After running a mental postmortem on why the guy I was dating ended things, I discovered he used a form letter from an Internet site to break up with me! And this was my response . . .
To Whom It May Concern,
Breaking up with someone after six weeks of dating via email is a cowardly thing to do. I found the website you used to craft the letter. But what especially sucked is you sent the email at the exact moment we were going to Skype. It was also at the exact moment you knew my friends left so I had no one to watch movies or to binge-eat ice cream with. In your email, you admitted to being a coward. I wouldn’t directly call someone that. I figured maybe you had something going on in your life, or a specific reason. Does it count if technically the website that crafted the email was the one to call you a coward, or is that semantics? All you had to do was check a few boxes and the magic of the Internet created a letter on your behalf. Classy.
All of this was after you opened up a great deal and told me extremely personal things about your life. Things I won’t share because I prefer to take the high road. I will however, thank you for using a form letter because first it lets me know how minimally you were invested in any of our interactions (somehow that hurts less). Secondly, I’m a writer. You basically handed me over writing gold. How often can people tell stories around the dinner table about how they were dumped via a form letter?
Here I was, sifting for clues. There must have been something I missed along the way; some piece of information. You never directly complimented me. You’d ask my opinion on your clothes even though I’m not a clothes person. I’d listen to your stories of how you’d like to purchase shoes that are made from horses. That was a bit disconcerting. You told me my feet looked small. They’re a size 10, but I was willing to go with it. You never told me I was pretty, but isn’t it great to know someone appreciates you beyond looks? Isn’t that what we all want? Maybe that was a bad sign.
We had fun, I think. I now know facts like: bicycles in World War II didn’t have rubber tires. I know green tea lattes taste like drinking a plant. I know what Scandinavian metal sounds like and that I’d probably never choose to listen to it on my own. I know that even men who come across as being gentlemen can still view others around them as being disposable. People aren’t always who you think they are, but I’m choosing to continue to give future guys the benefit of the doubt. I know there’s some good ones out there. Hopefully you can mature into one.
And why did you log onto Skype as planned, while simultaneously sending me the break-up email? It felt strange when I noticed the message was full of clichés… “it’s not you, it’s me,” “I need space,” “we can still be friends,” “we’re moving in different directions.” How do people move in different directions in six weeks? I felt I deserved more than a cliché after all the time put in — six-plus hours, multiple times a week. I deserved at least a phone call. I chalked it up to the millennial generation’s inability to communicate effectively. No. It was your inability to communicate at all.
I have to say; I’m extremely content that this wasn’t just some random email that you crafted upon realizing I had no long-term potential. It makes me so much happier to know that I can have this story to tell forever.
I noticed one of the “sign off” options for the form letter is “I hope maggots devour your testicles.” My graduate school writing friends were really hoping I’d end this letter with that. Alas, no. I also want to recommend never using the websites form letter to quit your job. At this point I’m concerned (on your behalf) that you would see that as a viable option. I know you had mentioned that you were a bit unhappy with where you were working. I doubt the potential ex-boss would write a recommendation after that. Also, be more stealth about these things!
Thank you for sharing who you really are. It never was me, it really was you. In the words of T-Swift’s “Bad Blood” — “respect ain’t quite sincere no more.”
Looking forward to that friendship of ours (also another option from the form),
(This was generated by a real human because people can still write letters. Go figure.)