Sometimes, it can just be impossible for two people to downshift a romantic relationship to a platonic one. In this case, the best option might simply be to end all contact.
«Make it a clean break. Moving from dating someone to a ‘friend zone’ can be incredibly difficult, and the boundaries of the budding friendship are already blurred,» licensed mental health counselor Erin Parisi told INSIDER.
If you don’t think you or the other person can handle a friendship, the healthiest way forward may be to just part ways for good.
Turning a casual dating relationship into a no-strings-attached sexual arrangement might sound like a fun and easy way to avoid a difficult breakup talk. However, you should consider the ramifications before moving from one kind of undefined relationship to another.
«It’s not a clean break if you continue to hook up with someone you were dating. Moving from a non-official relationship to a friends-with-benefits situation doesn’t have clearer boundaries, it may even have less clear boundaries,» warned Parisi.
Disconnect on social media to help both of you move on
Even though you may not have ever been «Facebook official,» chances are that you and the other person are somehow connected on social media. After you part ways, that connection can lead to awkwardness and hurt feelings.
«To make your non-relationship breakup official, cut ties on social media. It’s typically easier not to be seeing posts and photos from someone when you’re trying to move on. Not willing to cut ties altogether? At least unfollow them so their stuff doesn’t come up in your feed,» said Parisi.
Understand that the other person may not have considered the relationship to be casual
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to know how someone else really feels until they tell you. There’s always the chance that what you considered a casual fling was taken more seriously by the other person.
«Even though you might not have viewed this as a ‘real relationship’ your soon-to-be ex might have. It is better to err on the side of treating this more seriously and having your hookup partner act like it is no big deal than treating it casually and hurting their feelings,» said Madden.
It’s always better to assume the other person might be hurt by the breakup and approach the subject with care rather than risk being cruel by implying you were never as invested in the relationship as your partner.
Above all else, don’t ghost
If you don’t run in the same social or work circles, simply dropping all communication with your former partner might seem like an alluring alternative to an uncomfortable conversation. But don’t do it.
«Everyone has been ghosted, so think about how painful it was when you were ghosted by someone you really liked and how much you would have appreciated a friendly text or phone call to give you a sense of closure, or at least let you know they weren’t abducted by aliens. Put yourself in their shoes and do what’s kind versus what’s easier,» advised Brigham.
The amount of pain and doubt you may cause the other bloomington sugar daddy person by ghosting them far outweighs the small amount of awkwardness that a breakup chat entails. After you say whatever needs to be said in order to bring the relationship to a close, you can walk away knowing that you acted with maturity and respect.
There is one exception to this rule. Senterfitt noted that if the feedback you might give the other person has to do with something they cannot easily change about themselves and would be hurtful, you shouldn’t mention it.