Online Dating

How to Break Up with Your Online Date

Julie Spira

Written by: Julie Spira

Julie Spira

Julie Spira is a leading online dating expert and founder of She’s the bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating and creates irresistible profiles for singles.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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Call me old fashioned, but just because your relationship started online, does it have to end online? Shouldn’t there be a guideline as to properly ending a relationship offline?

According to a survey conducted by Lab 42 of social media users, one-third of relationships are now ending via text, email and on Facebook.

In Psychology Today’s “The Thoroughly Modern Guide to Breakups“, I shared a personal story of an engagement being ended via email.

I thought it was horrific, considering we were living in the same city and had been house hunting.

What are the reasons for a digital breakup?

No one really wants a confrontation or a slap in the face, but I’m a believer you should treat people the way you want to be treated.

If you’re in an intimate relationship or if you’ve committed to dating exclusively, part of your interpersonal communication should require an in-person ending.

If geography gets in the way, then hop on a phone call, where you can hear someone’s voice and have a grown-up two-way dialog.

In case you’re wondering, if you’re sharing bodily fluids with someone, you’re in an intimate relationship.

So how are people getting dumped improperly these days?

Here are five ways NOT to end your relationship with the person you met online or offline.

1. Text message.

Seeing a text message saying, “It’s not you, it’s me” is lame and inconsiderate. It also shows signs of disrespect and cowardly behavior.

If you can type on the phone, you should be able to pick up the phone.

2. Email.

Who wants to go down in history as the person who sent a digital “Dear John” letter?

Type your letter and send it to yourself. Read it the next morning before calling it quits. You might feel different about it the next day and can possibly save your relationship.

Remember an email can be and will be forwarded, shared or possibly end up in a blog post or magazine.


“At the end of the digital day, you should treat

people the way you want to be treated.”

3. Reactivating an online dating profile.

If your significant other disappears for a few days and doesn’t return your calls, it might be time to see if they’ve reactivated their online dating profile.

This behavior is passive aggressive and your loved one will probably get caught by one of your friends.

Is it worth losing a relationship over? I say no.

4. Facebook.

Relationships are starting and ending on Facebook.

I enjoy sharing the success stories on, but cringe when I see someone changing their status relationship to “Single” without discussing it with their partner.

Worse yet, a friend may see your sweetheart in the arms of another in a photo proudly displayed on his or her Facebook page.

5. The Disappearing Act.

Magicians should be left for the magic show, not for your relationship.

If your needs aren’t being met or if you’ve found someone else, don’t leave someone hanging or just stop calling.

It’s not over until both people realize where they stand. Don’t disappear on someone you once loved when you’ve unilaterally decided it’s time to move on.

If a relationship runs its course, be a grown-up about it. Agree together that it’s time to move on, or talk about what needs of yours need addressing to move together to the next stage.

Often the love you have with the person you’ve invested the time with is worth saving and will be worth its weight in gold, compared to the heartbreak you might be creating.

At the end of the digital day, you should treat people the way you want to be treated. Don’t go down in history as being a digital dumper.

Have you ever ended a relationship digitally? Did someone ever dump you in an email or text? Your comments are welcome.

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