Love Better

The Least Shitty Ways to End Things with Someone Over Text

G2G isn't gonna cut it.
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It’s generally a good rule to NOT end things with someone over text, and it’s almost never okay if you’re in a safe, committed relationship with someone.

But there are exceptions to every rule, (especially if you’re in a harmful relationship) and if your relationship or situationship has been short lived – like a few dates, or a few weeks – then it’s probably okay to end things with a text or a message. 


When sending a break-up text, there’s a fine line between implying that you think the person you’re ending this with is gonna be completely gutted (so avoid the huge “sorry’s” that they don’t get to date you anymore) and being careless in case they’re hurt. 

You don’t need to send a lengthy wall of text, but you need to do better than a single “I’m not keen btw” message. And no matter what, ghosting is not okay when someone else's feelings are on the line. 

We’ve put together a few drafts to help you figure out how to call things off – without coming across as a dick. 

If it’s only been a few casual dates, or you’re in a situationship that you’ve both made clear could be short term, it makes sense that you skip the big break-up kōrero. But, keep in mind that people aren’t always totally honest about what they want when dating, and it might be totally casual to you but they could be more invested than they’ve let on. Situations like this are exactly why it’s important to still let someone down with care. 

You could go for something like:

Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I’m not interested in meeting up again, but it’s been really nice to hang out. Ka kite (-:


Hey! Hope you’re having a nice day. It’s been cool getting to know you but I don't see this going any further for me and wanted to let you know that asap.


You might be legitimately dating someone, but living in different cities, and seeing each other face-to-face isn’t an option. In that case, you could try one of these:  

Hey, this has been a really hard decision to make and I’m sorry to say this over text given that we can’t see each other irl at the moment, but I’d like to break-up. Let me know if you want a phone call and we can talk about it. 


I wanna say firstly that I’m sorry to be sending this over message, but I’d like to bring things between us to a close. Let me know if you want to talk about it over the phone. Either way it’s been great getting to know you and I wish you the best! 

There are also situations where you don’t want to put them through an awkward coffee or drink only to end things 2 sips in, and that’s fair. No one wants to spend their money on a break-up muffin just to end up eating it alone in a cafe. 

If you genuinely think it’s best to give the other person that space, you could send something like this: 

Kia ora - I hope it’s okay that I’m sending you this over text but I didn’t want to waste your time by asking you to meet up. I’ve really enjoyed the time we’ve had together but I don’t want to continue dating. Lmk if you wanna meet up, otherwise wishing you well for the future (-: 



I’ve had a lovely time hanging out with you but I wanted to let you know I’m not interested in dating/keeping this going. Sorry to send this in a text, but I wanted to give you your space and not put you on the spot. Haere rā. 

In most of these situations, unless it’s literally been a few dates, it’s important you’re open to talking further or meeting up if they want the bigger picture on your decision. You don’t need to explain the “why” in your first message - but it can be harmful to someone to walk away without them understanding why, as people can create their own reasons or become anxious that they’ve done something wrong. 

Everyone is bound to send or receive a message calling something off at some point, so be kind, don’t ghost and think of what you would want – or need – to hear if you were the person being broken-up with. 

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Rachel Barker is a writer / producer at VICE NZ in Aotearoa.