Breaking Up Over the Phone – Pros and Cons

In today’s world of dating – both online and offline, the rules and etiquette of relationships are rapidly changing. For many people, this has them confused about whether such things like breaking up over the phone or via test message are acceptable forms of ending the relationship. According to a survey from Marie Magazine, some folks – especially men, are prone to NOT breaking up at all and just leave a long period of silence to act as the notification that the relationship has ended. So maybe sending a quick text that says, “It’s been real but I got to run,” is better than nothing at all, right? Wrong!

Decency should still prevail in your life whether your relationship is virtual or otherwise. In fact, according to a Decent Persons Guide to Breaking up, doing so over the phone or via text is only acceptable if the relationship is a long distance one. Meaning you are in West Virginia and your partner is in California and there is no chance that the two of you will be seeing each other any time soon. (Or maybe have never seen each other in person to begin with) Another time when breaking up over text or the phone, or email may be okay is when you aren’t really in a ‘real’ relationship to begin with – and have only seen one another once or twice (most likely for sex). In which case, there probably isn’t much of a relationship to end.

If you are dating, and you are not under the age of 16 – the act of ‘breaking up over the phone’ really makes a statement about what kind of person you are. Cowardice and lacking compassion come to mind first and foremost. This is especially true if you are in a relationship that has been ongoing for a month or more, that has settled into a routine of seeing each other several times per week and communicating often whether on the phone, via text or email and skype. In this case, chances are pretty good that the other person has developed feelings for you of some sort, and deserves a few minutes of your undivided attention so that you can break up. It’s a matter of respect, rather than a matter of making things easiest on yourself.

The reason most people break up in such heartless ways is because they are selfish and quite simply don’t want to see the hurt they have caused on another persons face. It’s one thing to call your boyfriend or girlfriend and tell them it’s over and then hang up knowing they are crying alone in their bedroom; but altogether different to sit over a lunch and watch the tears actually fall from their eyes. For many people, they continue relationships longer than they should for just this reason – they don’t want to hurt another persons feelings. But prolonging a relationship for the sake of savings someone’s feelings and preserving your own shutters of guilt is not the solution either.

The best ways to break up with someone while keeping your dating karma in tact, is to do so privately and in person. This means not meeting them at a crowded restaurant where they are sure to exhibit strong emotions in front of a bunch of strangers. Instead, choose a setting that is private, and enables both of you a quick get away. Ask that they MEET you somewhere, rather than drive together which leads to awkward moments in the car together on the way home. You should also avoid breaking up with someone in either your home or his or her home – where the emotions in the aftermath may lead you back into the bedroom with the person that you just broke up with. (Big mistake!) You also should avoid breaking up with someone while they are at work, at a family function, on their birthday, during a funeral or during any other special time. In other words, use your brain and common sense and don’t be so insistent on your own will to break up that you are willing to leave a dent in what should be a special time for someone else. Obviously, you have been thinking about the break up for a while, so putting some extra planning into breaking up well is just common decency. Some ideas are to meet at a park, or to meet somewhere where the two of you can for a walk together.

Once you break up the other person will probably want answers. Try to be nice here. Just because they were annoying, or possessive or overly jealous, or a complete raving lunatic doesn’t mean you have to add insult to injury by picking apart all their flaws. Just tell them that the feelings you were expecting to develop aren’t developing, let them know you think they are a nice person – and move on. And move on swiftly. If the person asks if you can still be friends, then make sure that you tell them you don’t think it’s a good idea. And also remember, that once YOU break up with someone – you should have the decency to not call them, or text them, or tell them you are thinking about them after a few drinks when you are feeling lonely. This only prolongs the break up and increases the hurt.

Another terrible way to break up with someone is to change your relationship status online on such social media devices as Facebook or dating sites BEFORE telling the person. These are the antics of a 14-year-old girl, and only serve to embarrass the person you were dating.

Listen, dating is touch and go. Relationships start and end, come and go. Breaking up with someone (or being dumped) is never easy. But it should still be done with respect.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. The only reason I’m considering the phone method is because he can get mad and not let me leave and move on. Its happened before where he’d just stare at me and yell why I was breaking up with him (we made up a few days after). I dont want to deal with that again. Assuming you’re cruel for doing that way is really. Really. Closeminded.

  2. This is actually a really good read, Regarding the previous comment, u are afraid of breaking up with him in person because he might yell? That sounds pretty petty. I mean it couldn’t have been that bad if u made up with him days later. Unless u are afraid of being physically harmed, because you owe him a courteous considerate,respectful explanation … then there is no reason to break up with him over the phone unless u are the close minded one.

    People never forget relationships… if u have any respect for him at all u wouldn’t care if he yelled or not. Do u want him to look back negatively about u or positively?Maybe he yelled to begin with because u weren’t respectful in your demeanor the first time… maybe u were. Either way being yelled at means u care more about yourself than anything else… phone breakups provide no closure for the receiver. Don’t be in a relationship if u don’t have the balls to break up in person.

  3. “Anonymous”

    Are you not capable of ending a relationship maturely because the person got upset that you were breaking up with them?

    He couldn’t be that bad that you made up with him after the first time. Unless you broke up in a fashion that he felt disrespected. Most people who break up respectfully and assertively results in a cordial exit, what did you do to make him disrespected?

    Your answer really bleeds selfishness. 2 reasons to break up over phone 1) they are abusive 2) they live in another state/country.

    There are no grey areas in between “pout pout he got mad and loud at me the first time”

    Selfish. You are the close minded one.

  4. Hey anonymous, why get back into a relationship if you aren’t willing to break up with him to his face again. That shows how insincere you really are as a person. Stay away from relationships, period.

  5. I really agree with you, I am almost 40, happily married with children.

    I get nostalgic from time to time about my younger years. I’ll have to admit that I think about my first love at times, and her dumping me over the phone. I was devastated… now several years later part of the devastation was the unclassy way she broke up. It really left no closure and degraded me as a person. Of course her excuse was that I was too controlling and she was afraid.. which I wasn’t. I even took her back when she came back crying… did it again over the phone months later. Why did she do it again over the phone? Was it because I was a paychotic sob, that she painted me out to be to her friends.. as well as my self? Nope… she just didnt think it was necessary to owe it to my face this time.

    I think this speaks volumes about the type of person she was/is. No accountability, no compassion.

    People remember that stuff.

  6. I completely agree with the article, howev I don’t fully connect with the “dating karma” comment.

    I was in a serious relationship with someone (over 16 yrs old of course) and they cut me off over a telephone conversation, also they felt the need to blame my character flaws on top of that. They lived a 5-minute drive down the road. The next few days she was already seeing new people. I was crushed, I had so many questions. The lack of compassion, the lack of closure. Any question I had afterward was returned with coldness and more blame. I didn’t talk to them for several months. I made the attempt to make contact. They had moved on completely, found someone new. I said i’d leave them alone and thanked them for their time and they couldn’t even say bye back… just ignored me. Now they are married 9 yrs with 3 children, live in a nice neighborhood, have good jobs, etc. Dating karma? Never happened.

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