Whether it’s acceptable or not to break up with someone over the phone gives rise to lengthy discussions and arguments. Some would say that we live in the modern times wherein everything is already done digitally. And as sure as relationships could start over the phone or online, they can certainly end in the same way.
Since breaking up with someone over the phone happens to a lot of people, it has become a part of the present norm. And whether it’s justifiable or not, we might as well just accept the fact that it’s the way some individuals prefer to end their relationships – perhaps for the sake of convenience and in some cases, to avoid extensive confrontations.
In some relationships, it’s the situation itself that calls for it.
If you’ll ever find yourself in a situation wherein the best thing to do is to break up over the phone, here’s some advice that might lessen the agony and guilt;
1. Find the Right Timing
No matter how intent you are about ending your relationship, be mature enough to find the right timing. Make sure that the person you’re breaking up with is in a comfortable and safe place when you make the call. Don’t just blurt it out mindlessly in an attempt to get it done and over with.
Breakups are distressing and difficult especially without warning, so be sensitive enough to find a seemingly decent time to raise the subject. There might not be a “best” time for it, but there certainly is an “appropriate” time you can try to work on, because even during breakups, everyone deserves the right treatment and respect.
2. Be Mindful of Your Words
If you want to end a relationship on the phone, try to contemplate on what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. Choose your words carefully. That’s the least you could do to deal with the situation with kindness and sympathy.
It takes guts and grace under pressure to break up on a good note and in a less damaging way. So try to be selective with your words and say as little as possible to avoid adding more weight to an already difficult situation.
3. Go for a Phone Call, Not Text
Breaking up over the phone is usually not advisable in long-term and serious relationships because everyone deserves proper closure. And the least you could do is to talk to the person face-to-face as a form of respect. However, if breaking up via phone is inevitable due to certain circumstances, opt for a voice call rather than a text message. Hearing each other’s voices and having an actual dialogue is far more ethical and principled than exchanging emotionless messages especially if you’ve been together for quite a long time.
4. Don’t Make Justifications
Don’t justify your decision or attempt to find faults in your relationship. Don’t raise any topic that encourages negotiation and arguments. Instead, be definitive and conclusive like; “I’m breaking up with you and decided to end this relationship”, “this isn’t working anymore”, and “we both deserve to be happy but not with each other”. Go straight to the point and don’t find any justifications. Remember that beating around the bush and prolonging the conversation doesn’t make the break up easier or less painful. Saying things with conviction indicates the finality of your decision.
5. Prepare Yourself for the Reaction
For every decision we make, we have to prepare ourselves for the outcome. The same thing applies when you’re breaking up with someone over the phone. You must be ready to receive a reaction. And apparently, a reaction could be anything from subtle to intense – and everything else in between. It might trigger awkward silence, tears, violent outrage and threats, or a trail of questions you’d rather not hear and answer.
This is normal and the reaction depends on the personality and ability of a person to handle a breakup. In retrospect, receiving no reaction at all could be more bothersome and dubious. It could mean something more serious – like retaliation, perhaps? So either way, prepare yourself for what lies ahead.
6. Put an End to the Conversation
Stay calm and stick to your decision. Don’t allow the situation to drag out or to get the best of you. Regardless of your motives or how vague and unjust the other person thinks about your reasons, you are entitled to get out of a relationship that you don’t want to be a part of anymore.Shortly work out certain logistics.
For example; “I’ll drop by tomorrow while you’re at work to pack up and get my things”. Then put an end to the conversation by being firm about the breakup. Be kind and sympathetic enough to wish the other person the best and say your final goodbye. Remember that at this point, there’s no more turning back.
When Is It Acceptable to Break Up Over the Phone?
Confrontations can turn a break up into one of your worst nightmares. And we can all agree that we want to be spared from such an ugly and traumatic situation. To avoid such scenarios, it’s more appealing (and tempting) to end a relationship over the phone. Still, cutting ties with someone who used to be important to us in such a manner is a pretty bad and unfair way to do it.
So when does it become totally acceptable to break up over the phone? Are there specific circumstances wherein splitting over the phone is for the best? There are, in fact, a few situations in which it’s quite acceptable and legitimate to do it that way. Let’s try to examine them.
1. Long-Distance Relationship
If you’re in a long-distance relationship, a break up over the phone makes sense and could settle things right away. It’s impractical for both of you to wait any longer for a suitable time to have a face-to-face conversation especially if you’re both struggling to maintain the relationship.
Breaking up using any available means possible can prevent either party from cheating and acting unfairly towards the other.
2. Short-Term Relationship
Sometimes, it only takes a few dates or a few moments together to realize that you’re not right for each other. In such cases, ending the relationship over the phone makes sense – but only to a certain extent.
Consider factors such as emotional involvement and the length of time that you’ve known each other, or if you’ve been friends before entering into a relationship.
If there was no prior connection or friendship, breaking up over the phone could make sense and can spare each other’s pride and dignity. Otherwise, you both deserve to talk face-to-face for proper closure and to save whatever you can from your relationship.
Furthermore, a heart-to-heart conversation and a formal break up can make you avoid the inconvenience of having to run through each other later on without a clear understanding of how to treat each other.
3. Online Relationship
We live in a digital age wherein different types of relationships exist. If you’re in a relationship with someone you met online or over the phone, and you haven’t seen each other in person yet, it is acceptable to end the relationship over the phone.
There’s no point in anticipating a meet up just to break up. So basically, an online relationship that didn’t escalate to a physical relationship can end over the phone. The sooner you realize that your online relationship is not worth keeping, the faster you can come up with a decent exit strategy that is non-damaging and less heartbreaking.
4. Presence of Physical of Emotional Abuse in a Relationship
Some relationships that end up in Splitsville are more problematic than the others. Factors such as physical and emotional abuse are some of the reasons that cause a relationship to end. If you’re in such an abusive relationship and breaking up in person can impose risks on your safety and welfare, it’s better to end things up over the phone.
Asking for professional assistance or a mediator to facilitate the process is beneficial as well. However, if you need to talk in private, it’s best to do it over the phone to minimize the risks of trauma and avoid the recurrence of abuse.
5. Manipulative Partner
Expert manipulators can convince you to do anything or can make you feel guilty that you’ll end up giving in to their wants and demands even though you’ve had your mind on the opposite.
So if you’ve attempted to break up in person but your partner has somehow manipulated you to stay, ending things over the phone might be for the best. In fact, this can spare you from all the drama and from being led to believe that you’re meant to stay.
And although chances are that they’ll still try to convince you and hang on to the relationship, there’s nothing much that they could do since you’re not physically in contact.
So if you ever find yourself in this situation, make it clear that there’s nothing they can say or do that will change your mind. Maintain your ground and ask them to respect your decision and just let the relationship end.
While it sounds cowardly and immature to break up with someone over the phone, we just have to broaden our understanding and accept the fact that sometimes, it’s for the best. Choosing to end things via a phone call gives both parties a chance to process each other’s feelings and to keep emotions at bay, so neither of you would end up looking pathetic.
Indeed, in some instances, ending a relationship over the phone makes the whole break up process less traumatic. It allows both parties to stand on their own ground, and spare their pride and dignity from being badly hurt and wounded.
After all, regardless of how it’s done, a break up is painful and difficult to process as it is. We just have to accept that being in a relationship means having the maturity to handle things up to the very end.