Dating Over 40: He Broke Up with Me on Facebook!

Breaking up is never fun. But some things can make it seem so much worse. I was talking to a client today who told me the man she dated for three months, sent her an email through facebook to call it quits.

Via Facebook? Not even a real email? Wow tha’ts cold. I don’t get it.

Well maybe I do.  From what I have learned personally and through the more than 1,500 clients I’ve worked with, it seems that the vast majority of men hate confrontation. Of any kind. Including breaking up.

Some guys claim they hate to deliver bad news. Some say they don’t want to hurt the woman’s feelings. Some say they can’t handle a big emotional scene. Whatever the reason – “I can’t handle it” seems to cover all the bases.

Let’s admit this is a hard message to deliver. True for anyone unless you are no longer emotionally invested – that does make it easier.

Back when I was dating, I remember how awful it was to break up with the last guy who I called “The Postman.” (that was his job .) I was dating both him and my husband, a first for me. And not so easy or fun as you’d think. I was trying to decide for about six weeks and finally just had to hold my breath and pick a man . My husband won. Maybe it was the freckles – I’m a fool for freckles.

Anyway, this decision meant I had to cut the postman loose. I dreaded this conversation. I knew I could never get through it in person. So I did it over the phone. Is this the best?  I don’t know.

Many people insist that you do this sort of thing in person. We’d only been dating about 9 weeks so  things were still new versus a romance of years.  It wasn’t a great call because I cried. I found it hard to reject and hurt this nice guy, but he just wasn’t the right choice for me. I did the best I could.

I have been broken up with via “Dear John”  letter, a phone call, and in person. My college boyfriend and I never broke up – he just stopped calling me and I never followed up or ran into him ever again!  None of it was better than the other. 

At least on the phone or via letter or email, the guy couldn’t see how I took it. I got to have my reaction in some degree of privacy which was a relief – not having to hold it together for the benefit of someone else.

But via Facebook even though it was a private note – that does seem more cowardly perhaps than even a personal email.  I’ve heard about being texted too.

When people are hurt or angry, they sometimes do cruel things or act in ways that are less than when at their best. It stinks. But the truth is, there is no good way to deliver this message to anyone.

If it happens to you at any time in the future, my advice is to do whatever you need to do to take good care of yourself. Cry, eat too much ice cream, take lavendar-scented baths, sleep a lot, lean on your friends, pray, eat grill cheese and tomato soup, watch chick flicks, buy yourself flowers. And then when you are ready, move on and get back out there to look for love again.

Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. She put her skills from personal development and her spiritual path to work, dating 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to manifesting and midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late to help smart, successful women find love or live an empowered and magical life. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC, is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000s of midlife women with her Love & Magical Life Coach services. She’s the host of the Breathe Love & Magic podcast and has been featured on NBC, ABC, & Fox News, NPR, BBC, eHarmony,, and Connecticut Magazine among others. Also, Ronnie is the author of 6 books which are available on Amazon.

8 thoughts on “Dating Over 40: He Broke Up with Me on Facebook!”

  1. Dear Ronnie, exactly the same happended to me 8 weeks ago. I still feel miserable. And he has really cut me out of his life. It is unbelievable. We knew each other since a while and got together in November. We went to restaurants together. Cooked together of course made love. He picked me up from the airport. and then all of a sudden he got distant for five days and broke up with me on a Saturday afternoon – on Facebook. Saying I am pretty and intelligent and cultivated but he has not developed enough to “invest” more. Now I got the news by a friend that he is moving to Brazil because of his job.

    No contact. I feel underestimated in every way and well “not worth to invest”. well… reading your article helped a little.

    • Hi Christin, So sorry to hear about how your boyfriend broke up with you. Absolutely horrid! There are men who just can’t handle any sort of confrontation – so they breakup with a text, email or even, yes, Facebook. It’s a cowardly way to go.

      On the other hand, it is possible that he broke up with you (even through it was in a thoughtless way) because he is moving away. So, in the end, even if he told you in person he didn’t want to see you any more because he is moving, the end result is sort of the same – just kinder I suppose.

      While it always stinks to be the one left, I encourage my dating coaching clients to look at it this way – better than spending years with the guy to find out he’s the wrong one. After some time healing, get back out there to find a better man who knows you are the only one he wants to “Invest in”.
      Wishing you love,


  2. I am 41 was seeing a man for a year, he breaks up with me via a public announcement that he’s now single on FB and never contacted me again. I am so hurt, shocked & never saw it coming. Its the most cowardly form of confrontation ever! After a year I deserve more than that, an email something less humiliating.


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