"I'm sorry. I can't. Don't hate me."
"I'm sorry. I can't. Don't hate me." Who can forget the infamous breakup Post-it Berger leaves Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City? "There is a good way to break up with someone," she says in the episode, "and it doesn't include a Post-it!" Carrie is livid, as she should be.
New research from Indiana University validates Carrie's claim. It found that the how rather than the why of a breakup matters more to the person getting dumped. When interviewing young people about their breakups, the paper's author, Ilana Gershon, noticed that they would always cite the medium — be it Facebook, text message, or the phone — and whether it was an appropriate way to end a relationship. Details including whether the breakup was justified or who was to blame came up in a secondary manner. Gershon uses one young woman, Rebecca, as an example of what she found in her study: "As in most of the narratives I collected, the 'how' of the breakup was the central focus of Rebecca's story. This 'how' stood in for other questions that haunted Rebecca as well — namely why her ex-boyfriend decided to break off the relationship."
It's true that focusing on how we're dumped could be a convenient distraction to the why, but using a casual form of communication to end a relationship just adds insult to injury by making the dumpee feel insignificant and disrespected. If you had to rank the flippant forms of breaking up, which would you say is the most egregious?