I’ve been ghosted twice in my life. One of the guys was actually a really good friend—at least, I thought he was. It didn’t feel good. In fact, it was a pretty darn terrible experience. But as bad as it felt, I too, am guilty of going ghost on people I casually dated in the past. I loathe confrontation, and there’s something particularly intimidating about having to let someone down by telling them that you’re no longer romantically interested in them. But going ghost is quite immature. If you’re anything like I was, and are looking to turn over a new leaf in 2016, continue reading for practical tips on how to end a casual dating relationship like a grown-up.
I once ended a casual dating situation by telling the guy that I was relocating to Washington, D.C. for a new job. He responded by telling me that we should try to get together before I leave. He also entertained the idea of a long-distance relationship. While it’s probably tempting to come up with some sort of lie that will make cutting him off a little easier on both you and him, honesty is really the best policy. If you’re just not romantically interested in him, say that. People respect transparency, and they can easily see through bullsh-t. Also, it’s going to be difficult to keep lies going.
It’s bad enough that you’re telling the guy you don’t want to see him anymore, potentially breaking his heart. The least that you can do is be nice about it. If your reason for cutting him off is not that he carries himself like a complete jerk, and he really seems to be a nice guy, try to be gentle in your approach. Perhaps complimenting him about the things you like about him before delivering the blow will help.
Do it sooner than later
The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be. Dragging something like this on for an extended period of time is the absolute worst—trust me, I know. Ultimately, you’re stringing him along and wasting his time knowing good and darn well that you’re not interested in a relationship with him. And that’s not okay. You should have the conversation shortly after you realize that this isn’t what you want.
Don’t send mixed signals
As our Editorial Assistant Lauren R.D. Fox eloquently put it, “Don’t be kissing and suck d-ck after you tell him it’s a wrap.” If you’re done, be done. You’ll just come off as someone who likes to play games and doesn’t really know what she wants.
Go no contact
It’s incredibly easy to say things like “Let’s just be friends” to soften the blow. But honestly, if you really can’t see yourself being friends with this person or you have no desire to be friends, don’t say it. There’s also no point in sending that nonsensical, “Just seeing how you’re doing” text. Be a woman of your word. If you say you’re not interested, conduct yourself as such.
Here are some pointers on how to start the conversation:
“I would prefer not to continue this relationship with you. You’re a really nice guy, but…”
“I have enjoyed the time we spent together, but unfortunately, I don’t feel the same way about you that you feel about me.”
“Unfortunately, I need to end things between us.”
Having conversations like this is rarely easy, but you’ll feel much better in the long run if you make a clean break.