Social Question

mostlyclueless's avatar

Is it ok to break up with someone over email under these circumstances?

Asked by mostlyclueless (701points) July 11th, 2011

I started seeing this man in January. We saw each other no more than once a week, although we were sleeping together. I never really anticipated it going anywhere, but we never talked about the future, exclusivity, etc.

He left in May to travel for 3 months. I had somewhat expected things to fizzle out while he was gone, but he has been emailing me pretty consistently and telling me about his trip and sending me photographs and asking me to send pictures of myself.

For a variety of reasons, I’m feeling pretty lukewarm about him, and am not especially interested in continuing to sleep together when he gets back, although I guess I haven’t 100% decided that I don’t want to. However, he keeps saying flirty things and telling me how much he’s looking forward to coming back and seeing me.

What should I do?

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27 Answers

CunningLinguist's avatar

Breaking up over e-mail is always worse than breaking up in person. It may be necessary sometimes, but it doesn’t seem to be here. If your relationship is not exclusive, then there is nothing keeping you from moving on or exploring other options while he’s away and waiting for him to come back before making a final decision. Also, breaking up with him now likely precludes getting back together with him when he returns. If that’s not something you’ve firmly decided on, why act in a way that suggests otherwise?

Aethelflaed's avatar

Is there any way you can call him? Or maybe video chat with him? Something other than email (or worse, text message)?

atomicmonkey's avatar

Face to face is too hard. It’ll just make you feel all sad and icky. Email one of these babies.

You’re welcome.

Schroedes13's avatar

ya I’d say Skype or international call….anything less is cowardly!

mostlyclueless's avatar

Neither of us uses skype; I don’t have a number to call him.

I feel weird because he keeps sending me emails telling me he misses me, is looking forward to seeing me, etc., and I don’t feel comfortable reciprocating, but it also seems sort of passive aggressive to just skirt the issue.

Schroedes13's avatar

In one of your emails, you can’t ask him if he has a number and you would really like to speak with him?

“I don’t have a number to call him” sounds like a brutally lame excuse!

obvek's avatar

Just tell him it’s hard for you to respond similarly because your feelings for him aren’t as strong. (If this is the normal way you enter relationships, you may want to mention this, too.) Tell him you’d still like to see him when he returns, but that you don’t want to entertain deepening the relationship while he is away.

Something to keep in mind is that he might simply be trying to keep the oven warm while he is gone by saying nice things. It’s something I would do. So there’s a chance that he doesn’t feel as strongly as he says, but that he is concerned about losing your interest while he is gone. If you feel that you can assure him you’ll still be available when he returns, then by all means say so, since he will probably be okay with curbing the flirt routine.

mostlyclueless's avatar

@obvek, that’s exactly the problem; I don’t think I will be available when he returns. I don’t want him to keep his hopes up.

I really don’t have a number to call him. He is moving from one hotel to the next, and there is a 15 or so hour time difference. On top of this, even when he was here, I don’t think we ever actually spoke on the phone.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

There is simply no other way. Send a polite yet frank and direct email telling him that you’re simply not interested in taking this any further. Unfortunately, if you want to get rid of him then it is the only way. Don’t lead him on otherwise it will go on like that indefinitely.

obvek's avatar

You said you haven’t 100% decided, but whatever.

I guess the other question is whether you think his current sentiments are naturally borne from his coming over to fuck once a week but otherwise not talking to each other and him not making an effort to call.

Can I have my 10 minutes back?

Schroedes13's avatar

@obvekt that’s how I feel too. Just silliness!

roundsquare's avatar

Yeah, at least try to find a way to talk to him, even over the phone. If you can’t do that, I guess email is the only option.

jrpowell's avatar

I’m agnostic and I still follow the golden rule.

obvek's avatar

Haha! It’s true!

Schroedes13's avatar

this is where you can decide whether to be mature or send an email! Simple answer!

plethora's avatar

This guy was enjoying getting laid. You are not particularly excited about the prospect of continuing that. If he comes back and you have said nothing, then you have to handle it face to face. Email is a great way to dump or be dumped (I’ve had both, and would always go for email, either way). Do it (copy us).

rts486's avatar

Recommend the phone call over an email.

Cruiser's avatar

E-mail, IM, PM…anyone of them will work when you need to send the message you are no longer interested in their BS.

blueiiznh's avatar

No matter if it is bs or not, you have decided you are done.
Email, IM, or anything like that is not a guaranteed mechanism or method the ensures you that he has the information.
If he is a troll or a jerk he will ignore those like he may be ignoring you as a person anyway. What would make you think an email or electronic message would have him respect your wishes then.
Call him and tell him! It will allow you to have a bit more closure in putting it to him. Stand firm on your choice and ignore him reaching back. Follow a no contact rule then.

Good luck.

mostlyclueless's avatar

Guys, he just sent me pictures of his dick. Can I please just send the breakup email.

plethora's avatar

LOL…..what a charmer!! Email him NOW.

roundsquare's avatar

@blueiiznh Where did the troll/jerk thing come from?

roundsquare's avatar

@mostlyclueless Haha… wow, okay, outside my realm of experience. But yeah, what the hell… do it by email if you’re offended by it.

CunningLinguist's avatar

@mostlyclueless Yeah, that’s just stupid. Go ahead and e-mail him if you really don’t have a more direct way of contacting him.

blueiiznh's avatar

@roundsquare ya think that a guy who sends an unwanted picture of his dick is anything but a troll/jerk?

He clearing is not going to take the message. Ignore if you can’t get the message through to him.

Sorry to hear about your situation.

roundsquare's avatar

@blueiiznh I think you didn’t have evidence of him being a troll/jerk when you wrote your reply. We only found out about the picture of dick thing afterwards (unless you went back to edit after seeing that). Also, there is a difference between people being trolls/jerks and being immature (though in this particular case I don’t know that I’d push the distinction).

blueiiznh's avatar

@roundsquare Please before you take a poke at me for trying to be helpful, reread my comment again. I stated:
“If he is a troll or a jerk he will ignore those like he may be ignoring you as a person anyway.”
Being that the OP was a bit unknowing in their intentions, I tried to help that qualifying distinction be able to be made. It is the very reason I put “IF”.
And in the end, it does appear that they truly are a jerk to the OP.

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