‘just not in 2 u’

Jenna Staul

Text messages have become a new way to end relationships

Sophomore zoology major Jessica Artl was getting ready for bed when her cell phone alerted her that she had received a text message from her boyfriend of nearly two months. Much to Artl’s surprise, the words that ran across her cell phone screen were not the romantic sweet nothings she may have expected: “i think i just wanna b single right now.”

“I was like ‘Are you serious?'” Artl said. “It was definitely not as polite as I would have liked. It made me question the whole relationship.”

Relationship rules and etiquette are seemingly shifting in an era of instant communication, making text message breakups a new and strikingly common reality for many estranged couples.

Freshman nursing major Kyla Haywood said she was disappointed when her relationship ended in a text message.

“We were texting back and forth. I tried to call him but he wouldn’t pick up, so I just said (text messaged) it was through,” said Haywood. “It’s unacceptable. I thought it was childish to text it, but he just wouldn’t pick up the phone.”

While some say they find that severing a relationship by way of text message is impersonal, if not downright cruel, others find that it’s a practical and acceptable means of breaking ties. Max Upton, a sophomore integrated social science major, said he has ended about three relationships through text messages, including one that simply read “i’m done w/u.”

“You don’t have to feel bad about it when you hear them crying over the phone or something,” Upton said. “I don’t really invest much into relationships.”

Michael Moore, assistant director of Kent State’s Psychology Clinic, said people who terminate relationships through text messages are looking for a way to not take responsibility for their actions.

“It helps if you are looking to avoid helping the other person cope with the emotional fallout of the situation – but I don’t know if that’s a good thing,” said Moore. “There are strong etiquette norms that go against ending a relationship that way.”

And sometimes, those on the receiving end of a text message breakup are dealt an especially painful double blow, as was the case for freshman exploratory major Andrew Reed.

“I just felt played. It was like, you couldn’t come in person and talk to me?” Reed said. “I ended up getting charged for it too. I have Alltel and she has Verizon.”

Contact features correspondent Jenna Staul at [email protected].