Their profile looked promising, their messages were intriguing, and you were really excited to finally meet. But a few dates later, things don’t seem to be clicking. It’s clear that your relationship’s not going anywhere, and you’d rather move on than waste anymore of your time.
Here’s a hard truth: not everyone you meet is going to be right for you (gasp!). And it’s OK to opt out of a new relationship if you aren’t into it. But when it comes to sparing someone’s feelings, there’s a right way and a wrong way to break things off. So if you want to move on the nice way, keep these tips in mind.
1. Don’t ghost.
In case you’re not hip with the lingo, ghosting is when you’ve been talking to or hanging out with someone, then suddenly cut off all communication with no explanation. This is probably the worst way you can end things, and unfortunately, it’s happening more and more these days. Sure, it’s easy to cut off contact with someone, but it also doesn’t take much effort to send a quick text explaining that you’re not that into it. Plus, if you end up running into them again, things will be a lot less awkward. So when it comes to breakups, let’s keep Casper out of it.
2. Never assume they’ll “get the hint.”
Taking forever to respond to text messages, having to “stay late at work” when you’re asked out, or sending unnecessarily short responses — there are a lot of ways to try and make someone realize that you’re just not that into them. The problem is, sometimes dating makes people abandon common sense. They’ll rationalize your behavior and continue trying to see you. So instead of avoiding the breakup, chin up and get it over with. It will be better for both of you in the long run.
3. Nix the mixed messages.
Did you call it off before anyone got hurt? Good, now stick to that decision. Don’t reach out with texts, emails or phone calls (not even for a drunken booty call). It’s hard enough getting shut down, and continuing to hear from an ex makes it harder for both of you to move on. So once you decide to end things, make sure it’s for good.
4. Have some real talk.
The best thing to do when you’re breaking up with someone is be honest. It’s better to be up front if you want to end things, even if your soon-to-be ex won’t like what you have to say. But if a face-to-face isn’t really your thing, these days it’s (kind of) acceptable to break up via email or text, especially if you’ve only been on a few dates. Sending a message will let them down gently and you’ll feel at ease knowing that you gave them a proper goodbye.