Without a doubt one of the worst moves you can make when breaking up with someone is to do it over text.
We were outraged when it came out that Zayn Malik ended his two-year engagement with Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards over a text message — and for good reason. Women like Edwards deserve so much more respect.
That's the premise of a new improv show from Blogologues creators Jen Jamula and Alli Goldberg. How To Break Up By Text plays at the People's Improv Theatre in New York City (their next show is May 12 and it's seriously worth the $15 ticket.)
During the show, Jamula and Goldberg analyze real-life text breakups, some from their own experience and some from screenshots that audience members send before the show.
Through reading how people (mostly men) break up with their girlfriends/partners/casual dating friends over text, Jamula and Goldberg have learned exactly what NOT to do. For the most part, breaking up over text at all is a bad idea.
Still, there is a window of opportunity in a relationship when ending things via text isn't such a horrible thing.
"It should only be done super early," Goldberg told Refinery29. "So it's basically not even a breakup. It's just letting someone know so that they're not waiting for your next text message."
If you've had one Tinder date, or even a few, but the relationship hasn't gone anywhere (ie, you haven't had sex, and there are no expectations for a relationship to happen) then Jamula and Goldberg feel like it's safe to send a text.
And for those moments, they've developed a formula of exactly how to do it so that no one is confused — plenty of us have been there, waiting for a text that we know deep down is never going to come.
Keep in mind, though, that neither Jamula nor Goldberg is a relationship expert. So while their "rules" might seem fitting (and they definitely do), they aren't backed by science in any way.
What they are backed by is their personal experiences as well as those of the many women (mostly women) who send in their screenshots.
So, if you plan to break up with someone (or just let them know you're not into it) via text, this is how Jamula and Goldberg suggest you do it.
1) Mention something specific and positive.
2) But that you just weren't feeling a spark.
3) Drop the "P" bomb: Platonic
So, for example, you could say something like:
"Hey Amanda! It has been so nice getting to know you, and I've really loved learning all about your passion for space and astronomy (positive and specific). However, I'm just not feeling any chemistry (aka "spark") and I think we'd be better if we kept the relationship platonic (dropping the "p" bomb)."
While it may seem awkward to use the word "platonic," (because who ever does?) Jamula and Goldberg said it's important in making sure there's no confusion. "There's no mistaking what someone means when they say 'platonic'" Goldberg said. "But if you use the word 'friends' there's room for interpretation." Like, for instance, friends with benefits. Do yourself and your new "friend" a favor and just nip possibilities like that in the bud.
While a text like this should work in most situations that require a text breakup, Jamula and Goldberg would like to remind us that breaking up by text should only happen if the relationship is fresh, or not a relationship at all.
If you're in a serious relationship with someone, there is only one rule of breaking up over text: don't.