Is It Okay To Break Up Over Text And How To Do It?

Is It Okay To Break Up Over Text And How To Do It?

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Breakups are never easy, and it becomes all the more difficult when the separation is not mutual, and one person still wants to continue with the relationship. No matter how much you try, the breakup will be painful, and the person may not always react kindly to it.

To avoid a messy confrontation, some people may resort to breaking up over text. Telling someone, “it’s over” through a text may be easy because you do not have to face any drama or explain if you don’t want to. If you feel unsafe breaking up in person, then doing it through a text may be your safest bet.

Is breaking up with someone over text justifiable? Read on as we tell you if it is right, why people do it, how you should react to such a situation, and how you should do it if it is your only option.

Is It Okay To Breakup With Someone Over Text?

No, it is not okay to break up with someone over a text message. Breaking up over text may be convenient for the one doing it, but imagine how painful it would be for the one at the receiving end. Not only is it impolite and hurtful, but also extremely humiliating for the receiver. And if you have been in a long-term relationship, the pain can only increase manifold.

The receiver is denied a sense of closure because they do not get a chance to hear your reasons or put forward their opinion. They are probably not a part of the decision, which is unfair to them. It can shatter someone’s confidence when they feel that they weren’t important enough for you to be given a dignified breakup.

However, there are certain scenarios where breaking up over a text may prove a viable option. For instance, if you both have been dating for only a short while or neither of you seems overly attached, it might not seem like such a bad idea. Also, if you feel that the person you are breaking up with might not accept your decision and try to influence you or change your decision or even harm you, breaking up over a text message makes perfect sense.

Why Do Some People Break Up Over Text?

Here are some possible reasons why a person chooses to break up over text.

  • Afraid of a reaction

If you know this person well, you probably know that they might not take the news of the breakup well. You fear that there will be a conflict or drama, not to forget the crying and angry outburst. To avoid such a reaction, you might choose to break up over text wherein you do not have to face them.

  • Unable to confront

When you break up in person, you are required to explain your decision. The person you are breaking up with might disagree with your decision and try to change your mind or even make you feel extremely guilty about it. They might bring up old topics and try to influence you, something you might be dreading. And worst of all, if you have been in an abusive relationship, they might try to harm you physically and even threaten you with further harm.

  • Never serious about the relationship

Some people get into a relationship half-heartedly just to see where things go. They are never serious about the relationship and are always on the lookout for someone better. When they find someone they would like to get serious with, they prefer breaking up with you over a text because they never considered it a real relationship. For them, it was just a casual fling, and they feel they do not need to explain things to you.

  • Long-distance relationship

If two people have maintained a relationship online, breaking up over a text is a justified option. It may not always be feasible to call off the relationship in person in a long-distance relationship. So, doing it over a message makes practical sense.

How To React Or Reply If Someone Breaks Up With You Over Text?

What if you are the one receiving a breakup text from your partner? How should you react? Here are some pointers you can keep in mind when reacting to a breakup text.

1. Keep calm

Maybe you saw it coming, or maybe you didn’t; whatever the case, try to keep calm. You might feel like replying right away, but do not do it yet because your emotions might take over the situation. To react to such a message, you need to be more clear in the head. Take your time to understand the situation and process it clearly.

2. Do not react

The chances are that when they sent you the text, they expected you to react in a certain way. Surprise them and do not react at all. You might feel agitated and restless, but pull yourself together. Do not give them what they want. Give them what you want, that is, a well-thought reaction.

3. Reply when you are ready

When you feel you can think more clearly, decide on how you want to react to it. If you saw it coming, you might probably not want to seek any explanation for it. If not, you might want to know what went wrong. Start typing your message when you are ready.

4. Be polite

Whatever it is that you have decided to send, ensure that you are polite. You may want to be nasty to show them that you do not need them anyway, but try to avoid doing such a thing and be as civil as possible. At the spur of the moment, you might say something that you did not intend to and regret it later. Be nice and keep it clean.

5. Do not call them

If they have sent you a text to break up with you, it means they do not wish to talk to you. There is no point speaking with someone who does not have the guts to talk to you. Use their mode of communication to let them know your thoughts. Also, if you call them, chances are you might break down or get angry and react in a way you would not want to.

6. Do not plead with them

If someone sends you a breakup text, it means the decision isn’t sudden and that they have thought through it before pressing the send button. Requesting and pleading with them to change their mind will not help. Instead, it would make you look helpless and desperate, which might make them even more sure of their decision.

7. Talk to a friend

When all is said and done, if you feel like you cannot cope with it alone, reach out to a friend and talk to them about it. Vent it out to them. Be in the company of people you love and trust at this moment. Yes, it might be painful for you, but there is no need to show it to your now ex-partner. Heal on your own or with the help of people who wish to be there for you.

How To Breakup With Someone Over Text?

Sometimes, despite knowing how horrible it is to break up over text, you might have no option left. The following are some exceptional situations in which breaking up over a text can seem justifiable.

  • The person you are trying to break up with is aggressive to the extent that they might physically harm you.
  • The relationship was never serious to begin with, and you and your partner were never fully committed.
  • Your relationship is more of a long-distance, online setting, and you guys hardly ever meet in person.

If your relationship falls into any of the categories mentioned above, breaking up over text could be the best option for you. And when it becomes inevitable for you, try to do it in the best possible manner. Here are some tips you can consider when trying to break up with someone over text.

1. Start with a casual conversation

Do not just drop the breakup bomb on your partner out of the blue. Start with a casual conversation and gauge their mood. If they seem extremely happy, sad, or angry, abort the mission right away. Try another time. You should bring up the topic only when you feel they are in a neutral mood, that is, neither too happy nor sad. Also, ensure you drop some subtle hints before finally revealing what is on your mind.

2. Be firm on your decision

You may find it awkward and difficult to type a breakup text, but do not try to beat around the bush or sugar-coat your words. You have decided to break up, so stand by it and make it known to your partner in clear terms. Do not show that you are unsure of your decision. It might give them the hope that they can make things work again. Be very clear about the message you are trying to convey to them.

3. Be considerate

Try to be considerate and tell them how sorry you feel that things had to end like this. Let them know that you couldn’t help doing it through a text.

4. Be honest

They will surely want to know the reason why you are breaking up with them. Try to be as honest as you can. The truth might be bitter, but at least they know what went wrong and may keep it in mind the next time they get into a relationship.

5. Do not overcompensate

You may feel bad for this person and might try to take all the blame. You might tell them how your shortcomings hampered the relationship. Do not do it. It won’t ease their pain or make them feel better. Instead, they might be able to see through it, which can make them feel even more awful. Try to keep the message clear, clean, and polite.

6. Avoid giving them any false hopes

If your partner is overly attached to you, saying “be in touch” or “let’s be friends” gives them false hopes that they might be able to change your mind. When you know they can’t be friends with you, do not ask them for their friendship. And do not ask them to keep in touch after the breakup unless you are sure that both of you can be friendly without any bitterness.

Whether you are the sender or the receiver of a breakup text, remember to be polite and never react without thinking about it first. Also, choose to break up over text only if it is absolutely necessary and there is no other way to do it. And once it is all over, remember to spend some time with yourself to get over the heartache.

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Dr. Carlos Juan Carmona-Goyena

(PhD (Counseling Psychology))
Dr. Carlos Juan Carmona-Goyena is a board licensed therapist in the USA and Puerto Rico with a specialty in couples, families, and relationships. Dr. Carlos possesses a PhD in Counseling Psychology granted at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. His two-decade professional experience also includes scientific research in family emotional and relational processes and its effect on psychological functioning. Dr.... more

Shikha Thakur

Shikha is a writer-turned-associate editor at MomJunction. Her core interest lies in writing articles that guide couples through their courtship to marriage and parenthood. She also specializes in baby names. Being a postgraduate in Human Resources, she likes understanding people and their relationships. This reflects in her relationship articles, where she deals with both the rosy and the grey side... more