Getting dumped is the worst, but initiating the breakup can be difficult, too. It’s tempting to keep your distance and send whatever variation of It’s not you, it’s me you’re going with via email or text, and some recent research shows that this method is pretty common among younger adults. According to a report from the Pew Research Center published last year, 22 percent of young adults, ages 18 to 29, say they have broken up with someone in an email, text message, or some other form of online message. (Compare that to 16 percent of people aged 30 to 49 and 7 percent of 50- to 64-year-olds who say they’ve ended a relationship this way.)
But is this the best breakup strategy? That depends on what you’d like your relationship with your ex to be like moving forward. A 2012 study in the Journal of Research in Personality showed that using email, text messages or Facebook to end things was associated with a lower likelihood of remaining friends, compared to the relationships that ended via a face-to-face conversation. In other words, if you’re not concerned with staying friends after your relationship is over, go ahead and send that text. If you’d like to stay friendly, however, it’s best to suck it up and break that heart in person.