Every relationship does not have an expiry date. But if yours has reached that point and you want to breakup, what do you do? Take a minute to think. Would you breakup over a text message?
Now in my time, if you had to breakup, you would be graceful and tell the other person the reason and take the consequences after the said breakup on the chin. Dealing with the guilt of breaking a heart, talking about it for hours, feeling like the lowest form of life and suffering for years in guilty silence were a few of the above-mentioned consequences.
Then came the age of drifting apart and yet remaining friends. We would go to each other’s marriages, wish our ex well and be happy being called aunty or uncle by their kids. Mutual understanding we called it.
The No Explanation Breakup
In today’s day and age messy and convoluted explanations have become redundant. People just breakup over a text message. People breakup via WhatsApp, text, email or simply choose to block you from all their social media accounts something we call Ghosting. They will stop picking your phone and cut you out of their lives in a way that one is left wondering what really happened.
So when someone shared their dilemma on how to answer a cryptic break up message, I too wondered how to guide my friend through this difficult period since there was no closure to be had. Talking, discussing or explaining the reason why one wants to move on gives some comfort to the person being left.
But what does one do when there is a vast virtual world before you and the person who was supposed to love you has cut the cord of communication without telling you why?
How To Respond To A Breakup Text
Why do people breakup over text? Breaking up over text is the cleanest, easiest path of least resistance to extracting oneself from a relationship that isn’t working. It is also the most cowardly and spineless way to do it.
Having said this, we all have friends or friends of friends who have been on the receiving end of such a notorious text that stands for the underbelly of relationships.
How do you respond to such a text that destroys how you had been viewing your world a moment ago?
We tell you 9 ways of dealing with a breakup text.
1. Breathe and count
How bad is it to breakup over text? It’s not the end of the world despite how it feels. That ringing in your head is just your brain trying to process the disappointment you are feeling. Sit on the nearest surface and breathe deeply.
‘Anulom Vilom Pranayam’ to the rescue.
2. Take a minute
Read the text again and don’t react. Give your mind a few minutes to stop spinning. Any decision you take now, whether to throw your phone down and stomp on it or text angry words back to the sender, you will regret in hindsight. So, stop, get yourself something sweet to drink or better yet drink a glass of water.
Related Reading: How Soon Can You Start Dating Again After A Breakup?
3. Formulate a sensible text, read it again, edit, re-read
Now that your breathing is almost regular, compose yourself and text back asking your partner if they are sure of their decision. Now read the text. Edit and correct spellings, no abbreviations. Change that u into you and n into and. Now read it again before sending.
Does it sound neutral? No?
Rewrite it, no sarcasm…for now.
4. Do not call yet
How bad is it to breakup over text? It can be bad because your emotions are too close to the surface. You will start crying, asking for reasons, be willing to change anything or everything or you will shout and call them names and a few choicest words (which I would wholeheartedly agree with). In the process, you will let go of the dignity you should hold on to even by your fingernails.
5. Wait for their response
When I say wait… I mean wait for at least half a day.
a. If your partner does not respond go to 1.3 or 6(b) below.
b. If they do respond by outlining the reason, do the following:
1.1 If you are right in the reason they give…Briefly explain yourself and request to talk and explain yourself in a public place. Keep calm and say you respect their decision but would like to explain your side and they can then make their choice. DO NOT BEG.
1.2 If you are wrong and have made a mistake… Accept your mistake, this is no time for ego or one-upmanship. Apologize and say you would like to make amends if given a chance (provided you truly want to save the relationship). Explain that you didn’t see it their way and did not intend to cause hurt. However, if they still want to break up you would understand.
1.3 If there is no genuine reason… Swallow your anger and wait for a day before responding. Text back once you are in control and say you understand their decision and wish them well. Keep your dignity intact at all costs.
Anyone who is gutless enough not to talk to you, and does not feel you are important enough to engage with, should be similarly treated.
6. What to reply
There are several ways you can reply to a breakup text.
a) Funny: You can be flippant and say something like, “Sure, is that all? See you,” or something to this effect. It shows you didn’t take this relationship that seriously anyway and is alright with parting ways. You can choose to stay friends if you wish in such a scenario.
b) Dignified: You can say you understand and wish them the best. This shows that you want nothing to do with them going forward. Chapter closed.
c) Showing displeasure at the way it is done: You can say, you expected better or you anticipated such a juvenile reaction from them from the beginning. Basically, Go Fu*% yourself.
d) The benefit of a doubt: If you seek closure and want a reason for the breakup, say as much. Say that you would not want to change their mind but would like to know why at this point in time did they need to break off the relationship? Give them a choice of the meeting as per their convenience to discuss or they could tell you the reason over text too.
Please remember, if they do decide to meet you, it in no way indicates that they want you to pressurize them to keep the relationship going. The minute you press this advantage you are proving their point that they are better off without you. Go and meet to understand what it was that tipped the scales.
e) No reply: If you choose not to reply that too is a reply in itself. Blocking the person from all and every social media profile or letting them watch you move on in life has its own joy.
You are the only one who can make that choice.
7. Don’t get angry… at any cost
This is sacrosanct. Losing your cool, shouting, using foul language, threats will prove that what they thought about you all along is true. That you are a nut case. And that they are right to send you a breakup text because had they spoken to you like an adult you would have embarrassed them. You become the culprit.
This is the last thing we want them to think.
8. Don’t react at all
I have found that no reaction is the best reaction when someone is trying to get a reaction out of you. It agitates that person the most because their expectations about you are not met. Ask your parents. The cold war is a term that is used in most households to describe how parents fight. The more volatile of the partners will shout and the other will go quiet. The next two days are then spent by the partner who shouted trying to get the other person to talk.
Get the drift. Your silence on the issue will make the person wonder if you were affected at all and how important was the relationship and by extension, he/she to you, to begin with.
Related Reading: 5 Steps To Ensure Closure After A Breakup
9. Talk to someone
You are obviously brimming with unexpressed feelings. Find a friend, call or visit someone who will listen to you without judgement. Tell them all you want to do is vent. It takes a village to keep us sane. Don’t hide. Be out and about and meet people whom you trust.
Share feelings that rise to the surface, everyone is willing to listen if you are mature enough to ask for help. Nothing should be more important than ‘you’ at this time. No one. If your family knows about your relationship, spend time with them. Seek comfort where you are sure you will get it.
Things to keep in mind
Never argue to prove your innocence
Silence is golden
Ab ja… Simran…ja …ji le apni zindagi…
Breaking up over text does not give you closure it’s true but it depends entirely on you how you want to react and reply to that text. And the more dignified you stay the more peace of mind you will have despite the circumstances.