For example, if you’re simply not attracted to the person’s body or have an issue with their family, it’s almost always best to keep that information to yourself. In that case, a white lie might be the kinder course of action.
Most of the time, it’s a good idea to simply state the reason you’re no longer interested in seeing the other person using kind but unambiguous language. Identify your unmet needs, e.g. freedom, a committed relationship, time to yourself, etc., and then communicate those reasons to the other person.
“If you stop for a moment and dig deep into why this relationship isn’t going to work, there is likely a kind, honest and compassionate reason. That’s what you want to express to the other person,” offered Brigham.
A great way to make sure you don’t leave the other person feeling at fault for the breakup is by using “I statements.” This is a way of shifting the spotlight from your partner’s possible shortcomings to your own needs and experience.
“Consider the difference between ‘I’ve been feeling super overwhelmed and exhausted at work when we keep having these late night hook-ups’ versus ‘You’re taking up too much of my time and keeping me up too late.’ It’s harder to argue with the first statement since it is the speaker’s personal experience,” explained Senterfitt.
“‘I’ statements keep the focus on the speaker rather than pointing the finger at the other person and are less likely to lead to defensive responses,” she added.
It’s also a good idea to start the conversation by mentioning what you’ve enjoyed about spending time with the other person. This is the perfect time to bring up their stellar sense of humor, infectious positivity, or even how much you’ve enjoyed the physical side of the relationship.
“Share with them the qualities you see in them and why you enjoyed spending time together… appreciate the other human being for their qualities. Share yourself with vulnerability and honesty, and move on,” family and couples counselor Morella baltimore sugar daddy Devost told INSIDER.
Don’t fib about wanting to remain friends
It can be tempting to try and cushion the blow of rejection with a promise to stay in touch as friends. But if you don’t actually intend to follow through with a platonic relationship or don’t trust yourself not to try and reinitiate a romantic connection, don’t suggest a friendship.
“If you decide that you don’t want to be friends, don’t lie and say that you do. People do this to make themselves feel better by letting the other person down easier, but it ends up creating mixed messages,” licensed ily therapist Dr. Caroline Madden told INSIDER.
Instead of starting a friendship you have no intention of maintaining, Madden suggested letting the other person know that though you do care about them, you need time to process your feelings or just don’t think a platonic relationship would be possible.
Try not to send mixed signals after the breakup
Once you come to a decision about remaining in contact or not, stick to it. Don’t create confusion and doubt by reaching out after you both decide to cut ties.
“Once you’ve made the phone call or sent the text, let it be over. Don’t torture them by breaking things off and then texting a couple of days later to ‘check-in’ or ‘see if they want to grab a drink – as friends,'” cautioned Brigham.
Though it can be hard to stop contacting someone with whom you may have had a fun connection, it’s important to consider that sliding back and forth between silence and contact can fuel uncertainty and prolong the pain of the rejected party.