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I Was Dumped By Text... And It Was Perfect

Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
As you might well have heard by now, Perrie Edwards has confirmed that Zayn Malik did in fact end their four-year relationship via text (despite his claims in The Fader, last year, that that’s not how it went down). In a leaked exert from Little Mix’s upcoming book, Our World, Perrie writes: "It was horrible, the worst time in my life. A four-year relationship, two year engagement ended by a simple text message. Just like that." But while most people are accusing Zayn of cowardice (and, you know, fair enough really), I actually think Perrie got off lightly.

You see I was recently dumped by text, and – I really never, ever, thought I’d be saying this – it was actually kinda perfect. I know! I’ll be honest; when I caught the first whiff of a text dumping two days before D-day, I was less than impressed. I think my actual words were, "If you’re going to do this, at least have the decency to call me". But I’m now happy to admit that I was totally wrong. In my situation at least, getting dumped over text was the best possible scenario.

I know what you’re thinking; something really awfully embarrassing happened to me and I’m just trying to style it out. But honestly, it’s just not that at all. Like most, I always thought a face-to-face meeting was the only respectable way to end an adult relationship. It’s certainly the path I’ve always forced myself to take when I’ve been the dumper. But let’s be honest, it’s utterly excruciating; there’s all the planning – finding the perfect quiet nook in a low-key pub, so you’re on neutral ground but also have some privacy – and then you have to look into their sad little face as you shatter all their hopes and dreams, and try to resist the urge to give them one last sympathy shag for the road.

When I burst into tears, I didn’t have to worry about people looking at me, or the fact that his last memory of me would be my red, blotchy cry-face

But when you end a relationship with a text (or 20) you avoid all of that messiness. When it happened to me, I was on my sofa in my PJs watching Bake Off – yes, it was hella cosy – and I was immediately thankful that I wasn’t in a room full of hawk-eyed strangers (or even worse, in his bed – and I've been there before and it's not ideal). When I burst into tears, I didn’t have to worry about people looking at me, or the fact that his last memory of me would be my red, blotchy cry-face. I also didn’t have to waste money on an emergency Uber home (because crying on public transport is the absolute worst), and best of all, I didn’t have to look at his face as he attempted to look sad or remorseful, while stubbornly avoiding eye contact with me and praying I wouldn’t make a scene.

But the ultimate reason why I was so happy to be dumped by text was that it gave me the opportunity to say absolutely everything I wanted and needed to say. And believe me, there was A LOT on my mind. You see the problem with being dumped in person is that it’s really REALLY hard to keep your shit together. Even if you kinda know it’s coming, and it’s not just a kamikaze attack, the awkwardness of the situation is likely to leave you tongue-tied. But when it unfolds over text message you have the time and space to perfectly compose your thoughts, and are able to deliver them without interruption. And, in my case, it really did give me the most complete sense of closure.

And ending a relationship by text isn’t just great in the moment, it has pro points in the aftermath too. You see, having the dissolution of your relationship in writing is great for two reasons: firstly, it means you can relay the break-up back to your friends with 100% accuracy (because when you only have your memory to rely on, things get lost and jumbled and faded over time). And secondly, whenever you have one of those late-night pangs of nostalgia, you can read back through their messages and remind yourself why you’re better off without them and can absolutely, under no circumstances, ever contact them again. Bonus or what?

Look, the truth is, no one wants to be dumped – unless you’re one of those people who hates doing the dumping so much you just make life unbearable for your partner until they eventually step up to the plate – but as it goes, I believe you can do a lot worse that being kicked to the curb with a SMS. In fact, if any future boyfriends are reading please let it be known that I’d take the practicality of a text dumping over the (supposed) dignity of an IRL one any day. Thanks.