Don't Leave Me This Way: Dumped Via Text Message

With all the wonderful 21st-century ways of wooing a mate - online dating, instant messages, texting - dating has never been easier. But as we grow dependent on that technology to get, and keep, us together, it becomes increasingly difficult to disconnect when things go sour.

For illustration, go look up the video of Kevin Federline's stunned expression as he reads the text message from wife Britney Spears announcing that she's filed the divorce papers.

More than 12 billion text messages were sent in June of this year alone; you can be sure not all of them were delivering good news. A survey carried out by Swiss messaging services provider Sicap 2 years ago found that 9 percent of mobile phone users admitted to having dumped a boyfriend or girlfriend via text. An Australian survey last year found 100 people aged 18-35 said they used text messaging more when relationships hit the rocks.

Still not impersonal enough? Call on the services of and they'll leave a breakup message for you. It's free and they'll even help you come up with a proper excuse.

Even after hitting send on your "it's not you, it's me" message, it's increasingly hard to disentangle yourself from all the digital reminders of your relationship. There are all those sentimental messages saved in your inbox (hitting delete is so much less gratifying that ripping up old love letters). All those digital pictures on your hard drive. And, of course, you'll want to get your ex off your MySpace friends list - or at least demote him or her from your Top Friends.

Technology is also making it easier to avoid - and avoid making - drunken phone calls, please-take-me-back emails, and let's-talk-about-this instant messages. Virgin Mobile has launched a service where customers can elect to keep themselves from calling certain numbers. And you'll want to acquaint yourself with the block function of your email and instant messaging programs. With a few clicks you can keep your ex out of your inbox as well as your life.

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Try These Pickup Lines

  • Know what's wrong with you? Not a damn thing.
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  • Hi, I'm Mr. Right--I heard you were looking for me.