Breaking Up is Easy to Do… If You Have a Smartphone

Infographic by Science Of Relationships

We live in a world where technology prevails and has taken over a huge part of our lives. What once was deemed unthinkable, technology makes it happen every day all around the world.

Unfortunately, it does so also in areas that were formerly reserved for personal inter-human contact.

In a recent survey, over 100 students in the US were asked whether they have ever been broken up with by their partner via technology, for example over text-message or email.

The result was admittedly a little shocking for me – over 28% of the students have been dumped this way, and another 10% would do it themselves to their partners.

This may seem surprising at first, but when we give it a little more thought, it is a logical progression in our modern society that is heading towards as little “real” contact as humanly possible.

Why face a difficult situation and witness the consequences of our actions when it could be done from a safe distance – with the push of a button?

But to be honest, I don’t see it as terrible as it is being made out to be.   I’m a strong believer in the human spirit, and I trust that we will come around eventually. I am sure that many of us still prefer to handle such delicate things face-to-face, as it should be done.

This is the least we can do for the ones we once cared for.

Read everything about the survey and this disturbing trend in an article from Dr. Benjamin Le here.

I would like to know, were you ever dumped by text-message or email? Tell me in the comment-section below.

Your friend,
Eddie Corbano

  • brokenhearted says:

    My ex broke up with me via text after 7 years. Did not say goodbye to either of his step kids and told never contact him again. Blocked me and the kids from Facebook and other I’m. He did this one week before we were moving. I had no truck and no where to go. He would not answer but to tell me he hated me and leave.him alone. He also owes me a considerable amount of money as we started a business which was suppose to be in both our names but when the corporate docs where done I was cut out in place of one of his employees. He never even helped move our belongings has left me with everything inc. His family hierlooms. Its been 2 months and I’m.a wreck. We had problems but we.had been working on them and the long distance didn’t help. But we had made a recommitment one month before and I was finally able to move to where he was. It was the most brutal thing I think. Absolutely terrible.

  • Yup- had a fight, he walked out, 2 days later sends a text saying he’s arranged to get his things over the next day or two. That’s it. I didn’t respond & he got upset!
    He left me & he’s upset?!? Immature jerk – oh yeah – he’s 31. I’ve never broken up with someone this way & never would. I’m 36. I called him on breaking up with by text & called it cruel – he blamed me by saying it was the only way because we’d fight & I’d get so angry & I dont communicate well. Just his way to excuse his bad behavior. Ugh-

  • My BF of 13 months wrote a long break up message to me accusing me of avoiding his calls over the past hour. ( I was out of range at the lake house — where I was living at the time) so when I got the messages saying he couldn’t do this anymore. He basically didn’t want me in his life anymore because my child is disabled. (My child had been disabled the entire 13 months we dated) then he ends it with: “please call me…I don’t want to do this via text…”
    My response: “you just did”
    In a way it was unexpected, but I saw little signs (looking back) I just never thought he would go drastic and break up… I just thought we had issues to discuss.
    Now I know who he is and I am grateful to him for at least not wasting anymore of my time. We are both mid-40’s. I don’t have the time, nor desire to waste my life on a person who doesn’t value me and my child. And once you “text message break up”… Well, there really is no coming back from that one is there?

    I still love him, but I don’t dwell on “what could have been”, instead I look at what “will be” and am grateful for the lesson learned.

  • Angry dumpee says:

    I was dumped by text after a year, out of the blue. My ex refused to give me closure and said because I couldn’t communicate. Great from someone dumping by text right?! I was devastated and never cheated. He’s never contacted me and I haven’t spoken to him to this day. Everyone says stay in NC. He must have cheated on me for sure and yet everyone took this jerks side. And cut me off. I took the high road, but I regret it. I have spoken to my ex or his two faced friends since. Why don’t they do this to the next person?

  • anonymous says:

    Ok, to make the list even longer… I just got a whatsapp y’day, after being together for 18yrs, married with 3 little kids, from my husband…in which he makes clear that he wants to divorce me, period. Well we were in discussions for some months, divorce came to the table though I kept my hope(?) as I don’t walk away that easily, and he apparently did not. He knew well I was devastated about our fights, he always ran away from my tears…But to send me a text, instead of giving it to me right in my face, escaping from facing my pain/hurt, is so .. hard to get. I texted back that if he had balls he would come over to talk to me…of course he did not…

    Though, Eddie you talk about the no-contact rule…, parents need regular contact for the care , schooling, sports, house change etc of their kids, no contact is a nogo in that field. To get over the first weeks/months after a breakup, with kids involved…what would you def. do.

    • There are certain rules for NC if you have to deal with your Ex (kids together). That’s what I call “Disconnected No-Contact”… (check out the newsletter for that).

      Main rule: protect the children at all cost!

      • Julie and Susan,

        I think you are justifying a bad choice. I think a break-up given in a text is only truly justifiable if you feel that you would be in danger if you met with your boyfriend face-to-face. Otherwise, it comes across as disrespectful and immature, especially if your boyfriend gave some sort of reason for being distant (Julie). I understand that you were not getting what you wanted out of the relationship, but I don’t understand why taking the higher road is not desired… at least a phone call with a script to read in front of you. In my opinion, a person who cannot face situations with respect and maturity is not ready for a serious relationship. Hopefully it is just a learning experience that you won’t repeat.

        I am sure your exes would appreciate an apology too. Even if you have not spoken in a while.

  • I recently made a clean break with my ex via text. Yes, I think texting is a lousy way to break up with someone in most instances, but at times, the medium can be a godsend. Here’s why I chose to do it this way — we had somewhat rekindled things, but then he started to grow distant. He has a lot of transition and a family issue going on his life right now, which he said is why he felt himself pulling back — that he just can’t deal with everything and whatever we have going on, on top of it. A week or more would go by and I wouldn’t hear from him, unless I contacted him. The last phone conversation we had, which was at my urging, he apologized and said he did care about me and wasn’t trying to push me out of his life, but that he was aware he was pulling back and just couldn’t deal very well. I said I understood, but that I needed *some* communication to keep this going. It seemed like we reached an understanding, and I felt good following that conversation. However, after a week and a half had passed again without hearing from him, I finally decided just to send him a text. I told him it was obvious to me that I wanted more that he was able to give me at this point in his life, that I needed to move on, but that I wished him well. He did not reply, and that’s been about a week. I have no way of knowing whether he was hurt by the fact that I did this via text or if he simply doesn’t care, or something in between, but for me, doing this via text took away the wishy-washy way I can be on the phone — I wasn’t 100% sure I could have said that to him via phone and held to my conviction. Plus, we’d already had a couple conversations about the issue of him pulling away/his life stress, so I felt like things had pretty much already been said. It was more like I was acknowledging what was going on and telling him I knew I deserved better. Peace out. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting, and yes, I wish I’d heard some kind of acknowledgement from him. But that was the trade-off for not doing this via phone, I suppose.

    • I know it’s hard Julie, but I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who did this. You totally just described the situation with me and my boyfriend. He had been very distant for a few months and I went to talk to him a few times to see what was going on and if we could work on things and he didn’t seem very receptive to it. His lack of response and emotion made me think he was going to break up with me, but he didn’t. The last night I saw him we left things kind of normal, but I could really tell after the fact that he didn’t want it anymore. I told my girl friends all about our conversation (in which I sobbed the entire time) and that the next time I see him I’m going to end it. That’s when they told me to just text him since we didn’t need to go through all that again. I have felt so bad for “breaking up” via text, however, in my mind it was already over. And there had been many times during our “relationship” when he kind of blew me off–not calling, texting, anything. I just think he didn’t want to be the bad guy and left it up to me. I keep telling myself that I didn’t dump him via text, I just gave closure to what had been a months long break up on his end. I still wish I had gone with my gut and done it in person, but I can’t turn back time. Live and learn I guess.

  • I met my ex when I was 17 years old. He was my first love and first everything. A couple of months ago he went to study abroad and two days before him coming back we had an argument about him never calling me or contacting me when he promised he would, instead he was out partying and getting drunk. He dumped me on a facebook message..after four years of being together, and 2 1/2 years of living together. The apartment was his and he gave me 5 days to pull myself together and find someplace else to stay while he was partying in Miami with his friends. I’ve changed my phone number and I don’t get on facebook because according to my friends he keeps posting pictures of him partying and being with other girls and being “so happy”. After knowing that, I prohibit my friends from telling me what he is up to or what he posts on facebook. It’s been 2 months of not talking to him or seeing him and I am still hurting really bad. I realized I stopped loving myself and I molded myself to him and now I don’t even know who I am or where I am going. Sometimes I feel like I will never get over it. I gave him my everything and now I feel very empty. At first I couldn’t eat or sleep. My eating patterns have returned to normal but my sleeping patterns are still very bad. I wake up from painful nightmares about him and then I can’t sleep any longer and this is every single night. I exercise daily, I go to school, I work, I’ve tried yoga classes, salsa classes, writing in a journal, everything! You name it…and I still think about it constantly and the worst part is that I keep blaming myself for stupid mistakes I did and I feel like it’s all my fault when in reality it wasn’t.

  • Came home after a meeting and his stuff was gone. I texted him to ask what was happening and he told me he’d left and would never come back. He decided to leave out of the blue. We had been together for two and a half years.

    I am a 44 years old business woman and he is an executive for a national organisation, so that should tell you a bit about his sense of respect and integrity.

    This does not only happen to students.

    • patricia Higginbottom says:

      Wow, that is so devastating. After that length of time you think that you would know their character.

      I hope you have moved on and met someone more worthy

      • Hi Patricia,

        He left me on January 17th of this year. I am not ready to meet someone else, I still have quite a big of grieving to do. I was invested in that relationship, to me, he was it.

        I am doing what I have to do everyday in order to feel better. Sometimes, it’s tow steps forward, one step back. the thing I know is I will not contact him, nor take his calls or texts or email, mind you, he has not tried to contact me and I know he won’t so I guess that makes it easier. I have deleted him from my Facebook and twitter and linkedin. I have also closed my Facebook account as it is too much of a distraction from the work I have to do on myself.

        I hope that one day, I’ll come back here and tell you all that I am happy and life is good.

    • COWARD! He has got to live with that!

  • Hi yes dumped by a text from IPHONE–5 weeks ago
    one line>>>> no love Pete,no signature.
    I believe this is a cowards way out- it read-“I thought I could make it work this time,I was wrong” was all that I got.

    We broke up and I was alone for a year and half with no contact.I dated but my heart wasn’t in it.Then on my birthday 7 months ago he comes back–saying let’s try again i figured out where I went wrong-it was me not you,you are amazing.
    Things started sliding again after Christmas-no libido,distancing himself,if I didn’t call he didn’t call me.He said he didn’t know where his life was going-he didn’t care about anything-hes 54–
    So I asked him through a long letter to please talk to me about us-seek medical help we could work together to overcome anything-and all I got was the one line from his new “IPHONE toy”.
    I need somebody who’s emotionally mature not this guy-I am glad I took and stand for me and stated my wants and needs cause nothing was being met.
    Thank you for this site that has given me tremendous courage and strength to go on–
    I let him treat me badly like when I needed closeness,intimacy he pulled away because of his erectile problem and yet he would lay blame on me saying that that’s all I ever thought about-sex–I was really hurt by this.
    I hope he gets help–as I pity the next girl,
    cheers Kerri

  • Anonymous says:

    I got dumped three times over technology. Twice over text messages and once over private messages. By the same person. And we’re friends (But somehow we’re dating right now).

    I don’t know why I insist on dating him, I don’t even like him that way. I find us to be more like friends with benefits at best. It’s easy, maybe?

    What’s wrong with me.

    • It doesn’t sound like “easy” to me… You really shouldn’t let him treat you this way.

  • I really don’t think its a good way to break up.

    “over 28% of the students have been dumped this way, and another 10% would do it themselves to their partners.”

    I think it’s a lot more popular with under 20s. I know as I’ve been there and done that. I’d say after that it gets a little less common and I would add that it could come off a bit immature.

    Anyway thanks for the post.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s probably more common among teens. I’m in grad school, though. My ex who broke up with me in a text was 28 at the time and working on a Ph.D., so it can come from people/age groups you might never expect.

  • Just happened to me last month. My GF of 16 months and I were engaged in November. Her controlling college age daughters protested the engagement because “no one is good enough for their mother” in Dec, she started to display all the red flags in Jan (nit picky behavior and criticism), and I received an e-mail three weeks ago that “I was be most increadible man she ever me”, she failed our relationship with her behavior, she has a pattern of failed relationships, her feelings changed, she could not handle seeing me because it would be too emotional, she has a unbreakable pattern of failed relationships (married 3 times), and she was seeking counseling to see why she was “so broken and if if could be fixed” and wanted to be my friend via e-mail in the meantime.

    I later found out that her ex-BF of three years (who she complained about all the time) showed up and spent the weekend the day after I picked up my things from the house and she was telling him “she loves him” less than 10 days after she was calling me her forever husband. Not quite the behavior I expected from a mature 50 year old women.

    Ending an engagement via e-mail is very immature and unkind. Especially when they never say “we are broken up” but mention that I need to make arrangements to pick up my things.

    NC is established and underway

    My .02 worth

  • JusBreathe says:

    Thats how I ended mine through text. I could no longer handle the name calling and accusations and feeling like I couldnt do anything well enough. She apologized the next morning (via text) and I ended it via text.

  • My ex boyfriend, Jay broke up with me twice already. Both times it was he needed space.
    The first time he broke up with me by email, then he deleted his email account so I wouldn’t contact him. The second time he broke up with me by TEXT…then he blocked my number from his phone and texts…and refused contact with me whatsoever. He blocked my email and refuses all calls. Im so devastated and feel so unworthy. I loved him so much. I have been crushed and have done all the humiliating stuff like begging, knocking on his door hoping he answers, sending gifts, everything to loose my pride with. I am so lonely and miss him but I know…he is so not worth it. He is older than I, and I am attractive, smart and he doesn’t deserve me…but like a fool…I love him.

  • On 10 December 2012, whilst he was traveling, I received an email from my partner of 11 years stating that while he loves me and thinks I’m wonderful, he no longer sees me as his life partner. He also said his heart was with another woman he met on a ‘path of love’ heal yourself course 5 days earlier. We were about to buy a new apartment together, I had just paid 34,000 euro on a deposit. He still wanted to purchase the apartment together despite the change of relationship. I did not pursue the purchase and the money was lost. I am 43, he leaves me without a marriage and children.

    We had an amazingly colourful relationship: building companies, surviving bankruptcy, traveling the world. We went through thick and thin, giving huge support. He had compulsive issues including drinking, and I had fears on money issues. We were still very much best friends and sincere in our love and care for each other. We did not have crazy dramas, but I know he was searching to ‘fill an internal hole’ this past year.

    To end such times as ours, via an email, feels brutal and violent. It does not respect the times and love we shared. It was an impulsive move, not thought out, not considered through any consequence. It was a knee-jerk reaction to an attraction to a woman he had just met. The moment of separation is when you should be your highest and best human self. You are changing the entire course of someone’s life, and therefore need to be your most loving, compassionate and giving. It must be face-to-face, so you can be held as you collapse in the knowledge and the pain. It is inconceivable that a 45-year-old could behave like this.

    He continues to send me emails and texts this past four weeks. I have gone cold turkey and do not reciprocate. When I do communicate with him, it will be a hand-written letter, not electronic. It will show the human side. It will be tangible, real and written from the heart.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree. I think it’s totally fair to do this if you’re leaving an abusive relationship. The sad part about my situation: I acutually did like the guy. I was just used to aggressive guys who wanted to make all the moves. Lesson learned.

  • Anonymous says:

    Yes, I was broken up with once via text. Prior to dating, he and I were friends for several years. We weren’t close friends and we only dated for a few months, but I still thought the break up was disrespectful and the wrong way to handle the break up. His reasons (I wasn’t calling enough, putting in enough effort, etc.) had never been discussed with me face-to-face before the text. The text was basically an ultimatum to meet his needs or he was gone.

    His reasons were not invalid. I own up to my part in the break up, but ultimately, I decided someone who would give me an ultimatum in a text before discussing issues with me face-to-face probably didn’t value the relationship enough, had character issues, or didn’t respect me. It’s probably a combination of things.

    It’s really sad. Relationships become broken after things like this happen. It’s such a sour ending and trust is lost.

    • Thanks for commenting.

      Using texts for an ultimatum like he did is just cowardliness. Things like this should always be done face to face… there is only one exception: leaving an abusive relationship.

  • Loved the article. My relationship ended on the phone the day after spending the previous two days with my exgf. We were off and on for a while (her decision) but after committing to me and deciding to work on our relationship, she ultimately decided that wasn’t what she wanted. I was careful and had my guard up but it didn’t mean I wasn’t hurt and devastated following our final conversation. I just wish she talked to me when she was with me instead of telling me “I love you”, making love, and making plans with me for New Years. Instead she tells me the next day everything she had been feeling and how she hoped being with me over the holidays and being intimate with me would get rid of any lingering doubts. It didn’t, and despite how I thought I was prepared for the end of our relationship, she broke my heart.

    I am very thankful for every article you posted Eddie, as well as the discussion on each page. It keeps me sane and helps me through the days that are rough as I move on from the past and onto my future. Ry

  • Elizabeth says:

    Eddie: this is another great article! My last two break ups involved the ever ubiquitous Twitter.
    The first man tweeted how he was going to dump me over dinner the next day. I saw this before it happened because my best friend who did not trust him decided to do some detective work. At the time I was absolutely furious that perfect strangers knew what was going to happen before I did! Needless to say I broke up with him immediately via text as I was at work when I saw this but I was just crushed at the time.

    The next guy decided to break up with me via my best friend though text message when I was in the hospital. A few weeks later I found out he gave me a fake Twitter account and was living a very different life. It was just shocking to see on screen how unworthy he obviously felt I was to know the truth.

    I have gotten better from both even though it has left scars. I realize these two men were pathetic excuses for men who hid behind the veil of technology thinking it would protect them somehow. All it did was make more drama.
    I agree with you that the human spirit does triumph. I realized what I had suspected for a while when I was with them: I deserve much much better than that.

    • This sounds terrible, so sorry that you had to go through all this… but ultimately it’s a blessing that you got rid of such men. As you’ve said, you deserve better.

      Thank you for sharing.

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