Breaking up by text is on the rise. Is it an acceptable way to break up in the Digital Age, or just plain rude? There may be instances when a text breakup is not only acceptable but the best method available.
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:
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. Here is an example of an appropriate text intended to avoid confrontation: "We need to break up. I don't want to be with you anymore. Please leave me alone; I'm not going to change my mind."
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." Here is a sample text for someone who wants to break up via text but can't think of the words: "I want to break up. I'm sorry to do this by text but you know I don't do well with communicating. Forgive the delivery and know I appreciate the time we had together."
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. Here is an example of a text to send when trying to avoid an explanation: "I want to break up. It's not anything you did - I just don't want to be with you anymore."
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. For example, "Let's break up" is just about as lazy and to-the-point as a breakup text can get.
A Rude Breakup
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. If your goal is to be rude, here's a sample rude text: "We're breaking up. Bye." Follow this by blocking the other person's number for maximum rudeness and no follow-up conversation.
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.
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 OK, or at least somewhat acceptable, to send a breakup 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.
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.
Sample Text Messages
In addition to the sample messages included above, here are some sample breakup texts that are clear in your intentions and not offensive:
- "You have been a great boyfriend, but I need to end things. It's better for us both if we break up."
- "I can't be the boyfriend you deserve - we need to break up."
- "We're better apart - let's end this relationship."
- "I think you know that things have been hard. Let's break up so we can remain friends."
- "I'm tired of fighting with you. We're better apart. Let's end this."
- "Let's break up - it's better for both of us."
- "It's time to break up. Let's do this amicably."
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.