You’re better than this: the art of anti-ghosting.
Repeat after me five times: I will not ghost anyone. I will not ghost anyone. I will not ghost anyone. I will not ghost anyone. I will not ghost anyone.
We know it’s the easiest way out, but you’re better than that. Dating can be an emotionally taxing experience, and the more pleasant we can make it for everyone, the sooner we can all get to our happily ever afters. It’s as simple as the golden rule we’re all taught as kids: treat others the way you want to be treated. But we also know that’s not always easy to put into action, so we’ve put together some simple advice on how you can reject someone politely (without the use of any Caspers).
1. Don’t drag it out.
Obviously the longer the relationship, the more thought you should probably put into a rejection, but there’s really no point dragging it out once you’ve made up your mind. Give yourself a couple of days to figure out a plan-of-action, and rip that band-aid. It’s not fair to them to keep dragging them along when you’ve already mentally moved on.
2. Keep it short and simple.
Whether it’s over a call or a text, prep what you have to say in advance and keep it short and simple. Anticipate what they might say and have a couple of responses ready at your disposal. They may have some follow-up questions for you, and you should give them the respect to talk things through if the situation demands it. But set your boundaries in advance, and only give as much as you have capacity for.
3. Be honest.
It’s scary to reject someone, and in the moment you might think you’re doing them a favor by softening the blow with a few white lies. Avoid giving them false hope or keep them waiting with any statements like “I’m not ready now but maybe in the future” or the classic “it’s not you it’s me.” If they really like you, they might push you to try and keep things open-ended, but that’s where you need to be strong! Do them the favor of giving them a clean, and honest break.
4. Don’t point fingers, just focus on your needs.
If you’re feeling brave and think you can share any constructive advice that will help them in future relationships, go for it. If not, avoid pointing fingers because that will lead to an inevitable, drawn-out argument. It’s everyone’s natural instinct to immediately get defensive if you start playing the blame game. And honestly, if you haven’t known them that long, that’s not a battle worth fighting. Focus on your needs and what you’re looking for, and why this is not the right fit for you.
5. Give them closure.
You don’t have to get too personal and bare your soul if you haven’t known them that long, but give them a concrete reason that will help them get closure. Getting ghosted or rejected repeatedly can really take a toll and make it hard for someone to keep putting themselves out there. There are so many reasons two people don’t workout – sometimes it’s as simple as a lack of compatibility, but sometimes it’s just shitty timing. If you liked talking to them, but met someone else that you feel a spark with, just let them know! They’ll respect you for your honesty, and it might give them hope that there’s still good and honest catches out there for them.