I’ve always said it’s never acceptable to break up in a text message or email. It’s not even acceptable to breakup via phone if you live within driving distance of each other, or if you have plans to be together in person if you’re in a long distance relationship. It’s just too easy to break up these days.
If you cared enough to get naked with someone, you should give them the courtesy to end the relationship in a two-way dialog, and not in a digital monologue. That’s the rule of thumb, however research has shown that drive-by digital breakups via text are on the rise.
If you sleep with your phone by your bed, practically take it into the shower with you, and it’s attached at your hip, it’s become the accessory that pretty much runs your life. You can fall in love from the convenience of your mobile phone and you can end a relationship the same way.
But should you and would you?
Here’s my exception to the breakup by text rule.
If your relationship was a toxic and unhealthy one, or you’ve been lied to repeatedly, cheated on with actual evidence, not just a hunch, then why subject yourself to more lies and deception in a convo?
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If the person you’re involved with and are dating regularly, who you see every week, who calls and texts you every day has an identical relationship going on with someone else and you both think you’re exclusive, guess what? All bets are off. It’s about self-respect and self-protection at this point.
If you don’t want a confrontation and realize the relationship is not worth salvaging, before you draft that text, make a list of all the pros and cons of the relationship. Be very sure. Ask yourself how you’d like to be treated if the relationship wasn’t working out. If you had only a handful of dates, sending a quick text to say you’re not on the same page isn’t the end of the world.
On the other hand, if you’ve become deeply involved with his or her life, their family and friends, and have a full schedule of events together that you just can’t fathom attending, do the following.
- Draft that text and send it to yourself.
- Sleep on it.
- Run it by a close friend.
- Send it without expecting any response, or don’t send it if you might have a change of heart.
- Know that it’s over and be good with the decision (have no regrets).
Should we just end all relationships via text? Absolutely not. I’m just saying that there are times when you’re in a relationship that starts to get unhealthy that you need to think about yourself.
Maybe your bae ignores you and your texts. It could mean there’s cheating going on, excessive drinking, lying, all the things you wouldn’t want happening to your best friend. If they start happening to you and you see no way out, end it kindly and quickly. Wish the other person well.
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If you hear from them and they believe there’s been a misunderstanding, hear them out, but usually after you’ve slept on it, put together your pros and cons list of the relationship, you’ll soon see whether it’s worth salvaging or not. If you don’t hear from them, know that you made the right decision and be open to the possibilities of much better relationship, one that you deserve, one where the person adores and respects you to the point that you never have to question whether you should end it via text.
When it’s time to call it quits, do it with integrity. End it in person if you can. A phone call is the second choice. Texting or even ghosting isn’t the way it should go down, but if you do get ghosted, take the high road and don’t text over-and-over again to find out why.
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Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the founder of Cyber-Dating Expert, and as an early adopter of Internet dating, has been helping singles find love online with her Irresistible Profiles coaching programs.
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Julie Spira is America's Top Online Dating Expert. She's an award-winning dating coach who's been helping singles find love online for 25+ years. Follow @JulieSpira on IG.