We're happy to present this excerpt from one of our favorite sites, HowAboutWe. For those of you who hate conflict, technology can be your new best friend when it comes to ending a relationship. Make sure to keep these pointers in mind next time you decide to break up with someone over email.
Fact: Breakups are hard for all parties involved. But technology might make them easier – at least for the person doing the dumping. As
The breakup email is a dream come true for the conflict-averse. It allows us all the editorial control we wish we had in conversation, when we lose focus, mumble, and scramble our consonants like Scrabble tiles. There can be compelling reasons to write one. A digital breakup certainly makes sense for a long-distance relationship, or if you fear your partner’s reaction might be emotionally or physically violent (in which case: rid your life of this person immediately). As Slate‘s Amanda Hess argues, the impact of the medium may be secondary to the devastating fact of getting dumped.
Obviously, a breakup email is best suited for shorter, more casual relationships. If you’re thinking of asking your spouse of twenty years for a divorce via Google Hangout, please turn off your computer, hit yourself on the head with it several times, and proceed to the nearest therapist (or hospital, depending on which injuries are worse).
Before you spill your heart onto your computer screen, keep these pointers in mind.
Be Very Sure
Those evil hacker gods behind the internet have yet to invent a way to unsend an email. There’s no going back from this. It is the nuclear option. If what you need is to talk things out, the one-sided finality of a breakup email probably isn’t a good choice.
Consider Your Timing
Be mindful of when you’re dropping this bomb on your ex-to-be. Will this message hit her inbox in the middle of a stressful day at work, or ambush him just as he’s reporting for pallbearer duties? It should also go without saying that you won’t want to time this email to arrive when you’re about to meet. One of The Office’s all-time cringiest scenes saw Michael leaving a break-up voicemail for Jan, only for her to listen to it right in his office. Please, don’t be Michael.
Show Some Respect
There’s no need to produce a notarized affidavit or an overwrought romance novel, but this isn’t the best time to express yourself via Emoji, either. Don’t be unkind. Choose your words carefully. Proofread. (For God’s sake, proofread!) This is someone who you’ve cared about, who’s cared about you. Remember you’re a grown-up human – just as you should remember the difference between “you’re” and “your.”
For more pointers, head to HowAboutWe: The Ultimate Guide to Writing the Perfect Breakup Email
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