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How To Kindly End A Relationship

Description: How would you disconnect from a friendship without coming across as rude.

Categories: Dating, Pen Pals, Friends: Cyber Dating, Member Surveys
This Post has been viewed 29453 times.
Submitted by: Nannette | View Member Profile | View Other Posts
Created: 1/2/2003

A member asks us to include this survey question:

How would you disconnect from a friendship without coming across as rude.

But mostly not injuring the other person you have come to respect. OR on the other hand, you may wish to share an experience of how NOT to end a relationship.

Female - Age Range: 21-30
PLEASE don't just quit calling, or writing! It is common courtesy to tell the person WHY you are not interested anymore! A nice note/email will do. We are (should be) christians here, and 'do unto others, as you would like them do unto you'!

Female - Age Range: 21-30
I think to disconnect from a friendship one needs to have a serious reason (reasons) to do that. In this case it is better to explain these reasons to the other person. And it should be done politely and clearly, naturally with respect, remembering that we all are the children of Heavenly Father.

MiracleSW: Female - Age Range: 21-30
'You may use my alias'
the easiest way to end a relationship is not to start one until you are 100% sure that this is the right person because we hurt people as we go along and i think this makes God sad because we hurt people that He loves very much.James 5: 12

however for any reason should you decide to end it online i think the best way is to go silently without saying anything since words once spoken cannot be taken back and they influence the life of the person they are spoken to. For words create. James 3, Prov.18:4.

Female - Age Range: 31-40
This might be a little off track, but I have to say this. How hard is it to respond after you read a message from someone? Even if it is just a 'Sorry, no time now. Will write more later.' Or, 'Sorry, not interested.' At least that person doesn't sit around knowing that you've read their message, and not getting anything in response. Especially if you have already conversed with that person. If you've read their profile after the initial contact, found something you didn't like, at least let them know whats going on. Don't leave them hanging. Not only is this immature behaviour, but its not polite. If someone was speaking to you anywhere else, would you just ignore them there, too? I can't do that. I believe in acknowlidging every message I get. 'Treat others as you want to be treated'. With respect and consideration. This applies to answering messages, or ending relationships. Be an adult, and be honest. Don't play games with someone's emotions. Don't string them along if you don't see it going anywhere. Thats cruel. If you are upfront and honest, they will respect you for that.

Female - Age Range: 31-40
Politely tell them the reason or reason's that you feel it won't work out. Answer a few questions if they ask them. Then discontinue contact with them.

Female - Age Range: 31-40
I would say it depends on how much personal contact info you've shared. If you've become so close to that person that you speak on the phone, then I would phone that person to explain your feelings. It would seem very cold to get that close to someone and then just send them an email to tell them that you're moving on with another relationship. Perhaps if that other person has become too possessive or forward, then an email WOULD be more appropriate. I think the best rule is to treat the other person with the same respect and tact that you would want to be treated with.

Female - Age Range: 31-40
I think the best way to disconnect from a 'friendship' is with total honesty. This honesty can be as simple as saying something like, I feel that God is leading me in a different direction right now, therefore I will not be able to correspond with you in the future. I wish you the best in your search.

In this world we live in with online 'dating' this should not be so difficult.

Female - Age Range: 31-40
Having been on both sides of this, my advice is: be kind. If you wish to discontinue a friendship, gently tell the other party. I've corresponded at length with some members, and then had them disappear with no explanation. That is more hurtful than being told directly that further correspondence is not desired.

Meadowlark: Female - Age Range: 31-40
You may use my alias...
To end or disconnect from a friendship without being rude is to just be honest. Tell them you are needing to focus on other things and simply don't have the time to give to this relationship/friendship and that you wish them the best. Thank them for being such a friend maybe, but let them know you won't be writing back anymore or you won't be getting together with them. If they get all mushy on you or try to make you feel guilty, then pray for them, but you can stick to your choice by not getting together with them again. Be true to yourself, but mostly be true to God.

Female - Age Range: 41-50
This is a difficult issue, for sure. I believe there are some ways NOT to disconnect from someone: 1) ignore them like they don't exist; 2)state that you are sorry but you're not 'looking' for a relationship right now, and then still continue to visit the site!; 3)lie about a sudden condition that keeps you from responding to them. I don't believe these ways are Christ-like, and even by the world's standards, are simply rude -- even immature.

This site is different from secular sites in that (presumably) everyone here is a Christian ... which makes us brothers and sisters in Christ -- The Kingdom of God. And Jesus said in the Gospels, that the way the world will know we are His (Christians) is by the love that we show to one another. I believe we should ALWAYS be building one another up!

The confusion may come in knowing how to be 'loving' in a situation where you have honestly heard the other person's heart and are not finding a connection on the same level they are headed for, but the other person is still showing an interest. Of course, the presumption here is that we are talking about a life-commitment, and not 'just' a friendship (first you should be clear about that ... sometimes that other person really is just looking to make a friend that they can talk openly with and are not looking to get married). For argument's sake, let's assume that you are looking for the loving partner that you will marry (and don't want any other relationships on this site)and the other correspondent is not connecting with you on most of the levels you feel are neccessary for a life-committment (unfortunately, Prince Charming and Sleeping Beauty are taken, so we will have to settle for someone with one flaw, and they will have to settle for our one flaw -- well speaking for everyone else, of course ;-). Being 'loving' does not mean being silent and letting them think that everything is just fine, only to spare their feelings.

My understanding of to be loving means: to act in the other person's best interest, no matter what! If you have truely heard their heart, and know that this relationship would not work out in the way they are hoping it will, letting them know that you are not on the same page as them (although momentarily hard to take) is more loving than stringing them along until you just can't take it any more.

I watched a 17 year old un-churched boy break up with a girl in the most godly manner I have ever seen. He took her aside and said, as gently and caring as possible, 'I really care about you as my friend! You are so thoughtful and tenderhearted (you fill in the blanks). But I don't feel that I am being fair with you! I'm not certain in my heart right now that this is the direction that I want to go, and to continue in this manner without letting you know, I'm afraid that I'll end up loosing your friendship. And that would be a tragedy! I want to be honest with you, always, and I don't want you to end up getting hurt in the middle of me figuring out my own heart. I value you, so I really feel I would be serving you best by putting on the breaks before someone gets hurt. I know that this may be painful now, but I pray that you will understand and that you will know that I want you to be loved for all that you are.' (well, okay, it was something like that; maybe not quite so 'eloquently' put, but the message came out clear and the next day she could go on with her life feeling valued).
I don't think that, after you've found someone that seems to match what you are looking for, when they 'put on the breaks' that you could walk away from that without feeling something! But at least, you should still feel valued as a human being. Ideally, the breaker should pray with the breakee on-line (on the phone, on chat, something direct and two-way) to give gateway for the Holy Spirit to come immediately to give both parties healing and comfort. God does not want us to be unequally yoked, and I believe that this includes more than just spiritually ... it also includes intellectually, emotionally, etc.
That would be my speach for today.
Blessings on everyone here ...

Female - Age Range: 41-50
To tell them that you think they are a good person, but there just isn't enough chemistry on your end. A man I really liked ended it this way, and I wasn't hurt, and I still respect him, and talk to him occasionally. I trust God fully to lead me to the right one.

Female - Age Range: 41-50
I just did this not to long ago. I started to go out with someone who was not quite on the same page with me and my belief in the Lord. I don't know why I even went out the first time. We dated a few times and he went to church with me. After the service I asked him what did you think, and we were so different. I now know how important if is to be on the same page with Christ and what he means in your life. I pray for all those who have never felt His love, mercy, and grace, and who flatly refuse to have a relationship with our Creator. I learned an important lesson about dating someone. Only God can bring someone into the light. I can only plant the seed and pray it will someday root in the heart. God wants me in an equally yoked relationship with other believers. Only God has the power to change a heart. I explained to this guy, I must have someone with equal beliefs in the Lord. Someone who's purpose is to serve God first. He was a bit surprised at my convictions, he told me, but he understood. I left the door open for friendship, and anytime he wanted to come to church or my recovery group he was welcome. Needless to say he never emailed me back.

Female - Age Range: 41-50
In my experience, the on-line relationship usually dwindles away with fewer and fewer notes exchanged and more time elapsing between notes. Some men have said right from the start that they want to get to know someone who is closer geographically to them so we don't even start a relationship. I've not had anyone be rude, and I hope I have not been rude to anyone.

Female - Age Range: 41-50
Be honest. Be tactful and sensitive at the same time, but be honest. Too many times people just back off and expect the other person to just 'get the message.' But that is more hurtful than being upfront and honest. Otherwise, one receives mixed signals, which just cause confusion, self-blame, false hope, and prolonged hurt.

Also, I don't understand why people will begin an email relationship and then just disappear. I can understand someone sending one, or even two, polite replies and then back off. However, when a person sounds truly interested and answers several letters, it is just plain rude to then abruptly stop writing. It's much nicer to be honest and upfront and say that you don't think you have enough in common, or you've met someone else, or whatever general reason, and that you wish them well.

Female - Age Range: 41-50
Some thoughts to consider.
If the person has been kind and honest in the first place, but they are just not for can likely sit down and talk with them, with no problem at all.
If the person has not been honest, kind or straightforward, it's not as easy to talk with them.
A couple of weeks ago,I tried my best to work out an amicable parting with a man who was not kind, honest or straight with me. I was injured deeply in the relationship. When I ended it, he was very unkind. If the other person is unkind, God will deal with them, better than we ever could. Sometimes, it's just best to cut the cord, disappear and give it all to Jesus. He is the master of healing wounds. HIS love is more important than anything.
And we all need to go slower. If someone tells you they have a dysfunction, listen to them and make wiser decisions. Good-byes are much less painful if we don't wait too long...hoping we can make a difference in another's life.
Always try to be as loving as possible.
God Bless you.

Female - Age Range: 41-50
Make sure that person knows that they are pleasant and can attract someone to them. Also if they have a good quality tell them nicely about this and then mention that you are dating someone else or interested in a man/woman at that time. If they seem to be out of it and are a little odd...then be careful and dont let them think they can call you or are open to go out even on a casual basis. You may say to them that we may meet at some singles activity and that you are not in the market to date anyone at this time. Just not doing it and then give a reasonable reason that is correct but does not have to be your life story. If they ask for a dance if you wish but also dance with others that are at that activity so they will not feel they are exclusive with you at all. This is what I did and it does work rather well on men. A pointer for gals that may need help that way.

I would not end any friendship or relationship and especially a boyfriend/girlfriend type of one with simply cutting the phone line off from them!And especially not without any indicater that you are about to do this as they may get worried and wonder if you were in a bad accident or call other relatives to see if you are alright and it could cause alarm for others that really is rude to this and can be emotionally draining for NO GOOD REASON! That is very cruel and could have side effects for you and that other person. Also dont lie to that person and say you are interested and act like it and lead them on a lot if you have no idea of ever dating them. It may hurt a little for a little bit but it is better than having a great hurt after they find that you dont have intentions of dating or to marry them. These things are common and have happened to some people. Being honest in a nice way is the best policy at all times in life. However, if you have dated or emailed or phoned someone and made them feel important to careful not to hurt them needlessly by saying things that they really dont need to hear. They are intelligent and can figure things out without anyone saying things that will cause added hurt to their life. The best rule is be kind and treat a man/lady as you would like someone to treat you in that situation.
I wish all of you good fortune in your search to find good friendship and more than that God willing! Vibrant Lady

Female - Age Range: 51-60
If the two of you have been corresponding or calling long enough to feel close, do not just stop responding. A simple, honest, but not critical, explanation is needed. Speak life to the situation. Here are some examples: Some cyber-friends push prematurely and obsessively toward meeting, sex, and/or marriage. There is no need to be gratuitously frank. Such as 'You are whiny, clingy and codependent, and I wouldn't continue this if you were the last person on earth.' A more tactful explanation could go something like this: 'I am not ready (able, willing) for the type of relationship you are needing.' Or one could say 'Your intense interest in me is flattering, but I can't reciprocate at this time.'

Don't say you've met someone local, if you haven't, but that does happen sometimes. Be honest and tactful.

One man met a woman he had been writing through this site. They met in a neutral location, and spent some time together. He was not impressed,and did not call her back. She called him and said that God had told her that they were meant to be together. He responded that he was rather surprised to hear that, since God had told him exactly the opposite. Don't use God as an excuse; but if you have prayed, and feel led in another direction -- say so.

Sometimes life is too busy to continue. Say so kindly, and back off.

If there are areas where you see incompatibility, say so. Just because you are not interested in raising angora goats, or climbing Mt. Everest, or whatever does not mean that someone else won't. It does not have to be a personal attack, to say that you don't think you share enough commonalities.

In this medium, distance is always a problem, and can be used in the explanation. One of you will have to relocate. If that is not an option for one of you, you must back out. Kindly and gently.

Female - Age Range: 51-60
Perhaps at the beginning of an internet relationship is the place to start,
by agreeing not to totally zero in on one person until it becomes quite clear
to both that the relationship is exclusive and marriage-bound. This is what I
am doing, and the other person expresses the same wishes. It is actually a relief, and de-pressurizes the relationship. If the seriousness of the relationship lessens at some point, then we can mutually agree whether to continue as friends. It may not be possible, but knowing this can soothe
hurt feelings or disappointment. There need not be a sense of FAILURE, but more of a realization that the relationship is not meant to be of a more
permanent nature. If both have allowed God to lead, they will be open with
the possibility of this aspect. . . and it can perhaps be a relief that one
did not continue without his approval and blessing. Another door always opens
when one closes. . . sometimes in ways far better than we could hope for.
From the vantage point of my years, I know this to be true, and wait
patiently (for the most part!) for the way to be revealed. It's far better to
be alone, than to continue on with the wrong person. We all need to feel loved and special to someone. . . but only to someone who truly loves us above all
others, and unconditionally. . . it's worth waiting for! Rejoice when the others fall by the wayside!!

Female - Age Range: 61-70
A real gentleman would have the courage to tell a lady that she may be a very nice person, she is just not what he is looking for. Only a coward just disappears.

Recently I met a man from this site who had quite a pot on him. He said to me, 'Did you know that gluttony is a sin?' I was quite taken aback, as he was far more overweight than I.

Since then, several of my lady friends have told me that he 'pounces' on them before they have been members even 24 hours and E-mails them two or three times daily, always complaining about his three ex-wives, how awful they were, and how it was never his fault that they split up. NOT!!! Look out, fella, your reputation is going ahead of you

oldpaths7: Male - Age Range: 31-40
'You may use my alias'
I think it would be a difficult matter, any way you try, to let the other person know that you’re ending the relationship. But it needs to be done!
If it’s one thing that I dislike, it’s the lady not telling me directly, that she’s ending the relationship with me.
Even if it's just an email, I would like to know if the person I've contacted is even interested in starting a conversation.

Male - Age Range: 31-40
Please do not think that not returning calls is proper, appropriate or kind in any way. By any means possible, get up enough courage to tell them straight out. They will appreciate that much more.

Male - Age Range: 31-40
I really wish I could give an answer to this. I try my best not to hurt anyone. Sometimes I just stop writing but I feel guilty about it. If I confront someone and tell her I don't want to continue the relationship it might make her feel bad. I hope the ladies responses to this will reveal a good way. Somehow I don't think there is a 'best' way to break up. Maybe I don't have a clue here but my impression of women is that they are more emotional than men and are more easily hurt. I suppose that impression comes from past experience but that is the way I see it. I would be very open to have some enlightenment here.

Male - Age Range: 31-40 depends on if we are talking about a friendship where one parts wanna go futher into a more serious relationship...I dont have a lot of friends...but only a few that I really talk to now and then...

Also...I think this medium for friends must never take over that we forget our friends that are close to us...

If its one who wants a serious relationship and I dont feel like making that step, I would tell that I appreciate that person as a friend and that they have good qualities, but that I dont feel that Im the right person for her. I would encourage this person to continue his/her walk with Jesus as we become changed by beholding.

Being honest is no. 1 for me...dont come up with any a man/woman who is not afraid of telling the truth...if somebody dont care about me I would like to know that instead of coming with excuses.

Your character will show in how you would treat another person when its a person you dont feel so good about...its by the way we treat our 'enemies' that will show if we have the Christian character.

Happy New Year to everybody,
from Smile

Male - Age Range: 41-50
Haven't had a relationship yet to end :-|
Still working on it :-)

Male - Age Range: 41-50
maybe if we were more careful how we started a friendship this question would be irrevelent? :-)

Male - Age Range: 41-50
Since this is an online thing. I would talk about their ability to handle rejection. And if they don't handle it well I will opt out before getting started.
In other words 'shot the horse before it breaks a leg.'


Male - Age Range: 51-60
As the one who asked the question I thought I might mention my experience. I met a sister of like faith that I enjoy communicating with. We have been supporting the telephone companies for the past month and have decided to meet. I will be dropping my name after this posting.
I was unsure how to tell the other sisters of my interest but after a prayer decided to just be upfront. How reassuring it was to see their gracious responses. In fact one had begun a friendship and I could tell was somewhat relieved too. I really enjoyed corresponding with these different sisters. They helped me see things in another light for which I am thankful. Their gracious parting goodbyes showed me that the Lord had arranged our meeting.
The future is still uncertain but I do want to thank SSS for making this sight available to us. Hopefully we all can be respectful, careful of one another as we seek God's will in finding a life's companion.
Thank you all. May the Lord bless each in these most turbulent but exciting times.


Male - Age Range: 51-60
I prefer a direct clear message like the polite 'my interests lie elsewhere' acknowledgement you provide for members to use. However, this is not what most members do. Most just quit responding. For this reason, whenever I send a message and do not receive a response, I respectfully do not send any more messages.

Late Addition:

This is a bit late for the How to End a Relationship survey, but I would like to add my two cents worth. In January last year I met someone on this site. Weve dated exclusively from then until November. After almost a year of what I would have described as a wonderful relationship, he suddenly dropped off the face of the earth. We have never fought or argued . . . never had so much as a disagreement. He has met my friends and my family, and he and I have vacationed together. He showered me with attention, and treated me the way every woman dreams of being treated. Suddenly, at Thanksgiving, without warning and for no reason that Im aware of, he stopped calling and would not return my phone calls. At first I thought something terrible had happened to him or to someone in his family, so I contacted his sister to find out if everyone was okay. She assured me that they are all fine, but indicated that he just isnt ready to get married again. This took me completely by surprise, because even though Id fallen in love with him, wed never talked about getting married. I was having a great time dating him and was enjoying the process of getting to know him. I am totally at a loss to understand his behavior. Nothing in our relationship together would ever have led me to believe he was capable of this type of insensitivity. Undoubtedly he is trying to avoid hurting my feelings, but there isnt anything I can think, that he could have said to me that could possibly have hurt as much as his silence has. Ive left the door open for him to contact me in the future, because I truly love this individual, but I doubt he will contact me. In the meantime, I have stopped trying to reach him. My comment is this  it is kinder to tell someone why you are ending a relationship than to just disappear. To suddenly stop communicating is immature, cowardly, inconsiderate and downright rude. It would have been understandable (not excusable, but understandable) if our relationship had been turbulent, but no one, no matter how chaotic the relationship, deserves to be treated like this.

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