We’ve all been there. You meet someone and they check off all the boxes. You two have amazing chemistry, love each other’s company, and everything is amazing at the early dating stages. Then after “just started seeing each other phase” and before the “define the relationship (DTR)” phase, you realize it’s not going to work out long term. Maybe you aren’t as compatible as you initially thought, or you really like them but they just don’t want something exclusive or serious.
Before you know it, you are stuck in an almost relationship.
Getting out of an almost relationship it’s tricky. After you’ve been dating someone for a little while, the DTR talk is usually around the corner. But what if you’ve decided the person you’ve been casually hanging out with is not boyfriend material? Or what if the person you have been casually seeing does not want to make it official. How do you end it?
Your instinct might tell you to ghost them, but don’t do it. This is someone you care for, and it is also just plain rude.
Ending your almost relationship doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow the guide below, based on which scenario you are in:
Scenario #1: You don’t see them as relationship material.
If your mind is made up, you are doing them a very big favor by ending things as soon as you know it’s not going to work out long term. So don’t delay the inevitable — reach out to them and have the talk, do the mature thing, and end it. You can just tell them, “Hey, I think you are a good person, but I really don’t see us moving any further.“ Keep it short, sweet, and explicit as to not send any mixed signals.
Be clear that you just don’t think they are not the right person for you, but they are the right person for someone else. I know it will be hard to hurt their feelings but you are doing the right thing by letting them go now before they become more invested in you. Afterward, be sure to end your communication with them so you don’t lead them on.
Scenario #2: You want to be in a relationship, but they do not.
You two have been dating for a while and act like a couple, but nothing is official. Moreover, you have shown your interest to make it official, but the other person says they are okay with the way things are. If you want something casual, then great. But if you want a relationship, then don’t settle for something just “okay.”
So, you will need to sit down and define the situation You deserve a solid answer. Tell them that you want to be in a committed relationship and you would like it to be with him, but if not then you have to let him go. By being clear about what you’re looking for, you’ll get the answer you deserve and won’t waste any more of your time.
This could mean that your almost partner realizes they do want to be with you. Or, they may say it’s just not in the cards. Either way, you’ll no longer be in limbo. Set the ground rules for you to be able to move on from your almost relationship, and that includes not contacting each other for a while if needed. It will hurt, but at least you can move on with no regrets because you tried.
Being in an almost relationship can be addicting because there are no ties that bind you to anything. If you’ve been in it for quite some time, spending time with them may already be a habit. This makes it tough to break. Still, you must do this for yourself — and for them.
Ending your almost relationship will definitely not be easy. But, the sooner you end it, the better. This will keep you both from getting hurt much worse in the future.