What Can We Learn From This Artist's Break-Up Texts
The Debrief: We send some pretty fucked up things when we're about to break up with someone, but maybe we can learn to avoid some of the worst clichés next time we, um, break up with someone...
We’ve all had a bit of regrettable text-activity as the last embers of a fiery relationship burn away leaving us single– and sometimes feeling like we’re destined to a life of loneliness. It’s rarely something we want to re-visit. However, as Taylor Swift has taught us very well, mining the deepest darkest moments of our break-ups can be intriguing and incredibly relatable. That’s why we love the artworks done by Allison L Wade, under a collection called It’s Not You, a continuation of her previous series Break Up Texts.
The method is quite simple: putting blocks of text like ‘I knew you would do this to me’ over plain-coloured backgrounds. And the texts are all taken from Allison’s life, either ones she’s sent or received when she’s been at the tail end of a relationship.
The whole premise seems, to us, to be a reminder that sometimes entire relationships end hinged on the fact a person didn’t quite consider whether they’d say the message out loud before tapping their tear-soaked finger on the ‘send’ button.
The exhibition is in New York, but that doesn’t mean you in the UK have to miss out on the delights of the art, as we have a few here.
1. The ‘this is how bad I could be but I’m not I swear’ text
‘This is my last attempt to get in touch with you before I feel like a stalker’
With this line, you’re totally losing your grip of the situation and you want to point out that you’re not actually being that desperate, but by saying the word ‘stalker’, your near-ex’s phone screen display has your name right next to ‘stalker’. Until you text them again, that is.
2. The text that could be a line from a war film
‘You have sabotaged us’
As Pat Benatar first sang, love really is a battlefield (for those of you born after 1970, Jordin Sparks also complained ‘why does love always feel like a battlefield?’) and sometimes it feels like the best way to sort out your feelings is to use Winston Churchill’s rhetoric. The thing is, wars are ridiculous, so why on earth would we want to replicate anything that happens in them?
3. Accusing someone of not having much humanity
‘You can really turn your heart off fast!’
It’s much easier to think that someone is a robot with mechanised switches inside and they’re just turning off their love for you rather than deal with the fact that they’ve fallen out of love with you. Similarly, if you receive this text, it’s got to hurt. Break-ups can be really gross even when you’re the one doing them and being accused of being sub-human can make you feel pretty shit. The appropriate response to this text? See number 2 for evidence.
4. The dad text
‘Sorry I have been out of touch this week. There was a snow storm and I have been watching movies’
OK, we don’t mean you’re in a relationship with your dad or anything, that is pretty grotesque. Sometimes, when you’re trying to prise your near-ex’s fingers from the blue-cold corpse of your relationship, you need to cut off all emotional contact with your near-ex. So you text them entirely sexlessly. And what’s the best way to be sexless? Imagine you’re your dad, texting you.
5. The pretty individual incident
‘WTF!!! You left for Ibiza Without Me’
We’ve actually got nothing to say about this. Whoever left for Ibiza without their girlfriend or boyfriend or whoever is a tool. And those individual moments of someone being an utter dickhead are the ones you really need to hold on to when you think of texting or getting back with your ex.
6. The ‘Oh it could be lolsy’ text
‘I’m not sure what happened tonight but it was awkward’
Sometimes, the text isn’t that bad at all, it could almost be a hilarious reference to an in-joke, something you might have smiled over if they’d sent it at the beginning of your relationship. However, everything’s now tainted with the bad stuff that’s happened, seen through a filter of ‘sad’.
7. The ‘nice-ing it out’ text
‘I handled things very poorly and wanted you to know that I am sorry’
You have to move on from a break-up, you really have to. And you will. Part of moving on is just being a nice person. Being mean, no matter how hurt you are, is hardly going to win the other person back, and there comes a point where there’s just not enough glue in the world to stick back together your fractured relationship. So instead of holding onto that anger, let it go, move on, and maybe one day you’ll fall in love again and break up all over again, safe in the knowledge that you just won’t send any texts like these.
Like this? You might also be interested in:
Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson
At work? With your gran?
You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating