I know your snarky sense of humor and your great way of being blunt while being entertaining. I also know you have a lot more experience with men than I do. So I thought you might be interested in tackling a subject in your blog for me -- how to write a good breakup email.
Mine is not your average breakup. I'm the person that the "It's Complicated" relationship status was made for in Facebook. For the past 5 1/2 years, my heart has very stupidly been attached to this one guy, the person who has, most of the time, been my best friend. But this whole time there's been this big back-and-forth thing going on. We don't fight and we've had exactly one relationship discussion. We just smolder.
Fast forward to this weekend, when he apparently slept with [redacted famous person], the [redacted famous occupation – I’m such a tease, huh?]. Not only that, but he texted me in the process of picking her up, and then left a message on Twitter about how he still smelled like her the next day.
We haven't spoken since, so he's aware that he's in the doghouse, most likely. But at some point he's going to write and I'm going to have to send him something saying along the lines of "You apparently just want a bragging buddy, and I need to not be the person that you think so little of that it's okay to rub other women in my face." Except not like that. I've written out a letter, but it's horrible. It's half passive-aggression, half self-loathing and a lot of misery.
So anyway, I thought you might like to do something on breakup mails. And if you even want to gimme the mickey for being the stupid idiot who's stuck around for 5 years, that's fine too. Anyway, I hope you don't mind me spilling all this on you. And if I haven't said so lately, I love your blog. :)
-[Redacted, But Not the Redacted Famous Person with a Redacted Famous Occupation]
I’m always happy to tell people what they should do with their lives. Especially when they call me talented and skanky within the first paragraph. Awesome, thanks! No matter, let’s get on with it.
Wow, this man is tacky. He’s a kiss-and-tell, or, rather, a TMI-and-TMI. You’re well shot of him. But as you seem to know that, and regret this sordid little chapter in your life, so I’m not going to chuck further pearls of wisdom at your head. And I think we’ve all been in similar situations, where we choose to believe in someone despite all evidence of asshatery.
Instead, I’m going to discuss How to Send an Email You Won’t Regret. My “experience” with men dovetails nicely with my history of sending comically regrettable emails. I’m sort of an expert on the email emotion-barf. And why I normally think email breakups of any kind are bad, if your primary relationship with someone is online, then fine.
First Rule: Email is pretty much the worst idea, ever. It can be forwarded, broadcast, and live on forever on the bathroom wall of the Internet. A phone call or snail mail might be better.
Can’t cope with a call? Out of stamps? Absolutely must email?
Fine, Rule 2: Make your point, then stop talking. The more you say, the more ammunition you’re giving him. Keep it simple: this is how I feel, so we shouldn’t talk any more, over and out.
Rule 3: Whatever you do choose to say, leave the email alone for a few days. Don’t send it right away, because Tuesday’s deep statement on life will be Wednesday’s festival of self-pitying wacky emotion-barfing.
Rule 4: When in doubt, employ a ghostwriter. Here’s my suggestion:
“I feel our friendship has run its course. We’ve discussed my feelings for you, and that’s why I’m hurt by your latest actions. I don’t want to speculate why you would tell me about something I clearly would not want to know. I hope you were simply being clueless, and not callous. Either way, please do not contact me again. Do believe I wish you well, however, I just can’t be your friend any more.”
Anyone else have advice, ideas, opinions, ghostwrites, words of encouragement, etc?
If you’d like to be featured in an upcoming Incompetent Advice, in which I solve the problems of people who aren't nearly as messed up as I am, send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.