The Non-Breakup Breakup

So you’ve been on just one date with the person so far. Or maybe traded some emails and phone calls and that’s it. And now you’re no longer interested – yet the other person still is. How do you let that person down?

It’s not really a breakup, because you two aren’t officially “going out.” But it’s still a rejection nonetheless. What do you do? How do you end things? How do you not-really-but-sort-of breakup with that person?

Here are a few ways I’ve heard about:

  • Ignore the person. Stop all contact. Don’t return any calls, emails, or text messages. This is the cowardly way out, though admittedly a lot of people do this because it’s easy. I’ve done it (and I’m ashamed of it), and I’ve had it done to me. The downsides include bad karma and lots of confused calls from the person, until the hint finally sinks in.

  • Make up an excuse. Tell the person you met someone else, or got back with your ex, or are moving away to another country, or are changing your sexual preference. Basically, lie. This is also a cowardly exit, though some opt for this instead of ignoring the person, so the date won’t try calling again. But beware – it’s a small world, and the person could catch you in this lie. Some commonly-used lies include:

    • “I just started another relationship and want to see where it goes.”
    • “I just got back together with my ex.”
    • “I’m moving out of the country. To somewhere far. Really far. Like, Outer Mongolia.”
    • “I think I’m homosexual/heterosexual.” (whatever is the opposite of what your are)
    • “I’m really really busy at work right now.”
    • “I’m taking a break from dating.”
    • “My Mommy says I need to stop dating.”
    • “I have this thing I gotta do with some people and I can’t be going out in public anymore.”
    • “The voices in my head are getting worse.”
    • “I just found out I’m going to be a daddy/mommy, and I need to start taking care of my daddy’s/mommy’s baby from now on.”
    • “I have gonorrhea.”
  • Tell the person how you feel honestly. Lots of good karma here. Many will even thank you for your honesty. A rejection is going to hurt no matter what – at least you’re doing it with honor & honesty. There are lots of ways you could word this too, from gently to directly:

    • “I get the ‘friend vibe’ between us.”
    • “I don’t think it’ll work out with us, but I think we’d make great friends.”
    • “You’re such a great person, though you’re not quite what I’m looking for.”
    • “I don’t feel like we’re a great match, but we could make good friends.”
    • “I don’t think we’re a good match. Sorry.”
    • “I’m sorry, I don’t think it’s going to work out between us.”
    • “I don’t feel the physical chemistry.”
    • “I’m not interested.”
    • “You’re not my type.”
    • “I’m just not that into you.”

How have you handled non-breakup breakups? Share your answer on our Dating Forums!

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