HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOU’RE READY TO CALL IT QUITS, WHAT TO SAY AND WHEN
+ FREE plug and play scripts to break up with someone at any stage
From online chats, a few dates in to exclusive for years, everything you need to know to break up with someone (easily and nicely)
So you’ve been seeing this person for a few weeks, right?
Three days in, texting daily, it’s all going great.
Then you start to get that sinking feeling.
The ‘ick’. A red flag. You’re just not feeling it anymore.
Now for the big question… “How can I end it with them easily and nicely?”
In the world of modern dating, especially online, chances are we’ll all have to break it to someone that we’re just not that into them. This can be awkward, emotionally taxing and distressing. As empathetic beings, we don’t want to hurt anyone, but we also don’t want to hurt ourselves by staying in a relationship or pursuing someone we aren’t attracted to.
When is the right time to break up with someone?
Is it better to break up in person or over text?
What is the best thing to say? And what should you avoid?
Whether you’ve been chatting over text for just a few weeks, on a couple of dates or in a relationship for years, these are my best practice tips for breakups no matter what stage you’re at. PLUS! Stay tuned for a free download with 6 breakup scripts for every sticky separation scenario you could think of!
HOW DO YOU TELL SOMEONE YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE THEM ANYMORE?
Before we explore how to tell someone it’s over let’s first start with what not to say or do.
Ghosting has become a go-to strategy for modern daters who want to avoid awkwardness and emotionally confronting conversations. While it is as much a part of modern dating as dating apps the majority of online dating users prefer some kind of closure and voted ghosting their biggest dating gripe. Which begs the question is ghosting ever okay? Some say yes depending on how many dates you’ve been on and what happened on the date.
As digital dating evolves so do the habits and both good and bad.
Whilst it may not seem necessary to tell someone you don’t want to see them anymore paying someone the courtesy of a simple text can make all the difference to someone’s self esteem and wellbeing. Show your date respect, they might not be the one for you but you never know how many times someone has been ghosted or the impact it has had on them. Nobody is a stranger to being ghosted and at some point in the dating game being ignored by someone who wasn’t into you leaves you feeling deflated and undervalued.
There is a simple way to avoid ghosting and date with dignity. No matter if you have had one date or you’ve been dating for several months download our free no more ghosting scripts for cut and paste solutions to tell your date you don’t want to see them anymore no matter where you are in the pre relationship dating cycle. After all, the more kindness and respect you show others the less likely you are to attract emotional confrontation.
WHAT DOES GHOSTING REALLY MEAN?
Are we over sensitive to a polite silent no?
Ghosting has become a catchall for leaving someone hanging, whether you’ve never been on a date, been on a few, or even had sex with them. The term implies someone was there but they disappear. Or more specifically you know they are there but you can’t see them anymore and you’ve become invisible to them. The term ‘ghosting’ was phrased when people started to think it was okay to simply never contact someone again because they had only been on one or two dates and hadn’t had sex with the person. The dating app culture bought with it a set of new rules… There are no rules and people seemed to feel they didn’t owe anyone an explanation, nor common courtesy. But is ghosting new behaviour or simply a terminology for behaviour which has always existed both in and out of dating?
There are labels for dating behaviour such as Ghosting, breadcrumbing, cushioning, zombieing or submarining all of which inevitably demonstrate the person you’re dealing with simply isn’t that into you
WHEN GHOSTING IS YOUR BEST BREAK UP STRATEGY
Knowing when your boundaries have been crossed
If someone has crossed your personal boundaries ghosting can be your best strategy and save you addition emotional pain. Always look for the red flags in dating if they have been verbally or physically abusive in person or via text, been too pushy for physical intimacy, have sent inappropriate naked photos or have asked for money always report this behavior to the online dating site or dating app administrator and protect yourself. Read more about red flags in dating and dating scams.
However, in the case they were perfectly nice, but not your cup of tea. Here are some simple tips to break it off without ghosting.
HOW TO EASILY AND NICELY BREAK UP WITH SOMEONE
Breaking up after talking online only:
With online dating apps affording us hundreds of potential matches at our fingertips, it’s obvious not all conversations will lead to a date or a relationship. However, a concise, respectful message sharing that you appreciate the chat you’ve had but do not wish to pursue anything further shows maturity and respect.
Consider how your sporadic replies, one-word responses and being left on read make the other person feel. This behaviour shows a lack of emotional intelligence and empathy. Be mature and take the high road – tell the person you’re not interested in a polite way, and move on. If they continue to pursue the topic, this is the time to consider deleting, blocking or unmatching.
Breaking up after a few dates:
After just a few times meeting, you can certainly send the person a simple text message to say “Thank you for your time, it was nice to meet you. However, I don’t wish to continue seeing you”. This takes five seconds to send and saves both you and the other person a lot of awkwardness and time in the long run. When they’ve taken the time to spend time with you, the least you can do is thank them and move on.
Comparatively, ignoring someone does not reflect well on you, and you never know when you might run into them or even go on a date with their best friend in future! It’s poor dating etiquette, and if you aren’t prepared to give and receive rejection (which is a natural part of dating), perhaps you aren’t ready yet.
Breaking up after months or years:
When you’ve been together for a long time, breaking it up over text or a phone call is often not the best approach. You’ve committed a significant part of your life to someone, so they deserve your time when you’re ready to call it quits.
One of the most common ways to play this out seems to be the old “It’s not you, it’s me” line, paired with “You’re such a fabulous person though”. Or to blame it on external circumstances and avoid sharing the truth.
Although this line can make things a little simpler and you may think you’re doing the other person a favour by using it, don’t! In fact, you’re insulting them by using a flakey line that doesn’t reveal the truth. They’ve either heard it before, used it before, or made fun of it.
IS BEING HONEST THE BEST WAY TO BREAK UP WITH SOMEONE?
To find out, ask yourself: does your honesty serve the person – is it constructive criticism, or is it downright hurtful?
Commenting on specific features, physical or personality-wise, is not necessary when breaking up with someone at any stage. Take the high road and keep your specific issues to yourself as they will likely just lead to more hurt for the other person.
“Wow, I think you’re really great, but I cannot live with the sound of your laughter for the rest of my life”
“Sorry, your nose is just too big”
“I really don’t like the look of your toes”
Pointing out these superficial features only hurts the person more and does nothing for either, as often it is something the person can’t or won’t change.
Sometimes honesty is not the best policy, and being considerate of others’ feelings, even in early stages is far more important than divulging your dealbreakers or turn offs.
Just because you’re not interested in them doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in you. Rejection hurts, so practice empathy, always and if in doubt, keep it to yourself.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU’RE READY TO BREAK UP WITH SOMEONE
How do you know when to stay and when to call it a day?
Here are some ways to tell you’re ready to break it off:
- You don’t feel a physical, mental, or sexual connection anymore
- You’re not thinking about or messaging them as often
- You enjoy your time alone more than with them
- You’re happy to go without set plans to see each other again
- You make excuses not to see them
- You complain about their flaws/traits, even things you once found attractive
Of course, these are all signs it’s not going well. But is it not going right with the relationship, or with you?
IT’S NOT THEM, IT’S YOU?
A lot of people will have a list of expectations and requirements in a partner, and even when they meet a partner who meets these requirements, somehow, it’s still not enough. Of course, we all like to have high standards, and that’s a must as settling for less is positive for neither party. However, being overly picky can mean the desire to break up falls on you rather than the other person.
What’s important to remember is that no matter how many boxes a potential partner ticks, there will always be some they don’t. Acknowledging that neither you nor your partner is ever going to be ‘perfect’ can help you put things into perspective. If your pattern is to decide every single person you date doesn’t have all of the qualities you’re looking for, you’re hunting for a unicorn. They’re mythical and magical, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll find one.
Online dating can ruin the romance and tempt us with many options, holding out for ‘the perfect one’ and leaving a string of alternatives on the bench, but this is ruining your chance to focus on fostering a genuine connection with any of them.
Are the things you dislike major deal breakers? Or are they things that require tolerance? Don’t stay with someone with the plans of changing these, but ask yourself if they’re small enough to move past because the person is ultimately the right fit for you. Remember the honeymoon period is just that, a honeymoon period.
The biggest thing you need to consider is in the end, when the ‘heart pounding’, ‘butterflies’ and ‘rush of chemistry’ is gone and you’re left with the person and all their good and bad traits, would you rather be together or single?
Overall, ensure you’re ending a relationship or potential relationship, for the right reasons, not just because you’re waiting for someone better who may or may not come along. If you’re stuck on how to find the right person for you, try this video, and if you’re on the receiving end of rejection, try these tips!
HOW TO AVOID GUILT AROUND BREAKING UP WITH SOMEONE
Many people feel guilty when ending things with someone, particularly when they believe this person has deep feelings for them. This is empathy and it’s completely natural to feel this way, it’s even a good thing! It shows you have strong emotional intelligence, sympathy and a good heart.
However, it can leave you with the heavy burden of another person’s feelings, causing you to struggle to balance theirs and your own. However, as hard as it is to end things with someone, it’s not your responsibility to take on all their feelings. It’s only important you consider them in your approach.
The best way to avoid break-up guilt is to consider how you’re doing them a favour. You’re no longer interested in them, and by letting them know, the quicker they can move on to find the right person for them. It is actually an advantage to them because it frees them to find someone truly interested in them.
Now it’s time for the big break up.
5 TIPS TO BREAK UP WITH ANYONE EASILY AND NICELY
- DO NOT make it personal or use tired lines.
Instead, offer any constructive criticism if applicable, or just leave it out of the equation altogether. “It’s not you, it’s me” and other shallow excuses are also a no-go, as most modern men and women see straight through this.
- DO consider why you’re breaking up with them
Do they tick all the important boxes, save a few? Can you work around and tolerate this? Remember, the perfect person doesn’t exist, so ensure you’re breaking up for the right reasons.
- DO NOT feel guilty.
Remember: you’re actually doing them a favour by helping them find the right person for them.
- DO practise empathy.
Ghosting, unmatching, and leading on may seem like the easy way out, but they reflect more poorly on you as a modern dater than they do the other person. There’s a real person behind the profile, so ensure you’re prepared to engage with them in both good and bad circumstances.
- DO NOT date if you’re not ready
Being able to give and receive rejection takes a high level of maturity and emotional intelligence – would you date yourself? Don’t date if you’re not in the position to find love. Consider: what baggage are you carrying? Offload this before you jump into dating, as you shouldn’t expect someone to carry it for you.
Dignity, honesty and empathy are the three key ingredients for ending a relationship at any stage, whether it’s budding, growing or in full bloom.
Still not sure what to say when you want to break up with someone?
Download our free breakup scripts for plug and play break up scripts covering every scenario from:
- Ending it with someone you’ve only been texting
- When they text you without committing to a date
- When you’ve been on a date and don’t want to see them again