What to Do If You've Been Dumped by Text

Have you ever been dumped by text? It's an increasingly common experience in the digital age, where relationships are created and sometimes destroyed over WhatsApp. How should you handle these distressing breakups?
What to Do If You've Been Dumped by Text
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 01 December, 2022

“I’ve been thinking about our relationship and I just don’t think it’s working anymore. It’s not you, it’s me. I don’t deserve you”, “I’m really sorry but I want to break up”, “I really don’t want to hurt you anymore, I think it’s best that we finish. I hope you’ll be happy”, “It’s over. Don’t call me anymore. Best of luck”.

There are thousands of formulas for leaving someone by text message, some kind and others quite cruel. Some are even accompanied by emoticons. Those who’ve had this experience know how disturbing it is. However, it’s not exactly unusual in the digital age of instant messaging.

In the last century, relationships were often broken with a brief phone call or even by letter. But times have changed and new tools have arrived to facilitate the kinds of actions that are always difficult for us, as humans. Indeed, we’ve always experienced emotional irresponsibility and the inability to deal with certain problems.

The fact that dumping by text is a frequent problem doesn’t make it any less harmful. In fact, if you’re on the receiving end of this kind of message, you probably won’t find it easy to bring the relationship to a close. You’ll have to grieve without really knowing why it happened as you’re unable to have a face-to-face conversation with that person who previously meant everything to you.

People who dump their partners by text know that doing it this way is cold as ice. They simply don’t want to face the situation of talking face to face with their partner.

Man who's been dumped by text
Disbelief, denial, and anguish. The person who’s dumped by a text message experiences many difficult emotions.

Being dumped by text, a common practice without conscience

Almost ten years ago, an article published on the website, HuffPost mentioned a 2013 survey that claimed 88 percent of men and 18 percent of women had broken up with someone over text. This data is overwhelming. Moreover, it’s highly possible that the practice continues with the same frequency today.

As a matter of fact, there are even articles on the Internet that give ideas for the best breakup text messages. So, you just have to copy and paste if you want to leave your partner without having to think too much about it. Indeed, emotional irresponsibility is sadly common today in our society of fragile relationships built and deconstructed by the cell phone.

That said, most of us are aware that dumping someone by text is wrong and unnecessarily cold. But it’s carried out in this way because it’s easy and fast. It’s also cowardly and takes precedence over any kind of responsible behavior. In fact, people who break up by messaging don’t have to demonstrate any sense of regret as they don’t have to face their partner in person.

Although these experiences are frequent, each individual experience is unique and each digital abandonment is experienced in a particular way. So, it’s essential to know how to deal with it.

If you’ve been dumped by text you mustn’t obsessively focus on getting to see your ex-partner face to face. These attempts are usually unsuccessful and will make you feel even more desperate.

Teenager looking at mobile
If you just got dumped by text, ask to meet them in person. But only suggest it once. If you don’t receive a response, don’t contact them again.

How to overcome being dumped by text

There’s no denying that if you’re dumped by text, you’ll get dragged along by your emotions and your mind will go around like a merry-go-round. You’ll find yourself asking “What did I do wrong? Why don’t they want to see me and talk? Is there someone else? Should I call them, go look for them, or call their family or friends?” This exhausts you mentally.

A study conducted by the Santo Tomás University (Chile) emphasized that, as a rule, in breakups, men tend to be more emotionally inhibited, while women seek more support from their environment. However, being dumped by text presents some unique characteristics that you need to know how to address.

1. After the text, try to talk to them (but only once)

In every breakup, a final conversation is required to clarify feelings, needs, and decisions. Knowing why it happened makes it easier to bring the emotional cycle to a close. So, once you’ve received the text dumping you, try to call them or ask to see them. But only do it once.

If they don’t answer you, don’t make the mistake of leaving messages on their voicemail or leaving them WhatsApp messages where you’ll never see the double blue tick. Accept the reality without losing your dignity. Accept that this time you’ll have to face the pain without really knowing why the relationship ended.

2. Remove your ex from your contacts and social media

Unless they’ve already done so, make sure you eliminate your ex-partner from all means of contact. This also involves social media. If you become obsessed with reviewing their messages to find out what’s happening in their life, your mourning will become chronic.

3. Don’t keep hoping, accept that they weren’t what you expected

Dumping someone by text and not having the courage to have the difficult conversation to break up in person says a lot about them. That’s another reality that you must accept, that the partner you loved so much was lacking in terms of emotional responsibility and emotional intelligence. You deserve better.

When leaving someone, whether it’s a partner or a friendship, the easiest path is chosen, that of breaking up by text message.

4. Avoid rebound relationships, face your pain first

Looking for a new partner on Tinder or any other app doesn’t always solve the pain of a breakup.

You should avoid rebound relationships. Nor should you jump from one relationship to another. First, try to go through the grieving process. Accept your disappointment, anger, sadness, and every other feeling, understanding that, gradually your suffering will fade.

5. Keep your good memories and be a better person than the one who left you

Don’t be angry and resentful or feed your feelings of mistrust. Don’t be the kind of person who tells yourself ” I’ll never trust anyone again” or “I’ll never fall in love again”. Because love will always be worth it. Above all, try to keep your good memories and what you enjoyed about the relationship, even if there isn’t much.

Try to be better than the person who dumped you by text. Even though it’s an easy way out, it’s certainly not the most ethical or correct. Try and be braver and more mature and keep improving your emotional responsibility.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • García F, Ilabaca D. Ruptura de pareja, afrontamiento y bienestar psicológico en adultos jóvenes. Ajayu [Internet]. 2013 [consultado 20 abr 2022]; 11(2): 42-60
  • García D. Narración del duelo en la ruptura amorosa. Ajayu. Órgano de Difusión Científica del Departamento de Psicología de la Universidad Católica Boliviana “San Pablo” [Internet]. 2014 [consultado 20 abr 2022]; 12(2):288-307
  • Rhoades GK, Kamp Dush CM, Atkins DC, Stanley SM, Markman HJ. Breaking up is hard to do: the impact of unmarried relationship dissolution on mental health and life satisfaction. J Fam Psychol. 2011 Jun;25(3):366-74. doi: 10.1037/a0023627. PMID: 21517174; PMCID: PMC3115386.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.