You learn a lot about a man by how he breaks up

A man discloses volumes during a dating relationship, but most revealing is how he breaks up. It’s almost a shame that there isn’t a break up early on as you’d see how he treats you.

If a man breaks up via text, IM, or email, I know he’s a coward, afraid to have a mature discussion about his feelings and the relationship. Most of the men who’ve broken up with me have done it this way or by just going poof, not contacting me again, nor returning my attempts to find out what’s going on.

In a recent text breakup message, my now ex-beau refused to elaborate or explain what was going on with him. Previously when he’d expressed some unfulfilled — and heretofore unexpressed — needs, by talking it out we came up with a mutually satisfactory solution. But this time he treated me like one of his children: his decision was final and he wasn’t discussing it, even to help me understand, not dissuade him. How respected I felt — not!

Rarely has a man sat me down and discussed his feelings and desire to discontinue our romantic relationship. I’ve actually grown more fond of the few men who’ve done this and respected their willingness to initiate tough conversations. Typically we’ve remained friends afterward.

If a relationship is difficult, volatile, turbulent or one of the parties is cantankerous or abusive, best to break up virtually. But only one of mine has been that way. In fact, some breakups have come on the heels of his telling me how much he cared about me, adored me, and/or thought we were a perfect match. So then to have a man break up without further explanation leaves me with a lot of head scratching.

It is best to remind yourself that a man who breaks up this way shows his disrespect for you and his incapacity to maturely discuss difficult topics, so no matter how much you cared for him, best to let him drift back into the dating pool. He obviously hasn’t learned how to swim in your waters, so let him go back to the turbulent whirlpool he’s doomed to spin in until — and if — he learns how to behave maturely and respectfully.

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5 responses to “You learn a lot about a man by how he breaks up”

  1. Catherine Avatar

    DG – I was so tempted to cut and paste this posting in an email to the guy that just went poof! But when I re-read the posting a second time I realized that sending it to him would defeat the purpose of letting him drift back into the dating pool that he came from (stagnant waters though they may be) and that he will need to find his own way to complete personhood without any help from me.

    So, am I to surmise that the recent beau is now the ex-beau or are things still going well, and you are referring to someone else?

  2. Kevin Avatar


    From an older guys point of view. This dovetails so well with your last post on integrity. There is really no honor or class in breaking up with somebody via e-mail, IM, text message, etc. Possible exceptions: someone who was really nasty/abusive or a real jerk on your date, or somebody long distance who you don’t want to have travel just so you can say goodbye.

    All others, it should be done face to face. People deserve that. It ‘s a sign of respect, of integrity and of class. The other person may not like it, may not agree, but it’s the way it should be done.

    The high road may not always be the easy road, but it’s the right one. Just my 2 cents.

  3. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Catherine: Good call! He wouldn’t get it and he’d just write it off as you having sour grapes.

    Yes, after rekindling our relationship and by all apparent signs it was going swimmingly, he took the coward’s way out. So sad, as he is smart enough to know better. But I guess some people don’t think about how their actions would affect someone they professed they loved, and just do what’s easy on them. And you know I’m delusional and ignore signs I should pay attention to. But this one was sad, as I thought he’d be more willing to discuss it with me rather than “That’s final.” Very sad.

    Kevin: Yes, you’re very perceptive. This is all about the same guy. The instance in the last post was a few months ago, but it came to fore with this latest cop out. You obviously have the maturity, class and integrity to know that if you’ve been intimate with someone for 5 months they deserve more than a text. But it told me so much about him I don’t need to know any more.

    Thanks for your support!

  4. Catherine Avatar


    So sorry to hear about the demise of the latest relationship. I admire your ability to keep fishing in the dating pool after “catching” so many “old boots”.

    Thanks for continuing to share your odyssey with us, so that we may learn from your experiences and wisdom.

  5. Meari Avatar

    I had the exact thing happen to me at the end of my last relationship. He was SO immature in the way he handled things. Here it is almost 10 months later, and he had the never to ask me to dinner via text message not once but TWICE. No thank you! And this was after not having any contact.