A nice piece in this Saturday’s Times explored the concept of the break-up letter, and how, despite this being the age of digital communication, that letter is still a painful thing - to receive in the first place, and to re-read years after the event, when dug out from the box in the attic (I’d link to the article, but there’s a paywall, innit?).
I would argue, though, that the news of a break-up of any relationship delivered via the word on any page, be it a real or virtual one, is Not A Good Thing.
I feel I have some authority on this particular topic, having been ignominiously dumped by text message in the middle of the night a week or so ago.
As a recent commenter so astutely noticed, there had been no mention of dating on this blog’s previous incarnation in a couple of months. He correctly surmised that there must be a new man in the picture (rather sweetly, when one considers that the more sensible explanation would be that I just didn’t have any dates).
Things with Tall, Dark and Handsome* had got off to a pretty promising start, and as the weeks slipped by - and not needing any help in the Screwing Things Up department - I decided I didn’t want to jinx things by committing them to the page.
So we pootled along - lazy evenings by the river; dinners; late-night phonecalls. There was no drama, or attachments to exes. I was, apparently prematurely, feeling faintly optimistic about the whole thing. Then, one Sunday evening, with nothing planned for the week, I fired off a quick message asking about his weekend and whether he was free during the week.
Sent to sleep early by a mixture of tiredness and a touch of heat stroke, I woke up at 3.30am to push a howling Colin out into the night. Returning to bed, the comms addict in me checked the phone briefly as I was slipping back under the duvet.
Which was the moment that I found a message, informing me that seeing each other wasn’t “a gr8 idea”, because TDH “never intended this to become what it has”.
I don’t know quite what I was more offended by. The fact that what I had seen as something fairly casual but with decent potential was too much like commitment for him, maybe. Or the fact that he felt it acceptable to bring things to a close by text message. Or, whether he’d done it via a message containing text speak.
Hmm. No, actually, I know exactly what it is I’m most offended by.
So it’s not a message I’ll be keeping in the bowels of the phone, to be revisited at a later date, a beautiful, but heart-wrenching letter from a lost love. Rather, it’s one to be resigned to the digital dustbin - and hope that, with no plans to date 14-year old boys any time soon , it’s not the sort of thing I’ll be reading from anyone else ever again.
*One person, not three - just to clarify.