Yesterday my daughter came home and announced, “My friend just got broken up with in the worst way…by text.”
Not to be outdone, I replied, “Aww, that’s awful. I just got dumped via Facebook chat.”
“Wow! That’s even worse!,” she remarked.
And then, my eleven- and nine-year-old children had a conversation about the right way to break up with someone: face to face. Or, if there are geographic differences, Skype or a phone call are appropriate, as it turns out, according to these youngsters.
So…since around the first of the year and, if I’m honest about it, before the holidays, it’s been pretty clear that this casual lover thing wasn’t working out. As sometimes happens (who am I kidding? I really have no experience with this stuff and wouldn’t begin to know!), the more my feelings evolved, the more distant lover boy became.
And that’s okay, for all the reasons I’ve talked about in my past couple of posts. I really felt a strong new energy in 2013 and was prepared, once again, to consider welcoming a real relationship into my life. I made no assumptions that my infrequent lover was interested, regardless of how good it felt — I think for both of us — to spend time together.
We hadn’t communicated much over the holidays or New Year, what with both of us traveling and all… So, I waited it out. Finally, about a week ago, he texted and started trying to tell me a story. I immediately sensed where this text exchange was going to go and shut him down, proposing he tell me all about it the next time we got together…oh, and, by the way, Saturday would work.
No word. All week.
Sunday morning I noticed he was on Facebook chat and said hey. And he began again with the story, which was obviously important and relevant (to him). I played along, and pretty soon he was telling me about this woman he’d been hanging out with for a couple of weekends and I was like, “Seriously, we’re having this discussion via Facebook chat? Not cool.” He brushed off my comments with something about “digital age” and really needing to share, and since we hadn’t had a chance to see each other…which, you’ll recall, I’d given him the opportunity to do the very day before.
So I started to get just a little belligerent, with “so you’re embarking on a relationship with a woman going through a divorce who lives in another city?” which was really my way of saying, “get to the point, please, because I’m already pissed off by this whole situation!”
So even if we weren’t really dating, regardless how casual our relationship, I got dumped via Facebook chat…with the usual “let’s still be friends.” And I said I had to go.
As all this crap soaked in, I began to get really hurt. By the time I went to bed, I swear there was steam coming out of my ears. I was angry at him for treating me so disrespectfully and I was mad at myself for trusting him to be a steward of my feelings.
Of course I couldn’t sleep. So, finally, at 3:30am, I sent a message telling him how I was feeling — disrespected, undervalued, angry — and that, given all we’ve shared, I (we) deserved better; namely, an in-person conversation. To my surprise, by 4:15am, he had agreed that we should meet. Not sure how the part about meeting in person before / for the “I’m out” conversation got missed in his mind… I told him I needed space. p.s. Nowhere in any of this exchange was a genuine apology.
Bottom line on this breakup fail? Don’t do it using digital media. Ever. It’s cowardly, disrespectful and completely devalues another human being. (Sadly, it wasn’t the first time I’d witnessed cowardly behavior on his part.)
In other words: If you want to break my heart, make an effing appointment!
It’s been a long time since I felt so incredibly angry. I can’t remember the last time…really. So it was kind of cathartic. And empowering. And clarifying. And I’ve learned I can be pretty fierce!