Breaking up with someone is a pretty personal thing. It should be done in person, while looking the other person in the face and explaining the truth to them. It shouldn’t be done online, over the phone, through text messages or via Facebook relationship statuses. But the most major no-no of all is definitely having someone else do it for you. I wish someone had explained this to my 14-year-old self, but no one ever did (or maybe I just didn’t want to listen), because the first time I dumped someone, I totally messed up. Here’s my story:
I met my very first boyfriend ever, let’s call him D, when I was a freshmen in high school. After months of flirting online during all hours of the night, D and I finally got together. And by that, I mean D finally took the plunge and asked me to be his girlfriend – over AOL Instant Messenger, of course. I know, super romantic, right?
After years spent putting my Catholic school education to good use and praying for a boyfriend every night (I literally cringe thinking about that), I was ecstatic to finally be someone’s girlfriend. It wasn’t even about hanging out with him, hooking up or having someone to lean on. Nah, it was more about decorating my AIM profile with “our date” surrounded by little hearts and stars, and getting to casually throw in “My boyfriend said…” when talking to anyone in the universe. Thinking back, maybe I wasn’t really ready for a relationship.
Anyway, D and I were as smitten with each other as two very young, immature people can be. We dated for a month, but during that time, I think we only hung out once. We spent most of our time talking and flirting on (you guessed it) AIM and sometimes on the phone. Obviously, we said “I love you”, even though neither of us really understood those words. But we didn’t hang out with the same group of people, we had opposite schedules and we really had nothing in common except for the fact that we went to the same school.
Around the time of our one-month anniversary, I started getting bored. Yeah, calling D my BF and getting to put up cutesy away messages was cool and all, but I barely saw the guy. When I went to parties with my friends, I noticed cute dudes all around me. How was I supposed to flirt with them when I was supposed to be in love with someone else? It didn’t take long to realize that I was so over D.
The next week at school, I confessed my feelings to my best friend. I told her I wanted to end things, but I was scared.
“OMG. Let me do it! I can do it for you. It’ll be so much easier,” she said, way too excited by this idea.
At first, I told her no. But then I thought about IMing D later to tell him I didn’t want to see him anymore. I thought about the awkwardness of that convo. Did I really want to do that? Nah, not really. So, I let my BFF do my dirty work.
Right before the school day ended, she found D at his locker. She poked him on the back. “Jessica doesn’t want to go out with you anymore,” she said.
“Why?” he asked, totally confused.
“I don’t know. She just doesn’t. So I’m breaking up with you for her.”
And that was the end of that – D and I were officially over. I stayed off AIM for a few days and ignored his angry looks in the hallway. By the end of the week, everyone in school knew my BFF had dumped him for me… and everyone teased me about it. Plus, D kind of hated me forever.
I know it was a really long time ago, but I still feel kind of guilty about it to this day. Okay, yeah, my friends and I laugh about it constantly, but still… that is definitely not the way to end things with anybody. Take it from me: man up and do it yourself.
Have you ever broken up with someone? How did you do it? What was your first breakup like? Tell us in the comments!