What is the best way to end a casual relationship? Even if you’re in a casual relationship, breaking up is difficult. Most of us don’t like hurting or disappointing someone, and even if your relationship is unofficial, it’s completely conceivable that there will be plenty of both. While you may have valid reasons to stop a casual relationship, it can be quite difficult to find out how to do so. Here are some pointers:
Just because a relationship is informal doesn’t mean it doesn’t take caution while terminating it; after all, you never know how the other person feels. Here are some gentle ways to end a casual relationship:
How to End a Casual Relationship
The following are simple tips to follow when you decide to end a casual relationship.
#1. Have the conversation as soon as you realize you don’t want to continue seeing the person
When you decide that you no longer want to see or sleep with someone, you owe it to them to inform them as quickly as possible.
Once you know things aren’t going to work with this other person, don’t string them along and wait to see who pops up in your Tinder stream to see if you’re going to respond to his or her text.
Make a strategy to tell the other person how you feel as soon as you are certain that the relationship has no future.
#2. If possible, attempt to meet in person
If your relationship was brief or casual, organizing an in-person breakup can feel intimidating or even extravagant. However, meeting in person is usually the most courteous and loving approach to end any type of romantic relationship.
We lose so much when we rely on text messages for important communication. We misinterpret the meaning of written words and fill in the blanks with false stories. Even if the couple hasn’t formally dated, if you’re spending time together or having sex, changing that circumstance is substantial enough to benefit from an actual dialogue.
Though meeting in person isn’t always possible owing to geographical or time constraints, try to avoid ending the connection over text or email.
#3. Select an appropriate time and location for the conversation.
When it comes to making a breakup as painless as possible, timing is everything. Plan your conversation during a moment when the other person will be as relaxed and clear-headed as possible.
Try to tell them on a regular weekend day rather than ten minutes before an exam.
You should avoid broaching the subject when the other person is preoccupied with work or is just waking up in the morning.
If you’re concerned that meeting up with the other person will lead to you falling into bed together, attempt to talk about it in a neutral, public place.
Make plans outside of a situation that is likely to result in a hookup. Instead of viewing a movie in your room, go to the mall or for a walk.
#4. Be as truthful and kind as possible.
Even if your casual fling hasn’t blossomed into a serious relationship, the other person deserves a genuine and honest reason for your change of heart.
Be as truthful as you can without endangering the other person. If the existing arrangement no longer works for you because you’re too busy with other obligations, you’ve begun seeing someone else, or you’ve just decided you need more “me time,” simply say so.
This rule does have one exception. If the critique you might give the other person is about something they can’t readily change about themselves and would be hurtful, you shouldn’t discuss it.
For example, if you don’t like the person’s body or have a problem with their family, it’s nearly always preferable to keep such information to yourself. In that instance, a white lie might be the better option.
Most of the time, it’s best to just describe your reasons for no longer wanting to see the other person in courteous but unambiguous terms. Identify your unfulfilled needs, such as freedom, a committed relationship, alone time, and so on, and then convey your reasoning to the other person.
If you take the time to think about why this relationship isn’t going to work, you’ll probably find a kind, honest, and caring reason. That’s what you’re trying to convey to the other individual.
#5. Don’t lie about your wanting to stay friends.
It’s tempting to try to soften the impact of rejection by promising to stay in touch as friends. Don’t advise a friendship if you don’t intend to follow through on a platonic relationship or if you don’t trust yourself not to try to restart a love relationship.
If you decide you don’t want to be friends, don’t pretend you do. People do this to make themselves feel better by making it easy on the other person, but it results in confusing messages.
Instead of initiating a friendship, you don’t intend to keep, Madden suggests telling the other person that, while you care about them, you need time to evaluate your feelings or don’t believe a platonic connection is viable.
#6. Begin with “I” statements and emphasize the positives.
Using “I statements” is an excellent approach to avoid making the other person feel responsible for the breakup. This is a technique for shifting the focus away from your partner’s potential flaws and toward your own wants and experience.
Consider the difference between saying, “I’ve been feeling very stressed and fatigued at work because we keep having these late-night hook-ups,” and saying, “You’re taking up too much of my time and keeping me up too late.” It is more difficult to refute the first statement because it is based on the speaker’s personal experience.
“‘I’ statements focus on the speaker rather than pointing the finger at the other person and are less likely to elicit defensive responses,” she adds.
It’s also a good idea to start the conversation by expressing how much you’ve enjoyed spending time with the other person. This is an excellent opportunity to mention their fantastic sense of humor, infectious positivism, or even how much you’ve liked the physical side of the relationship.
“Share the traits you admire in them and why you enjoy spending time with them,” and “admire the other person for their qualities.”
#7. In some cases, it is advisable to simply cease contact.
It is often simply impossible for two people to transition from a romantic to a platonic relationship. In this scenario, the best choice may be to simply discontinue all contact.
Make a fresh start. Moving from a dating relationship to a “friend zone” may be extremely challenging, especially when the boundaries of the new friendship are already blurred.
If you don’t think you or the other person can handle a friendship, the best course of action may be to end it.
#8. Avoid sending confusing messages after the breakup.
Stick to your decision on whether or not to stay in contact. Reach out after you’ve both decided to cut ties to avoid causing uncertainty and doubt.
Allow it to be over once you’ve made the phone call or sent the text. Don’t torment them by breaking things up and then texting them a few days later to ‘check in’ or see if they want to grab a drink – as friends.
Though it can be difficult to stop contacting someone with whom you may have had a great relationship, it’s crucial to remember that alternating between silence and contact can fuel confusion and prolong the rejected party’s sorrow.
#9. Recognize that the other person may not have regarded the relationship as casual.
Unfortunately, you never know how someone else truly feels unless they tell you. There’s always the possibility that what you thought was a brief fling was taken more seriously by the other party.
Even if you did not consider this a “genuine relationship,” your soon-to-be ex may have. It is better to err on the side of taking this more seriously and having your hookup partner act as if it isn’t a big problem than to take it lightly and hurt their feelings.
It’s always best to presume that the other person is hurt by the breakup and approach the matter with caution than to risk being cruel by insinuating that you were never as invested in the relationship as your partner.
#10. Unfollow each other on social media to help both of you move on.
Even if you have never been a “Facebook official,” chances are you and the other person are connected on social media. That relationship might cause awkwardness and damage feelings after you separate ways.
Cut ties on social media to make your non-relationship breakup official. When you’re trying to move on, it’s usually simpler not to see updates and images from someone. Not ready to completely cut ties? At the very least, unfollow them so that their content does not appear in your stream.
#11. Above all, do not ghost.
If you don’t share the same social or professional circles, just ceasing all touch with your ex-partner may appear to be an appealing option for an awkward talk. However, do not do it.
Everyone has been ghosted, so consider how terrible it was to be ghosted by someone you cared about, and how much you would have loved a polite text or phone call to provide closure, or at least let you know they weren’t taken by aliens. Put yourself in their situation and choose kindness above convenience.
The amount of anguish and uncertainty you may inflict on the other person by ghosting them far surpasses the minor unpleasantness of breakup talk. You can walk away knowing that you acted maturely and respectfully after saying whatever has to be said to bring the relationship to a stop.
How to End a Casual Relationship FAQs
How do you end things with a guy you're not officially dating?
Most of the time, it’s best to just describe your reasons for no longer wanting to see the other person in courteous but unambiguous terms.
Do casual relationships ever turn serious?
Casual dating is one of the early stages of a relationship and can sometimes progress to a serious relationship.