I got dumped over ZoomApril 25, 2020
It’s never a good sign to get a ‘Hey, are you free to talk later?’ text from someone you’re dating. It’s even worse in the midst of a global pandemic.
What followed for me was an hour of mentally preparing myself to be dumped, then a 15 minute Zoom call, during which I was dumped. Under any other circumstances, the first thing I would do after a break up would be to text my friend Claire, who’d bring over a bottle of wine and some ice cream and I’d cry on the couch while she pats me gently on the arm and tells me everything is going to be okay. But this time Claire could not come over, and I don’t think anyone in good conscience could say, ‘Everything is going to be okay’. Because, well, we don’t know if it will be.
But besides not being able to commiserate with my friends, or go out to a bar and flirt with random dudes in an effort to get over my ex, breaking up over Zoom is not so bad.
Dare I say, it’s preferable to the logistics involved of having to end a relationship in person. Do you go to their place? Your place? If you get dinner, at what point in the meal do you broach the subject? Coffee is too professional and drinks are too casual. Not to mention the inevitable chickening out that happens when you have a face to face conversation with someone.
Once I was dating a guy who I knew there was no future with – we went out for tacos and I took a deep breath and started to say ‘I think we should stop seeing each other,’ but what came out instead was, ‘Do you want to order more guacamole?’
Not to mention the inevitable chickening out that happens when you have a face to face conversation with someone. Once I was dating a guy who I knew there was no future with – we went out for tacos and I took a deep breath and started to say ‘I think we should stop seeing each other,’ but what came out instead was, ‘Do you want to order more guacamole?’ Then we walked to the subway together and I went in for a hug and he went in for a kiss, and what ended up happening was that he sort of smushed into my ear. I texted him a full paragraph about an hour later ending things.
With a Zoom call, there is none of that. We both know why we’re here – let’s get on with it. It’s more personal than a text and easier than a phone call because you can see their facial expressions and don’t have to do that horrible ‘You go ahead, sorry’ dance that happens when you can’t see who is going to speak next. And right now, it’s really the only option if you want to break up with someone you don’t live with in a responsible and compassionate way. Plus, you get to see your own face so can better control your reactions and try to keep some dignity and composure.
If you want to break up with someone, you should not let a global pandemic stop you. While I am definitely sad, dejected, and going through the wondering if I’ll ever be loved again phase, I truly have nothing but warm thoughts for the man who put me in this position. What he did was hard, but brave. He was honest with me about how he was feeling and acknowledged that he’d been a little more distant lately, so I didn’t feel like his behaviour had all been in my head. He did everything right. So here’s my advice for those who are going to break up with someone during the apocalypse: send the ‘Hey, are you free to FaceTime (or Zoom or Skype or whatever your preferred technological medium)’ text. Let them know what’s coming, let them prepare. Then say what you are actually feeling – just rip that plaster off. Break ups suck always, but if you care about the person at all, you will be honest and not waste their time. Don’t make them feel resentful about having poured all their energy into emotionally supporting you during a global health crisis.
And here’s my advice for those who are on the receiving end of a Zoom break up: take a deep breath. I know you may be thinking, ‘Am I going to die alone?’ but just try to keep a little perspective about there literally being tens of thousands of people dying right now.