Nowadays, it might seem like causal relationships are more common than serious ones.
You might call it an open relationship or a friend with benefits, but they all amount to the same thing: a relationship that is sexual but without any form of commitment attached to it.
Causal relationships can be fun and fulfilling. They can provide companionship and sexual intimacy, serving a purpose during a specific period in your life. However, problems in causal relationships can arise when one person begins to develop feelings, and the other doesn’t. Your causal partner may decide that they want to commit, but you have decided that you don’t want this. What do you do?
Don’t feel guilty?
There is nothing wrong with not being ready to be in a relationship. If you are the one who has developed feelings and they have been rebuffed by the other, there is no need to feel awkward. A sexual connection can create the illusion of intimacy; your feelings are natural.
Stop sexual relations.
When it’s time to end the relationship, the sexual contact needs to stop. Continuing sexual intimacy after you have realised you need to cut ties with this person will only confuse both of you.
Don’t sugar coat it.
When it’s time to break the news, do both of you a favour, be clear, direct and honest but kind. Pick a busy public place to meet for tea or coffee and make sure you arrive separately. When it is time to break the news, let them know that you enjoyed your time together but that you no longer want to be in the relationship and that it is time for both of you to move on. After you let them know, don’t hang around prolonging the pain.
Prepare for an adverse reaction.
It is natural for people to react negatively or to be emotional after a breakup, as they are feeling rejected. Try to stay calm and listen to what they have to say without interrupting. You can repeat back to them what they have said to help validate their feelings but be sure to be clear that you are no longer interested in seeing them.
Now that it is over, it is time to end contact: no more phone calls, email mails, text messages or DM’s. Do not comment or like their posts on social media. This will only send mixed messages or make it more difficult for you to break it off. Are you having a hard time moving on or establishing clear boundaries after a breakup? Do you need help discussing whether the relationship you are in is right for you? Please contact me; I would be happy to chat with you.