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Written by Lina Dune.

Art by Casey Jong.

It’s 2019 and if there’s one thing we as a culture hate more than OJ Simpson’s arrival to Twitter, it’s endings. TV shows drag on forever without a resolution, our twitter feeds scroll on and on into infinity, and everyone seems to have collectively forgotten how to end a relationship.

It’s official: we’re living in the era of the ghost.

Do you realize, our parents ask us, we had to call people on the phone to break up in our day? Now most of us don’t even talk with our significant others on the phone until after “I love you” is exchanged. 

That said, energetically, pulling a ghost can leave us feeling a little unfulfilled. So I offer the following sample texts to the texter in need, organized by relationship seriousness.

The Wrong-Doer

The guy who gave you a bad vibe after one date/interaction / anyone with unsolicited “u up?” energy / trump supporters.

Let’s just get this out of the way first. There is a time and a place for a ghost. If someone is making you feel unsafe and/or you know you don’t owe them the consideration of an explanation, just slip into your sexy white sheet with eyeholes and block ‘em. 

The Failed Bone

They had bad kissing instincts / the vibe was off / their limits preclude your kinks from being fulfilled, etc.

If a casual sexual encounter left you with a bad taste in your mouth (literally or figuratively) and you don’t think the person can take a kind and gentle note on whatever put you off, may I suggest:

“Hey! Thanks so much for coming out last night but I’m not feeling it. Wishing you the best!”

The Best Intentions

They were super sweet but just didn’t do it for you.

If you’ve been dating a bit and feel it’s time to shift the relationship to a more platonic vibe, be nice but clear about what’s available. Then give them the chance to opt in or out:

“I’ve been having so much fun with you but I want to be upfront that I’m seeing us more as friends. Does that work for you?”

The Ultimatum

You like them but you have to lay down the law.

Ultimatums are best served in person, but if you feel you need to get one off your chest in a controlled setting, there’s a way to text it. People bash texting as a form of communication, but it can be an excellent tool for survivors of abusive relationships or even those who have been codependent in the past to set firm boundaries without being swayed by the energy of an in-person discussion. Just be clear and concise, state your needs, and don’t over-anticipate their answer. Just put what you need out there. 

“I really like you but [being poly / being monogamous / only seeing you very late at night once a week] isn’t working for me. What I would prefer is [being monogamous / being open / seeing you every day]. What do you think?”

The Break Up

It’s been real, and it’s time to say goodbye.

If you’ve been seeing someone long enough to actually remember their mom’s name, and they’ve behaved well, you owe them a real breakup. Ideally it wouldn’t be over text. But if for some reason it has to be, keep it sincere, simple and empathetic:

“It’s been so great seeing you, but because of [a real and honest reason]*, I don’t think we can keep seeing each other. Maybe in [x amount of time] I’ll be ready to reconnect but for now I just need some space.”

*I think the kindest thing you can do when you break up with someone is to actually be honest and tell them what happened. This will give them closure and something to push off of so they can close the door on the relationship and not linger/be hung up on you. It’s kinder than being so nice they think there’s still hope.

The Break Up: This Time It’s Bad

They f*cked up, and they need to know.

Sometimes you need to follow the campsite rule, and leave someone better than you found them. Whether that’s followed by a block is up to you.

“This thing you did really hurt me. I don’t think we should see each other anymore. I just wanted you to know for the sake of future relationships. Wish you all the best!”

Lina Dune is a bi 24/7 sub, writer, and witch living in Los Angeles. LD is a pen name derived from two Anais Nin Stories — “Lina” and “Woman On The Dune.” You can find more of Lina’s work and ask her questions at and on Instagram.