How to End a Summer Fling Compassionately

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As summer draws to a close, those afternoons together at the beach, or strolling through festivals, must also end. If your summer fling was just that -- a fling -- and you want to end things before the leaves change color, doing so compassionately might present a challenge. However, there are several strategies for softening the impact of a breakup.

Plan in Advance

Just as you would practice for a job interview or a meeting with clients, rehearsing your breakup speech can ensure that you say what you mean to say. It can also give you time to consider how serious you are about permanently ending your summer fling. For example, if you recognize problems in the relationship that you don't think you can resolve, you might want to point these out to your partner when you break up. You might also want to consider if a temporary breakup, or just spending time apart, would work instead of making the breakup final. No matter how kindly you end your fling, you might regret cutting ties completely later on.

Drift Apart

If neither you nor your partner took the fling seriously, slowly drifting away from the relationship can be an acceptable way to end things, according to In fact, letting a relationship that was no more than a fun fling for both of you die its own death is more compassionate than trying to explain why you're not right for each other. In this type of situation, you can just stop initiating contact, and then stop answering calls or emails. If you do feel the need to offer some type of explanation as to why the relationship is ending, you don't have to get into the deep details, according to an article on the Psychology Today website. Simply saying that you do not want to be in a relationship, that the time is not right, or that each of you has different goals is all that is necessary.

Talk In Person

While breaking up via email, text or phone might seem easier than an in-person breakup, doing it in person shows more respect for your partner, according to the eHarmony website. If the fling is ending because of something your partner did, you can give an honest -- but not cruel -- explanation as to why you no longer want to see him. The breakup conversation should be brief, and although you may be angry or upset, you should avoid blaming your partner or insulting him.

After the Breakup

Once the relationship is over and life is going back to normal, don't be tempted to talk about the breakup with friends you shared with your ex, according to the eHarmony website. If you do have anything to say about your former partner, keep it positive. Gossip can travel -- and hurt your ex. If you and your former partner continue contacting each other after the breakup, set your boundaries and make your expectations for the future clear.