“A Little Help from ChatGPT,” by Judy Gitterman

Jul 26th, 2023 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

My kids hate my boyfriend.

They say he’s a dick. In my gut I agree with them. So when I say I’m going to break up with him they’re overjoyed. I tell them I can’t do it in person or on the phone. I’m too much of a coward and he’s too manipulative.

“Send a text,” my daughter says.

“No,” I say, “that’s too direct and he’ll reply right away. E-mail is better.” But I struggle to find the words. My boyfriend and I’ve been in an on and off relationship for ten years. His name is Fred. All I come up with is: “Hi Fred, I want to break up with you. And this time I mean it. For real.”

“Jeez Mom,” my son says, “That’s lame. Why don’t you just use ChatGPT?”

My son is a manager at a big tech company. He uses ChatGPT to write e-mails to his team.

“Okay,” I say. What do I have to lose? My son dictates to his phone: “Write a note to break up a ten-year relationship with a guy who’s a dick.”

Within seconds, ChatGPT comes out with an answer:

Subject: Ending Our Relationship

Dear Dick,

I hope this e-mail finds you well. I have been doing a lot of thinking lately and I have come to the difficult realization that our relationship is not working out. I know we have known each other for a long time, but I feel like we have grown apart and it’s time for both of us to move on.

I want you to know that this decision has not been easy for me. I value the time we have spent together and the memories we have created. However, I feel like we have reached a point where we are not able to make each other happy anymore. Our differences seem to be more prominent than our similarities and I think it’s best if we part ways.

I hope you can understand where I am coming from and that we can both move on from this in a positive way. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors and hope that you find someone who is a better match for you.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

Wow. Problem solved. Though I do feel a little bad that the AI’s version is so much better than mine. I debate whether I should change Dick to Fred and decide not to.

I hit send.

No response until the next day.

It’s a lame “Whatever. Just so you know, I was going to break up with you anyway.” I tell my friends. They’re also not fans of Fred and tell me I should be glad to be rid of him. And as the insightful ChatGPT said, it’s time to move on.

Maybe I’ll try online dating again. But this time, I’ll ask ChatGPT to write messages to potential dates. And ChatGPT can even vet them. It’s perfect.

What could possibly go wrong?


Judy Gitterman worked as a litigation lawyer for many years. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles where she was fiction editor for the literary journal Lunch Ticket. Judy’s short fiction has appeared in Hedge Apple, Borrowed Solace, and The Wild Word. She is currently working on a collection of linked short stories.

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