Sometimes when you meet someone, sparks fly instantly. But other times, your date can turn out to be more of a dud and someone you don’t feel is worth pursuing. If you went on one date via an app, or you were connected by mutual friends, it’s totally fine if you don’t want to continue seeing someone again. Breaking it off doesn’t need to be a big deal – but articulating why without ghosting someone is the hard part.
You might want to break it off, but aren’t sure what to say, or how to say it. Talking to someone in person can be difficult, as the other person can put you on the spot with questions, or may become emotional, making it hard for you to maintain your resolve.
I’m personally in the club that texting can be the best way to communicate with someone when you’re just not that into them, especially if you’ve just started getting to know each other. And if you’re not sure what to say, don’t worry because here are four straightforward ways to break things off, pain-free.
1. “I’m not ready to date right now.”
Hopping back into the dating pool right after a breakup can be overwhelming, and it might make you realize that you aren’t ready for another emotional commitment. If that’s the case, the best thing you can do is be honest with the other person and explain that you aren’t ready to date just yet.
Even if you just aren’t ready for a relationship with that specific person, there’s no arguing with this line. If they don’t take this well or try to convince you that you are ready, be firm and stand your ground. It’s important that you put yourself first in every relationship, and don’t allow them to manipulate you into getting involved in something you aren’t ready for. Don’t feel guilty or ashamed for taking some time to prepare before embarking on a new relationship.
2. “I think we’re better as friends.”
You may find that you really enjoy spending time with someone, but don’t feel the romantic attraction for them that they do for you. When this happens, it’s important to let the person know that they aren’t to blame, but that there’s just something missing from your romantic connection, and that you still want them to be a part of your life. Hopefully, they’ll be understanding.
You may find that even if you weren’t right for each other as romantic partners, you are great friends and will be able to move forward with a healthy, supportive relationship free of all the drama that romantic entanglements always seem to entail. If this turns out not to be the case, it will be disappointing, but you shouldn’t feel any guilt. You’ve done the right thing by being honest, and if they can’t commit to the friendship, that’s on them, not you.
3. “I need time to focus on myself.”
Your first commitment should always be to yourself. If you feel like this person or your relationship with them is too demanding of your time and energy in a way you can’t accommodate, don’t be afraid to send them this message. If they truly care about you and your well-being, they will respond with support and encourage you to do what is best for yourself.
Whether you’ve had some recent obstacles thrown in your path or are just struggling to balance the responsibilities of school, work, family, friends and a relationship, you should never be met with derision or resistance when you ask for time to yourself.
This period of personal growth may help you understand what you’re looking for in a partner, making you even more ready for a relationship when you do get back into dating. You may even find that once you are ready to start dating again, you and this person will be able to pick up where you left off and try again!
4. “I don’t feel a spark.”
You’ll probably end up going on at least a few first dates that leave you feeling like you have no connection with the other person at all. When that happens, don’t give up right away! It simply may take time for your feelings for the other person to grow. But if you’ve been on more than three dates and there’s just no romantic connection on your end, don’t feel like you have to force it to avoid hurting the other person.
If your date is a truly mature individual, they will respect your openness and appreciate you choosing to be honest, rather than stringing them along out of fear of hurting them. If they ask you if you’d be willing to keep trying to see if feelings develop over time, don’t say yes unless you truly believe there is a possibility that this will happen.
Breaking off a new relationship is never easy, and you’re never going to know exactly what to say. The most important thing to remember is to be honest and respectful about your feelings towards the person and to make sure that you fully listen to them when they share their feelings with you—no matter how hard it is to hear what they have to say. Using these lines will help guide you through an open conversation with the person about the relationship and your feelings.
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