Advancements in technology have effected nearly every way that we connect with one another. We can send a quick written message in the form of a text, a visual/non-verbal message with a picture, and we can even leave notes for one another through dozens of social media channels.
We have more ways to communicate with one another than ever before. As a result, however, we’re talking even less, particularly when it comes to the important conversations—like breakups.
Apparently breaking up via text is becoming a more common way for people to cut ties in a relationship. According to The Frisky, delivering the news via text is a tempting option for a lot of people because it relieves you from having to see the reaction in the other person’s face, or hearing the hurt in their voice that you could experience with a phone call. While they don’t recommend it, they do say that there are some circumstances when a text may not be so awful.
I think most people would agree that the only relationship where a text breakup would be acceptable is one that wouldn’t be defined as a relationship at all. Maybe you had a date or two, or just hung out with big groups of people—those would be the times where cutting ties via text would be acceptable. A simple, “I’m sorry…you’re really nice…. I just don’t see this going anywhere…”—or whatever works best for your situation—would suffice. Just be polite and friendly, yet firm, so you don’t give the person false hope.
Anything more than a date or two, though, and breaking up via text is pushing you dangerously close to asshole territory. After a certain amount of time, the person at least deserves a phone call.
But still, if you do decide to go this route, you should first take into consideration how the other person thinks of you. Remember, you may not think that the relationship warrants an in-person conversation, but the other person could. How would you feel if you were in their position? A text could either crush them, or they could shrug it off and move on. You never know how a person is going to react. Even if they don’t feel strongly about you, they could get upset just from the hit their ego takes for getting “dumped.”
Also you should have an idea about when the person you’re sending the text to will be receiving it. Avoid times where they might be at work or even early on in the day—no one wants to start their day like that. If they’re a typical 9-5er, sometime in the evening or after they get home would be best. Then they’ll have the opportunity to meet up with friends or spend some time alone and process everything before they have to put on a happy face again.
Since breaking up with someone over text is probably the most informal way you could go about it, you should be even more careful with your choice of words. Treat the situation delicately. In fact, the rules of breaking up with someone through a text message are pretty much the same as another textual portion of a relationship—sexting. Adam and Eve explained in a blog post that sending anything personal via text is risky, so before you type, consider treating the breakup the same way they suggest approaching sexting.
1. For a clear frame of mind, make sure that you’re sober. You want to make sure that your message is relayed in the right way. Don’t muddle things up with alcohol.
2. Remember that everything you send can be documented. If you get frustrated and start getting petty, every little comment you make can be posted on social media in a flash. Keep it clean and avoid mentioning anything sexual.
3. Make sure your battery is charged. Again, you don’t know how this person is going to react. They may want to talk, and you should be prepared and open to doing so. Some people just need to hear an actual voice before things start to sink in.
Personally, I would say that in most cases you should just put on your grown-up pants and do the thing in person. However, if you’re still looking for an excuse to do so, The Huffington Post released a pretty good list of 10 instances where breaking up via text would be acceptable. If you can’t find your current situation on there, than there’s probably some paperwork you need to be filling out as a new resident of Assholeville.