I used the BreakupText app to tell my wife it’s over

What’s more devastating than getting dumped via text message? Getting dumped by an app.


Miles Klee


Published Jul 24, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 10:49 am CDT

What’s more devastating than getting dumped via text message? Getting dumped by an app.

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BreakupText, a new iOS tool (priced to move at $0.99) from Jake Levine and Lauren Leto, is exactly what it sounds like: a way to avoid writing a text that needs to be sent, for everyone’s sake. The tagline, “Because It’s Just Easier This Way,” conveys the passive-aggressive tone at work.

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I logged onto BreakupText in order to send my wife—and partner of 10 years—an unexpected piece of bad news. The first screen encourages you to “Begin the End.” When you do, the app accesses all your contact info, in case you need to break up with more than one person.

I selected my unsuspecting wife’s name for dismissal. Breakup Text then asked for the gender of the dumpee, following that question up with an inquiry as to whether things were “Serious (bow tie)” or “Casual (flip-flops).” Things between my wife and me were serious… I think.

Then came the matter of what went wrong, for which the user has three somewhat confining options. Either “I lost interest,” “I found someone else,” or “I was eaten by a bear.” The last was a trifle far-fetched, so I went with the most casually cruel answer: “I lost interest.”


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BreakupText then surprised me with an ornately detailed text, ready to send with a single tap:

Hi Cece, I know you expected to make it to our next anniversary. Maybe beyond, who knows? There was that one night we named our maybe-babies. That was cute. You’re cute. But it’s over between us. We’ve drifted apart. It’s not just your impotency, it really isn’t. And no, this isn’t about that girl at work. It’s us. Ever hear the song “Cape Canaveral” by Conor Oberst? Of course you haven’t, that was one of our issues. Anyways, we’re like that. A poltergeist love. And I need an exorcism.  

Nice use of metaphor, though I’m far from an Oberst fan, never planned to have kids, and I’m not quite sure what female impotency (the word is “impotence,” by the way) entails. Still, the message got the job done, even if it couldn’t compare to my wife’s terse and lightning-quick response:

“I’m keeping the dogs,” she wrote.

Photo by Dennis Skley/Flickr

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*First Published: Jul 24, 2013, 9:00 am CDT