You can find volumes of advice on how to break up with a significant other, but what do you do when you want to end things with a friend?
It sounds absurd: “Breaking up with a friend.” But think about it: Just like we make mistakes in picking a boyfriend/girlfriend, we might make mistakes in picking friends.
How do you break up a friendship without going through the drama of saying “I think our friendship is over?” More importantly, how do you end things when you’re the only one that has a problem?
Stage 1: Limit face-to-face interactions
Limiting face-time will be half your battle. Make excuses when he/she wants to hang out; the best one is saying you’re busy with school/work! While limiting face-to-face interactions, make sure to be willing to talk via chatting/phone/texts.
Going cold turkey makes it too obvious!
Good excuses: I have to spend more time with my family; My grades are slipping so I need focus on my academics; I’m really busy with work and school; Things are going to be kind of tight for me the next few months but we’ll hang out when they wind down
Stage 2: Limit phone calls
Once you’ve limited in person encounters, lay low on phone calls. Most guys can skip to Stage 3 since the average Joe doesn’t really spend hours chatting with friends. If you do; however, then replace phone calls with Gchat/AIM/FBchat and/or emails.
Remember to text as you would normally!
I’m in the library, can we talk on AIM?; My roommate is sleeping so I can only talk for 15 minutes; I’m about to head to bed but I’ll catch you on Gchat tomorrow night
Stage 4: Limit texts
Texts have become as “personal” as seeing a person and hearing their voice.
It’s important to make sure the amount of texting you do with this person goes down. Your first step is to never initiate a text, but reply to his/her text. After the one-way texting is established, somehow get the point across that texting isn’t a good way to communicate.
Can you believe I’m already out of texts? No texts this month unless it’s an absolute emergency!
Stage 5: Limit online presence
If you’re always on a form of chat (Gchat/AIM/FBchat) then either block your friend or remember to put up a busy status up!
If you’re a person who goes on once or twice a week, then don’t bother blocking! Your job is done: Having an online friendship gives you the luxury of responding (or not responding) when you want to!
Stage 6: Keep an acquaintance-only-relationship
Keeping an acquaintance-only-relationship means that you can hang out with this “friend,” but only when you’re at a big party/outing or are with mutual friends.
This way you don’t have to spend one-on-one time with this person and you have the luxury of saying, “Hi” and moving on.
Why are these 6 stages important?
They don’t burn bridges! You never know how people change and you and your not-so-compatible friend may become really compatible in the future. The idea is to make your “breakup” seem like a friendship that has drifted apart.