Breaking Up Over Text the Right Way

Updated February 3, 2021
Stressed woman texting

Breaking up over text may not seem like the ideal way to end a relationship, but there are valid reasons for choosing to take this course of action. Whether you are breaking up with someone over text, or have been broken up with via a text, there are some helpful tips to keep in mind.

Breaking Up Over Text

Breakups can be incredibly painful and difficult to go through, even if you are the one who is initiating the end of your relationship. Be mindful of your feelings throughout this process and be sure to seek support when needed so you can process your experience in healthy ways.

How to Break Up With Someone Over Text

When breaking up with someone over text, keep in mind:

  • Think through why you have chosen to break up via text and decide if this is the right choice for your relationship.
  • Write out a rough draft of your text without the chance of accidentally sending it to your partner before you're ready to do so.
  • Let a trusted friend read the text and hear out their opinion.
  • Imagine how you would feel receiving the text you wrote.
  • Make changes to the text as needed.
  • Once you've decided to send the text, consider if you'll respond to your ex-partner, or if you need to block them for safety reasons.
  • If your ex has a violent past, you may consider staying with a trusted friend instead of your current residence for safety reasons.
  • If your ex responds in a threatening way (says they will harm you or themselves), let them know you are notifying the police and then make a police report- remember you are not responsible for your ex-partner's behavior or choices even if they try to blame you.

How Do You Politely Break Up Over Text?

Keep in mind that what you consider to be polite when it comes to breakups, your partner may find offensive or hurtful. In general:

  • Keep your text short and to the point.
  • Try not to say anything confusing or unclear.
  • Be honest, but concise.
  • If your partner isn't abusive or manipulative and, you'd like to maintain a friendship, you can mention that in the text.
  • If your ex-partner asks you questions, respond honestly and concisely.

Understand that even if you write the most polite text, your ex-partner may not be receptive and may lash out. Breakups feel very rejecting, and they may not be ready to talk. Remember, you've been thinking about the breakup for some time, and it may feel like a complete shock to them.

man chatting on the phone

How Do You Dump Someone Nicely?

Think about how you would like to be broken up with and what would feel best given the circumstances. Try to model your text message off of something that you would be okay with hearing from your partner if the roles were reversed. While breakups may not feel nice, you can still craft a text that's as thoughtful as possible.

  • Don't bring up past arguments.
  • Don't blame your partner for anything.
  • Focus on ending the relationship and being as objective as possible.
  • Respond to their texts in a concise and honest way.
  • Be prepared for backlash as they may try to hurt you as a way to displace the hurt they are feeling.

When Is It Okay to Beak Up Over Text?

There are many valid reasons why you may find breaking up over text to be a safer and more thoughtful way to end your relationship. Some examples of when it's okay to break up with your partner via text:

  • If you are scared or fearful of how your partner will react when you break up with them
  • If your mental or physical safety has been threatened at any point in the relationship
  • If your partner is volatile, unpredictable, and/or abusive (verbally, emotionally, physically, etc.)
  • If the thought of an in-person break up is triggering mental health disorder symptoms and you are unable to get professional support prior to breaking up with your partner
  • If you believe your partner will manipulate you to stay with them or threaten you or their own safety if you break up with them

What Does It Mean When Someone Breaks Up With You Over a Text?

There are many reasons why someone may choose to break up via text. Keep in mind that if you are on the receiving end of a breakup text, that it tends to say more about the sender than you. Reasons why someone may send a breakup text:

  • May feel easier than a face-to-face breakup, especially if they are uncomfortable with emotionally charged situations
  • May choose to breakup via text if the relationship was casual
  • May break up with you via text if you have a history of volatile or explosive behavior

What to Say When You Get Dumped Over Text

If you get broken up with via text, there are many ways you can respond. You can opt to not respond at all, respond in a concise and honest way, or wait until you've processed this information and respond a few hours or days later. Examples of what you can say:

  • Thanks for letting me know how you feel.
  • I understand your decision.
  • I respect what you're saying and would like to remain friends if you're comfortable doing so.

Know that if you have specific questions about what they are saying, you are absolutely entitled to ask them- just try to do so as neutrally as possible. While this can be difficult, the breaker-upper is more likely to respond to questions that are asked in a more objective way.

Breaking Up Over Text Advice

Before breaking up with someone over text, be very mindful of your reasoning as to why you have chosen this route. Breakups are never easy, regardless of how you choose to do so, so be sure to take care of yourself afterwards.

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Breaking Up Over Text the Right Way