How To Break Up With Someone Over Text – 16 Ways To Do It

Yes, we sure know that it is incredibly difficult - but remember, it can be done.

Reviewed by Joseph Moore, Certified Relationship And Life Coach Joseph Moore Joseph MooreCertified Relationship And Life Coach
Written by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English) Subhrojyoti Mukherjee MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , BSc Reshma Latif BSc linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
Last Updated on

We all know breakups are painful and messy. At times, you may want to call it off without even meeting that person. If you are wondering how to break up with someone over text or other modes of digital communication without doing a lot of damage, we have your back. You may love your partner deeply, but some breakups are inevitable. You may just fight too much or simply want different things in life. But whenever you sit down to talk, you just cannot broach the subject of walking away. Instead, you both make promises to do better (but you never do). In some abusive relationships, ending a relationship over text may be one of the best ways to break up (rather than dealing with your abusive partner face to face).

Chanelle, in her blog, recounts one of the most challenging moments in her life, describing how she experienced a breakup through a text message. In her words, “I was broken up with via a text message one Monday evening in April 2018. It is my first heartbreak experience as he was my first boyfriend. The breakup was a shock but after what led to the breakup I wasn’t surprised it happened. It still saddened me (i).”

Whatever the reason, you can break up with your partner over text by avoiding harsh language or without hurting them too much. Using the right words can make a world of difference. Keep reading to learn how you can cut ties with your partner while giving them the closure they need to move on.

Is It Okay To Break Up Over Text?

Is it okay to break up with someone over text
Image: Shutterstock

The popular resounding answer would be a solid “No.” It feels impersonal and does not give any scope to discuss what exactly went wrong. However, it is okay to break up over texts in several situations and it is not against relationship etiquette if:

  1. Your Safety Is At Risk: If your safety is at risk, and your partner is threatening you, making you feel uncomfortable, or not respecting your boundaries, it is okay to break up with them over a text, despite the intensity and depth of your relationship.
  2. You Barely Know Them: It is okay to break up with someone you have only been on one or two dates. Why? For starters, things never really took off. If you have been intimate, clarifying your reasons over text is better than simply sending “this is not working out.” In other words, if you are exiting a non-relationship, a break up text should suffice.
  3. You Cannot Break Up In Person: If you have been trying to come out of a relationship but your partner always begs and convinces you to stay back – you know that it’s never going to be easy. Codependent relationships and even compulsions drive a person to not let the other go. Breaking up over texts is the right thing to do in such cases.
  4. It’s Mutual: Sometimes, both of you may realize that the relationship has hit stagnancy. You have become so neutral and passive that you often find reasons to avoid each other. Breaking up over texts is a relief for both in such cases.

protip_icon Quick Tip
It is important to give yourself some time to think about what you want to say over text when you have decided to end your relationship.

Now that you know when it is okay to break up with someone over text, let us look at how you can go about communicating difficult news like this with kindness, subtlety, and empathy. Keep reading.

How To Break Up With Someone Over Text: 17 Tips To Try

How to break up with someone over text
Image: Shutterstock

1. Start By Greeting With A Genuine Compliment

  • Address the person by their name, followed by a comma.
  • Thank the person for paying for the date(s) (if that is the case).
  • Add a subtle compliment about the date. It could be something as simple as “Loved the place you chose.”
  • Do not say sentences like “you are sweet and nice, but…”. Instead, write, “you seem like a nice guy.”
  • Avoid exclamation marks and emojis at all costs.

2. Start With The Phrase “To Be Honest”

Starting your message with “to be honest” or TBH comes off as being honest and demonstrates that you have put in a lot of thought before deciding to break up with the person.

For example, the text can read something like, “Tbh, it was fun hanging out with you, but I don’t think this will work out.”

3. Be Kind

Avoid using harsh words. Instead, be kind and clear with the text to ensure you end things on a good note. Ideally, take ownership of the situation and explain why it did not work out. Avoid finding faults and blaming the other person. For example, the text can read like, “It has been great knowing you, but the more time we spend together, the more I realize our needs and goals were different.”

4. Be Honest

Sometimes, things may not work out as planned. However, you may end up getting a good friend instead of a partner. So, if you feel that you can be friends with the other person, communicate the same with honesty and directness.

However, it is only possible if the other person is okay being friend-zoned. The text can read something like: “I really enjoyed spending time together and would love to see you again, but as friends. Does that work for you?”

5. Make It Sound Matter-Of-Factly

Woman texting to break up with her partner
Image: Shutterstock

If you think that there is zero hope with the person you are seeing, draft a short, matter-of-fact text that:

  • Leaves no room for guesses
  • Communicates that you will not be changing your mind
  • Clears your standpoint

The text could read something like, “I feel we are not compatible and do not see this relationship heading anywhere. So, I would like to end all communication. Wish you the very best of luck.”

6. Take Full Responsibility And Spell It Out

There is nothing better than taking ownership and initiating the break up if you are sure about things not working out. The idea is to be as clear and direct as possible without giving any mixed signals.

The text could read something like: “Hey (XYZ), thank you for meeting me yesterday. As much as I wanted it, I did not feel a romantic connection. I am sure, as did you. I know it is always awkward to be the first to say this, but I did not want to ghost you and leave you clueless.”

7. Make It Playful And Fun

Break up texts do not need to be dire or dull. They can be fun or witty if you want to end things on a lighter note. That said, do not make fun of the other person or make jokes at their expense. The idea is to leave them off the hook subtly. So, whip up a fun and playful, not-so-serious message to thank the person for meeting up and wish them well.

8. Close Windows Of Opportunities

If you have gone on a few dates with a person and feel it’s not working out, send a simple text indicating you are not interested. Keep it subtle. There is no need to explain why it is not working and why you want to end it. For instance, you can send a text like: “Thank you so much for the drinks last night, but this does not feel like the right fit for me. Here is wishing you all the best with your future dates!”

9. Communicate Exactly What Went Wrong

You can do this if you have been with a person for quite some time and want to come out of the relationship. Be straightforward and point out what went wrong. For instance, if they were rude to you, let them know. Making things crystal-clear leaves no scope of doubt and assumptions.

The text could read something like: “I just wanted to let you know that I did not feel comfortable with your behavior, which was mostly mean and rude. I do not think that things would work out between us. That said, thank you for your time, and I wish you well.”

10. Do Not Lash Out

Woman controls herself to avoid lashing out
Image: Shutterstock

If you have been betrayed or cheated on, you will feel the urge to lash out at the person. We understand that you are deeply hurt. However, control your emotions as there is no need to get into the details (unless you are trying to save your relationship). You can simply convey that you are “not okay” with what happened, and you want to move on, calling it quits.

protip_icon Quick Tip
There is no guarantee that the conversation will be effective. So acknowledge that you will not be able to control their reaction.

11. Be Open To Discussion

Do this if you have been busy and there is a lack of connection from your end. Communicate clearly and let them know that you are caught up with multiple things and are not ready for a relationship or dedicate the time and energy it requires. Once you have stated the facts, give the other person the time to process them, and if they want to talk, discuss and let them know. This way, you can end things without any bitterness.

12. Never Leave It Open-Ended

You might feel the urge to give false hopes, raising chances of reconciliation just to make it feel less painful for your partner. Never do that. Leaving the door open is not a good idea. For instance, to avoid immediate confrontation or to hurt your partner, you might tell them, “I might rethink once I am back from my trip.” When you know that you will not change your mind and you do not have any intention of following up, do not rekindle hope and be truthful.

13. Focus On The Relationship

Break ups may happen for multiple reasons. However, it does not mean both of you are bad people – it is just that the chemistry is not working out, which leads to issues. So, instead of pointing fingers and accusing each other, focus on the relationship and the bond between you and acknowledge that things are not working out.

14. Watch Your Statements

When crafting a break up text, be mindful of the words you use and the point of view you are delivering. Avoiding blame or hurt and accusing your partner is not the wy to go about it. It is you who have decided to end the relationship, so take responsibility for it and use “I” to write the statements instead of “you.” For instance, avoid writing “you never gave me time” or “you always avoided meeting my family.” Instead, you can convey it like “I feel we were not giving “us” the time we needed.”

15. Pick Up An Appropriate Time

Couple breaking up at a private place
Image: Shutterstock

Timing is important. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes and understand when it is the right time to spill it. It will not be fair to deliver bad news when they are in the middle of an important meeting, working, or in a family gathering. This is an intimate conversation and should be done when both are in an intimate setting to handle their emotions. Emotional outbursts at public places can be embarrassing for your partner. So, be considerate.

16. Be Empathetic

Once you have made up your mind to end it, you may not feel the urge to care about your partner’s feelings and how your words may impact them. However, be empathetic and provide emotional support. You have been deeply in love with each other, and during those days, you couldn’t even imagine hurting them. Although things have gone south later, remember those days. If you have ever had a breakup and been at the receiving end, recollect how you felt. This will help you deliver the bad news in a neutral tone or without being rude and hurtful.

These are some tips that give you an idea of how to break up with someone over text. Let’s now find out how to respond to a break-up text in the next section.

How To Respond To A Break-Up Text

Although replying to a break-up text can be difficult, it is important to do it maturely and gracefully. Start by acknowledging their message, letting them know you appreciate their honesty, and showing your understanding of their choice. Consider the good things in your relationship and be thankful for the time you have together. Respect their decision and send them well wishes. Also, when responding, be concise, kind, and understanding while maintaining your own emotional well-being in the process.

Infographic: 8 Sincere Ways To Break Up Over Text

Breaking up over text can be difficult, but sometimes, it is the right thing to do. It is important to handle it with respect and sensitivity to ensure that the experience is not bitter and consideration is given to the well-being of both partners. Check out the following infographic for simple tips to do it in a mature way.

8 sincere ways to break up over text (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

While breaking up over text is not ideal, you can opt for it if you feel unsafe around your partner, barely know them, or if it is a mutual decision. Also, if you feel that approaching your partner in person to break up would not work as they will beg or convince you to stay, doing it over text is fine. You should be kind, honest, and empathetic during a breakup over text. It is also important to communicate what went wrong, take full responsibility, and not leave the breakup open-ended.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you break up with your boyfriend without hurting him over text?

Be honest but don’t be rude. Let him know that while he has some amazing qualities, you don’t think the relationship will work because you have some reservations about it. By letting him know why you want to break up, you can give him closure.

How do you politely break up with someone over text?

Be honest, cut to the chase, don’t be mean, give them time to process the information and respond, and don’t give them hope that they may have a chance later.

How do I apologize for breaking up over text?

Let them know why you don’t feel comfortable breaking up in person, then apologize. However, you don’t have to apologize for breaking up over text if your partner tends to get violent and abusive.

Key Takeaways

  • Breaking up over text may not be ideal. In most cases, people don’t agree with this approach.
  • There are certain situations where breaking up over text is acceptable, such as if your partner is abusive and dangerous or when both partners know the relationship has hit a dead-end and breaking up over a text is comfortable.
  • When breaking up over text, one thing to keep in mind is the clarity of the message being sent. The clearer it is, the less likely there would be emotional outburst from person you are breaking up with.
  • Remember, don’t be harsh. Tell them honestly why you are breaking up with them and close the conversation with them if you know you are not going to change your mind.
how to break up with someone over text

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

Breaking up with someone is never easy. This video will show you how to do it over text without hurting the person. Check it out!

Personal Experience: Source

Was this article helpful?
Joseph Moore
Joseph MooreCertified Relationship And Life Coach
Joseph Moore is an ace relationship coach and public speaker who started coaching in 2015. Although Joseph is a trained electrical engineer from the University of Chester, he found passion in helping people get it right with their love life.

Read full bio of Joseph Moore
Sneha Tete
Sneha TeteBeauty & Lifestyle Writer
Sneha has a master's degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Hyderabad, a professional Relationship Coach diploma, and over four years of experience in writing. She writes about relationships and lifestyle.Sneha began her career as an instructional designer, shifted to freelance technical and research writing, and self-published a novella on the theme of adolescent mental health.

Read full bio of Sneha Tete
Subhrojyoti Mukherjee
Subhrojyoti MukherjeeAssociate Editor
Subhrojyoti is an associate editor at StyleCraze with four years of experience. He has a master’s degree in English from Presidency University, Kolkata, and has also done a post-graduate certificate course in Editing and Publishing from Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

Read full bio of Subhrojyoti Mukherjee
Reshma Latif
Reshma LatifBeauty & Lifestyle Writer
Reshma is a content writer with a penchant for writing articles on relationships, makeup, and beauty. She started her writing career in 2007, soon after graduating from Mahatma Gandhi University. What began as a love for blogging bloomed into several freelancing opportunities over the years.

Read full bio of Reshma Latif