How to Break Up Over Instant Messaging

Thanks to digital technology, there are now multiple ways to interact with people. That means multiple ways to break up as well. Although face-to-face is still considered the nicest and most polite way to dump someone (as if there is a nice way to break up with someone), sometimes you can't, and sometimes you just don't want to.


  1. Image titled Break Up Over Instant Messaging Step 1
    Plan out what you're going to say. You should always do this, no matter who or how you're dumping the person. Your approach will vary based on your relationship, why you want to end it and what you want out want out of the future. See How to Break Up for more details.
  2. Image titled Break Up Over Instant Messaging Step 2
    Log on. Open a chat window with your girlfriend/boyfriend.
  3. Image titled Break Up Over Instant Messaging Step 3
    Don't start a conversation - launch directly into the breaking up. If you start a conversation before dumping them, your dumping will come out of the blue, or because of the actual conversation. Then your boyfriend/girlfriend may not understand why you're breaking up with them. This will hurt them even more and make it harder for them to get over you. Plus, if you start talking about something else, you might lose your nerve.
    • Example: "Hey, I have something important to say, and I don't want to beat around the bush. I'm breaking up with you." Don't be wishy washy and say something that invites the other person to persuade you not to break up, like "I think I want to break up" or "I don't want to be with you anymore."
  4. Image titled Break Up Over Instant Messaging Step 4
    Give an explanation - if they ask. The problems in your relationship may seem obvious to you, but they are not always so obvious to the other person. After all, you're two different people. So don't be snooty and say, "Isn't it obvious? Duh? Are you kidding me?" You're not making this any easier for them.
  5. Image titled Break Up Over Instant Messaging Step 5
    If they take it well, you can probably continue a friendly conversation. It's hard to tell how someone's feeling over IM. If you're not sure, ask if they're alright. If they don't take it well: say your goodbyes and sign off. They need time to get over you - whether it will take an hour or 3 months.
  6. Image titled Break Up Over Instant Messaging Step 6
    While being cordial, try to not seek out your ex during the remainder of the week. You'll only confuse them and hurt them. If you have the same friends and/or have to see each other, avoid one-on-one conversations; bring a neutral friend into your chats. The same goes for electronic communication.


  • If your ex initiates a conversation during the week after, avoid mentioning anything concerning your relationship. That is also confusing; they'll think, "Why bring this up? You dumped me!"
  • Be polite (but not too nice) throughout the entire conversation - and for the rest of the week. They are probably hurting for being dumped and don't need anything to make it worse. That means no insults, no joking insults, and no jokes at their expense; they'll feel awful, and you'll get a bad rep.


  • No matter what the circumstances are, things will be awkward. It doesn't matter if you broke up via face-to-face, IM or skywriting (but please never dump someone that publicly, ever).

Article Info

Categories: Instant Messaging