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How to End a Casual Relationship

Gabrielle Applebury
Young couple having a serious conversation

Ending a relationship isn't always easy. If you are dating someone casually, there are a few ways you can go about breaking up with them that take into account the type of relationship and the level of intimacy.

Ways to End a Relationship

Before you end the relationship, there are a few things to consider. Think about how long you were together, whether you'd like to remain friends, and the quality of the relationship before choosing a way to end it. Although it can be difficult to have these types of conversations, it can be done in a simple and respectful way.

Stop Responding

There are a few circumstances where it is appropriate to discontinue communication altogether. If the person you are seeing is in any way abusive towards you, threatening, or gives you a bad gut feeling, it's okay to ignore further communication. If you get a bad gut feeling about them, listen to your instincts. There's a reason why humans have this evolutionary survival trait.

Protect Yourself

Sometimes, in these volatile scenarios, it is best to cut off communication quickly in case their bad behavior escalates. The best way to protect yourself is to block them on your phone and all social media so they are unable to reach you. You can also report abusive behavior to the police and to the specific dating site if you met online. Remember it is important to keep yourself emotionally and physically safe.

Phasing Out

If you went out with someone once or twice and have not heard from them, it is perfectly okay to refrain from reaching out. Because you barely know each other and seem to be mutually disinterested in continuing the dating process, it is fine to back off and move on.

In-Person Chat

If you have established some sort of regular dating pattern with this person and have seen each other more than a few times, you may want to consider speaking with them in person. This is a kind, respectful gesture to make when ending relationships with people who you feel safe around but no longer want to be with. You may consider letting them know:

  • You care about them, but you don't want to pursue the relationship any further.
  • You'd like to remain friends but no longer want to date.
  • You've enjoyed the time you've spent together but want to focus on being single.

Phone Calls and Texting

Stressed woman using cell phone

If you aren't comfortable speaking with them in person, you can give them a call or text them to end the relationship. Try to do so over the weekend, so they don't have to process the break up while at work or during the school week in case it takes them by surprise. You can say or text:

  • "I've enjoyed spending time with you, but I no longer want to be in this relationship going forward."
  • "I have loved getting to know you, but I think it's best if we stopped seeing each other."
  • "You're a great person, but I'd like to go back to being single."
  • "Although I'm no longer interested in seeing you romantically, I hope we can still stay in touch."

What to Do if They're Upset

The person you are choosing to no longer see may react intensely to you ending the relationship with them. If that occurs, remain calm and try to just listen to what they are saying. To de-escalate the situation, you can speak in a low, slow voice and reflect back their feelings or thoughts. If they become aggressive, remove yourself from the conversation in a calm and quick way.

Doing What's Best for You

Choosing to end a casual relationship can be stressful. Keep in mind the intimacy and safety of the relationship before you decide how to end it. Take care of yourself afterwards and process the experience.

How to End a Casual Relationship