Is It Okay To Break Up By Phone Or Text

cellphone.jpgA reader asks:

“Is it ever acceptable to break up with someone over the phone?”

I can think of scenarios where breaking up on the phone would be appropriate. Abuse and so forth.

But if you have had a significant relationship with someone… if you have been lovers and whatnot then it does seem to me you owe it to the person to face them and tell them what the deal is unless you want to meet them next life, feel ashamed, be a weasel, etc.

What do others think? Where is your Mars?


49 thoughts on “Is It Okay To Break Up By Phone Or Text”

  1. Mars in Leo. Honestly, at this point, I JUST WANT TO BE TOLD I’M BEING DUMPED. I will deal with being texted “U ME OVER”, if that’s the only way you can get the words out. Yes, it’s lame, but at least I was told.

    My long-distance ex- relationship of two years, mind you- dumped me over e-mail. Clearly he’d wanted to do it for two weeks, but kept hedging around the bush on the phone and on IM, giving me false hope and not going with what his words said…finally he just caved in and did it on e-mail.

    Now, I COULD be massively offended by this, but shoot, at least he dealt the blow rather than dragging it out longer, or just refusing to speak to me again and letting me “get the hint” over a few weeks time during which I was all messed up and confused. I’ve gotten dumped like that most of the time and THAT is so much worse.

    Also, if it’s a long-distance relationship, please, don’t dump in person. It truly sucks to have traveled and spent money to go see a person and then you get there and get dumped. (Had my ex done that, where the hell was I going to go for the rest of the weekend?) In that case, phone is totally acceptable.

  2. Mars in Libra. If it’s someone I’ve seen more than twice, they deserve face time. I would expect the same thing.

  3. i agree with jennifer — having traveled across the u.s. (about 2 years ago) to visit with my on-again, off-again guy only to have him gift me with the news that we were off again. terrible and terrible. expensive changing of flights and winding up spending almost a day at the airport heading back east with a broken heart. as for me, mars in gemini (trine neptune) i know i give the illusion that things are better than they are…and wouldn’t hesitate to break up over the phone or even *sigh* just disappear and hope the hint is taken.

  4. I have Mars in Libra, and normally I would agree that this should be done face-to face. I haven’t always been able to hold to this though. The first time was with my high school boyfriend. We had been wavering for months and I just couldn’t deal with it anymore and couldn’t bear for the next time we would be together (we were logistically challenged at separate colleges). The second time didn’t even get a phone call. My first husband was abusive. If I had told him I was leaving him, I would have been in mortal danger. He left one morning to go to work, and came back that night to deal with the fact that he would never see me again. I did call him a few days later to try to bring some sort of closure and tell him that my decision was final, but I think I did more sobbing than explaining.

  5. One time I “broke up” with a band I was in over the phone. But I was being stalked by the base player and all the band members knew about it, so it just made more sense than making everyone show up for practice and then telling them they might as well go home.

    I knew a guy in college who worked for months saving up the money to visit his long-distance girlfriend (They had been together a while and were only recently long distance) only to have her break up with him when he got there. To me that seems worse.

  6. Mars in Scorpio. I prefer the phone… it isn’t as impersonal as a typed message, and you still get the vocal inflections and real-time dynamics. I think it’s considerate to both dumper and dumpee because you don’t have to put on a brave or sympathetic this-is-going-to-hurt-me-more-than-it-hurts-you face. You can look mad or horrified or shocked or devastated or smug and your mascara can drip all over creation, and no one has to see it all go down but you. You have some control over your voice, so you can talk it out and leave with dignity if you so choose and fall apart after you hang up.

  7. There is a lot of advice out there saying that long-term long-distance relationships should be ended in person, but I agree – what a waste of time and money! So very inefficient.

  8. Mars in Taurus. My most recent breakup was over the phone, but we talked it out a few times beforehand in person, so it wasn’t exactly a phonecall breakup. And this was a long distance thing. The phone call just confirmed what we already knew.

    Otherwise, I’m very much a face-to-face breakup. And I have, at least once in the past, taken a man by the shoulders and demanded that he have the balls to dump me. I HATE being tolerated while he’s trying to screw up his nerve to get rid of me.

  9. oh hells yeah. I’ve had a few relationships that took place mainly over the phone so I can see in those cases it would be appropriate.

    my m.o. is to bolt into the ethers, however, so in some cases I think the guy might have been relieved to even get a phone call.

  10. Historically, I didn’t care as long as I controlled the breakup.

    That’s not exactly mature, though. :/

    I suppose it depends on the circumstances. Firs, whether or not the other person had a preference. If they didn’t, then I think I’d prefer a face-to-face breakup if we see each other frequently, or a phone call if we don’t.

    Mars in Capricorn.

  11. Whatever is quickest and least painful for the breakupper, which is always me. Phone is fine, or in person with a few words, nothing drawn out.
    It’s done, we both know it, I’m just stating the obvious. As soon as it’s out, we’re in a different place and can start to heal.
    Addio, amore mio!
    (hee hee. Mars in Virgo)

  12. unless they’re too lazy to get around to making time to talk to you because they can’t be bothered to schedule their life because it’s too restrictive and things have to “flow.” (for them.)
    i felt bad waiting so eventually i just dropped by on their door to drop off something they needed. wanted to just get the dang thing over with, though.

    feh. would have felt wrong too do it by phone. but i was damn sure tempted.

    and there was one i never wanted to see/speak with again. not abuse, just seriously toxic energy. and i’d moved and had no car. that was not an in-person breakup.

  13. Mars in Sag conjunct Neptune

    Definitely depends on the circumstances and the relationship itself however I prefer and would appreciate a face to face break up. Maybe its my Venus conjunct Pluto talking but truly if you going to bed me and get that intimate then at least have the balls and courage to face me when you break my heart (I know Im dramatic)

  14. …Mars in Capricorn…

    It completely depends on the situation. I basically told my ex-husband that I was done via e-mail, because that is the only medium, I’d found, where he took me seriously. Granted, we did the face-to-face thing afterwards, but the striking blow was done over e-mail, because he couldn’t ‘deal’ with what was going on with a stupid joke.

    Now, at the end of the day, I just want to know. If you can’t tell me to my face that you don’t want to be with me anymore, then e-mail, phone, or text (in that descending order) me, so I don’t feel like I’m keeping hope when we both know the relationship is over.

  15. I don’t have any rules for breakups. I just need to be told, and the phone seems as good a device as any…oh, where’s my Venus? In Aries…conjunct Mars, opposing Pluto. Does this make my opinion null and void?

  16. There’s nothing I hate more than evasiveness. I’ve had a few guys “disappear” on me with no explanation. I remember confronting one (I was in college when this happened), and he was upset with me for being so direct. He wanted to vanish into thin air, and here I was, demanding answers! How dare I!

    That’s why I won’t accept anything but face-to-face, unless it’s not possible.

    Mars is in Leo. (As for why the guys acted this way, my chart clues are a 7th house Neptune and a Venus-Pluto conjunction.)

  17. libra rising/ Mars in pisces (6H) I just say- don’t ever come near me at my job!

    Over the phone naturally.

  18. Avatar
    Strawberry Fields

    Mars|Merc in Libra (but wondering why this is a Mars question; isn’t Merc the messenger?)

    Anyway… for me, it all depends on the two individuals involved, their respective personalities, and the nature of their relationship.

    I have no hard and fast rules or expectations.

    Except this one: DO NOT DISAPPEAR WITHOUT A WORD. I don’t care if “word” comes via phone, email or face-to-face. BUT DO NOT JUST DISAPPEAR WITHOUT A WORD. DO NOT.

  19. Honestly, I have no problems with people disappearing. It’s an “Oh, well,” sort of situation for me.
    Granted, I’ve only been in one relationship where I actually had any sort of emotional investment, so that may have something to do with it.
    Otherwise, I’m fine with phone if there are no items that need to be exchanged. Email and text are just tacky though, imo.

    Mars conjunct Venus and Pluto in Libra, square Asc/Dsc, trine Moon, sextile Neptune, and a bunch of minor aspects.

  20. It depends on the situation. I’ve definitely broken up with people through text before. Mars in Gemini.

  21. Offended by how the ex handled it. He has Mars conjunct Chiron in pisces in the 5th house oppose his Pluto in the 11th house. After 2 years he faded into the woodwork. I have Mars in Leo rising. This did not sit well with me.

  22. Yes. Mars in Pisces. I have done it … I called the other person and he knew it was inevitable. We were far apart from each other so it was partially a logistical thing.

  23. I’ve had it done over the phone to me, and frankly it was a relief to just get it over and done quickly. It was just a dating relationship…nothing too long. Something more serious however would definitely deserve a face to face. I think it depends on the situation. I have Mars in Pisces….I really detest conflict.

  24. My Cancer BF (Mars in Leo) started treating me with contempt and did not hide the fact he was cheating with a 30-years younger chick, so I just changed my telephone number on my cell. After 6 years, he should have had more decency to say there’s someone else and goodbye. I am a Leo with Mars in Cancer. Definiately colors my feelings about men right now.

  25. Avatar
    Anna in Canada

    Mars in Virgo. I’ve never had anyone break up with me but I think I’d prefer it be done to me over the phone. I’ve only had a few relationships and I did the breaking up in person only because I had no other options. If I could, I would have disappeared. Mars in 12th, square Venus. Wait, I just remembered I did “disappear” one time early in my twenties. A colleague at a volunteer centre developed an uncomfortable crush on me, I went out with him twice, and then did not have the nerve to break up with him face-to-face so I quit my volunteer position… It was a lot easier to disappear in the good old days before email, text, Facebook.

  26. Avatar
    Anna in Canada

    Sorry, I didn’t read the question. Yes, I think the phone is okay, especially for short-term relationships, but I would draw the line at texting and email even though I’m a quadruple Gemini.

  27. If it’s not a meaningful, log-term realtionship that’s being broken than I’m okay with the phone. Especially because if the guy decided to face me and give it to me straight I’d find it incredibly attractive.Having been battling with an evasive Pisces moon that hasn’t got the guts to deal with me on Facebook, let alone in person, I’d find such a person refreshing.

    Me, I’d rather face the person and deal with the awkwardness and the pain, than consider myself a coward. This is my personal value system I adhere to and courage/correctness comes first on the list.

  28. Oh right, Mars in Cancer in the 11th, opposing Uranus-Neptune (I have a distinctive need to be clear-cut and not confuse the other person with mixed signals), trine Mercury,Venus and Pluto, square Sun.

  29. Mars in Scorpio, broke up once over the phone, but he was living in Finland at the time and I was NY. So really no other way of doing it. This was also way before Skype, Facebook, Internet face chats etc.
    It all depends on the situation, but if it was at all possible to do it in person (in situations where there’s wasn’t harm to either party, or if it was physically possibly to be in the same room) I would try and do it in person.

  30. Depends on the situation. I’d prefer face to face as a display that you’re willing to man up and tell me to my face, instead of hiding behind a screen. If it’s long distance then I’d prefer phone over email or mail.

  31. Mars and Saturn in scorpio…1 st house.
    Mars- Fine be done with it.
    Saturn- You had the courage to ask me out. Why not tell me face to face, we are done?????
    It’s about principle!

  32. Eventually i have to go to the place and return all the gifts back to you so you don’t haunt me. But it’s been one hell of a haunting!

  33. Avatar

    Mars in Leo… Let’s just admit this isn’t working and exit with a little shred of dignity intact, k?

    I can accept a breakup. I don’t accept cowardly behaviors.

    It’s a respect thing.

  34. If this is someone you have loved, then you both deserve the respect of doing it face to face. Long distance has it’s own issues though. Texting, that’s just cowardly.

  35. Frankly, I’d rather be told AT ALL, even if it’s a “DMPD” text, than not be told whatsoever. Which seems to be how most people break up these days. Yes, text breakups are crass, but the “get the hint, bitch” breakup is worse to me.

    One ex broke up with me over e-mail, but since clearly he couldn’t bite the bullet and do it over the phone (LDR), well, hell, at least he freaking told me however he could manage.

  36. When I was going thru a crazy dating phase, my rule was that text break-ups were OK if it was a casual relationship the guy was age 25 or younger (I was in my late ’30s).

    After all, they grew up with text and IM – they’re more used to that than in-person communication. Then I told my philosophy to a bunch of 20-something guys I worked with and they thought that was super-harsh.

    The only time I pulled the disappearing act was a casual dating relationship where it would have been really cruel to tell him any of the reasons I didn’t want to see him any more. We weren’t compatible and after getting to know him, I didn’t have too many nice things to say.

    Mars in Sag in 12th square Pluto and square Sun.

  37. Avatar

    The messenger/method of the breakup depends upon the messenger of the relationship. This, I think, applies in business too. I fired someone not too long ago by email. He was based around the other side of the world and the relationship was formed by email and skype (text only). (don’t ask to be paid for work not done and delivered it will set me on edge)

    If you had lots of interaction by txt and major portions of the relationship were communicated by text then yes, you can break up in that manner.

    To me the manner of breaking up needs to be the manner in which the relationship was carried out but the much much more important thing isn’t to lie to me about the why. Keep it clean. I don’t necessarily need to know the “why” but if you’re going to offer me a why you need to not lie.

    mars in cancer. but then there is that venus saturn pluto thing and that other.. yeah. so anyways…

  38. Mars in Scorpio. i broke up with my last boyfriend over the phone. Why go through too much effort to break up with someone? its over anyway. Text is kind of rude and impersonal. If you’re going to text you must atleast follow up with a call to make sure that they got the message.

  39. I prefer to have quick breakups, not long drawn-out ones where the person keeps asking “but whyyyy?” Once I’m reasy to move on, the other person is dead to me (ruler of the 7th in the 8th). This doesn’t usually go over well with emotional (Piscean) or egotistical (Leonine) types, but an Aquarius laughed at my break-up text and saved it as my “greatest hits”. Mars in Gemini.

  40. My experiences make me long for a guy to respect me enough to tell me at least by phone.(I have Mars in Gemini/3rd!) My first two harsh experiences were with my high school boyfriend and later in life my ex-fiance. Each just stopped returning my calls, and I had to figure it out by gut instinct alone. Then my third relationship broke it off by an enigmatic text. Just say, “I’m sorry. I don’t want to see you anymore. Goodbye.” I need a little more maturity and compassion…..

  41. My mars is in Gemini. I only broke up with my ex on the phone because we were long-distance. But since I was afraid of him, I would probably break up on the phone again. With a less unpredictable person, I would probably end up discussing things in person, wanting to end it on a friendly note. But I think most people are afraid to talk to soon-to-be-exes. But the worst is not knowing… I would rather have a harsh break-up than not know anything.

  42. Mars in Capricorn.
    No, I never broke up with a romantic partner other than face to face, but evasiveness in other kinds of social situations does characterize me. I try to fight this miserable trait all my life, but deep down I know I would give anything in order to avoid confrontations or embarrassment. I remember committing two major sins of not facing people I should have faced:
    – after being wrongly accused of negligence by the owner of the cafe I worked at, I sent my boyfriend to tell her I didn’t work there anymore;
    – a college friend critisized my new family and friends by whispering into my ear during my wedding, two days later I sent her an e-mail I didn’t want to see her anymore.

    Is avoidance and evasiveness or the pathetic lack of courage and fear of blushing characteristic of Mars in Capricorn?

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