Digital Dumping: The New Break-Up Rules For 2016

Forget awkward ‘we need to talk’ texts, ice cream and a Spotify playlist of sad songs – this is how we’ll do breakups in 2016…

The New Normal

Remember when Carrie got dumped by Berger on a post-it note? If Sex And The City was set now, it would probably be over email, text or even Whatsapp (accompanied by a sad face and broken heart emoji). According to a recent study 56% of people would end a relationship without a face-to-face meeting. Brutal, right? But if you think that’s bad the study also found people are also breaking up with their S.O’s on Facebook, Twitter and even in Instagram comments. Makes a post-it sound kind, doesn’t it? 

While it may seem harsh, the digital age has changed all the dumping rules. “It all depends on the quality of the relationship,” says psychologist and life coach Melanie Schilling. “It’s not about length, because you can have a really intense and meaningful relationship that only lasts two weeks. But if it was a relationship where you met through an app, and you had a short-term, casual – maybe not exclusive – arrangement where most of your communication was on social media, it might be totally appropriate to end it via text message.” Faking your own death or pretending you’ve emigrated? Never OK.

An App For That

If even sending a ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ tweet is too much like hard work, there’s now the app Binder which sends a text or leaves a voicemail with pre-recorded messages informing the recipient it’s all over. Yes, it did start as a joke but 24 hours after it launched 6,000 people had sent break-up messages. “Ten years ago, the idea of being dumped by tech would seem awful,” says Binder’s co-creator Jordan Laird. “But these days it’s sort of like, oh, well, maybe it is the next step.” Online store The Breakup Shop ( has a team of “heartbreakers” on hand to send your ex-to-be a customisable email or text, and – for £25 – even a bouquet to sweeten the blow. We’d prefer the coffee and awkward chat, thanks.

READ MORE: The Top Ten Biggest Relationship Turn Offs EVER! 

> Would you erase your ex from your life Eternal Sunshine-style?



Moving On

Getting over someone is rarely as simple as a quick cry followed by a night out with your best mates, which is why technology has stepped up to deal with the emotional fall out. The app RxBreakup – co-created by therapist Jane Reardon has a 30-day programme which offers daily advice, analytical writing exercises and ‘action prompts’ to replace destructive behaviour with a better decisions, such as planning your next holiday. But if a once-a-day dose isn’t enough, Joey and Persia from life coaching website Addictive Daughter came up with their Heart Rehab service after going through their own bad breakups and turning to drink and drugs to cope. Their 21-day programme of videos, guided meditations and daily worksheets promises to turn your breakup into “the best thing that ever happened to you.” And there’s clearly a market for it – their website currently has 3,000 subscribers, and around 10,000 visits per month.

Future-Proof The Fall Out

Stalking your ex’s Facebook profile a little too much? Step in Mark Zuckerburg. The site now allows you to limit how much of your ex you see on the Facebook, control how much they see of you, and even stop your friends being able to see past posts of the pair of you. Cleverly, the options pop up as soon as you change your relationship status. It’s currently just in the US, but will be landing here shortly – and we can’t wait! While erasing your ex from your memories Eternal Sunshine-style is a still a way off, apps like KillSwitch will remove all traces of your former flame from your devices. Many apps are out there to prevent drunk dialling (always useful for avoiding that 3am ‘I miss you’ message) and Ex-Lover Blocker sends a text to your closest friends if you try and call him so they can stage an intervention. Maybe dumping in the digital age has its benefits…

By Kate Wills