Gray areas tend to make relationships more complicated, especially when it comes to ending something that was never even officially a relationship at all. If you have been casually dating someone or involved in a friends-with-benefits situation that has worn out its welcome, you might be wondering how to go about putting that relationship in your rear-view mirror. If you are ready to move on from a relationship in which there was no commitment, there are certain factors you should take into consideration.
Honesty Really Is the Best Policy
Don’t assume that a lack of commitment in a relationship makes it acceptable to also have a lack of respect. No matter what type of arrangement you had with the person you were involved with, letting him know when that arrangement has come to an end is a matter of respect and common courtesy. While it might be easier and more convenient to simply stop answering his calls and disappear from his life, being honest about the situation is the more mature course of action. You may not owe him an explanation, but you should let him know that things will be different from here on out, so make an effort to tell him what’s up rather than simply disappearing.
Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say
Don’t send mixed messages. Once you tell your fling or friends-with-benefits that it’s over, make sure that your actions follow suit. If it’s over, then let it be over, and don’t start flirting or trying to revive what you had going with her whenever you happen to feel lonely. If you decide to withdraw the benefits but remain friends with your former friends-with-benefits, then avoid confusing her or sending mixed messages by treating her the same way that you would any other platonic friend. If your relationship was strictly physical from the start, trying to establish a friendship after the fling is probably not a good idea.
Take Time for Yourself
No matter how casual the relationship may have been, you might feel somewhat emotional in the wake of its demise, and that’s perfectly normal. Give yourself permission to process those emotions as they come. Take some time to reflect on the relationship and what it meant to you. Look for any lessons that you could potentially draw from the experience and use those insights to help you determine your goals for any future relationship.