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Dear Em & Lo: Can I Dump a Booty Call By Text?

Wed, Apr 27, 2011

Advice, Dear Em & Lo

photo by sidewalk_flying

Dear Em & Lo,

Until last week I had been dating a lovely man who would make an excellent casual partner, but was not much chop for heading toward an actual relationship, which is my preferred modus operandi (he has agreed with this analysis). The problem was, as a journalist he was away a lot and although he said he would call within a specified period of time (we’re talking days here, I wasn’t being a tyrant) declined to do so.¬†I patiently explained to the man in question that this was a problem for me the first few times, but after about the tenth incursion of my boundaries in the space of a month I got thoroughly pissed off and shot off a dumping text.

My question is, as we had only actually seen each other and done the deed five times, since he was away so much, have I been unspeakably rude by dumping via text? (We have since e-mailed each other.) If so, should I apologize, and by what medium? We have a lot in common and we have agreed to remain friends.

– Mean Girl

Dear M.G.,

Normally we are strict proponents of the face-to-face imperative: if you’ve actually done the deed more than once (i.e. you’ve moved out of one-night stand territory), then you owe someone a proper breakup — on the phone is fine if it’s a more casual relationship that’s lasted mere weeks, but in person is necessary if it’s been a matter of months or more. That said, we think that any kind of breakup notification — even a text — is better than just disappearing into thin air so the poor dumpee is left hoping that perhaps you’re just trapped under a very heavy object somewhere. (Except for perhaps updating your Facebook profile to say “Cindi is no longer in a relationship” so that all your constantly-online mutual friends find out first. Now that’s harsh. Probably even harsher than just going AWOL.)

In your situation, we would say that extenuating circumstances made a¬†text message sort of okay. After all, he wasn’t exactly returning your¬†phone calls, right? So how can someone be expected to be dumped on the¬†phone if they don’t call when they say they will?! In general, however,¬†we prefer e-mail to texting if you’re going to be all passive-aggressive¬†about things. Call us old-fashioned, but at least you can use complete¬†sentences in an e-mail. A text dump is the virtual equivalent of dumping someone in a Post-it note.

However, given that you’ve already e-mailed with each other and have¬†agreed to remain friends, we don’t think an apology over e-mail or text¬†is necessary — because, given his inattentiveness when you were actually¬†”dating,” we’re guessing he’s already moved on. And clearly the phone¬†isn’t his medium.

If it would make you feel better, however, you could¬†always mention it in passing next time you meet up for a friendly¬†drink, like, “Yeah, that was totally lame of me to dump you by text,¬†I’m sorry for being such a douche.” And next time around, save your¬†texting for late-night booty calls and flirtatious foreplay.

L8r,

Em & Lo

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One Response to “Dear Em & Lo: Can I Dump a Booty Call By Text?”

  1. Mom2three Says:

    Disagree
    He’s the douche. A man should call when he says he will ONCE a relationship has been established. Here, you had a casual relationship, but a relationship none the less.

    Don’t lose any sleep over this guy, and DO NOT hook up with him again. If he misses you enough he’ll want more. But if he just thInks he was an and was punished by your text, hes gone.


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