeah, I know Dan gets lots of dumpee letters and he's right, complaints about method are really often just proxy for complaints about the deed itself, but he's wrong to whitewash the dumping by text.
Posted by AFinch on June 13, 2012 at 8:29 AM · Report this
AFinch 44
All you’re being deprived of is the chance to manipulate someone with your tears.

You know, this is exactly what I was getting at: if you're gonna hurt someone, you should have the backbone to look them in the eye - tears and all - and say "yep, I'm doing this, and it's over". It shows you are at least being honest about hurting them.

And you may be shocked - the last person I dumped wasn't happy about it, but man, she had class and grace and was very gracious to me about it.
Posted by AFinch on June 13, 2012 at 8:39 AM · Report this
AFinch 45
@12 Maybe it's a generational thing (you're old!), but I think dumping by e-mail or text is fine if you're talking about a brief relationship that's just not panning out.

If it included fucking - even if it's a one night stand kind of brief - then it merits an interaction. If you're willing to have been physically intimate, then you can at least be intimate enough to have an interaction - a real (you know, two-way) interaction.

This is true even if you would prefer to avoid the pathetic display of someone trying to convince you otherwise. If you don't want to have to face that (where you just, you know, witness it and stand your ground), then I'd say you shouldn't have fucked them in the first place and it's your own fault, not theirs.
Posted by AFinch on June 13, 2012 at 8:47 AM · Report this
mydriasis 46
@42

Haha! You're such a cunt!
Posted by mydriasis on June 13, 2012 at 8:53 AM · Report this
47
Here's more information that we don't have about SM,S's situation. When he learned of his girlfriend's family member's death, was he immediately sympathetic to the hard time she was going through? Did he admit that he was new to the relationship but still try to be supportive in every possible way? Was he understanding when she was distraught with grief?

Or did he try to distract her so they could go back to their few times/week special chemistry? In other words, was he thinking about what she could do for him at the very moment when she needed him to think about her?

It matters. If it's the latter, she dumped him with cause. She realized they didn't have a future with the sort of relationship she wants. Knowing she had to devote herself to her family, the funeral arrangements, and her personal issues, she sent something quick so she wouldn't be leading him on. Maybe a phone call would have been classier, but I'd cut her some slack.

If it's the former, SM,S needs advice on how not to be an asshole. He draws a deep breath and decides that she can be forgiven for the textdump considering everything else she was going through. He waits a good amount of time, maybe several months to a year. Then he sends her a short message saying that he still thinks about her, hopes everything is okay with her family, expresses his sympathy again for the loss of her family member (parent? grandparent? sibling?), and wishes her well. That's it. If there's no answer, he does not contact her again.
Posted by Crinoline on June 13, 2012 at 8:53 AM · Report this
48
I just can't stop laughing at a 16 year old saying, 'There's nothing I love more than vagina.'
Posted by Vivic on June 13, 2012 at 8:54 AM · Report this
Helix 49
Dan, I usually agree with you, but no, dumping via text is not okay. It's disrespectful and cruel.
Posted by Helix on June 13, 2012 at 9:10 AM · Report this
50
I've never texted in my life, but don't think it's possible to break up with someone with grace in such a short message, and using typical abbreviations in such a communication just doesn't fly (barring dumping for blatantly good, sufficient and obvious cause).

At the very least, I'd call anyone capable of a break-up in 140 characters or less a considerable pfutz. A dump might be something different.

Of course, this also takes into account people who turn what ought to be break-ups into dumps. Those who don't distinguish between dumps and break-ups obviously don't have to, but just know that I frame this with such a distinction in mind.
Posted by vennominon on June 13, 2012 at 9:37 AM · Report this
51
My take: she couldn't call SMS because she was in bed with a guy in her home town, who was providing immediate comfort. When the new guy got up to pee, she shot off a quick text so she could tell the new guy that she wasn't currently seeing anyone.
Posted by EricaP on June 13, 2012 at 9:41 AM · Report this
52
The best response to being dumped by text is not to answer the text, EVER. It'll drive the dumper batshit crazy.
Posted by cockyballsup on June 13, 2012 at 10:10 AM · Report this
debug 53
Different relationship levels allow for different means of dumping

1-2 dates - short text is fine: "Thank you for the great dates but this isn't going to work for me"

Have cuddled, shared some stories - longer text/email: "You're a really nice person and I enjoyed getting to know you but.....yadda, yadda"

Multiple months, some talk of future, would have worked out if your heart cooperated with your head: A phone call at least.

"Officially together": Face to face unless there are some extenuating circumstances (e.g. the person turned out to be crazy or can't take no for an answer).

I don't get the line of thinking that the dumper needs to take the dumpee's pain with them as a punishment for things not working out. The only responsibility the dumper has is to be very clear that it's over (no stringing along bullshit like "we can be friends, or maybe someday") and respectful (no need to go into details or assign blame, should cut off the conversation/hang up/leave if the dumpee wants to go there).
Posted by debug on June 13, 2012 at 10:40 AM · Report this
54
Um, am I the only person whose phone doesn't restrict text messages to 140 characters? I can compose epic texts of 1500 characters on my phone.... Even my old Razr way back in the day could send multi-page messages. What ancient phones are you guys using?!

Add me to the chorus of people who not only agree with Dan but would MUUUUCH rather be dumped via text. I think those of you who are insisting that it's rude are off-base. I don't think any of us are "owed" anything by whoever is dumping us - the dumper isn't obligated to give us a chance to plead our case, we don't need to interrogate them about what went wrong. If you can't examine yourself and learn some lessons from the experience without having "answers" from the dumper, then you probably should start developing that skill before you try to date anyone else.

@46, now THAT was rude. I don't think she deserved that. It may have been *somewhat* harshly worded, but it was nowhere close to "cunt" level vitriol. It was bitchy, to be sure, but imho not very cunt-like.

That being said, to a certain extent, @42, I agree.
Posted by MarleyBarley on June 13, 2012 at 10:48 AM · Report this
55
@53 - wonderfully, succinctly stated. I totally agree. Thanks for that.
Posted by MarleyBarley on June 13, 2012 at 10:50 AM · Report this
56
@53: canon. Well stated.
Posted by wxPDX on June 13, 2012 at 11:07 AM · Report this
57
Some people are epic texters. It's their primary communication method. I know couples who text constantly and conduct their relationship business over text and one in particular, if they decided to get divorced, I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see it hashed over text. The wife in that couple texts novels back and forth with her sister. And these are not young people - 30s and 40s.

If your dating communication was conducted by text in a short-term relationship, scheduling dates, booty calls, thinking-of-yous, that's probably how the break-up will happen. In particular, if you weren't in the habit of talking by phone, I doubt the dumper would change the dynamic for the dump.
Posted by CLDG on June 13, 2012 at 11:15 AM · Report this
58
I've never been dumped out of the blue before, so I can't speak from direct experience (nearly all of my breakups have been just us agreeing that this wasn't working out, or me dumping), but if I had to rank the dumping medium to dump me by, from most desirable, to least, I think it would go: Letter, email, text, IM, phone call, private in-person conversation, public in-person conversation. This is because if I'm going to be sad, I'd rather be sad alone. And if I have to be sad when I'm not alone, I sure as hell don't want the person making me sad to be there!

So it probably comes down to the dumper's knowledge of the dumpee for which medium would be least painful. If you think that the dumpee would rather be left alone after the breakup, breaking up via non-interactive channels is the least cruel. If I got dumped by text, at a time when she knew I'd be alone, I would not be upset about the fact that it was by text. If I got dumped in person, in public, I'd definitely say, "Seriously? Right here? Right now? While we're waiting for our General Tso's Chicken?"

And on that note, who was General Tso, anyway? He sure has great taste in chicken!
Posted by lorcha on June 13, 2012 at 11:19 AM · Report this
Fortunate 59
When it comes to dumping by text I think it depends.

In this case I would give the girl some slack. She is away and dealing with a family loss. She can string the guy along until she gets back, or she can send him a text. Considering the circumstances, the time they have been together, and that seeing him face to face would not be possible in the immediate future I think what she did was fine.

That said, I don't think that dumping people by text is generally a decent thing to do. Yes, no matter how the dumping is delivered it hurts. But how it is delivered does tell you something about the person and what they think of you.

If doing it face to face isn't unreasonably inconvenient, and if the relationship has moved past the casual getting together every once in a while stage, then dumping through text is a way for the person doing the dumping to ignore or avoid the fact that they are causing the other person pain.

Personally I think that if you are going to cause another person pain, even if you don't want to and have no real alternative, you owe them at least enough to show that you recognize that fact but looking them in the eye when you do it. To not do that is a sign that you don't think their pain is worth your time to recognize and address, and isn't just lacking class, it is pretty scummy.
Posted by Fortunate on June 13, 2012 at 11:24 AM · Report this
60
I don’t think most break-up texts are a one-line notice of dumping with a “don’t ever contact me again” tacked on, barring you from ever being able to communicate yourself. That’s just more hyperbole from people trying to villainize something about it. You have a conversation, its just written rather than spoken. I just think its a little silly to get all hung up on the way someone transmitted their words. Isn’t the words that were actually said what matters? Its a red herring. I don’t believe my words deserve to mean less or be discarded more if they’re over text. The ones doing the trivializing are the anti-text bunch.

Clearly some people would rather have the chance to show their broken hearts to the dumper with tears yelling and attitude, but personally I’d rather not feed their ego with such a display. Its humiliating, you’re not sticking it to them or whatever.
Posted by Karey on June 13, 2012 at 11:25 AM · Report this
61
@38: "But thinking you're owed some kind of special consideration just because you exist"

Jesus Christ, does having just been in a relationship count for nothing? Do you not give special consideration to people -- say, treat them a little more special than the average stranger on the street -- when you ARE in relationship to them? But once you're done with them, they deserve zero further consideration? What a sociopath.

@42: "All you’re being deprived of is the chance to manipulate someone with your tears. "

Right, because there is no chance that those tears could be a genuine expression of how you are feeling based on the rather wrenching thing that just happened. Their only purpose is to manipulate people. Another cynic. (and +1 to what Afinch said in response.)

@52: I agree, not responding at all is the best possible response to a dump-by-text.

That's not incompatible with thinking that dump-by-text is lame, and you shouldn't do it. It's just that the dumper has demonstrated a level of callousness (#38 and #42 illustrating nicely) that it should tell you you're better off rid of them, the sooner and more completely the better.

@46: Cunts are much nicer than that. Warm and soft and inviting and wonderful. That was more like a cunt lined with sandpaper.
Posted by avast2006 on June 13, 2012 at 11:35 AM · Report this
mydriasis 62
I've only dumped one person but I've had to have similar conversations with friends/fuck buddies who had come to believe that a relationship was going to happen.

Sure, the rejecting person doesn't "owe" a respectful rejection but there's a real difference between "owing" something and being a decent person. If someone does something nice, I don't "owe" them a thanks, but it's a nice thing to do, especially if I respect them as a person. If I'm ending a relationship (or telling someone that one won't begin) I think it's nice to do it in whatever way I think is most respectful of them.
Posted by mydriasis on June 13, 2012 at 11:42 AM · Report this
63
@51 My thoughts exactly. Actually, I was thinking she was just about to, and wanted to clear her page before she got with the new guy. It's called fidelity, people, and it's a virtue.
Posted by Howlin' Jed on June 13, 2012 at 11:56 AM · Report this
AFinch 64
@51 - FTW!

and...

Personally I think that if you are going to cause another person pain, even if you don't want to and have no real alternative, you owe them at least enough to show that you recognize that fact but looking them in the eye when you do it. To not do that is a sign that you don't think their pain is worth your time to recognize and address, and isn't just lacking class, it is pretty scummy.

THAT It's not that you have to 'carry their pain' or whatever, but you do have to at least have the courtesy to acknowledge their feelings.

I'm sorry, all the rest strikes me as a bunch of excuses for avoiding tough interaction. What, are you so uncertain of your own ability to state what you want in the face of conflict that you can only do it by pressing a remote button? Are you afraid you'll have to cave in and agree not to break up because it's just too painful to see them cry a little? Grow a backbone!

No, you don't 'owe' anybody anything, in any 'legal' sense, but you most certainly have to treat them with some respect - do unto others and all that - if you want to be thought of as a decent person and not the c-word.
Posted by AFinch on June 13, 2012 at 12:36 PM · Report this
65
I've been dumped a few times in my life, and I've never dumped anyone.

Viewed from the receiving end, those in-person dumping conversations are completely leotarded.

The message is simple: he don't want you. But no one, it seems, is able to deliver this simple message without forty-five minutes of delays, pointless apologies, empty offers of sympathy, and pleas for forgiveness.

Here is what I am thinking as I sit there across the cafe table offering thin little smiles and "uh-huhs" through the course of your interminable break-up monologue:

I'VE JUST BEEN DUMPED. YOU HAVE HURT ME. I DON'T HAVE THE ENERGY TO LISTEN TO YOU TALK ABOUT THE FACT THAT, IN DOING SO, YOU HAVE ALSO HURT YOURSELF. THAT'S MOSTLY YOUR OWN PROBLEM REALLY, BECAUSE I'M NOT YOUR BOYFRIEND ANYMORE ... REMEMBER? BECAUSE OF THE WHOLE DUMPING THING THAT JUST HAPPENED? SO PLEASE, PLEASE, WOULD YOU JUST SHUT UP SO I CAN GO HOME AND CRY.

Now, there is no particular reason that an in-person breakup couldn't be handled with directness, clarity, and brevity. And yet, they never are.

So I would rather have the text.
Posted by DistingueTraces on June 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 66
When people feel that a relationship isn't working out for them, they should end it in whatever way is comfortable for them. Because what's the alternative? Let's say this girl is so afraid of a face-to-face dumping that she doesn't break up with the guy for weeks or months. Who does that help? He gets strung along by someone who doesn't love him anymore, and she gets stuck in a relationship with someone she can barely tolerate.

I'd rather be dumped in a cold, indifferent way than be in a relationship with someone who doesn't care about me.

And I agree with Dan on this one. The guy isn't pissed off about being dumped via text; he's pissed off about being dumped at all.
Posted by keshmeshi on June 13, 2012 at 12:50 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 67
And following up on my point. I've been in relationships with guys who clearly didn't want to be with me anymore, to the point that I had to break up with them. I don't know what their reasons were for sticking around, maybe they were afraid of being alone or just wanted to get laid, but maybe they were too cowardly to just rip the band-aid off. If the latter, I would have greatly preferred being dumped by text or e-mail so I could just fucking move on with my life.
Posted by keshmeshi on June 13, 2012 at 12:54 PM · Report this
68
A breakup text out of the blue seems callous. However, I've had situations where guys have asked me rather directly when or if they would be seeing me again via text. Calling them to say no would have been weird. And waiting for a face-to-face meeting would have felt like I was leading them on. I wonder if SMS's breakup occurred in the context of a text conversation.
Posted by pavloviandoggy on June 13, 2012 at 12:54 PM · Report this
69
@AFinch, #45 "If it included fucking - even if it's a one night stand kind of brief - then it merits an interaction. If you're willing to have been physically intimate, then you can at least be intimate enough to have an interaction - a real (you know, two-way) interaction.

This is true even if you would prefer to avoid the pathetic display of someone trying to convince you otherwise. If you don't want to have to face that (where you just, you know, witness it and stand your ground), then I'd say you shouldn't have fucked them in the first place and it's your own fault, not theirs."


YES. I've been trying to articulate this. Intimacy requires intimacy. Physical intimacy requires kindness.
Posted by anneshirley on June 13, 2012 at 1:07 PM · Report this
mydriasis 70
@65

Breaking up in a cafe (or any public place) is also a dick move.

P.S. you sound super mature and not bitter at all.
Posted by mydriasis on June 13, 2012 at 1:07 PM · Report this
71
The second letter gets at my frustration with a lot of the gay criticism of bisexuals.

This bitch is clearly insane, but it seems like every time a bisexual person chooses to date someone of the opposite sex, certain gay people assume s/he is "choosing heterosexuality" or "choosing the opposite sex" even when that person is as open about their bisexuality and continued attraction to the same sex as possible. Basically you can't win unless you only date the same sex - i.e., if you pretend not to be bisexual, go back into the closet.
Posted by Whoop Di Doo on June 13, 2012 at 1:33 PM · Report this
Corylea 72
If your lover is under 35, you can dump them via text message. If they're over 35, you have to at least send e-mail.

Standards vary with the generations.
Posted by Corylea http://corylea.com/ on June 13, 2012 at 1:41 PM · Report this
73
71, you also can't win if you only date the opposite sex, because then people say 'Oh, saying you're bi was only a stepping stone to really being gay."

I'm not bi but my girlfriend and my wife are.
Posted by clashfan on June 13, 2012 at 1:47 PM · Report this
74
@70

Yes, the dumpee is, sadly, a class of persons specially prone to bitterness, for reasons that require no explanation. But I think there's a point in one's maturity when all-caps becomes, at times, the appropriate tonal choice.

And: a dick move? Why? Why on earth should I care if I'm dumped in a cafe or in a bedroom?

Once I'm no longer on intimate terms with the fellow, he is by his own choice a member of "the public" and I'll behave with public manners regardless of where we are.

Like the rule against text dumpings, the rule against public dumpings seems one based on a false idea of compassion that in fact takes no account of the actual inner experience of the other person.
Posted by DistingueTraces on June 13, 2012 at 2:10 PM · Report this
XiaoGui17 75
"...there's no excuse not to man or woman up and give them a call."

Maybe you've never had one of those clinging types that simply refuses to believe you, and will practically BEG you to take them back and threaten suicide if you refuse. Texting is a great way to make a unilateral statement to someone who is absolutely batshit and who won't take no for an answer in the two-way conversation a call permits.
Posted by XiaoGui17 on June 13, 2012 at 2:37 PM · Report this
XiaoGui17 76
To all you people complaining "WAAAAH acknowledge their feelings!"

...why? Dumping the person basically means that you are no longer responsible for their feelings. You don't want to be responsible for their feelings. That's why you're dumping them in the first place!

For crying out loud, has no one seen that Seinfeild episode where George keeps trying to dump these two women and they just won't let it go? They say they have to "agree" in order for the breakup to be valid, so they just cling to him even though he's telling them it's over? Gee, it makes me glad I live in the age of texts.
Posted by XiaoGui17 on June 13, 2012 at 2:53 PM · Report this
77
With respect to WSID the response seems to be missing a whole other element. Suppose he asks his girlfriend for permission and she gives it. WSID says his friend admitted having a crush on him. While WSID may simply be happy for the opportunity of occasional extra blowjobs, what about the friend who is likely looking/hoping for something more out of the relationship? Sure, there are lots of guys who 'love nothing more than dick' but I would be concerned about using or abusing a friend for sex and think this should be thought through a little more carefully.
Posted by visitorrsb on June 13, 2012 at 3:07 PM · Report this
balderdash 78
Goddamn, you're all old. Text messaging is an accepted medium of communication nowadays. You sound like Civil War vets complaining that kids these days conducting personal business over the tele-phone is too informal and rude.
Posted by balderdash http://introverse.blogspot.com on June 13, 2012 at 3:32 PM · Report this
79
As a member of the "text dumps are not so bad" team, I'd like to create a little distance from the troll version of myself.

We are not of course any more or less responsible for the feelings of other people because we are or are not dating them. It's not okay to be callous toward exes, dogs, or coat-check clerks simply because we have no prospect of sex with them.

(Any more than it is possible or desirable to "make happy" a miserable boyfriend)

As for talk of "those clingy types" - pah! Dan didn't go far enough this week in his dismissal of the second writer. It's flattering to be desired, and it's an ego boost to be able to tell friends (or an advice columnist!) "Crazy bitch can't get enough of me! Won't go away!"

I've heard this self-flattering line many a time from acquaintances - male, female, gay, straight. It is a story people love to tell on themselves. Never once has it failed that I see them later with the "crazy stalker who won't take no for an answer" feeding the poor sucker with little droplets of affection to keep them hanging on.

Certainly, in such a case making a clean break is the kindest thing the "stalked" manipulator can do. Whether by text or in person, simple honesty is the best form of kindness in the absence of love.
Posted by DistingueTraces on June 13, 2012 at 3:38 PM · Report this
80
@79, All honesty is selective. There are always choices to be made about what information to include and not include and when/where/how to convey information. Is honesty in private (conversation) the same as honesty in public (humiliation)? What about honest wishes of kindness toward the other person? There are many ingredients to being a good and kind communicator, and none can be looked at in isolation.

The only good part of that kind of selective honesty is that it's an honest revelation of what a cowardly douche the dumper is. And that is very good information to have.
Posted by anneshirley on June 13, 2012 at 3:56 PM · Report this
81
To the 16-year-old: Savage is a national figure now, so he has to be respectable. He can't be seen telling you to accept you buddy's blowjobs behind your girlfriend's back. So I will.

Go for it, kid. At this age, it's all good. You'll have something to compare future female blowjobs to. You'll be able to know who gives better head, girls or guys.

One bit of caution, though. Make sure your buddy doesn't want to fall in love with you. If he's had a crush for a long time, will he get all weird about it now? If you even suspect he will, then don't let his mouth anywhere near your dick.
Posted by TBTM on June 13, 2012 at 4:14 PM · Report this
mydriasis 82
@78

Um, I'm "old" as in old enough to vote.
But too young to rent a car. So... still young by most adult's standards.

Translation: old ain't got nothin' to do with it, son.
Posted by mydriasis on June 13, 2012 at 4:44 PM · Report this
mydriasis 83
Wow, this comments section is depressing. There are soo many POS people coming out of the woodworks.
Posted by mydriasis on June 13, 2012 at 4:47 PM · Report this
scary tyler moore 84
you can't text message break up!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTKI9OUGV…
Posted by scary tyler moore http://pushymcshove.blogspot.com/ on June 13, 2012 at 5:27 PM · Report this
Sea Otter 85
@75 If the person is the bunny boiler, can't-take-no-for-an-answer type, then all bets are off. That's when you have a license to ignore them and block their phone and email if necessary. And yes, I have been in this exact situation, and it's distressing.

But if the person you're breaking up with is mature, reasonable, and non-insane, they deserve to be treated as such.
Posted by Sea Otter on June 13, 2012 at 5:45 PM · Report this
86
Didn't Rudy 9iu11iani dump his wife via press conference? Now, THAT's a dick move.

Posted by CW in LA on June 13, 2012 at 5:55 PM · Report this
87
@76: No WAAAAAHs here. I may not be among Gen Text, but I have long since gotten over being dumped. Life's too short, and I'm far happier now! And the last time there was dumping, I was the dumper, not the dumpee
(I ended an abusive relationship from hell because I just, um, HAD to). But that was way back when, before texting became the modern norm; I simply had to get together a support system, cut loose, get the hell out of dodge, and start over.
@6 nailed it.
@85: Amen!
Posted by auntie grizelda on June 13, 2012 at 6:17 PM · Report this
88
@75 I just want to say that I'm a big fan of the term 'batshit' and will try to incorporate it into my daily oeuvre
Posted by freshnycman on June 13, 2012 at 7:36 PM · Report this
89
I for one love doing my dumping through email, as I find that I can be easily manipulated into "giving it another go" with a bit of crying and a sad "please don't do this to me" face. It doesn't take much begging with me. By email, I feel I can make it as long as I like and explain myself better, as when I am in person I see the sad eyes and then I find myself saying things that sound less harsh, smoothed over, etc. and then find myself saying something altogether different from what I really feel.
I once dated a guy a few times who dumped me by text. I was horrified! I was telling a friend that I thought it was the most callous and disrespectful thing to do, how could he, etc. when he said: "Babe, when you dumped ME, you did it by text." Er, ouch! I agree with Dan, there is no nice way to be dumped, all of them suck.I now prefer not to take it personally and try to understand that for whatever reason, this person does not think you are right for them or want to be with you. More than half the time they won't tell you the truth anyway. (Have you ever told anyone you are breaking up with them because they don't smell right?)Even if they found someone hotter, sexier, richer or whatever than me, it is still their right to move on. Will it make me feel better to know all this? I don't think so. These days I tell my current beau: "If you want to dump me, please text me, don't make me get dressed and come out to meet you just for telling me to my face, thank you!"
Posted by latingem on June 13, 2012 at 8:39 PM · Report this
90
Mydriasis, just because people don't agree with you, it doesn't make them pieces of shit. It doesn't mean it's OK to call people names, like when you called Karey a cunt. It also seemed nasty to accuse DistingueTraces of being immature and bitter after s/he shared a personal experience.

The only person I see making this conversation somewhat depressing is you.
Posted by LiveAndLet on June 13, 2012 at 8:55 PM · Report this
mydriasis 91
@90

Actually if you take a little look you'll see that both times someone agreed with me (the poster herself, in the second example). So I'm hardly alone in my opinion.

If you think pointing out shitty behaviour is more depressing than doing it, that's your opinion and you're welcome to it.
Posted by mydriasis on June 13, 2012 at 9:18 PM · Report this
92
Text dumping seems like a security problem - anybody could grab somebody else's phone to end another person's relationship.

Like an open-casket viewing at a funeral, maybe a face-to-face dumping quiets any lingering doubt.
Posted by LiveAndLet on June 13, 2012 at 9:28 PM · Report this
Allyson 93
For SMS: Getting dumped by text is tacky IMO, but in her defense, if she lost a family member recently and is dealing with other issues, I'd cut her a bit of slack on the manners department. Not saying what she did was cool, just that it was understandable.
FWIW, this viewpoint comes from someone who lost her mom and dad during these past two years, plus was laid off and had a long term relationship end during these past three...
Posted by Allyson on June 13, 2012 at 10:19 PM · Report this
94
Once I went to my then boyfriend's house. I took two buses over the course of an hour to get there. I also brought him dinner. After we ate, he broke up with me. I asked him why he didn't just call me to do so, since it had cost me time and bus fare to get over there. His response was that he wasn't comfortable with breaking up over the phone. I asked him why he didn't take the bus to *my* place, and (unsurprisingly), he didn't think about it.

So, my point is, SMS, there are times when breaking up in person is MUCH worse than breaking up over text / the phone.
Posted by DarthKelly on June 13, 2012 at 10:37 PM · Report this
95
Maybe it's a generational thing (I didn't have a cell phone until I was 26) but I could never dump anyone by text. I disagree thoroughly that when people are complaining about being dumped by text what they're really complaining about is being dumped at all. Uh-uh. When you end a relationship, you can either be "that man/woman I dated once ...yeah, it didn't work out" or "that asshole who dumped me by text message."
Posted by Cynthia's Name on June 13, 2012 at 10:48 PM · Report this
96
@84 Exactly! This issue was settled during the Bush administration! But you left out the intro:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5Tub_b1u…
Shoes!
Posted by Biologist in the stix on June 13, 2012 at 11:19 PM · Report this
97
Breakups happen. Get over it!!

Doesn't anybody care about the poor horny 16 y/o?
Posted by gbrooks on June 13, 2012 at 11:46 PM · Report this
98
A guy I was seeing for four months sent me a text in which he asked another woman out on a date! It took me a mere minute to realise that he had deliberately sent me a fake message so that I would know he was interested in someone else and no longer interested in me. I sent him a short message calling him an asshole but he replied, wanting to meet up and "explain"! Needless to say, I left it there. He did text me again but I told him to piss off.
Breaking up with someone by text IS cowardly, especially when you don't even have the guts to ACTUALLY break up with the person! We also worked together, so that was excruciating, until his contract wasn't renewed ( thank Christ) and he left. A horrible experience.
Posted by Mozzer on June 14, 2012 at 1:22 AM · Report this
99
I went out with a guy for four months. He sent me a text in which he asked another woman out on a date! It took me a mere minute to realise that he had deliberately sent the text so that I would know that he was interested in someone else and no longer interested in me. I sent him a short message calling him an asshole and he replied, wanting to meet up and "explain"! Needless to say, I refused. He texted me a few more times but I told him to piss off.
Breaking up with someone by text IS cowardly, especially when you don't ACTUALLY break up with him or her! We also worked together, which made it excruciating. Thankfully, his contract wasn't renewed, so he left a few months later. A horrible experience.
Posted by Mozzer on June 14, 2012 at 1:50 AM · Report this
Fortunate 100
"Doesn't anybody care about the poor horny 16 y/o?"

Not really. Some horny 16 year old wants to take advantage of his insecure gay friend who he knows is interested in more than just sex? I'd rather address the gay friend.

Gay friend to the horny 16 year old, I know you are horny too, and there is nothing wrong with casual sex as long as you are safe and smart about it.

But this guy isn't going to give you what you want. You have feelings for this guy and he has clearly stated he isn't going to return them. He's willing to let you service his sexual needs and that's it.

At some point in your life you are going to have to develop some self respect and sense of self worth and stop letting yourself be used as a cum catcher by straight guys who care more about using you than caring about you. If you are going to have sex with "straight" guys at least do it on more even footing.

You may as well start now.

(hoping the gay friend reads Dan's column too).
Posted by Fortunate on June 14, 2012 at 7:55 AM · Report this
101
whoa, I JUST GOT DUMPED BY TEXT this weekend! I'm not sure what my opinion is. The basic gist of what she was saying was that she is actually very passive agressive and had felt compelled to tell me what she thought I wanted to hear even when it was the 180 opposite of how she felt in almost all areas. Naturally, all I ever wanted to hear was how she actually felt from the get go.

My first impression was that texting was a lame way to end it (6 months of casual dating on top of a 6-7 year friendship), but after reading the texts I was kind of relieved that it went down that way. She clearly was unable to voice her feelings any other way, and then she didn't have to have her ego bruised seeing how deeply relieved I am for it to be over and to no longer feel constantly penalized for taking her at her word instead of reading her mind.

So, I don't think breakup by text is proper dating etiquette, I'm pretty comfortable with how it went down in this specific instance.
Posted by sweet g on June 14, 2012 at 8:35 AM · Report this
102
There's a general pattern to the comments section. Dan publishes a letter that strikes some of us as unusual and that brings up an issue. The readers post their experiences, preferences, and opinions with the issue or practices brought up. The conclusion is always to be honest and to seek compromise in a relationship, to talk about what you like and to bend a little to please a partner. I'm usually struck by how much variety is out there, how narrow my previous definition of normal was, and how much can be accommodated.

And now I see it with breaking up with someone via text message. I read the letter and have my own strong ideas, then read the comments and see how many have their own equally thought out and defendable ideas. What makes this interesting is that by the very nature of the problem, you can't come to a compromise or talk about it beforehand. You don't exactly say what you'd like when it comes time to break up. The conversation on whether you like something up your ass while being tied up and titillated is downright easy compared to discussing how long you need to have known someone before a person-to-person break-up is in order or whether a text message will do.
Posted by Crinoline on June 14, 2012 at 8:59 AM · Report this
103
79-Distingues Traces-- Thanks. You put it more strongly than I would have, but you found the words that I couldn't. When I read BBC's letter, part of me was thinking the obvious that the right thing to do was run away quickly. Another part was wondering how the bitch got quite that crazy. I'm not making excuses for her nor saying that it's the letter writer's fault for leading her on, but I did wonder if the LW was doing something to contribute to situation. In other words, if it's so obvious that the right thing to do is to cut off all contact and make a clean break of the friendship now, why wasn't that done before?
Posted by Crinoline on June 14, 2012 at 9:50 AM · Report this
104
@98/99 -- what makes you think that the guy "deliberately sent the text so that I would know that he was interested in someone else"? On my phone, it's very easy to send a text to the wrong person. From the way he wanted to meet and explain, I suspect that text happened by accident. Though that doesn't excuse his cheating :-)

@103, why hasn't BBC ended the friendship? Because crazy people add excitement to the lives of stable, normal people. BBC will keep the friendship going as long as it's more fun than scary.
Posted by EricaP on June 14, 2012 at 10:02 AM · Report this
105
Nope, Dan, all wrong on LW1. Who cares how technology has invaded our lives? Dumping via text is *disrespectful.* End of story. I suppose you're okay with 40-year-old neighbors leaving nasty notes on each other's doorsteps, too? It's about as respectful.
Posted by ms. s. on June 14, 2012 at 11:13 AM · Report this
106
I have not been dumped by text but I've been dumped over the phone when I asked specifically not to meet to do it. I hadn't heard from the person and had been strung along a little and then he asked to see me. I was like "If you are dumping me then I definitely don't want to bother to meet."

I prefer actually being able to keep how wrecked I am about being dumped to myself. I don't want to have any more emotional intimacy with the person who's leaving. I don't want them to see me cry, I especially don't want to be in public trying not to cry or say a lot of angry shit to them. Fuck that stuff. Being dumped by text is way better than never hearing from the person again, at least you know where you stand and it's two months, not two years.
Posted by greenfuzz on June 14, 2012 at 11:14 AM · Report this
107
Been dumped, been the dumper. Better the respect of a face-to-face breakup than the coldness of text.

What you are doing is going to hurt the other person -- break it well and they start healing right then, break it badly and the wound continues to bleed.

Just my 2 cents ...
Posted by ajdster on June 14, 2012 at 11:16 AM · Report this
108
I think if you're past the been-on-a-few-dates stage, text-dumping is unnacceptable. Unless for some reason you're in the habit if primarily holding serious conversations with eachother via text.
An often-overlooked facet of trying to send someone an emotional text message is that people routinely open text messages in public places or while socializing. I'd much rather my dumper see me sad than a bunch of people at a party or at work. Unless you are currently engaged in conversation, you have no idea what situation your break-up-text is going to reach them in. Totally inconsiderate.
Posted by Newf on June 14, 2012 at 11:30 AM · Report this
109
Getting dumped is necessarily a unilateral powergrab by one party. Getting dumped via a method that does not allow for a reaction is simply a stronger form of this. It's tempting to blame the dump-er for cowardice. In the painful process of regrouping after being unilaterally rejected it might be worth considering "Why didn't I see this coming?". Not to accept blame, but just for self-preservation.

Every person/case is unique, but I have a friend who seems to routinely get cheated on. It's pretty obvious from a distance that even though he's a really nice guy, that he's too wrapped up in himself and too insecure, which creates a situation where partners simply don't respect him enough to deal with him when there's a problem. Just an example of a personality that might instigate a unilateral power grab from people who might not normally go that way. This can exist in lesser degrees too. Just underlines the importance of listening and open communication.
Posted by Unbearablelightnessofbeans on June 14, 2012 at 11:39 AM · Report this
Free Busch On Tuesday 110
Last I got a blow job. It wasn't from a vagina, it was from a mouth and tongue. What are they teaching kids nowadays?
Posted by Free Busch On Tuesday on June 14, 2012 at 11:40 AM · Report this
111
If you are ready to leave a relationship, you should be allowed to leave a relationship. You should not be held hostage to someone's idea of "what is classy, or fair". This thinking has led to millenia of domestic abuse and violence.

For me, a face to face conversation would be the way to go. But I cannot presume to know what will work for you, or even my partner.
Posted by @granolan on June 14, 2012 at 1:09 PM · Report this
112
111
If you are ready to leave a relationship, you should be allowed to leave a relationship. You should not be held hostage to someone's idea of "what is classy, or fair". This thinking has led to millenia of domestic abuse and violence.

For me, a face to face conversation would be the way to go. But I cannot presume to know what will work for you, or even my partner.
Posted by @granolan on June 14, 2012 at 1:13 PM · Report this
113
Thank you, Mr Fortunate. I don't like to see young people settling so early.
Posted by vennominon on June 14, 2012 at 1:17 PM · Report this
114
Re: BBC...Women in our culture are taught to "be nice", even to people who are interested in us when it is not mutual. The more the person wants us, the greater the presuer to "be kind", "let them down easy", etc. Yes it must be done, but it's very difficult, even when we know that both we and the other party will be better off in the long run.

Perhaps rather than stringing her gay friend along for selfish reasons, BBC is caught in this trap, and just needs to grow into more strength. Sometimes the kindest move feels like utter cruelty.
Posted by Veshengri on June 14, 2012 at 1:24 PM · Report this
115
Re: Savage Love

Re: BBC...Women in our culture are taught to "be nice", even to people who are interested in us when it is not mutual. The more the person wants us, the greater the presuer to "be kind", "let them down easy", etc. Yes it must be done, but it's very difficult, even when we know that both we and the other party will be better off in the long run.

Perhaps rather than stringing her gay friend along for selfish reasons, BBC is caught in this trap, and just needs to grow into more strength. Sometimes the kindest move feels like utter cruelty.
Posted by Veshengri on June 14, 2012 at 1:28 PM · Report this
Fortunate 116
"If you are ready to leave a relationship, you should be allowed to leave a relationship. You should not be held hostage to someone's idea of "what is classy, or fair"."

You ARE allowed to leave a relationship, any time, any way you want. No one is suggesting making a law against breaking up by text. You are ALLOWED to do it anyway you want.

And other people are ALLOWED to consider you a douchebag for doing it by text if that's what they think.

Some of us think that breaking up by text is an asshole move in most cases. None of us, so far as I can see, are advocating making it not allowable.

Some of those who think it is fine are upset that someone else might think they are a douchebag asshole for doing it and making the classic fallacious strawman that those others are saying it shouldn't be allowed.

Just as those of us who think it is a douchebag move to break up with someone by text have to accept that if we do get broken up with by text then that is that, so the people who want to break up by text have to accept that if other people think they are a douchebag asshole for text breaking up with someone that is that. Deal with it.

It's like the incorrect argument people criticize or boycott people or organizations for things they say by argue that these people are trying to infringe on their freedom on speech. No, they aren't saying you can't say what you want. They are saying there are consequences to that. Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from criticism or repercussions from your speech.

Being allowed to break up by text doesn't mean others aren't allowed to judge you on your actions.
Posted by Fortunate on June 14, 2012 at 1:37 PM · Report this
117
Re: SMS - I'd say that the only time it's okay to dump someone via text message or IM is when you're in a long-distance relationship where you've never met in-person and have not yet exchanged phone numbers. Or if there is literally no other way to tell them.

But if you can text them, you can probably *call* them too. And if you've been going out for more than, say, a week? I'd say they deserve the courtesy of at least hearing your voice as you tell them you're dumping them.

Because if we let people think that texting your S.O. to break up with them is okay, somewhere out there, That Douche who thinks that breaking up with your girlfriend via Facebook will feel justified. And he should feel nothing but shame.
Posted by Chris Rock Is Awesome on June 14, 2012 at 1:50 PM · Report this
artdyke 118
At the end of the day, does it really matter if the dumpee thinks the dumper is a douche bag? You aren't together anymore. It doesn't matter. And sure, dumpee, judge away, who gives a fuck! I just think it's strange that so many people care so much. The dumper is under no obligation to suffer by doing it in person; that strikes me as pointless theater. The relationship is ending and it sucks no matter what; it kind of doesn't matter how the message is delivered. I'm with Dan.

If the relationship was longer, I still say fine. You've probably had a million discussions by then about all the things that aren't working. Better to rip that band-aid off ASAP.

For the record, I have never dumped or been dumped by text, but I HAVE suffered through drawn-out break-ups that should have been a lot quicker for everyone's sake, especially for me, the dumpee.
Posted by artdyke on June 14, 2012 at 2:16 PM · Report this
119
I'm not 16, a zoophile or a Francophile - but if Miz Mam'selle Hepzibah walks into the room and offers to do me, the answer is HELL YES.
Posted by Dan3198 on June 14, 2012 at 2:44 PM · Report this
Fortunate 120
"At the end of the day, does it really matter if the dumpee thinks the dumper is a douche bag? You aren't together anymore."

Yes. I'm still on good to very good terms with most of the people I have dated seriously. Dan has made the point in the past that if you are thinking of getting serious with someone it is a red flag if they aren't on at least good speaking terms with some of their exs.

Sometimes a bad break up can't be helped, but when you make it bad by acting in a way that the other is going to see as douche behavior then that reflects badly on you and if a significant number of your relationships end with the other person thinking you are a douche then anyone thinking of dating you should be thinking twice.

And besides from that practical issue, if you thought enough to date someone for more than a few weeks then you should be concerned with them, their feelings, and what they think even if you are breaking up with them.

Anyone who considers someone's feelings unimportant just because they are no longer going to date them is, well... a douchebag.

Unless the break up was because the other person was being an asshole then decent people don't see breaking up as an excuse to just not care about the other person or their feelings any longer. If you cared enough to date them, and to fuck them, you should at least have the decency to be considerate of them if you end it.

Not every break up is a drama filled, hateful, angst driven fight. Most people don't break up because they hate the other person. Having concern for people in general is a sign of a decent person. Considering anyone you aren't fucking as irrelevant is the sign of an asshole.
Posted by Fortunate on June 14, 2012 at 3:26 PM · Report this
121
My last ex broke up with me over IM. The whole process took 3 or 4 hours.. I didn't beg her back, we'd been fighting a lot, and it was the right move for her to make at the time. She was my best friend, though, and she helped me a lot during my shock and grief by remaining available and just being there.

A few ex's ago me and my live-in girlfriend were supposed to go to the state fair and it was getting late. She was on her computer and I asked her when we would be leaving. She said, "We're not working out and I want to break up." We got in a huge fight, almost had sex, then she locked herself in her bedroom to talk to some guy on the phone while I was left alone to do whatever.

I definitely preferred the IM breakup over the face-to-face one. It was easier on me and I presume easier on her. So yeah.. I guess my point is that I think the medium of the break-up is a lot less important than the manner in which it is carried out.
Posted by falconswan on June 14, 2012 at 3:59 PM · Report this
122
@104 He deliberately sent the message to me because he didn't have the guts to speak to me, face to face. The text was so oddly worded, it was obviously intended to alert me to the fact that he was cheating. As I refused to speak to him, he then wrote me a letter in which he described his infidelities and offered an insincere apology. He was an immature and cowardly idiot!
Posted by Mozzer on June 14, 2012 at 4:39 PM · Report this
123
Fortunate,

"None of us, so far as I can see, are advocating making it not allowable."

Right, you're not advocating it, because you know you can't enforce it. But your posts are full of pejorative language: douchebag, asshole, "cause another person pain", "lacking class", scummy, etc. You're clearly trying to verbally beat down the text-breakers.

Your hatred is palpable.

I believe, if texting is serious communication, it can also signal break-up.

Posted by Hunter78 on June 14, 2012 at 4:50 PM · Report this
nocutename 124
Begging Marshall McClure's pardon, but in the case of the breakup, the medium is not the message. I think that texting, in and of itself, as the form the breakup message is delivered by, isn't the dickish thing; it's the tone and language used that is more important.

Texting isn't tweeting--there's no character limit--and while some people will compose such messages as "we r thru. gt yr thngz ih8u," there is no need to write like that in a text. I've sent and received plenty of articulate messages, using complete sentences with appropriate grammar and punctuation, some quite lengthy. As several people here have pointed out, texting may be the primary method of communication for some couples, in which case, using it to deliver a breakup message isn't necessarily as much a sign of disrespect. I can see the initiation of the breakup discussion occurring via text message, but I also don't think that that one message has to be the end of the discussion; the dumpee is within his rights to open a dialogue started by that message so the biggest jerk is one who texts a breakup message, then refuses to engage in subsequent discussion.

Certainly a face-to-face breakup doesn't guarantee a kinder message. It is entirely possible to imagine someone cruelly and imperiously dumping the other person in person.

The main thing is the content of the breakup message, and the dumper's willingness to follow through humanely. No, you don't *have* to care about the feelings of someone you no longer want to be involved with romantically, but it is that refusal to engage in dialogue which is inherent in any kind of written breakup, from the "Dear John" letter to the email to the text message that is the dick move, and anyone who has been the recipient of such a one-sided, unilateral breakup, has the right to feel resentment at being treated disrespectfully. (Breakup via instant messenger is more like a phone call. There is a back-and-forth allowed for, and yet you don't have to extricate yourself physically from the scene.)

Technology is always going to give people new and different options of how to conduct delicate interpersonal transactions. What really counts is how we conduct ourselves. Do you allow the dumpee to have dignity? Ultimately, that says a lot about the person, more than the delivery system chosen.

More...
Posted by nocutename on June 14, 2012 at 6:49 PM · Report this
Fortunate 125
"Right, you're not advocating it, because you know you can't enforce it"

Wrong. I'm not advocating it because I believe people have a right to be assholes. Not only do I believe people have the right, I prefer when people who are assholes act like assholes so it is easier to know who is an asshole before having to spend time and energy getting to know them better before finding out.

I have known several assholes who I wasted time trying to get to know because they hid it well at first.

"Your hatred is palpable. "

That's not hatred. It's disdain. It's judgement for sure. But it's not hatred.

If you think that's hatred then you have lived a very privileged and blessed life because clearly you have never had to face real hatred yourself.

I don't hate people just for being assholes. I just prefer not to have anything to do with assholes, but that doesn't equate to hate.
Posted by Fortunate on June 14, 2012 at 7:53 PM · Report this
126
While I agree with Dan that this guy should accept the fact that the relationship is over and not dwell on how it ended, breaking up with someone via text isn't cool. I think if you've been seeing a person for a couple months, spending multiple nights a week together and having sex, common decency dictates a face-to-face breakup. There may have been an extenuating circumstance with this woman losing a family member and being out of town, but as others have pointed out, if you can text, you can call.
Posted by Amanda on June 15, 2012 at 12:33 AM · Report this
Mako&Muldrow 127
@35 "except in the rare instance where one is sending factual information... texting is the refuge of those who are too pathetic to commit themselves to actual human interaction."

I beg to differ. Used correctly, technology can enhance relationships. I live halfway around the globe from my family and closest friends, and I work insane hours hoping to return home in a couple years. I can't just call someone in the middle of the night and expect them to be available, and my schedule is erratic enough to preclude planned phone dates. Texting is a great way for us to sustain "actual human interaction" on a regular basis, and a brief 2 a.m. text message of "you still awake?" sometimes leads to a phone call (even better). Pathetic? Maybe. Uncommitted? Definitely not. Lucky you, that you don't have to depend on technology to enjoy your relationship(s). As for breaking-up by text, it seems rather tacky, but not villainous, unless the relationship is long and/or complicated.
Posted by Mako&Muldrow on June 15, 2012 at 1:22 AM · Report this
sb53 128
RE BBC
Run. Unless you hope to be in a relationship with the future chairperson for AA. I spent 18 years living with an alcoholic and the "blame the booze for my actions" is DEEPLY embedded in their psyche.
Oh, and if they dry out someday: guess what? the behavior persists.
T.
Posted by sb53 http://www.werneropticalcenter.com on June 15, 2012 at 5:41 AM · Report this
sissoucat 129
@120 "it is a red flag if they aren't on at least good speaking terms with some of their exs."

When I finally realized that I had been emotionnally abused all along my marriage, I asked for support in a women's shelter, not to give into the same trap in the future, and they made that exact point : never get involved with someone not on speaking terms with any ex. It's a huge red flag.

When I met him, that POS of husband told me many intimate things about his ex, including that he had dumped her two years earlier because he felt she wanted an abusive husband, like her father was with her stepford mother - but I never met her, nor any friends of hers ; I only ever knew her first name. Now I wish I had taken the time to investigate that, before committing to the relationship ; I would probably have found out that *he* had been the actual dumpee, and the reason had been *his* abusive tendencies.

At the time of the women's shelter, I met my current on- and off- lover, who was totally friendly with his ex whom, he told me, had dumped him two years previously, because she felt he was not around enough to make it work ; he was still sad over it. At the time she was still coming to his birthday, and to his friends' gatherings ; though I was asked about it by them, I never did put my foot down to exclude her from their circle. I never felt threatened by her, nor by his respect for her. And he has, ever since, shown himself to be a very decent and considerate man (and an amazing lover, too), totally into me.
Posted by sissoucat on June 15, 2012 at 6:00 AM · Report this
130
@97, gbrooks, no, I don't care about the poor horny 16 year old people are falling over themselves to have sex with. Growing up gay in a straight world, I had to wait until I was 21 to lose my virginity.
Posted by cockyballsup on June 15, 2012 at 6:01 AM · Report this
131
A female friend/former fwb (semi former b/c of location so sometimes current) just had a dude she'd been seeing and sleeping with do one worse than texting - facebook chat.

He told her to come over when she was sick and not feeling like sex because he was into her company, then later he popped into her facebook chat and says he only has a sec but he wants to cut things off because he wasn't attracted to her when she was sick. She sent me the chat, it was cold shit.

I was glad Dan's example was about a girl doing this to a dude cause this douche had me wanting to apologize for my gender. Above commenters are right in that you don't want to be fucking anyone who would pull an immature dick move like that or who doesn't get that hot girls are less hot when they're sick. More for the rest of us. ;-)

@ BBC, agree with Dan. If you run in the same circles and will keep running into her, sit her down when she's sober and set some boundaries with her. She sounds nuts but my experience is nutty girls do better if you approach that with a little compassion - you may get her to set the boundaries herself and stick to them.

Posted by quark on June 15, 2012 at 6:21 AM · Report this
mydriasis 132
@130

Um, sorry but I don't think that statement's really fair.

My closest gay friend in highschool lost his virginity around the same age I did (16), my closest lesbian friend also enjoyed several romantic and sexual relationships in highschool. I had several other gay friends whose first times were around the same age as would be typical for straight people. The friend I had in highschool who got the most play was actually a gay guy. My closest friend is still a virgin (in her early 20s) and she's straight.

So while I'm sure it is harder for gay kids in highschool to get it on overall (especially in repressive places like America), I think the whole 'you're gay in a straight world so you're going to have to wait way longer' thing is going the way of the fax machine.

Which incidentally, is also a lame way to break up.
Posted by mydriasis on June 15, 2012 at 6:45 AM · Report this
133
I'd say texting is the best way to dump an abusive bf.
Posted by Hunter78 on June 15, 2012 at 9:41 AM · Report this
134
I would think it would be easier to have gay relationships earlier, in some ways. No risk of pregnancy, for one thing, and for girls a pretty small risk of STDs. Honestly, as a parent of teens I might even have been a lot more relaxed about early experimentation if my kids had been interested in the same sex (they don't seem to be thus far).
Posted by Eirene on June 15, 2012 at 10:40 AM · Report this
mydriasis 135
@134

When I was a teenager my mom told me many times she would prefer if I were a lesbian because then she wouldn't have to worry about me getting pregnant.
Posted by mydriasis on June 15, 2012 at 10:49 AM · Report this
136
"A longish, thoughtful, and well-written text message is now a legit way to dump someone."

This is ridiculous. The fact that people do this does not make it legitimate. If you're ending a relationship, the only *legitimate* way to do it is in person.
Posted by Nameless on June 15, 2012 at 11:01 AM · Report this
Fortunate 137
Eirene,
The difficulty is in finding someone to have a relationship, or even just sex, with when you are a gay teen. Even today, assuming that every kid in a particular high school who is gay is also out, you now have maybe 3 to 5 or so out of 100 who would be gay. So to make it nice and round, say there are 100 boys in a class and 100 girls. Each straight girl has about 95 or 96 straight boys to choose from and each straight boy about the same for straight girls to choose from.

Now out of those 200 people the gay boy has maybe 3 or 4 people to choose from. So even if they were all out in high school, which is unlikely, the options are very limited. What are the chances that out of the only 3 or 4 options that you are going to be interested in one of them enough to want to have sex with them?

Consider that the majority of other gay kids in the school most likely aren't going to be out, but be very closeted, there are often no real options.

That certainly was the case when I was in high school. I didn't find out about who was gay until many years after graduating. One of my closest friends was bi and I never knew it. I was very lucky that I knew someone out of school that I had known for a very, very long time, who was at least interested in trying, so I was able to have sex in high school. But that was lucky.

While there are more kids out today in high school it is far from a majority, so even today a gay kid in school has far, far fewer options than his or her straight classmates when it comes to opportunities for sex.

Also when I was in high school I can tell you that due to AIDS still being pretty much a death sentence, and AIDS education being virtually non existent, I am pretty sure I was more worried about the consequences of sex than most of my straight classmates. I don't know how blase kids are today about the risks of AIDS, but there are other things to worry about than either AIDS or pregnancy.

But the limited options factor comes into play not just with gay teens. I have a friend who is very tech savey. He has access to the internet, to grinder, has a car and can travel... but because he lives in a rural area his options are so limited that he has to travel two to three hours just for a date most of the time. Of the few gay people he knows close to him none of them interest him.

That's why gay people tend to be more likely to flee their little towns and head for the big city than their straight counterparts. Because our options are far more limited than straight peoples'. We have to go where we have the best chance of meeting people, and that means going where the gay people flock to.

I left my fairly small east coast town for San Francisco and it completely altered my idea of what my options were. In high school they were one hair away from being completely non-existent.
More...
Posted by Fortunate on June 15, 2012 at 11:16 AM · Report this
138
"You're hurt, she hurt you, and you've latched on to 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."

From the perspective of one of those doing the complaining, this seems exactly backwards to me. You had thought all along that there WAS something special here, and you are shocked to discover that the OTHER person apparently thinks that there wasn't something special here, that to them you are 100% disposable.

"Nope, she's a scumbag. Dumping-by-text proves it."

Well, it is pretty surprising to be tossed in the trash like a used kleenex, and if that's behavior that you yourself consider beyond the pale, it does make you rethink who this person is.

Okay, my bad for confusing texting with tweeting, with respect to the 140 character limit. A well-composed, thoughtful, caring text (if you actually do that; I had assumed most text messages are dashed off with little thought or nuance) goes a long way towards making it an acceptable form of at least initiating that discussion. I can see the point made by some here: in some ways it is better than springing it in person, because it gives the person time and privacy to consider your words and decide if they need further discussion (aka want to be subjected to further humiliation) as the dump-ee.

There is still the problem that texts can pop up at unexpected and embarrassing times. I still lean towards email or letter for that reason. Again, however, a terse, badly-worded email or letter might as well be a crappy text, in terms of communicating callousness. anneshirley @69 says it very well in the last sentence: kindness. This is someone you were physically intimate with, which I would hope in most cases involves developing a certain level of personal vulnerability. You have a responsibility to not treat them rough when they have their armor off for you.
More...
Posted by avast2006 on June 15, 2012 at 11:17 AM · Report this
139
@137: you're right, of course (though my kids seem to have piles of gay friends, it's probably not so very many if I actually count up), which is why I said "in some ways." But the vast majority of straight guys are of absolutely no interest to me either, and the major hurdle for me was whether I was willing to take the risk of having sex at all, with anyone. So anything that lessened that perceived risk would have greatly increased the chance that I would actually have had sex at that age.
Posted by Eirene on June 15, 2012 at 12:37 PM · Report this
nocutename 140
What I'm finding fascinating here is how much perception is based on one's social reality.
Fortunate lays out a high school scenario wherein a straight girl (in a class of 200, equally divided between girls and boys) has "95 or 96 straight boys from which to choose. Would that it had been so easy--like pulling ripe fruit off a tree--for me when I was an ugly-duckling straight girl in high school. Fortunate's high-school experience was much better than mine.

Meanwhile in the discussion of responsibilities of dumper to dumpee, avast2006 takes some statements Dan made on behalf of the dumpee, and flips them around entirely.

Some of us want to be told in person; some of us resent coming out only to be dumped. Some argue that a text could come at any time, and be seen by anyone, or that if the dumpee gets the text while he is at a party, he has to pull himself together during the party, when he'd rather fall apart; some of us have had the experience of being dumped in some public place--in person--and having to hold himself together under the gaze of a lot of strangers.

The reality is that breakups are hard, for both parties (unless the dumper is an incredibly callous jerk). It doesn't matter where or through what medium, if the person getting dumped didn't want that relationship to end (and by "relationship," I mean anything from FWB who've been fucking for a year, to a two-week, intense romantic entanglment, to a 35-year marriage), it's an unhappy event.

And another reality is that gay or straight, for lots of reasons, most teens are not having as much sex as it might seem from hysterical media stories or the popular music or movies.
Posted by nocutename on June 15, 2012 at 1:09 PM · Report this
Fortunate 141
"Fortunate lays out a high school scenario wherein a straight girl (in a class of 200, equally divided between girls and boys) has "95 or 96 straight boys from which to choose. Would that it had been so easy--like pulling ripe fruit off a tree--for me when I was an ugly-duckling straight girl in high school. Fortunate's high-school experience was much better than mine."

Perhaps. I in no way am trying to say that every straight teen has the pick of anyone they want and any of them can get laid when they want.

But in the big picture the odds are so much in favor for the straight teen as opposed to the gay. Because there are also some gay teens who would fit the "ugly duckling" category on top of it. But at least there is Potential pool that is significantly higher.

Of course there are some straight kids who, even if they are good looking and popular, just never manage to hook up in high school. I definitly recognize that I was lucky. But that's what it was, luck. I also know I was not having anywhere near the amount of sex as my friends were. And even though I had sex as a teen I couldn't really actually date even though I would have liked to.

"And another reality is that gay or straight, for lots of reasons, most teens are not having as much sex as it might seem from hysterical media stories or the popular music or movies."

Indeed. And it seems the most significant factor is sex education. In regions with more comprehensive and inclusive sex education kids not only don't end up getting pregnant or catching an STI as frequently, but kids simply put off having sex longer.

If you want to make sure your area has the highest possible incidents of teen sex, along with all the worst possible scenarios that can potentially go along with that, make sure they get abstinence only sex education.
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Posted by Fortunate on June 15, 2012 at 1:48 PM · Report this
nocutename 142
@141: I read somewhere about two years ago, that the single highest factor in teen girls delaying their sexual activity or of getting pregnant, was the sense that, with a college education and without the encumbrances of having a child, they had a good future ahead of them. Obviously, your millage will vary, and starting having sex at 16, as mydriasis did, is no guarantee that you'll end up pregnant and doomed to low-level, poorly-paid jobs your whole life. But if kids think that a better life is within reach and not a long shot, they tend to not want to do things that they perceive as compromising their shot at that better life.

Looking around at my almost-eighteen-year-old daughter's friends, that dynamic seems to hold.
Posted by nocutename on June 15, 2012 at 3:16 PM · Report this
143
Looking at the previous comments, did anyone consider being dumped by tweet. Sort of like, hey everyone I'm breaking up with #somebody, if anyone is planning on seeing him/her today, could you let them know, and try to help them get over it a little. I'd offer to pitch in, but I just met someone new, and I'm kinda busy.
Posted by sen in ok on June 15, 2012 at 3:21 PM · Report this
144
How about dumping someone via facetime? It's better than texting and better than the phone!
Posted by rivermonk on June 15, 2012 at 4:33 PM · Report this
145
@132, mydriasis, sorry, you have no idea what is what like where and when I grew up. Maybe things are different now for gay kids but I am in my 40s.
Posted by cockyballsup on June 15, 2012 at 6:03 PM · Report this
146
@137, Fortunate, you explained it well. You were indeed fortunate. In my high school of 1000 kids, NOBODY was out. There was maybe one or two kids who were a little flamboyant, but that was not what I was attracted to, and any advances towards kids I was attracted to could have potentially blown up in my face and put me in danger. I had social friends but I was sexually utterly isolated, spending my adolescence and early adulthood as an outsider looking in. If Eirene is right that her kids have piles of gay friends, things have certainly changed, but I suspect she lives somewhere unusually liberal, and that in most places things haven't actually changed all that much.
Posted by cockyballsup on June 15, 2012 at 6:18 PM · Report this
147
@146: yes, I do live somewhere unusually liberal. In fact I saw Dan Savage himself (and his partner) touring a local school a while ago :-) My kids have friends who pretty much run the QUILTBAG gamut. One or two of them have been out since middle school, even.
Posted by Eirene on June 15, 2012 at 6:44 PM · Report this
148
@132 - hahaha, break up by fax machine- you're killing me!!
Posted by sweet g on June 15, 2012 at 11:24 PM · Report this
149
What strikes me about SMS's letter is the fact that he seems to feel blindsided about the break-up, and may be trying to use the dumping-by-text issue to deal with that. He talks about their agreement about the special chemistry, and the fact that she sent the message while out of state for a week. It doesn't seem like she was gone for very long, warranting a defense that she didn't want him to miss out on all the amazing opportunities for relationships that he was going to miss out on for that entire week.

Not sure if SMS will read all these comments he's generated with his letter, but if I could I would tell him to ignore the texting issue, and focus on the fact that she dumped him during the convenient short amount of time she was out of town. If he were to say, well maybe some new stressor came up while she was away, then I would say that people who are mutually invested in a relationship, even at 2 months, tend to lean on their partners during times of stress and loss. It is possible that she really does have too much on her plate right now to handle a relationship. But signs indicate that she didn't feel connected enough to SMS to see him as a support during this difficult time, and she certainly did not think that the relationship was important enough to discuss after she came back from a week-long trip. Bottom line, whatever she is going through right now, SMS is not a priority for this woman, and as a dumpee, that is all that he needs to know.
Posted by radcake on June 15, 2012 at 11:39 PM · Report this
150
What strikes me about SMS's letter is the fact that he seems to feel blindsided about the break-up, and may be trying to use the dumping-by-text issue to deal with that. He talks about their agreement about the special chemistry, and the fact that she sent the message while out of state for a week. It doesn't seem like she was gone for very long, warranting a defense that she didn't want him to miss out on all the amazing opportunities for relationships that he was going to miss out on for that entire week.

Not sure if SMS will read all these comments he's generated with his letter, but if I could I would tell him to ignore the texting issue, and focus on the fact that she dumped him during the convenient short amount of time she was out of town. If he were to say, well maybe some new stressor came up while she was away, then I would say that people who are mutually invested in a relationship, even at 2 months, tend to lean on their partners during times of stress and loss. It is possible that she really does have too much on her plate right now to handle a relationship. But signs indicate that she didn't feel connected enough to SMS to see him as a support during this difficult time, and she certainly did not think that the relationship was important enough to discuss after she came back from a week-long trip. Bottom line, whatever she is going through right now, SMS is not a priority for this woman, and as a dumpee, that is all that he needs to know.
Posted by radcake on June 15, 2012 at 11:47 PM · Report this
151
I wonder if people used to get dumped by telegram:

Thinking of calling me? Stop.
Thinking of visiting me? Stop.
Thinking of a future with me? Stop.
Posted by anotherguy on June 16, 2012 at 12:03 AM · Report this
152
So you dump someone by text. A few days later, you get "What's going on? Why haven't you txted?"

OMG WTF BBC :o

Why? Because 99% of text messages get delivered.
Posted by anotherguy on June 16, 2012 at 12:06 AM · Report this
mydriasis 153
@145

To be clear, I wasn't saying it was untrue in your case, simply that it in my opinion it was misleading in suggesting that it's a current comment on gay teen life today (from what I've seen).

@ Fortunate

Yes, I am aware that the proportion of gay kids to straight kids is skewed, but that's true in big cities as well. I live in a major city and the lesbians I know lament how small their pool to choose from is. In my experience they often tend to respond by being less selective (similar to how it's common for women to be a little more selective than men - NOT UNIVERSAL, JUST COMMON).
Posted by mydriasis on June 16, 2012 at 12:21 AM · Report this
sissoucat 154
The worst way to be dumped ?

Being in high school, having the female friends of the guy you're trying to discreetly befriend come over, where you're sitting at intermission, and tell you that sorry he wants you to know that he's not interested and so please stop hanging up with us you're not welcome anymore.

And then, hearing them tell you that, on their way, they have talked first to another female friend of yours, who has never tried to befriend their clique, and who is now standing next corridor, waiting for you if you're in any need of friendship.

I never hanged up with any of them ever - including the designated go-to friend.

I'd take breakup by text any day over a shitty face-to-face, so-called considerate, breakup.
Posted by sissoucat on June 16, 2012 at 2:25 AM · Report this
155
I'll join the chorus: Dumping via text is not cool unless, say, the receiver is abusive and it would be dangerous to do so in person. Society hasn't changed THAT much.

I recently broke things off with someone who had done nothing wrong to deserve it. I went to her house and broke the news in a contextually appropriate moment. It was EXTREMELY difficult to do and she was worth the respect of telling her to her face.
Posted by jay5 on June 16, 2012 at 2:50 AM · Report this
156
I'll join the chorus: Dumping by text is not cool unless, say, the receiver is abusive and it would be dangerous to tell them in person.

I recently broke things off with someone who did nothing wrong to deserve it. I went to her place and broke the news at a contextually appropriate moment. It was EXTREMELY hard and she deserved to be told to her face rather than lobbed a breakup from the safety of my apartment.
Posted by jay5 on June 16, 2012 at 2:58 AM · Report this
157
My $.02 on the dumping-by-text issue:
It's kinda tacky, except in special cases. I think SMS's gf may reasonably have been one of those special cases, however, given that she was dealing with serious personal stuff and wasn't in physical proximity anyways.

But, as a general rule, I agree that dumping by text in most cases kind of sends a message of "you're not important enough for me to break up with in person"... which is a kind of tacky thing to do after anything more than about 3 or 4 dates.
Posted by Melissa Trible on June 16, 2012 at 3:02 AM · Report this
158
154- sissoucat-- Now THAT is horrible. It's not getting dumped by a single person in a romantic/sexual relationship. It's getting dumped by a whole social circle in a decision made by committee. I'm always curious about what happens to those sort of people. Do they grow up to have miserable lonely lives the way I hope they do, or do they come out pretty close to normal? Did you ever find out what happened to your group of bullies?

Your comment has me thinking in another direction. We talk about polyamourous relationships in terms of either their working or, if they don't work, we assume they didn't work because they were poly when monogamy is the norm. But what about breaking up with several people at once? I should think it comparatively easy for one person to break up with the 2 people s/he has been having sex with, but how do 2 people break up with their 3rd? There has to be coalition building, which must feel like back stabbing.
Posted by Crinoline on June 16, 2012 at 3:17 AM · Report this
159
I'd rather someone dumped me by text from another state than kept me hanging around for a few weeks until they could get around to it in person.

As usual, Dan hit it perfectly. Getting dumped sucks, no matter how the person does it. There is no good way to get dumped.
Posted by GG1000 on June 16, 2012 at 6:49 AM · Report this
160
hahahahaha! and 151 wins the thread! :)
Posted by avast2006 on June 16, 2012 at 7:10 AM · Report this
161
@154: Honestly that sounds less like a lame breakup by the guy, and more like a clique power-play against you in general. (And it doesn't count as a gentle face-to-face breakup. It was neither gentle nor face-to-face; you weren't going out with the person who delivered the news, let alone the whole gang of them.)

Involving the other friend who supposedly never dealt with them before is the big clue. With one evil chess move they deprived you of pretty much everybody. If the girl waiting in the other corridor actually was your friend, I hope you at went to her for the benefit of a "WTF?" corroboration.

Likewise, I hope you cross-checked the story with the boy. If he actually orchestrated that, it was totally lame, and you were well rid of him. But it's possible the boy had no idea, and the girls went behind his back. Maybe one of the in-crowd girls had set her cap for him herself, and this was their way of taking out the competition, or maybe it was just using the boy as a tool in a mean-girl assassination.
Posted by avast2006 on June 16, 2012 at 7:34 AM · Report this
mydriasis 162
@161

Bingo.
Posted by mydriasis on June 16, 2012 at 7:49 AM · Report this
163
@149, "What strikes me about SMS's letter is the fact that he seems to feel blindsided about the break-up".

I do think you have put your finger on the real problem, which is not the mechanism of the dumping but the dishonesty leading up to it.

I was blindsided my my lover of ten years dumping me. When he did, he mentioned in passing that he had been thinking about leaving for two years. The way he dumped me, horrible beyond compare as it was, was not where the major assholery was. It was in his dishonesty during those two last years. Suddenly all my happy memories of those years, his every smile and his every kiss, turned out to have been elaborately staged lies intended to mislead me. My life had been The Truman Show, and the person I trusted most in this world was the one who was running it. That is the real unforgivable crime.
Posted by cockyballsup on June 16, 2012 at 8:52 AM · Report this
nocutename 164
cockyballsup, you have my sympathy.
I don't know your ex, but I know that I thought about leaving my ex for several years before I did so, and while I can't speak for your ex and his motivations or feelings, I can say that it's probable that those smiles and kisses were genuine and truly meant. One of the reasons that I didn't leave when I first identified my unhappiness was because it wasn't a total, all-consuming unhappiness, and I hoped that we could somehow get back to where we once were. I still loved--and still, to this day love--many things about my ex, and expressions of love I made during those years were real. The feelings behind them weren't enough to keep me (either strong enough or frequent enough), but neither were they elaborately staged lies intended to mislead him. They were honest expressions of affection I still felt.

It's hard to stay with someone for years if you feel nothing at all for him (unless maybe you are hoping for an inheritance or an insurance benefit); I would choose to interpret his actions during those two years as non-maliciously as possible.

In any case, I wish you peace.
Posted by nocutename on June 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM · Report this
165
Regarding gay teens and access to sex partners; I don't recall orientation being an issue when I was in high school. Not that I would call what we were doing dating, but it was certainly sex and plenty of it.

I was surprised later in life to discover how many people in my class were gay--and it was not any of the ones I was messing around with.

As to parental concern, I cannot say, I never thought to ask my mom what she knew or didn't know about those years. But I know my she freaked out if I closed my door with a girl in the room, but a guy could spend the night without any notice.
Posted by contemplative on June 16, 2012 at 4:15 PM · Report this
166
@151 & @160: Ha ha! I second that!
Posted by auntie grizelda on June 16, 2012 at 4:36 PM · Report this
167
contemplative@165: "bisexual" is an orientation, no? Just because a bunch of those guys may have married women since, or whatever, doesn't mean they weren't at least at a one on the Kinsey scale.
Posted by Eirene on June 16, 2012 at 4:58 PM · Report this
168
@contemplative, experiences like yours are so strange to me. In the late 70s and early 80s when I was in school, making advances at other guys just wasn't done. Homosexuality was never talked about in the public sphere as far as I knew and I had no access to information on it, so despite my attraction to other boys I actually didn't know it was even POSSIBLE to act on it until after graduating high school. Probably a good thing I didn't act on it, because those boys I liked all turned out to have been straight. It wasn't until my early 20s that I even met any other gay men as far as I know.
Posted by cockyballsup on June 16, 2012 at 6:57 PM · Report this
sissoucat 169
@158 and 161 : I was only 15 at that time, and so incensed that I never talked to any of them again.

They were chickens, all of them, playing tough, devising pranks that I was the only one to have the guts to go though - the quiet kid on the side is usually more brave that the bigmouths - but reduced to jittery messes the second the school supervisor wanted a word with them. I don't know what became of them ; ordinary people, I guess.

I don't think it was a power clique ; just stupid, immature, cowering people, thinking they were doing the right thing.

I found out later that the guy was homosexual, and he was only out to the girls who had come to tell me to get lost. My interest had made him uncomfortable ; so his female friends had come to his rescue.

Oh, and his daddy was rich and he was always covered in designer clothes... that I thought foolish. At those time and place, there was no way he could have been out ; it was unheard of, he would have been seen as an alien by the rest of the class (but not attacked). I had no gaydar at the time - I never had met anyone out - and they were chickens.
Posted by sissoucat on June 16, 2012 at 11:52 PM · Report this
sissoucat 170
@161 There are no mean girl cliques in French high schools.

High school includes only 10th to 12th grades ; there are no cheerleaders, no school jacket, no sport competition with other schools, no school motto, no elective contests like homecoming king and queen, no position of power and school-wide recognition to be had by students. It's not built as a competitive mini-society, but as a learning place, where everyone is equal, bad student and good student.

The mean girls may go around with their nose up at anyone ; they won't have many friends that way, that's all. Congeniality is the thing, if you want to have many friends ; as for being popular, you can only be so inside your own "class" (a group of thirty-five people who attend all the lectures together, the whole year). If you're too mean you'll be avoided.

Of course the boyfriend/girlfriend thing gives rise to both healthy and unhealthy private competition - but bad behavior cannot result in school-wide recognition, it only leads to localized fallouts.
Posted by sissoucat on June 17, 2012 at 12:15 AM · Report this
171
@cockyballsup: I am truly sorry for your pain. I haven't had that exact experience, but I do know how it feels to be dumped in a way that connotes abandonment. I think many people here could say the same.

I think all SMS is looking for is a way to stop liking this girl. He doesn't seem interested in demonizing her beyond the tackiness of the text-message move. I could be wrong, but that's what I go from the short and vague letter.
Posted by radcake on June 17, 2012 at 12:23 AM · Report this
172
If the person I'm with abuses me in any way, cheats on me or treats me like utter crap (take for instance those types that constantly disappear for days without any notice at all), then I can't see why I wouldn't be justified to end things via text. If that person is able to show such disregard to me than why should I have to treat that person any better?
Posted by Nixxy3 on June 17, 2012 at 4:52 AM · Report this
173
Re WSID,

"I'm not totally against the idea."

This is an itch he should scratch. At 16 it's more important he learns who he is than feel bound by a puppy love.

Posted by Hunter78 on June 17, 2012 at 4:52 AM · Report this
174
Now, when I say "treats me like utter crap" I not referring to cases in which the other party is just being a jerk such as when he or she makes a one time stupid remark, forgets an anniversary, starts a stupid argument etc... but rather more extreme situations.
Posted by Nixxy3 on June 17, 2012 at 5:00 AM · Report this
175
170-- I'm interested. Tell me more. Any academic achievement awards, honor societies, proms, school dances, science fairs with winners, special interest clubs, sports played within the school like track meets?
Posted by Crinoline on June 17, 2012 at 8:30 AM · Report this
mydriasis 176
@Crin

I think prom is a very American phenom.

I had one (I'm Canadian) but our highschool culture isn't quite like yours - it's kind of half and half between American and Euro. For example, our highschool had cheerleaders (I was one) but that was not at all a big deal at my school. And I was not 'cool' because of it, by any stretch.

I have a friend that's from the States and sometimes he makes references to the highschool culture there and I am in awe that it's so Archie-Comic-esque.
Posted by mydriasis on June 17, 2012 at 11:09 AM · Report this
sissoucat 177
@Crinoline

Academic achievement awards - a long time ago, (my mother's generation, she's now 70), there was the "prices ceremony" were the best students were given "prices", that is, books that related to the subjects in which they were 1st, 2nd and 3rd ; parents would come. When I was a student myself, there were no "prices" anymore. Now in my high school they try to give an honorific award (a medal and a diploma) to the students who have done good work for the community or who have had very good grades ; it's at the very end of the year, not on the school grounds, and this year most of the recipients didn't even show up (they hadn't be told beforehand who had won the awards). Someone vying for this honorific title would be considered, by students and teachers alike, to be a complete and utter moron.

Besides, the results cannot be compared on a whole grade. For instance in 12th grade there are about 10 different "classes" (groups of students) in my high school, and even if the best student of each class can be mathematically determined, there is no "best of the 12th grade".

Honor societies - no. What for ? Students are not vying for funds to go to college. College is almost free (maybe 200E a year); poor students with good grades are given a stipend by the State to be able to eat and to pay their rooms, as long as the grades stay good.

Proms - no. In some high schools, there is the "high school feast", a dancing evening in a nearby hall once a year, for all students. There is a special event for 12th graders in parts of France : they celebrate a day of carnival inside the high school, 100 days before the final exam ; on this occasion they come in costumes and some light pranks are tolerated, like disturbing the lectures of the 11th and 10th grades. Around Paris there is no 12th-grade specific event ; there is a carnival day each year, all students can wear costums and the best costumes are elected, no lectures are disturbed.

Science fairs with winners - no. There is a yearly France-wide science fair, a few high schools compete by sending teams ; the winners give honor to their high school but they are not more popular as a result ; usually it's the science club that gets all the credit, and that attracts more geeks as a result.

Special interest clubs - yes. Science club, photo club, chess club, news club can exist, depending on the dynamism of the students. No language clubs. In clubs, there are no president, treasurer and all that ; everyone is equal. The money collected from giving parents is redistributed by a high-school-wide treasurer, according to needs, judged by submitted projects.

Sports played within the school - you mean parents coming outside school hours to see their children compete against one another ? No.

There is a sport club outside school hours but on school grounds, they train and compete against other sport clubs, only the parents of the club members go and watch the competitions. Once a year the sport teachers will tell the teachers assembly that the students as a team, or some students as individuals have won in this place, this place and that place this year, and it's been a good year. There is no school-wide weekly broadcast of the results.

Tell you what, an example to understand the French high school attitude : this year, one of my students was the junior France champion of some sport(I'm not telling which one). I was told this in confidence, by the main teacher of his class, as the reason why this student would sometimes be missing - it was because of his trainings for his competition days. It was not expected from this student to go brag around about his achievements. His close friends knew, his classmates didn't have to know, because of his privacy, his right to be a normal student on the high school grounds, to lead an anonymous school life.

Oh, and there is no yearbook. Each year a picture of each class is taken, and students can buy it, if they want to have a reminder of their classmates. No school-wide picture.

Oh, and of course no graduation ceremony ! No valedictorian, no speeches, and of course no prayers.

There is a final exam (a week-long of tests, France-wide ; it begins tomorrow), some days after the end you come and get your results, and then it's off to University, good luck, it's been nice to have you as a student - or, alas you failed, well you'll spend another year with us then, and don't worry this time you'll pass ! And if you fail again... bye-bye, you're on your own now.

If you want more details, just ask.
More...
Posted by sissoucat on June 17, 2012 at 1:06 PM · Report this
sissoucat 178
I forgot to mention that there is no dressup involved for the high school feast. And that students come as individuals, not as couples. And it's not compulsory.
Posted by sissoucat on June 17, 2012 at 1:15 PM · Report this
179
@51Erica have I ever agreed with you on anything? You nailed it- the text dumpin GF was getting ready to schnoz when she fired off the text. Dude should have contacted her a few days later if he wanted some more of that. Might have changed her mind by then.

Dan is wrong again here: Text dumping is NOT appropriate. Even if you are just changing hookers the dumpee of an intimate relationship deserves more than a text. Maybe there are exceptions but not many. Break ups of a weekly glory hole fuck in the public restroom might only require a text? I am not the expert. But if you have actually laid down with someone and exchanged spooj and spit and in addition actually had a two-way interaction like a personal conversation with that person then a break up deserves a two way interaction. If you have done the fluid exchange multiple times and/or exchanged deep expressions of affection then it should be a PERSONAL FACE TO FACE interaction. Grow up people.
Posted by Professor on June 17, 2012 at 8:53 PM · Report this
180
176-177 Thanks!

I have no particular insight into the U.S. highschool experience other than having been a highschool student 35 years ago and knowing highschool students now. Obviously generalities about the way things are done here are non-productive because there's so much variation between parts of the country, size of the schools, funding for the schools. The national news is likely to get examples of how particular policies fail, not the instances in which they succeed.

The usual reason given for so much extra-curricular competition in the U.S. schools is to give every student an area to succeed. Maybe one student isn't great at math, but he gets the admiration of his classmates and teachers by being in the school play. Another might be a terrific athlete while not as good at creative writing. The idea is that the schools foster all sorts of talents and give the students a chance to try a lot of things while finding themselves.

The advantage to a larger school and one where you have different classmates for each subject is again supposed to be one where you find your niche. If you don't find friends in one class, you'll find them in another.

You've given me something to think about. Again, I'm not advocating for one system over another, but you have got me reexamining my assumptions. Thanks.
Posted by Crinoline on June 18, 2012 at 5:24 AM · Report this
181
So... you're sweetie's been out of town, you can't wait to see her, you meet at your favorite dive bar, but she's not smiling like you are... suddenly the "Listen, we need to talk" talk starts. OMG, you're getting dumped. In public. The frozen smile on your face gradually melts from the heat your nausea is generating. It's all you can do to maintain composure... you try to be cool, but it takes all your acting chops. And you're humiliated. You want to run away, but you're not sure you can even stand. How the hell do you get out of there with your dignity?
I used to think dumping by text was classless, but I'm rethinking the whole thing. Allowing someone to save face is much kinder. Spot on, Dan.
Posted by portland scribe on June 18, 2012 at 11:35 AM · Report this
mydriasis 182
@181

Dumping someone in public is also classless, duh.

You meet at their place*, you tell them how you feel, you tell them you're sorry things didn't work out (assuming you are) and then from there it's about their comfort zone. Do they want you to stay for a while and talk about it it? Do they want you to just leave so they can be alone? You leave it up to them.

It's not fucking rocket science, people.

*In case anyone's wondering, the reason you meet at their place is because no one wants to cry on public transit or in their car or etc. It's embarassing re: the public place comment. Meeting at their place means they have as much privacy as they want. They can ask you to leave as soon as you tell them for maximum "face saving".

I think in LTRs there's no such thing as being embarassed in front of your S/O even if they're technically as of that second not your S/O anymore. So the whole 'saving face' thing seems more for short term relationships than LTRs. I've never dated someone short-term so I can't really speak to that desire.
Posted by mydriasis on June 18, 2012 at 12:24 PM · Report this
Registered European 183
@180
The advantage to a larger school and one where you have different classmates for each subject is again supposed to be one where you find your niche. If you don't find friends in one class, you'll find them in another.

That's actually good thinking. The system where you have all lessons with the same group of classmates all year long, or even several years in a row, is not so nice if you have the misfortune to be chosen as the bullying victim of the class. I speak from experience.
Posted by Registered European on June 18, 2012 at 12:31 PM · Report this
184
Mydriasis: You should let us know what experience you've actually had, so we can understand your limits.

Breaking up in public might be more of a "pussy" move, because a woman might be afraid for her physical safety. It also allows you to end the conversation and leave.

P.S. People will continue to disagree with you. It's ok. You might want to think a little more before you shoot off your insults. Like me.
Posted by marilynsue on June 18, 2012 at 1:42 PM · Report this
185
@184:
If you have reason to fear for your safety, even breaking up via text would be ok.
But most people who break up don't have to fear their SO. It just didn't work out. And in that case, you should show your almost-ex SO some consideration and respect.
Posted by migrationist on June 18, 2012 at 1:47 PM · Report this
mydriasis 186
@184

So confused where you're getting this from. I never called anything a 'pussy' move? Do you have my confused with someone else?

As 185 mentioned, we're all talkling about normal breakups (no abusive partner, no horrible circumstances, just typical 'this isn't working stuff') we've all kind of agreed that in extreme situations all bets are off.
Posted by mydriasis on June 18, 2012 at 2:03 PM · Report this
187
What evidence do you have WSID is not abusive or overly dependent?

Posted by Hunter78 on June 18, 2012 at 3:59 PM · Report this
188
WSID,

Dan's advice is excellent. Keep a low profile on this one.

Posted by Hunter78 on June 18, 2012 at 4:28 PM · Report this
189
A different angle on the breakup-by-text:

I was dating someone for a few months and we texted constantly. Long texts, full sentences, proper grammar etc. Other than the sex it was one of the bright spots in the relationship. When I was ready to breakup (no horrible reason, just basic incompatibility), we were texting and I was asked, "is something wrong?". I responded in the affirmative and suggested we meet to talk. Then I'm asked if I'm breaking up. I say let's meet, the question is pressed further and I finally agree (breaking up) "it looks that way."

We do meet a week later, talk for three hrs but the end result is the same.

But since then I've come to learn, that among all parties in the know (friends), I'm the "asshole who broke up over text.". "Dick move" and all that.

So fuck it. If you end a relationship w an insecure person, you're the asshole regardless of medium. Oh yeah almost forgot: over $1,000 was loaned to help out earlier - emailed inquiring about it several weeks later, no response.
Posted by rog24 on June 18, 2012 at 7:34 PM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 190
@84, Auntie Grizelda & @ 96, Biologist in the Stix - I <3 Kelly/Liam! Laugh out loud funny. (She's my user icon here, too.)

To SMS/LW1 - Ah, these changing times. In general, I feel that huge emotional declarations are better F2F whenever possible. It denotes respect for the other person involved. But that can be affected by the way you communicate throughout the relationship, extenuating circumstances, length of how long you're together & extenuating circumstances. Definitely that last one applies - a death in the family can be crushing, & you don't mention what these other issues of hers are, but maybe dealing with a relationship - even a fun one, with good chemistry - was just too much for her to deal with, right now. As long as she wasn't outright rude, try to take Dan's advice & take the high road. You're broken up with, either way, but how you handle it speaks tons about you, you know?

Try to forgive her, because *you* will feel better when you let it go.

I had a LD BF of about 2 years break up with me over the phone once. At the time, I freaked out on him & said it was cold, etc - & it came out of nowhere, I was blindsided. Looking back, what was he gonna do, have me drive a few hours, dump me, then have me drive home crying? There really wasn't a great way to do it. We're friends now. I don't hold it against him.

As someone who's been the dump-er, as well as -ee, if it's anything even remotely serious (let's say, exclusive w/ each other for more than a coupla months), I prefer to have that talk in person. Even if it's hard. It's just classier.

But, if they are far away, &/or our *primary* mode of communication was Email, I guess a thought-out letter, with as little drama & as much regard as possible, would be okay.

I can't imagine breaking up w/ someone over text. But that's not how I talk to most of my friends, 'cause I'm older than..some of you. ;)
More...
Posted by Eva Hopkins http://www.lunamusestudios.com on June 18, 2012 at 10:07 PM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 191
(D'oh, did not mean to repeat the extenuating circumstances @ end of 2nd paragraph! I used to tease Dan that he should hire me as his copy editor..not so much, today.)

Posted by Eva Hopkins http://www.lunamusestudios.com on June 18, 2012 at 10:09 PM · Report this
192
@190 Eva Hopkins: I'm thrilled to hear from you, but....don't you really mean mydriasis?
Posted by auntie grizelda on June 19, 2012 at 1:28 AM · Report this
mydriasis 193
@192

Erm, I think she's talking to 84 and 96? Neither of them are me....

It is interesting that she brought up the same thing that I did though about the crying in the car.
Posted by mydriasis on June 19, 2012 at 6:09 AM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 194
Auntie Grizelda & mydriasis..yeah. Tipsy posting bad. I have enjoyed both of your writings in the various Slog-bloggins over the years, but I *meant* Scary Tyler Moore@ 84 & Biologist @96.

But crying in the car = bad. I still think the reasons my ex wanted to end it via phone were weasel-ly, but we're definitely better off apart in the long run, & IDK if it would have been any better F2F. The next time we broke up, we were local, & we did it F2F, & it stuck. & w/ the benefit of hindsight, might I add..thank goodness.
Posted by Eva Hopkins http://www.lunamusestudios.com on June 19, 2012 at 10:12 AM · Report this
mydriasis 195
@ Eva

Thanks!
And I feel you, I've cried in sooo many embarassing places.
Posted by mydriasis on June 19, 2012 at 1:24 PM · Report this
196
it's interesting how often i see the 3-5% stat referred to by americans... is that accurate? because in my country it's pretty accepted that 10% is a good round estimate of queer population(of various stripes) although we haven't quite got it on the census yet... more specifically: about 8% MSM, about 12% dykes, plus the trans and GQ kids.... i can understand that IF you only have 3-5% queers in america, it must be more difficult to get resources / taken seriously; but i wonder if the research has really been done, and if the stat's are being warped by bad research protocols not picking up closeted folks....
i have found that when advocating for queer kids down at the local primary school(5 - 13 years old) and they say 'but we don't have any out queer kids'... pointing out that a solid 50 children, of their school, will eventually come out, and need to be supported NOW for their future well-being... it goes a long way.
so, yeah... curious about that. can someone enlighten me?
Posted by sappho on June 19, 2012 at 5:04 PM · Report this
mydriasis 197
@196

Again, not American, but I've always heard the 1 in 10 stat as well. The one thing I learned in psych though is that despite popular perception - men are more likely to be homosexual than women. For some reason I'm remembering it as 10% of men and 5% of women?
Posted by mydriasis on June 19, 2012 at 6:02 PM · Report this
198
@194 Eva: No worries. I've been there myself.
All the best.
Auntie Griz
Posted by auntie grizelda on June 19, 2012 at 7:41 PM · Report this
199
I don't know where this 3-5% comes from. In the U.S., the statistic quoted most often over many years now has also been 1 in 10.

Even the higher estimate still does not make it any easier when you go to a school where pretty much everybody is closeted. Straight kids can ask each other out without undue fear, whereas gay kids (still today, in most of the U.S.) risk social ostracism, bullying, and even violence if they dare to do the same, assuming they can even reliably identify which other kids are gay, something I could never do. Why, even in a gay bar, where you don't have to worry about these obstacles, it is difficult enough to meet people - in school for many gay kids it is practically impossible to meet another gay kid they like.
Posted by cockyballsup on June 20, 2012 at 7:37 AM · Report this
200
oh it's definitely more than 5% women! round here( ok this is bi or curious, not 'lesbian-identified', but still...) pretty much every woman over 25 has been with a woman... unless she's religious and still living with her parents. it's pretty normal for women, i think. anyway, it seems that by the time they hit 50 or 60, a solid proportion of women have had at least one 'relationship' with another woman.... the only reason for it not being so i can think of is plain fucked-up prudery - which doesn't really change _orientation_.
Posted by sappho on June 20, 2012 at 1:21 PM · Report this
201
oh , wait.... mydriasis, you said homosexual, and i was thinking 'queer'. i honestly don't know how you define 'homosexual' anyway. we're into identity-land then, rather than orientation?
Posted by sappho on June 20, 2012 at 1:25 PM · Report this
Fortunate 202
The 10% figure is a poorly arrived at figure that comes from Kinsey, who never meant his figure to be some kind of definitive demographic statistic. His sample was skewed, and his criteria wasn't so much focused on the people he interviewed identified, but rather strictly sexual behaviors.

So the 10% figure might work out seemingly accurate for the gay kid who just wants to give blowjobs behind the gym. Not so good for the gay kid looking for a prom date.

When reanalyzing to eliminate sample biase in the 70's the percentage that was arrived at was closer to 4%.

The Kinsey Institute itself says that the 10% figure was adopted more for political reasons than as an accurate reporting of demographics.

If you look at the various studies since the range they come up with vary wildly from 2.3% to up to 6%. None since Kinsey come close to 10%. 4% or there around seems to be the most consistantly arrived at number.
Posted by Fortunate on June 21, 2012 at 3:59 PM · Report this
203
Any communication method to dump someone is better than waiting about it. It's not preferable, but the perfect time is the perfect time and putting it off is always worse.
Posted by who cares about "uncouth" on June 21, 2012 at 7:17 PM · Report this
mydriasis 204
@ sappho

Yeah, I've mentioned before - I've had sexual experiences with multiple women but consider myself straight. (Because I'm not sexually attracted to women)

Lots of women 'experiment' but ultimately have no interest in long term/serious/romantic relationships with women. I don't consider that to be 'bi' or 'queer' or anything. But I've given that speech before. I don't dig on the Kinsey scale.

In terms of my female friends the women who actually date women and actually consider themselves 'lesbians' are in a minority. Meanwhile I have many gay friends (if we're going down the anecdotal road)
Posted by mydriasis on June 21, 2012 at 7:52 PM · Report this
205
Dan, are you not aware that there are other options besides texting and meeting face to face? Talking on the phone, for one. I think in this case, a well thought out breakup over the phone would have been just fine, but not over text. Even IM is a step above texting, because it goes almost as fast as having a normal conversation. In some ways it can even be better - You both get to think about what you say before you say it, and you can't interrupt. But text, TEXT? No, that is so lame. On a side note, it is also scummy (IMHO) to send a text message detailing what you want to do to a person. I can't even take it seriously. The only thing worse would be twitter with its 140 characters. "Baby I'ma take ur cloz off an lik ur nips..."

All of it is tacky, from breaking up to sexting.
Posted by adarascarlet on June 23, 2012 at 11:38 PM · Report this
sissoucat 206
@180 Crinoline

Thanks for explaining American highschool to me. I experienced it with my eyes wide open, trying to learn much more than trying to judge. I was very happy to be able to take choir classes during the day instead of after school hours, but I didn't manage to navigate high school society, nor to understand it. I hanged around with Black people, some White gothic girls, exchange students like me and Latinas (born outside of the States, not born there - those kept to their own company and were not approachable) - the not-on-top people.
Posted by sissoucat on June 24, 2012 at 7:13 AM · Report this
207
If you have exchanged bodily fluids then text/e-mail/messenger pigeon are all out of the question.

I honestly don't understand what is wrong with people today. I can remember when dumping over the phone was still considered callous. Now that is positively caring.
Posted by 20th_century_boy on October 11, 2012 at 8:11 AM · Report this
208
There are times when being dumped by text is preferable. If my guy gets to the point that he can't go on with me, I think an sms would be fair. I have a job that gives me months of vacation time, but my work months are intense, at least seventy plus, sometimes over a hundred hours a week.
I was in a long distance relationship that was working for me fine, because of my availability; but not working for him because of my unavailability. An SMS break up might have been disappointing, it would have given me an empty feeling. And I'd have known that I should make different plans for my next vacation.
Instead he insisted upon flying half way around the world, to see me for the "Holidays," at a time when I was so busy that it was taking weeks before I could find a moment to even return a call from my own mother. Yes, I told him it wasn't a good time for me. I told him that I'd come home late, leave early and be pretty much comatose for the few hours in between. But if he wanted to watch me sleep briefly each night, and make coffee while I was in the shower before a quick dash out the door each morning, I wasn't ready to forbid him the shallow pleasure.
Maybe he had a fantasy that under the gaze of his in person charisma, I'd go all gooey and admit that I loved him more than life, and agree to make the changes that would conform to his reasonable needs. But it didn't work that way. I was super stressed over the obligation to host him. He gave me the ultimatum at the airport when I picked him up, which I interpreted as a break up, because I don't take lovingly to manipulation no matter how hot, gorgeous, smart, funny; and worth travelling around the world for, a guy might have been. So we broke up on the spot. He tried to engage in drama, but I had no energy for it. The whole ordeal gave him a herpes outbreak, so we couldn't even have morose break up sex, while he slept in my bed for the next two weeks because he couldn't change his (Christmas) flight ticket or afford to stay in a decent hotel, and I didn't have the heart to send him from my tiny studio, to a flea bag hostel.
BTW I'm in yet another long distance relationship, going on 3 years. I've told my current bf this story. There have been no ultimatums and he hasn't tried to visit me when I'm working. But he does text several times a day. Why any normal person would put up with this? Thank goodness for sms.
More...
Posted by dinana on December 12, 2012 at 8:23 PM · Report this
209
I'd really like clarification on how being pegged by my wife is my raping of her. I mean, I'm sure I am, but I just need to understand.
Posted by Justbrowsing on January 9, 2014 at 11:41 AM · Report this
210
i am into my leave my man alone when i contacted ekaka for a spell love that will help me win my husband back and have a love spell casting with DR.Ekaka. email: ekakaspelltemple@yahoo.com and today my husband emailed me and also called me yesterday asking for my forgiveness. this is on the 5th day of the 1st spell and he is already contacting me. wow, i was starting to think i was beating a dead horse since i have heard from him in 4month. thank you so much DR.Ekaka, i can not wait to see him fully in love with me again. thank you for helping me. i am going to recommend your service to my friends. thank you again and thank you papa DR.Ekaka
Posted by lesa12 on January 21, 2014 at 2:54 PM · Report this

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