How to Break Up Over the Phone

How to Break Up Over the Phone

Initiating a breakup is no walk in the park. A 2020 survey showed that the majority of partners who initiated a breakup in person wished they had done so over the phone. 

However, relationship expert, Honda Mull says, “whether, in person or phone-based, the trick in initiating a not-so-devastating split with your partner is having a respectful conversation.”

While many partners may find a breakup over the phone outrightly disrespectful especially if you’re not in a long-distance relationship or have been dating for a long time, there are several advantages to taking this route among which is protecting yourself from the unexpected reaction of your partner. 

So according to our experts, here’s how to call it quit over the phone in the most thoughtful and applaudable manner:

1. Don’t Change Your Attitude Before Calling it Quit

Many people think pushing their partners to the wall helps them anticipate the separation news. Contrarily, it only adds insult to injury.

Paulina Brown, a dating expert, explains it this way, “a breakup text or phone call usually hurts the more when the one at the receiving end realizes that a looming breakup is the reason for the sudden lack of concern, distrust issues, and incessant arguments.”

She advises, “don’t make them feel lonely or inadequate before then. Instead, if you have a good reason for initiating the split, endeavor to still keep things cool and then find an effective way to convey your reason for the breakup. This strategy will be helpful for a good aftereffect.

2. Be Certain The Breakup is Necessary

Before asking for a breakup, ponder over your relationship to be convinced that’s exactly what’s best for both parties. Ensure you’re not initiating one merely to get back at your partner or because you’re momentarily angry at each other. 

A few minutes of a thorough evaluation of your relationship may help you determine if the breakup is something you should push through with or a situation you might be willing to walk through as a couple. 

3. Compose a Good Breakup Message 

While no breakup message may be deemed good enough, some hurt more than others. 

“Take a few weeks to mull over your words. This tip will help you to choose them correctly until you finally decide to talk,” says dating coach, Luke White. 

Instead of using cliche sentences such as “it’s me not you,” say “you deserve better than I can offer at the moment.”

Moreover, if you’re breaking up with them because of their toxicity, instead of saying “I’ve had enough of your misbehavior,” say, “I think you need time to choose to become a better person.” 

This helps to make them feel like you have their best interest at heart thereby, helping them to accept the breakup in good fate.

4. Start With an Empathetic Statement

After greeting, what next? 

That’s a huge question most people who break up over the phone struggle with. The truth is it’s not advisable to slam your soon-to-be ex with the word breakup after saying hello.

Rather, after they respond to your greetings, say “I called to let you know how I’ve been feeling about our relationship over some months now.”

This will help them brace up for what’s next. The goal is in making it as less shocking and provocative as you can.

5. Say Something Good About the Time You Were Together

While you’re heading for a breakup, it’s still helpful to recall some of the good impacts the relationship has had on you. 

By choosing to state these positive things, you’ll be making them feel their time wasn’t wasted. It wouldn’t hurt to say, “I’m now a better person because you helped me achieve this particular feat.”

6. Do it When You Both Are Less Busy  

“Put a call through in the evening or the weekend. This way, you wouldn’t be abruptly interrupting their day with such unexciting news,” says relationship expert and customer relations at, Eric George. 

Besides, starting a breakup conversation in your free time gives you the chance to effectively demonstrate empathy and understanding. It also gives them the time to express themselves. 

“Remember, no matter how shallow the emotions you shared may have been, or even if you started your relationship via phone chat lines, a breakup still takes its toll so be as empathetic as possible,” adds Eric.

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7. Be Sure They’re Not in a Public Place

A breakup conversation can be awkward, embarrassing, and emotional for most people. Therefore, it’s important to carefully plan the discussion before proceeding with it, as this would help them process the news better. 

“A simple text message inquiring from your soon-to-be ex where they are would help you determine the right time to say what’s on your mind. If they aren’t somewhere favorable, say their office, in a meeting, or class, ask them when they’ll be in a more private and relaxed environment,” says Rowland Trump, a relationship author, and therapist. 

8. Cut to the Chase

Desist from beating around the bush when trying to break up with your partner over the phone, as otherwise would make you seem unsure and dishonest.

Upon discovering the basis for the split, let them in on it as soon as you can. This way, you wouldn’t leave them in the dark. Moreover, whatever may be the reason for the breakup, make it about you and not the other way round, so you don’t appear judgmental. 

9. End the Call on a Positive Note

That the breakup isn’t happening in person or a fancy restaurant doesn’t mean you drop the bomb and cut the call abruptly. That would only make you appear inconsiderate and disrespectful.

Rather, end the call by telling them their good qualities which makes them endearing or lovable. Say things like, “you are a fantastic person, and I believe your attitude will always bring good people your way.” 

By demonstrating this level of emotional intelligence, you’d be making the aftereffect of your breakup less traumatizing and wouldn’t be soiling your reputation, too.

10. Wait For Their Response Before Ending the Call

A breakup is about both parties, so don’t cut the call when you’re done talking. Instead, wait for a few seconds to get their reaction or response. If they seem to get teary on the phone, kindly apologize and proceed to end the call afterward. 

However, if they choose to say a couple of things, listen, avoid argument and then bid them a farewell.

11. Picture the Worst Scenario That Could Happen

Sometimes because a separation hurts, people may let it get the better part of them, hence, getting verbally abusive over the phone and even issuing some threats. 

If this happens to be true in your case, kindly remain civil and say goodbye before it gets completely ugly.

Always remember that empathy plays the biggest role in ensuring a respectful and less devastating breakup with your partner. So keep them in mind every step of the way. Furthermore, if you’ve been broken up with in the past, use your experience to determine what should be done to make the breakup conversation less hurtful for your partner. Surely, this will make you map out an effective strategy with our expert tips.

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