You Have One New Email

On the drive in to work this morning, I was listening to a talk radio show, since that is easier to find than music early in the day.  The station’s DJs were speaking with a woman who had received an email at work from her boyfriend ending the relationship.  From the conversation that aired, it was clear that they had been speaking to this woman for about a week now.  She said that her now ex had written her a paragraph about why they should not be together for every month they spent as a couple.  According to the woman, the email was a lot of “it’s not you, it’s me,” citing various reasons about why they simply don’t work as a couple.  The woman was understandably upset to receive such an email at work, especially because breaking up through a letter is a pretty cowardly way to go about it.


The DJs had a suggestion that would allow the woman to get a bit of revenge on her ex.  They said that she should pretend that the storm we had through Indiana knocked out the emails at her job, so she didn’t receive anything.  According to her, she did this and her boyfriend’s reaction was “oh, well I sent you a few emails at work; you didn’t get any?”  She replied in the negative to her boyfriend, telling the DJs that it was actually only the one break up email that was received from him.  The DJs then said that her next move was to lie and say that she won an all expense paid trip to Italy from a work incentive contest in order to boost productivity.  The woman did this over the weekend and reported that the boyfriend was excited, but adamant that he could not pay for a thing, so it had to be covered.  He did not mention the break up email.

Their plan going forward was for this woman to print out various inclusive packages to Italy to get her boyfriend excited.  On Friday, she is to tell her boyfriend that the IT department at her office found a way to restore all lost emails and she would get back everything that is missing on Monday; the logic being that this would cause the boyfriend to sweat it out all weekend.  The woman admitted that this was a cruel thing to do, but stated that he deserved this and worse for being such a coward and trying to end the relationship via email.

Text message - 'We're thru'. Image shot 2007. Exact date unknown.

I am guilty of breaking up with someone through a letter, but this is back in high school when the relationships often started through a letter due to fear of rejection and the fact that I was just a kid.  As an adult, it’s the wrong way to go about handling your business.  Unless the person in question is someone you’ve only been seeing casually for a date or two, you owe it to them to break up face to face.  It’s never a fun process, but part of being an adult is facing responsibilities head on.  The woman on the radio had stated that the relationship was pretty serious, so I definitely see that her anger is justified.  But is revenge the best way to handle this?  The woman and the DJs plan involves having the guy go as far as to request the time off of work and begin making plans before dropping the bomb that she DID in fact see the break up email and she wants nothing to do with him.

What the guy did by sending the email was immature, but why is it necessary to match that with even more immaturity?  I don’t see how this is going to help ease the pain of the break up and I don’t see why the guy deserves to be tricked into thinking he is going to Italy, a place he’s wanted to go since he has family there and loves Italian cuisine.  This woman might feel a bit better by tricking this man, but she is making a bigger fool of herself than he did by writing the email in the first place.  Not only that, but she has taken to the radio to broadcast their business to everyone listening, and chances are that someone who knows one or both of them will catch wind of what is going on.


According to a survey, one third of adults have broken off a relationship through email, text, Facebook, or other means of technology.  This makes sense, as many relationships begin while each party is in front of a separate computer screen.  My own marriage began this way; meeting on Newblog and bonding through MySpace and AIM messenger.  The survey also noted that 40% of the people surveyed would definitely use technology in the future to end a relationship.  More than half stated that they change their Facebook status back to single immediately after a break up occurs, and 57% make moves to make the relationship Facebook official immediately after the first date.  Only 42% of people surveyed said they would contact someone in person to initiate the first date, the rest preferring to initiate it via social media or text message.

Social media and other technology has definitely become key in beginning and maintaining a relationship, so it’s no surprise that many people also find it helpful when it’s time for that relationship to end.  But just because something can be done through Facebook doesn’t mean it SHOULD be done through that channel.  Relationships are personal and emotional, existing both online and in real life.  If your relationship has never left the computer screen, I can see how an online break up would be appropriate, but when you see each other in person, the break up should be done in person.  If it’s not, you have every right to be upset, but you also need to understand that for some people, it just makes more sense to do it that way and it isn’t always done maliciously.


The best thing to do if you have your heart broken via email, text, Facebook message, or other indirect way is to take time to mourn, take time to be upset, and move on as quickly as possible.  Know that the person who broke your heart chose the cowardly way out and strive to be better than that.  Choose to rise above rather than sink to their level.  Understand that there is a chance that this person honestly thought that using technology to end things was the best way to do it.  Respond if you will, but let go of any ideas of revenge before you do so.  Break ties and know that you deserve better and you will get better as long as you take the high road.  Sometimes a break up is the best thing that can happen to you.  Focus on that and move on respectfully.


About Jamie C. Baker

“Long time no see. I only pray the caliber of your questions has improved.” - Kevin Smith

Posted on June 18, 2013, in Love and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I just noticed that the first image in this entry is an ad about a bank splitting off from other banks. That’s hilarious.

  2. Great post, keep up with the hard work, youre doing it right!

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