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Melanie Morris: Dumping Ashley by text was the perfect exit -- and believe me, I should know

So, Cheryl's dumped Ashley by text. Good woman herself. There's no time like the present, and at least with texting she can say what she wants, avoid backtracking, check it and hit send. Job done.

We all were shocked and disgusted, back in 2001, to read that a certain movie star dumped his then girlfriend by fax, but really, wasn't he just ahead of his time?

If Facebook was around then, he could just have changed his relationship status and let cyber chatter take care of the rest.

As we become more and more embedded in the technical age, so much of what was conducted through more formal channels of communication is now getting done digitally.

I recently even discovered a website that all death notices now get posted on (www.rip.ie). It's when one is dumped by tweet -- in 160 characters or less -- that I think we'll have reached our zenith.

Vodkas

A few years ago, I behaved disgracefully with my then brand new boyfriend.

I was in Dublin at a New Year's Eve party. He was in Donegal with his mates. I didn't take kindly to this arrangement and as the hours pushed on (and the vodkas and cranberries multiplied), I thought he should know how I felt.

Suffice to say, I might have laboured the point a little.

He endured two-and-a-half hours on the phone, and then went very quiet for four days. Then, on the evening of January 5, just as I was leaving work, I got The Dump Text ...

"Ok suppose its time to break the silence. I think we should call it quits. Think the two of us are looking for separate things. Have thought about it a lot over the past few days and feel it's the best option. I've had a fantastic time! And would have no qualms being mates, meeting up for drinks whenever, although that is up to yourself.

"Yes, I chickened out ringing and decided a message was the way forward as I would end up not saying what I wanted to say over the phone. Have no credit either. Left Pass card in Donegal. Suppose that's it for now ... :-("

It really says it all, doesn't it? From breaking the news to acknowledging that a text possibly isn't the coolest way to do it. And it's nice with the unlaboured 'let's be mates ... if you want' part, and then the handy 'no credit' cop out to avoid long texts back and forth.

Over the next while, and on showing it around to my girlfriends, they one by one asked if I could send it to them as it was such a brilliantly worded work of art, it may come in handy in future.

Come in handy it did, and it's become a classic. I know at least five friends who subsequently used a version of it. I think comedian Steve Coogan might even have been on the receiving end of one draft, and I'm ashamed to say I gave it two slightly reworked outings myself.

Some say it's the coward's way out, or rude, or impolite, but I say hell, when has a break-up ever been enjoyable? Or something you relish doing? If something's over, throwing cold water on the last miserable embers digitally is a clean, efficient, pride-saving way for all. The short, sharp, shock method you just have to take a deep breath and deal with.

And it's infinitely better that the original coward's favourite -- the silent fade.

Dignity

With text, or by message, the dumper can say what they want, coat it in some nice language, and then leave the dumpee to receive the news while keeping dignity intact.

No public tears, no raised voices, no shuffling off separately (or worse, together!) afterwards. Sure there's ranting to be done, but that comes later, maybe when both parties have let the news sink in.

Then at least one can be prepared, manage the situation and ensure any tantrums are thrown to best effect. Obviously, some will argue this is all well and good for more casual, or new relationships, but is dumping a spouse or long-term partner digitally ever acceptable?

I guess it depends on the circumstances, but I know personally I've no interest in raking over the coals once the fire is out and I think Cheryl might be a woman after my own heart.

Having been subjected to so much from that tosser, she now just wants Ashley gone so she can get on with her own life.

Go sister.

Dumping digitally is also best the solution for those who procrastinate. Or maybe the only solution.

You could have half your life wasted by the time you find 'the right moment' (is there ever one?) to have the chat or make the call.

As we all know, the best way to get over one is under another, so what are you waiting for? You even have an excellent template to get started with above.


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