Dos and Don’ts for Hookup Breakups

What’s the etiquette for breaking it off with someone who is an ongoing but occasional casual sex partner? What do you owe a lover you have a no-strings-attached agreement with? Is there a right way to go about closing off a fuck-buddy relationship that you established online, or is it okay to just stop calling?

There are many reasons why a friends-with-benefits relationship might come to an end. Maybe you just aren’t that into her anymore, or maybe you simply don’t have time for all the women beeping and buzzing you day and night for sex. Maybe you’ve started a more serious relationship with someone else and want to focus on that. Maybe you’re busy at work striving for a promotion, and the longer hours mean sacrificing extracurricular fun.

Here are a few dos and don’ts for hookup breakups.

DON’T Ghost

Lots of guys think a woman will “get the message” if they stop calling or texting. After all, you don’t have any commitments to honor, right?

The thing is, a woman WILL eventually get the message—that you’re an asshole.

DO treat all of your partners with respect.

Since you’re NOT that guy above, be considerate. It’s a privilege to have sex with a woman, so show her respect and courtesy accordingly. She’s not your girlfriend or wife, but you’re still in a relationship of sorts, even if it’s infrequent or polyamorous.

You want to treat all human beings with respect, not just girlfriends.

DON’T make excuses.

There’s no reason to come up with lame excuses or elaborate stories as to why you want to stop seeing her. You might be casual partners, but this woman IS your lover and deserves your honesty.

You don’t have to tell the whole story, but don’t make it complicated and fabricated. “I’ve met someone and our relationship is becoming serious, and I’m going to be true to that. Thank you for these amazing times, and I wish you all the best.”

DON’T give false hope.

If you’re going to be away or otherwise occupied for the coming year but hope to see her again some day to pick up where you left off, say so. But don’t say that if you want to close this chapter of your life.

Don’t leave her hanging with stories like, “we’ll see how I’m feeling later” if you’re actually thinking, “we’ll see how things work out with my new girlfriend, and if they don’t, maybe we can fuck some more.” Own up to your decision one way or another.

DO the right thing.

A modicum of respect and courtesy and gratitude goes a long way. When you do the right thing and break things off in a civilized, caring manner, you don’t have to worry about your conscience creeping in. It’s not always relevant or suitable, but in some situations, lovers resume their relationships later. A door closed in mutual respect has a better chance of opening later if your paths cross again.

You will also uphold your relationship because the online dating sphere is a small world in some parts, and if the women you stop seeing all felt respected, they’ll respect you. If you ghost girls or lie or make them think they’re the only one, it may come back to haunt you. People talk, and word gets around.

How do you handle breaking us with a casual partner?

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