Breaking up is hard to do. But a new survey has found that one-in-four teens believe it’s perfectly okay to break-up with someone via text message! But, experts say “remote breakups” – that aren’t done face to face - deprive dumpees of much-needed closure, and make the dumper look like a coward! So, here are the rules of better breakups:

First: ONLY do it in person. Sociologists say humans are hard-wired to communicate face-to-face. That’s because we experience many nonverbal cues that reassure us of our value and lovability. For example: A quick touch on the arm as you say goodbye sends the message: “I’m sorry our relationship didn’t work out, but I still respect you.” Anything less sends the message: “You don’t matter.”

The next breakup rule: Take full responsibility for the breakup. John Portmann is a philosopher at the University of Virginia. He says it’s okay to say: “I’m not in love with you anymore.”  But a better plan is to say something like: “My needs, feelings, or dreams have changed.” That way, you’re not cutting the person down by implying there’s something wrong with them.

And what if YOU’RE the dumpee? Don’t fight the decision. Begging someone to reconsider will only delay the emotional healing process. In a study, neurologists used MRI scans to show what happens to a person’s brain when they’re dumped.  And at first, their brains light up in a way similar to people in drug withdrawal! But the sooner you make a clean break – meaning no phone calls, no emails, and no offers to stay friends – the sooner you’ll be able to move on with your life.