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 a casual relationship:
1. Become slower at responding to texts
This is the first step to fading someone out of your life. If they text 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. They will take note of this change in behavior.
2. Stop initiating hang outs
Don’t suggest any plans to hang out. Let them do all the initiating. If they ask you to hang out, make vague excuses as to why you can’t. They’ll eventually get the hint that you’re no longer interested in continuing the relationship.
Start disengaging from them. This means you shouldn’t ask them about their day or tell them about yours. As you disengage, it will be easier to fade out the relationship.
So when is it okay to fade out?
As a rule of thumb, it’s okay to fade out depending on how long you’ve been dating:
If you’ve only gone on one-to-two dates, then it’s absolutely okay to fade out. They’re probably not even expecting a formal breakup from you.
Gone on three dates? It’s still fine to fade away, but they might be disappointed.
If you’ve dated for a month, you can also still fade out. But you may also want to 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? You should be honest and upfront about the fact that you’re not interested 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 don’t feel like dating anyone right now.”
How to break up the right way
If 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 partner a chance to ask questions.
Ideally, break up in person. Meet in a private place, such as your apartment, 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 them. 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 them know that you’ve said everything you need to say, and you need to leave. If you don’t have an exit strategy, they might try to convince you to stay with him.
After the breakup is over, you might decide you want them completely out of your life. If this is the case, block them on all social media and delete their 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 breakup in-person. Follow the above breakup advice, and you’ll be able to smoothly end a relationship that’s not working for you.
- “4 Tips for Fading Out of Your Relationship,” Thought Catalog, July 31, 2013.
- “Is Your Guy Pulling the Slow Fade on You?,” Elite Daily, July 21, 2017.
- “How to Break Up with a Guy Without Hurting Him,” Glamour, April 30, 2017.
- “The 7 Stages of Fading in a Casual Relationship,” Cosmopolitan, June 3, 2014.
- “The Best Way to Break Up with Someone,” Women’s Health, October 15, 2014.