Simple answer: Never, with a few exceptions.
Here at keys, we are avid anti-Ghosters, as you can read in our Ghosting manifesto. Similarly, if we cannot justify ghosting in 98.5% of cases, we cannot, in good conscience, justify breaking off a relationship over text.
Would you want someone to break up with you over text? …Then why would you do it to someone else?
People usually commit this cardinal sin because they are too afraid to hurt the person and see them cry, they don’t feel like dealing with a heavy in-person conversation, they’re afraid the other person will try to change their mind, et cetera. No matter the reason, it is not OK – it is cold, heartless, insensitive, undignified, immature, and insulting.
If you liked the person enough to date them, you owe them the dignity of a proper breakup. If you are strong enough to make the decision to break up, you are strong enough to have the conversation in-person (or at the very least over the phone).
To be clear, there are a few exceptions: If seeing the person would put you in danger; Or if you have been physically abused or emotionally manipulated by your partner; Or if you have an emotional condition that would be severely exacerbated by an in-person breakup, such as your anxiety triggering an acute panic attack. In those cases, a text breakup is valid and understandable.
Note that the situations above constitute extreme extenuating circumstances. Again, for 98.5% of cases, step up to the plate and do the damn deed in person. If you need help with what to say or how to approach it, feel free to reach out to us directly and we will guide you!
Kevin Nahai from the Keys Team
Dating & Relationship Coach