If you’ve ever broken up with someone — and been on the receiving end of an angry series of texts or phone calls — you might recoil at the idea of ending a relationship when it isn’t working. To save yourself from having the talk altogether, you might even ghost dates instead.
If you’re someone who struggles with confrontation (or honesty) during a breakup, you can practice your text using Quartz’ new chatbot—the “Breakup Trainer.” Using advice from relationship experts, the bot imitates a prospective dater (in text form) and without the repercussions of a real person. Here’s a text from “Yusuf”:
FOUR hours? That alone is worth ghosting! But in the interest of kindness, the chatbot will provide different responses as options.
Let’s go with option A! But uh-oh:
In hindsight, the correct approach would have (pretty obviously) been choice B. Having run through a few different scenarios, yes, the correct answers are generally pretty easy, but there’s one key piece of insight you should take away from “correct” breakup lines, using the chatbot: Be kind, but not to your detriment.
In one “chat” I had, I used a nice breakup text, only to receive a text that my partner was still very interested; apparently, niceness can be misleading and Quartz’s expert recommends never leaving room for doubt.
“I encourage everyone to be as kind as possible,” Rachel DeAlto, a relationship coach, offered as advice in the chat. “But that opens the door to hope, and if you’re not really interested in the other person, that hope will eventually get crushed by reality.” In this instance, it would have been better to be upfront and not lead with patronising compliments.
So give up the ghost(ing) and don’t feel bad about why a potential new relationship isn’t working. If you’re not a match, it’s no one’s fault. And the sooner you can be up front of it, the sooner you can both move on.