I’m #obsessed with Bachelor in Paradise. It’s such a great show for someone who’s professionally interested in love. You get to see so many scenarios unfold in super heightened circumstances with insanely intense timelines. The whole thing is fascinating! Anyway, one of the most dramatic parts of the show is that couples will form and then after a few days, one person in the couple will change their mind about the relationship and want to move on. These couples won’t be officially dating, so the break ups are always a bit murky. I’ve seen some people on the show handle this beautifully and some do it with far less grace. (Cough, Joe, cough!) If you’re casually dating someone and change your mind about moving forward with them, here’s how to handle a break up with someone you were never even officially together with.
Think about what you would want
Have you ever been ghosted? Or dumped via text by someone you thought you had a real connection with? If not, more power to you! Let me paint you a picture: It sucks! It makes you feel foolish for ever investing in someone who’s so clearly a piece of crap and doubt your gut for leading you to getting unceremoniously dumped by someone who you thought valued you. It’s really one of the junkiest feelings in the world. So, don’t do that to this person. You’re not into dating him any more, but you’re not trying to emotionally destroy him, right?
Talk to him
Going through a break up talk isn’t pretty for either side, but trust me, it’s worse for the dumpee than the dumper. So, don’t get too dramatic about how this is so terrible for you to do. Tell him that you need to end the relationship because your feelings have changed and make it clear that you value what you had. Don’t let him feel like a fool for liking you. You don’t ever want anyone to think liking you was the wrong call, right? Explain that this was wonderful while it lasted, but it isn’t a long-term situation for you. You can do this on the phone or in person. I’d avoid getting into to much other conversation about it. There’s only so much you can say about not liking someone enough to seriously date them before it gets mean.
Now that you’ve broken up with this guy, leave him alone. You’re out of his life, at least for the time being. Don’t check in on him or ask to hang out as friends right away. He needs time to heal and you popping your head into his healing process certainly isn’t going to help. It’s up to you to stick to the boundaries you set by breaking up with him.
Good luck with this process. It’s not easy, but following these steps is definitely doing the right thing. I’m a big believer in dating karma. And you’re doing good things for your karma if you follow these steps.