It’s confusing isn’t it? You’ve been seeing this new guy for a few months now, and you actually never had that conversation. Are we… together? Is he… my boyfriend? No lines have been drawn between the two of you — you guys have just been going out for the past couple months, and you’ve already stopped seeing other guys. It seems like an exclusive relationship already, but you guys haven’t made it official.
Now, in the past few weeks, you’ve been thinking that it hasn’t been working out. How do you break up with someone who isn’t your boyfriend? Sounds funny, but this phenomenon happens to more people than we think! So if you find yourself in this not-so peculiar situation, here are some ways to break up with your guy… who isn’t your guy.
1. Analyze how long you’ve been going out. The best way to go about it is to lay down your cards and see how intense this relationship has been. If you’ve only been going out two or three times, I don’t think you need to have a serious “break-up”. The next time he asks you out, just tell him you’ve been busy. I don’t think it’ll matter if you guys just stop seeing each other.
However, if you’ve been out with him on 10 or more dates, and you’ve been going out exclusively, I’m guessing you owe him an explanation if you feel like ending things with him.
2. ‘Break up’ in person. Do it over something casual, like tea or coffee, or even lunch. Make sure the environment is bright and cheery. That way, it won’t seem so dark, dull and depressing; just two friends catching up. It’ll be much easier to bring up the conversation that way.
3. Realize it might be a harder conversation than you expected. No matter what, telling someone you don’t want to keep seeing them anymore is going to be tough. You don’t expect to go into a coffee shop, tell the guy you’re through and walk away happy! There might be some negotiation, hurt ego, and others. Just be ready for anything.
4. Don’t call it a break-up. Since you’ve never had that conversation about actually being in a relationship, this technically isn’t a break-up. It’s just letting the other person know that you have no interest letting this go further. You might shoot yourself in the foot by calling it a break-up because it may seem rather presumptuous — he might think that you’ve been seeing this as something more serious than it actually is. And, who knows? He may also be ready to let it go, too.
Plus, reframing it and thinking it isn’t a break-up might make it easier for you to drop the bomb.
5. Don’t drop them like a hot potato. If you’re ready to call it quits, ghosting them is an immature and unfair way to go about it. Deal with the problem as it is and be an adult about it. You’ll learn a lot along the way.
6. Be clear about your intentions. Don’t leave the table until it’s clear to him that you’re no longer interested. Leaving the conversation open-ended will be very confusing to him, and you might just have a harder time getting him to stop trying. I understand that sometimes it may be easier to leave it open-ended because you can spare your guy from heartache, but in the long run, the best thing to do is just be clear about where you stand. It’ll help him move on faster, too.
7. Finally, be honest. I always talk about honesty and being true in this blog — be honest with yourself, with your friends and with your romantic partners. The truth, even if it hurts at times, is the best and most liberating thing you can offer another person. When it comes to hard conversations like these, it might be really hard to be honest, but try to package the truth in a nice way.
If you’ve found it difficult to have deep conversations with him, then just tell him that you’ve had a hard time connecting with him. You can also tell him that it might be better for you to part ways now, so that maybe it will bring you both closer to the person you’re destined to be with.
Whatever it is, love is risky business! You’ll always risk having your heart broken, or breaking someone’s heart along the way, but once you find “the one”, it’ll all be worth it.