Millions of Brits have been dumped by text, a study has found.
A poll of 2,000 unlucky-in-love adults found more than one in five has seen their relationship come to an end following a quick message.
And one in eight has been ghosted – where a relationship is ended with no explanation and sudden withdrawal from all communications.
However, 13 per cent would actually prefer to be dumped by text, avoiding the awkward break-up phone calls or the humiliation of being told ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ in a coffee shop or restaurant.
Another two thirds would rather have a relationship ended by text, then be ghosted and hear nothing at all.
The study was commissioned by Sky Mobile to mark the arrival of text-to-switch in the UK, which means Brits will now be able to ‘break up’ with their phone provider by text.
It also emerged the average person has experienced six failed romances – where two have ended through a short but not so sweet text – once as a ‘dumper’ and another as a ‘dumpee’.
Two-fifths of those polled reckon a relationship ends this way due to fears of how the person on the receiving end might react.
And just under half said it’s simply easier to end a relationship over text.
But despite more than half saying it’s more common now to be dumped through a text, one quarter have ended a romantic entanglement over the phone.
And one in 20 have even written a letter.
Younger people are more likely to turn to their phone though with two thirds of under 25-year olds ending a relationship by text, compared with just one in 10 over 55s.
However, the study also found that it’s not considered appropriate to break up using a text if you have been on more than three dates.
And while three quarters agreed face-to-face is the best way to let down a new love interest, 13 per cent said it can all depend on the circumstances.
It’s not all doom and gloom as the research found modern dating isn’t completely overshadowed by dating apps.
One third have met potential love interests in a bar and one fifth have locked eyes during a night out at a club.
Two fifths have dated a friend of a friend, with one in 10 being wined and dined by an old school friend and more than a quarter have ‘wooed’ a work colleague.
It also emerged more than half of adults have felt guilty about breaking up with someone, with nearly a quarter using the classic break-up line of “We need to talk”, while 17 per cent have endured the typical “It’s not you, it’s me.”
Other common lines to finish with someone include “I just need some time for me”, “I need space” or “we’re looking for different things.”
The study, conducted via OnePoll, also found it takes 10 weeks to get over a relationship.
More than a third said a night out with your guy or gal pals is the ideal way to move on from ghosts of relationships past, with 16 per cent advising to delete your ex on social media.
Sophia Ahmad, director of Sky Mobile said: “Our research shows that people find it easy to end a relationship by text.
“So the arrival of text-to-switch should be a popular way for UK mobile users to move away from their current network provider.
“When we launched Sky Mobile our aim was to be the most flexible network, giving customers choice and savings every month.
“We’re confident we’ll continue to see success as the new reforms make switching mobile networks easy for customers.”
Major new reforms from Ofcom, the UK’s communications services regulator, will now make it possible for mobile customers to switch mobile network by simply sending a free a text.
Phone users will receive a unique switching code to pass on to their new provider, who will then arrange for the switch to complete within one working day.
Top 10 break-up lines people have used or have been used on them:
1. We need to talk
2. It’s not you, it’s me
3. We’re looking for different things
4. I don’t think I’m the right person for you
5. I’ve been thinking….
6. I need space
7. I’m not ready for a serious relationship
8. I just need some time for me
9. There’s someone else
10. I don’t know how to tell you this but….