Culture

The Best Way to Break Up by Text After a Few Dates

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I have been happily married for nearly four years, and every day I realize how incredibly lucky I am to have found the person with whom I want to spend my life. Because dating? It sucked.

I have some friends who are still searching for “the one,” and I feel deeply for them. What is supposed to be a fun way to spend your time can quickly start to feel like the world’s worst series of job interviews. You go out once, twice, maybe even three times with someone to see if there is chemistry. You have to be “on” and put your best self forward. With any luck, you click and become an item. But most of the time, the dates amount to nothing more than a few cordial evenings that you look forward to being over so you can go home, put on your comfy sweatpants, cue up your Netflix, and do your nails over a bowl of freshly popped popcorn. (Now that I think of it, this sounds like an evening of being married with kids, but at least I have someone to do it with…)

Perhaps the worst part of the dating scene is ending a relationship with someone you know you have no interest in calling your boy/girlfriend. “Ghosting” seems to be the way some cowardly people handle the situation. (If you’re out of the loop, “ghosting” means that you simply disappear. You don’t answer any calls, texts or emails and basically play dead until the other person gives up and stops contacting you. Yep, real mature.)

But a recent GQ article just gave those brave daters out there a wonderful way out of an otherwise awkward “breakup” after a couple of dates. Lauren Larson writes:

[I]f you’ve only gone on a few dates and you’re not feeling it, send this:

“Hey (correct name). You’re amazing and it’s been so great getting to know you, but my ex is back in my life and we’re going to try to make it work. I hope we cross paths down the line!”

Why It Works

When dumping someone after a few dates, you have a singular goal: politely end communication. Many dumpers qualify that goal, i.e. “politely end communication while leaving the door open for future booty calls” or “politely end communication while making sure that the dumped party keeps thinking of you, thus ensuring your continued relevance in a world where you are otherwise painfully irrelevant.” Anything but a clean break will result in further texting down the line—you have to shut the door completely.

Otherwise, you can simply provide the real reason: “I’m just not that into you.” But that can be harsh for the dumpee, no matter how true it is…