As increasingly popular dating apps put us through bad online dates while trying to find the good ones, the practice of ghosting is on the rise. A sad term for a phenomenon that’s arguably worse than dumping someone by text, ghosting is the practice of breaking off a relationship by just abruptly stopping all contact. While it’s tough to deal with being ghosted, being the instigator of a breakup can feel equally difficult, especially if you don’t intend to hurt your former boo. If you’re feeling the urge to ghost, know that there’s a better way to break up. Read on for five alternatives to ghosting that still result in a graceful exit from your unwanted relationship.
1. Drop hints. Rather than leave the conversation altogether, give your virtual boo gradual nudges of where you’re at. For example, mention that you’re not looking for a relationship or that you have a lot of work coming up.
2. Be busy, but don’t make excuses. In a day and age where you document your every move and meal, lying about your schedule won’t get you far. However, that doesn’t mean you’re not busy: Capitalize on your schedule as a means to explain why you might not be so quick to respond.
3. Be honest about where you’re at. If you’re comfortable with blunt honesty, it’s the best tactic. The absolute best way to ghost is to, well, not — if you tell your S.O. exactly how you’re feeling, you may cause them short-term pain now, but they’ll avoid the potentially much worse long-term questioning synonymous with ghosting.
4. Change the subject. This is a great approach if you want to remain on good terms with the person you’re talking to. If they are flirty or bring up romantic feelings, gracefully change the subject to something else. For instance, if they bring up watching a movie together, you might say that you promised your best friend a movie date first or ask what they thought of another recent blockbuster.
5. If all else fails, fade to black. Leaving someone in the virtual lurch is never a good idea. But if it must be done, abruptness isn’t the kosher way to go. Instead, start with not texting them 24/7 and gradually taper off. As time goes on and your responses get further apart, they’ll most likely get the message.
How do you go about a virtual breakup? Let us know @BritandCo!
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