The right way to break up

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Whether you’ve had one date with a match or too many to count, there’s a polite way to end things, which leaves all ego’s intact.

The hardest, most excruciating part of dating is having to break up with someone, and it can be confusing to know what the rules are when it comes to calling it off with someone you’ve only met online. We break down the right way to end it so all parties are left unscathed.

If you’ve matched

Because neither of you have invested emotionally or physically, you can simply block. For some, hitting ‘block’ feels mean, but it’s worse to string the other person along knowing they don’t quite fit what you’re looking for.

If you’ve eh mailed

You could just not reply, sure, but it’s far more karma conducive to send a simple email to show your match the respect they deserve.

You don’t need to be over the top – it works best to be kind but to the point. For example, something like, “I’ve really been enjoying our email conversation, but unfortunately I’m not feeling the level of connection I need to take things further” works well.

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If you have been eH mailing for several weeks, you might like to expand on this. “I would recommend you write the email, sleep on it, and then read and edit it the next day,” advises Anabel Newton, relationship coach and author of The Happy Couple’s Blueprint.

If you’ve been on five or less dates

If you truly think an email or text message will suffice because that’s your usual form of communication and you’ve only been on one or two low-investment dates, go ahead. However, a phone call is usually preferable.

Some things to remember: Be mindful of their schedule and try to call at the most convenient time for them. Do not draw the conversation out or be ambiguous because this might give them false hope that things will change in the future.

No one enjoys breaking up with someone, but think of the bigger picture: a couple of minutes of awkward conversation will set you both free to find what you’re looking for.

If you’ve been dating for a few weeks

This calls for a face-to-face meeting. If you mention you want to meet up for coffee, it might raise a red flag that something is off. If they dig for more information, avoid going into too much detail before you see them and make plans to meet as soon as possible. Before you do, do your homework.

“Communication gets confusing when you’re not clear, so before you have the discussion, make sure you know the reasons why you are breaking up and for your conversation focus on the reasons that aren’t personal,” says Anabel. “For example, ‘Your vision of our future is very different and I realised just how important XYZ are to me (not being facial features!)’, rather than, ‘I can do better’,” says Anabel.

“And remember the golden rule: treat others how you would like to be treated. Break-ups are not the time for insults or nasty behaviour.”

How do you handle breakups? Has online dating blurred the lines of break-up etiquette? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation or join the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram. And if you are ready to narrow down the world of possibilities, sign up to eharmony today- find someone made for you.

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