How to Break Off a Casual Relationship

by Anthony Oster
Breaking up may come as a shock if you have not experienced problems in the relationship.

Breaking up may come as a shock if you have not experienced problems in the relationship.

Casual relationships can sometimes turn into serious and committed relationships, but at other times may take the backseat to other events or people in your life. Breaking off a casual relationship does not have to long-winded, nor does it have to reinvent the wheel. To end a casual relationship as smoothly and comfortably as possible, approach the situation with honesty and avoid playing games or sending mixed signals.

Decide where you want to break up. Meeting in private may give you the comfort of having this difficult discussion behind closed doors, whereas breaking up over coffee may give you the opportunity to leave the situation in the event that the breakup becomes aggressive or violent.

Maintain a clear objective of what you wish to accomplish when breaking off a casual relationship. A statement such as, "Hi Dakota, I've been thinking this over and I don't think that things are working out between us. I'm sorry if this has come as a shock, but it would be best for both of us to move on," clearly identifies your objectives to end the relationship.

Use clear and direct language to identify that you are ending the relationship. Avoid statements such as, "Maybe we can still hangout" or "The timing just isn't right for me, but in the future maybe we can reconnect," since these types of statements send the message that you may still be interested in pursuing the relationship.

Be polite, understanding and considerate of your ex's feelings. Even though you want to end your casual relationship, your ex may still hold your relationship in high-regard and may be surprised by your decision to terminate the relationship. While being polite may not soften the blow of being broken up with, maintaining a calm and considerate demeanor may prevent the breakup from turning hostile.

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  • Don't call or text your ex after breaking up if you are not interested in rekindling your relationship.
  • While it is not as graceful, breaking up via text or email can be an option if you are concerned about your safety during the breakup, or if your partner has the tendency to become overly dramatic during moments of stress.

About the Author

Anthony Oster is a licensed professional counselor who earned his Master of Science in counseling psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has served as a writer and lead video editor for a small, South Louisiana-based video production company since 2007. Oster is the co-owner of a professional photography business and advises the owner on hardware and software acquisitions for the company.

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