The breakup business

A growing number of startup businesses use modern methods to help people deal with the end of a relationship.  One woman does therapy over email and Skype, instead of in a therapist’s office.  A “breakup boot camp” offers three days in upstate New York and includes yoga and organic food – for a $1500 price tag.

Relationship counselor Nancy Pina says these approaches are a start, but only a start.  “There is more work to do, because a lot of times we end up attracting the same type of person for relationships,” she says, “especially when you do not take the time to view what it is about me that’s attracted to that type of person.”  Pina acknowledges that people don’t like to hear that they may be part of the cause of their own problems.


One service provides an app called Mend, which you can look at instead of your ex’s posts on social media.  “I guess in some a ways a distraction is good and keeps your focus away from thinking about that person that you just broke up with,” Pina says.  “But essentially, you’re still going to have to do that emotional and spiritual work.”  She adds, “It does take a little self-reflection and more work than just going on an app and trying to distract yourself.”

For a small fee, the Breakup Shop, run by two brothers, will send a text message telling the recipient he or she is being dumped.  Pina was aghast at this approach.  “That’s a new low for a person who can’t muster the courage to break up with someone that they’ve been in a relationship with,” she said.  “That should speak volumes about the level of their character.”

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