How To End A Casual Relationship

Let's face it -- breakups are difficult. Sometimes it's easier to fade out a relationship, especially when it's casual and not quite working out. Here are three ways to fade out of a casual relationship:

1. Become slower at responding to texts

This is the first step to fading someone out of your life. If he texts you, instead of responding right away, wait a few hours before texting back. What's more, only send short responses, and don't initiate any text messages. Your guy will take note of this change in behavior.

2. Stop initiating hangouts

Don't suggest any plans to hang out. Let him do all the initiating. If he asks you to hang out, make vague excuses as to why you can't. He'll eventually get the hint that you're no longer interested in continuing the relationship.

3. Disengage

Start disengaging from him. This means you shouldn't ask your guy about his day or tell him about yours. As you disengage from him, it will be easier to fade out of the relationship.

When is it okay to fade out of a relationship?

As a rule of thumb, it's okay to fade a guy out depending on how long you've been dating:

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  • If you've only gone on one-to-two dates, then it's absolutely okay to fade him out. He's probably not even expecting a formal breakup from you.
  • Gone on three dates? It's still fine to fade away, but he might be disappointed.
  • If you've dated for a month, you can also still fade him out. But you might want to consider his feelings, and send a message along the lines of, "Hey, I'm really busy right now, but let's hang out when I have more free time."
  • Have you been dating for two months or longer? Unless he's a crappy person, you should be honest and upfront about the fact that you don't want to date him anymore. You can send a simple text message saying something along the lines of, "Hey, I'm not really feeling this relationship 100%, so I'd like to break things off. I think I need more time to focus on myself, and I mainly don't feel like dating anyone right now."

How to break up the right way

break-up the right wayIf you've been dating someone long-term, and feel as though fading out isn't the right approach, here are some pointers on how to break up the right way:

  • Don't break up through text. Why? Because you'll come across as unsympathetic, and it doesn't give your guy a chance to ask questions.
  • Ideally, break up in person. Meet in a private place, such as your apartment or his, so you both can express your emotions. If you'd prefer somewhere more public, then a park bench is a good option, too.
  • If you're worried about your safety, then breaking up through email is completely justified.
  • Keep the breakup short and sweet -- use "I" statements to state reasons why you're breaking up with him. For example, "Whenever you'd choose to hang out with your friends over me, I felt like you were undervaluing me and our relationship."
  • After getting your point across, firmly let him know that you've said everything you need to say, and you need to leave. If you don't have an exit strategy, he might try to convince you to stay with him.
  • After the breakup is over, you might decide you want him completely out of your life. If this is the case, block him on all social media and delete his phone number.

Swiping left on a relationship doesn't have to be hard

Ending a casual relationship can be uncomfortable and intimidating. But that doesn't have to be the case -- if it's truly just a casual, blossoming relationship, then pulling a fade away is easy and justifiable. However, if your relationship is more serious, then you should break up in-person. Follow the above breakup advice, and you'll be able to smoothly end a relationship that's not working for you.


  1. "4 Tips for Fading Out of Your Relationship," Thought Catalog, July 31, 2013.
  2. "Is Your Guy Pulling the Slow Fade on You?," Elite Daily, July 21, 2017.
  3. "How to Break Up with a Guy Without Hurting Him," Glamour, April 30, 2017.
  4. "The 7 Stages of Fading in a Casual Relationship," Cosmopolitan, June 3, 2014.
  5. "The Best Way to Break Up with Someone," Women's Health, October 15, 2014.

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