Breaking Up by Text Message

I Can't Believe He Broke Up With Me

Have you ever thought about sending a text message break up? Or, have you ever received one? As text message use becomes more common, incidents of breaking up by cell phone are on the rise. Is it an acceptable way to break up, or just plain rude?

Why a Text Message Break Up?

Why do people sometimes choose to break up this way? It is often due to one of several reasons:

  • Avoid Confrontation. Telling someone you want to break up can be very difficult. There is the concern about hurting the person's feelings, and sometimes even fear of a violent reaction. Some people choose to avoid these situations whenever possible and sending a text message works quite well.
  • Trouble Communicating. Some people don't have a way with words, especially when trying to say something difficult. Since a text message is so short, it is expected that you won't be very eloquent. This is perfect for the person that doesn't know what else to say other than "I want to break up."
  • Don't Want to Explain. Being unable to fully explain why you want to break up is another reason people will choose to text their message. Telling someone you want to break up is hard, but explaining why can be harder as this is where feelings can really get hurt. So, some people will actually text in order to try to avoid causing (additional) hurt feelings.
  • Lazy. Let's face it, sending a text message is pretty easy. For the person who wants to break up as quickly as possible, a text may be the fastest way.
  • Rude. Breaking up by text message is still considered rude by most people. If being rude is the desired effect of the person doing the breaking up then a text is an excellent choice.

Reasons Not to Do It

Besides avoiding being rude, there are several other reasons to not text message break up.

  • Permanent Break Up. Even if you have relationship problems and you're sure you want to break up, something can still change your mind. Sometimes all a relationship needs is some open communication, and a break up usually leads people to say what they mean. What will start as a breakup can sometimes lead to a strengthening-and a continuing-of the relationship.

A text message, however, prevents this open dialogue from occurring. Also, the receiver is so likely to be offended that they won't want to give the relationship another chance.

  • Six Degrees of Separation. Word of your break up method is likely to travel to all of your ex's friends, and some of them may further spread the word. Your notoriety may travel so far that you find it difficult to land your next date.
  • It Backfires. Some people get really mad when they receive a bad message. If your reason to break up by text is to avoid confrontation and possible violence, you could make matters worse than if you broke up by normal means. This is especially true if you have been in an abusive relationship.

Reasons to Do It

In some circumstances, it may alright, or at least somewhat acceptable, to send a break up message.

  • Text Message Relationship. If your relationship has largely been based on sending text messages back and forth, then breaking up by text may be reasonable. It could, in fact, seem strange to do it any other way.
  • Short Relationship. A relationship that hasn't lasted very long is a candidate for a text breakup. While still rude to do it, you are less likely to hurt someone's feelings if you've just recently started dating.
  • No Other Way to Contact. If there are truly no other ways to contact your boyfriend or girlfriend, then a text message is better than nothing at all.

If You Must Do It

While it's usually better to break up face-to-face, or at least while talking on your cell phone, if you must text your break up message, consider the other person. Think about what time of day you're sending your message. If you know the other person is in a meeting, commuting or is otherwise busy, wait to send your message until another time.

If It Happens to You

Receiving a text break up message is certainly hard. But, try and look for the good in what happened. A text message reveals the character and communication skills of the person you were dating. Chances are that you're better off looking for a new and healthier relationship anyway.

Breaking Up by Text Message