How To End Your Going-Nowhere Textationship

If "BRB," "G2G," or "TTYL" just aren't cutting it, you might need to take a firmer approach to cutting off a textationship. Modern dating, with its social media stalking and endless romance apps, comes with many new challenges and circumstances to navigate. Among these scenarios are "textationships" — defined by Urban Dictionary as a relationship that uses text messaging as its primary form of communication. In these circumstances, phone screens are used as a literal and metaphorical emotional barrier, allowing flirty conversations to take place without any actual commitment or real-life interaction.


While textationships are a great way to test the water with a new Tinder match or get to know a potential partner, they have a tendency to drag on. When you get too comfortable just texting, it's hard to make the leap into real-life dating and connection. If you feel like you may be stuck in a dead-end textationship, we've devised an escape plan — whether you're hoping to cut things off for good or take things to the next level.

Express your desires clearly

When you're regularly texting someone, it may feel as though you're on the same page. Rapid-fire conversations and frequent communications can understandably create a sense of commitment to each other. However, it's important to not confuse textationships with established relationships — at least, not until you've actually established your expectations. As Fox 26 reports, many people simply fall into textationships and enjoy the freedom they come with. It's not safe to assume that your texting buddy is ready to get exclusive or make any plans to meet up in person.


Since you can't plan on textationships following the trajectory of a typical relationship, it's important to make your intentions clear. If you're simply enjoying having someone to chat with, share that! Any attempts by the other party to make plans to meet up in person should be firmly declined, with an explanation of your own feelings. Wishy-washy rejections may leave room for hope, leading to confusion and hurt on both sides. On the other hand, if you're hoping to meet your iMessage acquaintance in person, make those wishes known. Planning an in-person date, even as you continue to get to know each other over text, can get a textationship escape route on the calendar.

Set mental deadlines

It's easy to get comfortable in a textationship. Unlike phone calls or in-person conversation, you have plenty of time to think up clever responses and quips. You can hold discussions on the go, wherever you are, throughout the day. But if you're worried about becoming trapped in a textationship, you'll need to set some boundaries.


If you're enjoying texting someone but don't want to become too reliant on a textationship, perhaps you'll decide that you have one month to get to know each other. If by the end of that deadline, you don't have any desire to further the relationship, you can either cut things off or keep them around as a friend. In a similar vein, if you're hoping to move things to an IRL relationship, perhaps you'll set expectations for when a date will happen. If in a month, your partner hasn't initiated an in-person meet-up or been available for any of your own suggestions, this is a clear indicator that they may have different expectations for what the relationship will be.

Begin responding less

If all else fails, you can create distance with your textationship by responding less and less. This can be a useful trick no matter what you're hoping your relationship will evolve into. If you're hoping to end things, a savvy texter will catch onto your digital distance. On the other hand, if your attempts to initiate in-person contact have failed, your lack of texting interest may make it clear that this is a dealbreaker.


When possible, avoid ghosting your textationship. According to the American Psychological Association, this all-too-common method of cutting things off can cause real emotional damage to your previous partner. If your texting buddy catches onto your lack of responses before things fizzle naturally, you can explain that your relationship needs are no longer being met by the textationship and that you're freeing up your schedule for more fulfilling conversations. If you're still hopeful that you and your textationship is end-game, you can switch mediums in an attempt to make those fulfilling conversations be with them!

Transition into phone calls or FaceTimes

We know — phone calls are so old-fashioned. According to Marriage, 63% of millennials prefer texts because they're less disruptive than calls. If the trends are to be trusted, that number is likely to be even higher with younger generations. If you have fallen into a textationship out of pure convenience, you're not alone.


Still, when it comes to relationship building, phone calls, FaceTime, and in-person communication can't be beat. With live, rapid-fire responses, you'll get a better indication of someone's true personality and your chemistry as a couple. Phone calls also allow you to pick up on tone better than texting does. Emojis can only go so far, and miscommunication as a result of texting can negatively impact a relationship.

If you're hoping to get your texting partner on the phone, there are plenty of ways to do so. We advise against a cold call, but the boldness that would take can be otherwise applied in simply being honest. Share your desire to get to know them better over the phone. If you want to be more romantic, suggest that you'd love to hear the sound of their voice. Or, if you prefer to be more subtle, indicate that you have a story to share that is too long to type out.


Block their number and protect your peace

At the end of the day, if your textationship isn't meeting your needs, you need to remove yourself from the conversation. Of course, when that conversation is happening entirely on your phone, stepping away isn't an option. You'll need your phone for other things, so, instead of throwing the whole device away, it's time to block that number.


We know — it seems harsh. Unfortunately, the simplicity that makes textationships easy to get into can also make them easy to go back to. If multiple attempts to communicate your expectations haven't resulted in a relationship that works for you, blocking the number takes the (ultimately disappointing) temptation off the table.

It's time to free up your phone storage for someone who is going to meet your expectations and hopes for a relationship. You can remember your textationship fondly as someone who allowed you to practice your best pick-up lines and iMessage game skills ... but true love happens outside of text bubbles.