Thursday, June 12, 2014

How To Break Up With People You're Not Dating

Every time I get emotional I end up writing a blog of some sort. Most of them don't make it to publication, thank goodness for all 30 of my readers, haha, but this one I thought needed to be handled a bit and hopefully I'll have some useful information for single people.

How to break up with someone you're not technically dating. Yes it's important. This is for those situations when you started going out on dates with someone, you've been on a couple and they were pretty okay but for some reason you know that it's not going to work out or now now you can't/don't want to go out anymore. This means you'll have to *gasp* communicate.

First off, I always advocate the honesty route. Tell the person why you don't want to see them anymore. You should be being honest from the start and if that's the case, it leaves pathways open (say you have to choose between two really great people and need to focus on one at a time, let the other know what you're doing.) With guys or girls, that is the decent thing to do.

Now, a lot of the information out there says an email is acceptable as a way to break things off. Nope. Not for the 30 and under generation. Who gets anyone's emails anymore as a way of communicating?
"Hey, you're pretty cool, let me get your email address." Nope, don't even think about it.

Here's a quick guide. 
After 1st date: Text (phone call may be a bit much) or your favorite communication method. If you met them over a dating website and are still talking over it, then you can go with that. If you regularly talk to them in a parking lot at midnight, then use that method.
After 2nd date: Text, think about a phonecall, or favorite communication method.
After 3rd date: Phone call. In person IF that's your favorite communication method (i.e. parking lot at midnight.)
After 4th date and beyond: Definitely phone call or in person (if you're seeing them casually).
*If you kissed after the 1st or 2nd date, jump straight to after 3rd date protocol. Anything that intimate means you did have a connection and now you should explain voice-to-voice why you're doing what you're doing.*

Here's the in-depth guide with reasons and life experiences to back it up.
Okay, so text versus calling. If it's been one or two dates then things probably aren't all that serious between the two of you yet. As such, you're probably setting up dates over text still, and as such this is an acceptable way to break things off. Say you're not feeling the chemistry, are getting more interested in someone else, think their breath stinks, whatever, you can send them a politely worded text if they ask you out for that second or third date. "Hey, I think you're really great but I've (insert excuse here). So thanks, but I'll see you around." Short, to the point. If you need help thinking of an excuse look at the honesty paragraph above, then see the special addenum below for special circumstances.

Now, here's the situations when a phone call is necessary. If it's after the third date. If you've kissed goodnight. If you really care about the person and want to make things clear. If an old flame came back. If you're not feeling the chemistry anymore. Ect. Basically any situation that has been a little more involved. (Note, this does not apply to crazy people or psychopaths, see special addenum for those circumstances.)

For the phone call, here's what you do. Easy way: Think of what you're going to say, then pick a good time and call them. Say what you've got to say, then you're done.
Way for the Faint of Heart (i.e. my way): Write out a few notes on a piece of paper on what you want to say and what you have to get across. Have it in hand to look at if you get befuddled. Be sure that you're making the right choice. (Sometimes you just have to choose and then go with it, but be sure you can stick to your guns in your mind.) Stare at the phone. Call your mom or best friend and have them tell you why a phone call is the more mature, thoughtful thing to do. Psych yourself up. Pick up the phone, make the call. Cry afterward. Call your best friend and eat some ice cream. Done.

A phone call is the nice thing and also the hard thing to do. I will suffer for days before I finally pick up the phone for that difficult call. I would honestly rather stew in my emotions than take the 2 minutes that phone-call will take and get it off my chest. I will chew the inside of my cheek to shreds and get stress-acne. So I get that it's hard, I get that text would be easier. A phone call however is the best way to go. It's clear, to the point, and you can say what you want. If it's anyone I care about I will end up bawling after the call. That's okay, it means you're human. It's good to let the emotions flow a bit. The person will appreciate the call and will remember your maturity. It leaves doors open to still being friends/still having future dates. So make that fricking phone call.

That's pretty much it. I don't advocate meeting someone in person to tell them that you're breaking off seeing them anymore. If you're not in a committed relationship then setting up another meeting just to break it off is rather cruel. For girls and guys, someone has to go to the extent of planning the date and getting all ready to go out and psyched up. We are so disconnected in our day and age that an in-person meeting is really intimate. If they are your committed boyfriend/girlfriend, well that's a story for another time. Basically it'll depend on the circumstances and what you know that they would prefer.

Special Addenum/Special Circumstances.
Do you need help thinking of a nice excuse as to why you don't want to see them again? Here's how to do it. Say you went on a date and realized they had awful breath. After the second date they still had awful breath and you cannot imagine seeing them again. For your excuse, you can be really brave and tell them their breath may need worked on.

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