After dating awhile, how would you end a relationship gone bad?
I believe honesty is the best policy. Just tell them to their face. Unless, of course you are afraid they will get violent. Then do it over the phone. A text is too impersonal.
If it's already 'gone bad' you just need to tell the other person that you don't want to take the relationship any further because it's not working for you. I agree with JThom42, try to do it over the phone, but not just because a text is too impersonal but also because it gives the other person more closure. They are less likely to bother you asking for answers if you've already had a conversation with them about it being over.
If the relationship is already "gone bad"; assuming (both) people aren't happy then it's just a matter of one person stepping up and saying, "It's time we went our separate ways."
Since you are only dating and not living together it should be a lot easier to exit the relationship. If you have stuff over at their place make sure you gradually remove it. On the day you have "the talk" bring anything theirs from your house. My suggestion if you plan to breakup face to face is to do it at their place. This makes it easier for you to leave after you have said what needs to be said.
If you suspect they will take it hard then try and do it on a Saturday afternoon. This will give them the rest of the day and Sunday to let it sink in before having to go to work. It also allows time for them to meet with friends or family for emotional support.
Don't offer the "instant friendship" consolation prize. The best chance of going from lovers to friends is after there has been a sizeable time gap apart. Ideally after both people have started dating others. Avoid answering their calls or responding to emails or text for at least a couple of weeks. When you do have contact keep it "business like" and short. You don't want to raise any false hopes. Best of luck!
I agree with scorpio. You don't want to give them any false hopes, so don't leave any openings for them to believe that you may want to get back together in the future. If you do, then they may spend their time 'waiting' for your rather than moving on, and that is not fair to them.
This is the advice that I would give: Be honest and tell them that you want to end the relationship, ensure that you make it clear that you do not want to date now or in future (you do not want that kind of relationship), and give them some space to deal with this new future that you have presented to them.
In my relationships if they are starting to go bad I address the issue and try to fix it however we can and if its not fixable than I talk to them in person. The only time that didn't go well was when I was 19 breaking up with my 4 year first boyfriend but otherwise I have stayed friends even with them all.
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