real life

"I've been dating my girlfriend for three months. Can I break up with her over text?"

In a digital realm where relationships are increasingly found online, relationships are also ending online, too.

With this in mind, where do we draw the line on breakups? Is texting ever an appropriate way to break up with someone? And what is the modern etiquette surrounding this whole idea anyway?

One Reddit user, thrwnawytxt, has found himself in this very predicament. He’s only been seeing a girl for about three months, so can he break it up over the phone? He turned to Reddit for their thoughts.

“So I’ve been dating a woman for about three months, and I’ve really enjoyed it – good chemistry, conversation was always good, sex was great… until about three weeks ago,” he wrote on the forum.

Are you being ghosted? Jessie Stephens discusses her experience. Post continues after video.

“Since then, I haven’t seen her, and text messages have become sporadic and superficial. I can’t tell if she’s fading or benching me or what, but this doesn’t work for me. I’m not about to ghost on her, but how do I tell her we’re not dating anymore?”

Before other users instantaneously assumed he was one to normally breakup his relationships over text, user thrwnawytxt said it was their set of circumstances that was tempting him to break up with her in such a way.

“Given the level of intimacy, I would normally want to break things off face to face – but the whole problem is that I haven’t seen her (to be honest, I’d be happy to keep dating if we would, you know, actually go on dates from time to time).

“So in this circumstance, is it socially acceptable to break up by text? It feels lame, but the options seem to be that or just ignoring her the next time she texts me,” he wrote. (Post continues after this gallery of truly devastating celebrity breakups.)


Users were quick to differentiate between breaking up with someone over text who is already ghosting you, and breaking up with someone who is committed to the relationship.

“It sounds like she has already broken up with you,” one wrote.

“It’s sounds like you’ve mutually ghosted each other. So why bother?” another posed.

So perhaps that’s the difference, then? If someone is ghosting you, you have permission to end it in the most anti-social fashion possible.