The Only 5 Times You Can Break Up Via Text, Relationship Experts Say
These are only a handful of acceptable instances.
Breakups are never easy. It's important to not only take care of yourself but offer kindness and respect to the other person involved. Typically, face-to-face interactions are the healthiest for communication and closure. A phone call is the next best thing, but it's considered taboo to end a relationship over email or text. However, therapists and dating coaches say there are actually a handful of times when it's acceptable to end things from behind a screen. Read on to learn about the only five times you should break up with someone over text.
It's still early on in the relationship.
If you're just starting to date someone and feel like it's not going anywhere, you don't have to have another date just to express these feelings. Susan Trotter, PhD, relationship and dating coach, says not to ghost them, but instead send a simple message that's clear and respectful.
"'Hi whomever. Thanks for the date. I enjoyed meeting you but don't feel a romantic connection (or don't feel we're quite the right match) and I wish you well in this process.' This is an easy way to end things while still being considerate," she suggests.
You've both come to a mutual agreement.
When both people are clear about the decision to break up and move on, it is perfectly fine to do it over text.
"A text message explaining the reasons why the relationship ended is easier for those who know there is no going back, and thus avoids the drama that often accompanies breakups," says Aura De Los Santos, clinical and educational psychologist, and specialist at Healthcanal.
But even if both parties are in agreement, it's important to make sure your message is clear and straightforward. Adding information that may be confusing will only prolong the conversation.
Mary Smith, relationship expert and founder of Vowness, suggests taking a moment to express gratitude for the time you've spent together and acknowledge the emotions involved. Sometimes relationships run their course naturally, and while it can be easy to play the blame game, it's often not either person's fault.
You're concerned for your safety.
Unfortunately, in some instances, relationships are toxic. "In these cases, a text message can act as a buffer, providing a necessary layer of safety," says Laura Wasser, divorce lawyer, family law and relationship expert, and chief of divorce evolution at Divorce.com.
"In relationships with unpredictable or abusive dynamics, having a face-to-face breakup may be detrimental to your emotional and physical well-being. Remember, your well-being always comes first," agrees Lisa Lawless, PhD, CEO of HolisticWisdom. The message should be short and simple as well as incredibly clear that you do not want any further contact.
Abbey Sangmeister, MSEd, LPC, ACS, founder of Evolving Whole, cautions that if you worry there could be retaliation or feel unsafe, stay at a friend or family member's home or have them stay with you after sending the text.
Distance is a factor.
Let's face it, a long-distance relationship sometimes signals that you're half broken up already. You rarely see each other and are barely able to share your lives, explains author and relationship expert Jerry Brook—which is why, in these cases, a text to officially end things might be OK.
"No one is going to travel hundreds… of miles just to tell the other person that the semi-relationship is finally over so that you can now both move on and start to live your lives," he says.
While it may feel like you're taking the easy way out, traveling to deliver break-up news can be impractical or costly depending on the situation.
"Sending a sincere breakup text can be a considerate way to honestly and promptly communicate your decision," says Smith, who adds that this approach also shows respect for the other person's time and resources.
Your mental health is being affected.
Whether you've been in a relationship for a long time or are just starting out, the most important thing is taking care of yourself. And when your mental health is affected by the relationship, it may be time to step back.
"When you feel someone has crossed the line, you have every right to do whatever you must to care for yourself," says Audrey Hope, relationship expert and certified addiction and trauma counselor.
De Los Santos says a text is also appropriate when it has been difficult to communicate to your partner in other ways about the desire to end the relationship. Sometimes it's more difficult for the couple to communicate verbally when anxieties and insecurities make an appearance. A text can still be significant while also being clear-cut.
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