What Is “Zumping”? Everything You Need to Know About How To Have a Zoom Breakup
Everything got just a little more complicated in quarantine — and that applies to
breakups, too, since it’s not exactly feasible to end things in person due to social
distancing guidelines. The next best thing? A video chat breakup — aka “zumping.” So,
what is zumping? This new trend refers to dumping someone over the most popular
video conference app. Fortunately for you, I’m going to lay out exactly how to have a
Zoom breakup while still showing compassion, respect, and dignity.
A video chat breakup doesn’t exactly sound ideal, does it? There’s always a chance that
you have technical difficulties, like poor WiFi connectivity, which could make the convo
even more awkward. Here’s the thing, though: it’s a far better mode of communication
for breakups than text, or even a phone call. That’s because visual cues in your facial
expressions and body language can offer a lot of insight into how you’re both feeling,
which is so key when you’re having a tough, vulnerable discussion like this one.
Whether you’ve decided it isn’t working with your virtual date of two months or a long-
distance partner of two years, here are all the ins and outs of zumping you should know
before you pull the plug.
Is zumping right for me?
The way I see it is this: The only way to figure out what mode of communication makes
sense for your breakup is to think about the strength of your connection and the stage of
If you only went on a couple of FaceTime dates with someone, you probably don’t need
to have a Zoom conference to end things (unless you really want to). That said, don’t
ghost your date, either. A kind but straightforward text or a quick phone call should
However, if you’ve gone on a handful of dates with someone and things were starting to
feel a tad more serious, then a Zoom breakup is definitely appropriate. The format of
video will allow you to convey your feelings better, and it shows respect for the person
that you were building a connection with that you took the time to talk with them face to
If you’re in a long-term relationship with someone, there are cases in which a Zoom
breakup may be necessary, unfortunately. For example, if you’re feeling emotionally
drained by the relationship, or it’s otherwise negatively impacting your well-being, it’s
likely time to cut your losses and move on. That’s not to say you should “zump” a long-
term partner at the first sign of trouble — I always advise against making hasty
decisions during a stressful time, and this pandemic is certainly one of those crises. But
if you’re certain you can’t work things out and you need some space, it’s perfectly
appropriate to break up over Zoom since you can’t meet up IRL without compromising
your health and safety.
How do I plan a Zoom breakup?
Having a plan for your Zoom breakup will help to minimize any anxiety around the
So, when should you break the news? As a courtesy to your partner, consider doing it at
a time when you know they’ll be free to relax, process their feelings, and maybe even
call a friend for some emotional support. In other words, don’t do it right before they’re
about to start their workday or go to bed.
Before you hop on your Zoom call, you may want to jot down a few notes of things you
need to remember. Having a loose script to follow may help you to stay on track even
when you feel uncomfortable or nervous. Just don’t read off a script when you’re
actually breaking up with them — or you could come off downright cold and robotic.
Rather, have your reminders nearby, and if you need to, you can steal a quick glance.
FYI, if you send your date a text that says “we need to talk” before scheduling a Zoom
call, they’ll probably suspect they’re about to get “zumped.” There’s no need to cause
them any stress or anxiety leading up to the call, but you do want to schedule your
Zoom call ahead of time rather than just asking them to join an impromptu conference at
the last minute. Which brings me to another point: For the love of God, please be sure
to turn off notifications on your laptop and phone during your Zoom breakup. The last
thing you want is to have alerts going off — it’ll be distracting for you both, and whatever
your connection to this person was, you both deserve to be fully present for the convo.
What should I say?
The hardest part about executing a breakup is working up the courage to actually break
the news. Once you’re on your Zoom call, you’ll likely start off with a little small talk —
and that’s totally fine. There’s no need to blurt out the words, “I don’t want to see you
anymore,” straight off the bat. However, you also don’t want to get so carried away with
that small talk that it becomes increasingly awkward to suddenly end your relationship
As a general rule, I’d say allow yourselves a couple minutes to get your bearings on the
call and then get straight to the point.
I recommend starting with a positive statement — something like, “I’ve enjoyed our time
together,” or “I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know you,” as long as it’s genuine. Then, go
ahead and rip off the bandaid, so to speak, and say something along the lines of “But at
this point, I don’t see this relationship going anywhere,” or “I’m just not feeling a
romantic connection.” You don’t need to over-elaborate on or justify why you’re ending
things. And be careful not to give your date any false hope, or room to negotiate with
you — the clearer and more direct your speech, the better.
How do we get closure?
The primary pitfall to Zoom breakups is that it can feel a bit anticlimactic, particularly if
you’ve been dating someone for months or years at a time. If you had a committed,
long-term relationship with someone, know that they may want to meet up in person
once the quarantine directive has been lifted.
This can definitely help provide a certain sense of closure that a Zoom call might not
offer. Ultimately, though, it’s up to you whether you want to have one final face to face
convo (once it’s safe to do so). If you do agree to meet up and say goodbye IRL when
conditions have been changed, be sure to make it clear that you are standing by your
decision to end the relationship — this is not an opportunity to work things out, but
rather, a chance for one final goodbye or hug.
If you have recently been through a breakup and you want breakup coaching or matchmaking , please submit an inquiry here.