The Right Way to End It

A couple looking at each other

Is there such a thing?

Greetings, readers. It’s Tuesday morning and this week that means one thing and one thing only, debating time.

Yesterday we had a dawning realisation: when it comes to ending a relationship before it’s even gotten going, say after just one or two dates, there’s more than a few of us who really don’t know what to do. Is honesty really the best policy? Are we obliged to be brutally honest with the man or woman with whom we’ve enjoyed (or hated) just one date? Or are we best off going for the easier, yet arguably less noble option of just letting it slide?

Well it all depends on whether you’re the dumper or the dumpee. If you’ve gone on a date or two but failed to feel the spark, it’s certainly easier to just not bother texting them back, but it mightn’t be the nicest thing to do. So do you reply and fob them off, explaining that you’re actually busy that night (lie) without coming across with an alternate suggestion? ‘No, I’m afraid I’m not free on Friday. Come to think of it I’m actually booked up for the next month, or twelve.’ Do you allow the conversation to trail off and eventually stop replying? Or do you just flat out ignore their texts from the get go? ‘Hey! Last night was great, how’s the head this morning then?’ … *tumbleweed*

Whatever you do, definitely don’t do that. That’s just plain rude.

So your other option is to be honest. But while you might think your honesty will be appreciated, in that you’re not leading anyone down the garden path, is it really what somebody wants to or needs to hear? Sometimes yes, sometimes no; it depends entirely on how you break it.

Say you’ve been on a date with a guy and you’ve had a really good time. You’re under the impression that he did too and you text the next day to reflect on the great time you had. You’re entertaining the idea of a second date, and not thinking much further down the line. In the meantime he’s come to the conclusion that no, you’re actually not the mother of his unborn children (yes, men do jump this far ahead on occasion) and though it was a pleasant experience, it certainly wasn’t love at first sight. He doesn’t want to hurt you so he decides to cut it loose before things get messy.

‘Hey! Yeah I had fun too, but I want to be totally honest with you. I like someone else, and I just didn’t feel the spark with us. There’s just no attraction there for me I’m afraid. But let’s be friends, yeah?’

And no, this is not a sample text that I’ve dreamed up, this is a close to the truth version of what someone close to me (who shall remain nameless) actually said to a girl after just one date recently.

First of all, you don’t need to be that honest. Nobody wants to hear that, unless they’re entirely devoid of feelings, that is. You don’t need to bring someone else into the conversation and make this person feel like crap. But what do you think, would it better to leave out the honesty part and just not suggest a second date? Or would the least damaging option be to say something like this:

‘Hey! Yeah I had fun too, was great to meet you. I want to be honest with you though, I’m just not sure I’m looking for something more yet. It would be great to hang out again some time soon as friends though, if you were ever interested.’

Over to you. Do you appreciate the more noble, ‘honesty is best’ approach? Or do you take it that the wane in post-date conversation is a clear enough signal that it’s not going anywhere. Would you feel embarrassed to receive such an honest explanation? Or would you feel downright offended?

How do you approach the ending of a relationship that hasn’t even begun?

We’d love to hear from you.


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