Is Breaking Up Over The Phone Ever OK? Yes, But Only In These 2 Instances
Here's how I broke up with my high school boyfriend: I ignored his calls for about three weeks until he eventually texted me very bluntly, "Um, this isn't working, is it?" Relieved that he had done most of the work for me, I called him and ended it for real. So yeah, I know what it's like to break up with someone over the phone, but 26-year-old me would probably do things a bit more considerately than 16-year-old me did.
For one, there was no need to break up with this guy over the phone. Sure, we attended different schools, but we only lived about 30 minutes away from each other and we hung out at most of the same places. We had been dating for a few months and he was even my date to the prom, so no, he absolutely did not deserve this.
Sometimes, breaking up over the phone or via text is just a cop out. I admit it. I had no real reason for doing this other than the fact that I was a coward who hated confrontation. I still hate confrontation but now if I think about dumping someone over the phone when I could just as easily do it in person, I mostly think...
Honestly, it's selfish and rude and I regret ever having done it. Lori Salkin, dating coach and senior matchmaker at SawYouAtSinai.com, says there are only two times it's OK to break up with someone over the phone:
When You Have Been Dating For A Relatively Short Period Of Time
She tells Elite Daily, "If you just started going out with someone, like fewer than five or six times, it is definitely OK to just call them to end it." You haven't spent that much time together and things aren't exactly serious. Breaking up with them in person might be a logistical nightmare.
Think about it. You have to agree on a place to meet, get dressed, drive or take an Uber there, all to have a 15-minute conversation about how you never want to see them again? Not worth it. Because things between you two are still new, it's unlikely that they'll take this breakup to heart so it's fine to do it over the phone.
Although this situation calls for a more casual breakup, Salkin says don't even think about ghosting this person. "You definitely should reach out to end it over the phone as it was enough time invested together to offer a two-minute phone call of thanks and validation," she explains. I mean, it's the least you could do, right?
As for a long-term relationship, Salkin says, simply, "A phone call will not suffice." She adds, "If you have been dating someone for several months and it was a serious relationship, it is important to be fair if you are the one ending it, to give the other person closure, and to discuss why you feel it is best to end the relationship." (Oops.)
You Are In A Long-Distance Relationship
Know that this is merely a technicality since you can definitely have a long-term relationship that is also long-distance. But alas, breaking up over the phone is probably the easiest way to end your long-distance relationship.
Salkin points out that while you might want to do this in person, it's cruel to put it off until the next time you see each other — or worse, to plan a trip under false pretenses so you can break up with them in person. (Arie Luyendyk, Jr., are you listening?) By putting it off, you're lying to yourself and to your partner since you've already mentally checked out of the relationship. If you really care about them, you would do the decent thing and end it sooner rather than later.
In all other instances, suck it up and do it in person! A helpful way to confront your fears about breaking up is to remind yourself that your unsatisfying relationship has to end before another, more fulfilling one can take shape. Don't worry. You can do this!
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