My best friend called me on the phone once, and I literally thought it was a form of assault. I almost told her we couldn't be friends anymore. I'm definitely more of a texting kind of gal, especially when it comes to relationships. But sometimes, that gets tricky, because my whole dating life starts revolving around my phone and doesn't move into IRL territory. And when that happens and you know a relationship is going nowhere, you usually need to end things. But it's difficult to know how to break up with someone you're not even dating.
But if there is one thing I'm good at, it's ending things. In a digital dating era, it's easy to get into this awful space where you're just messaging or texting people, without ever actually meeting up. And this can go on for ages. Of course, you don't want to scream at someone, saying, "Hey, let's get some f*cking coffee instead of texting all day and night!!" But seriously, those kinds of relationships are super common now, and sometimes, it's better to just end them and pursue something more substantial than stick around in that kind of limbo forever.
So here is how to end things with someone you're in a dead-end texting relationship with. Because who needs a pen pal anyway? This isn't elementary school.
1. Set A Boundary
Four years ago — yes, four years — I matched with a guy on Tinder, and we started texting. We had a ton in common, and our conversations were amazing. Unfortunately, he traveled a lot for work, so I didn't think twice about the fact that we had to hold off on meeting until his schedule calmed down.
Fast forward to present day, and his schedule apparently still isn't calm. A guy whom I swiped on because I had intentions of dating had fully become a pen pal who seemed to exist solely on my phone, with no intentions of moving out of it. It was incredibly frustrating, and it was even moving into catfish territory, except I knew this guy actually existed because we had mutual friends.
But what was this person playing at by never being able to meet up with me? Was he afraid of me?
Finally, I told him that he had to sh*t or get off the pot. Talking for four years without meeting was strange to me, and I had no need for more social media friends in my life. He told me he was happy to move our relationship IRL, but then, he never followed up on the offer. And now, we don't speak anymore. What I learned is that I was just someone he talked to when he was bored, not someone he wanted to put any actual effort toward in his real life.
Once you put up a boundary, though, people either step up or they step out. And the sooner you find out what they'll do in that case, the better. I wouldn't suggest waiting four years to do it.
2. Stop Responding
Sure, maybe this is technically a form of ghosting, but if the person you're talking to clearly has no intentions of moving your relationship IRL, it's time to stop investing your energy into a virtual relationship that's going nowhere. Your time is too valuable for that.
If you stop responding to someone who has created a dead-end dynamic with you, they have two options: Let the relationship finally end, or step up to the plate and make a move. No longer responding sends a powerful message to this person that you are done existing in a grey area of stagnancy.
3. Call Them On The Phone
This particular tactic is a form of technological warfare. There is nothing scarier than being called on the phone. But hell, FaceTime someone! It might actually shock them into seeing you in real life.
People who engage in dead-end text relationships are usually afraid of any kind of intimacy or real contact. So the best way to get them out of their shell is to force intimacy upon them (within reason, of course)! If you want to end things, call them on the phone, and tell them why you're unhappy with the way the relationship is going. You might find that talking on the phone actually helps you both jump over a hurdle in your relationship, and you won't actually end up having to end anything.
4. Be Honest
There is nothing wrong with telling someone you're frustrated with the way things are going, and you're looking for something else in a relationship. After all, honesty is the best policy. And we all need a little bit more authenticity and vulnerability in our lives.
If you're stuck in some texting time warp with someone that isn't taking off, then let your partner know your needs explicitly. Do you want to hang out? Are you done talking completely? People aren't mind readers, and sometimes, they just need a little instruction and direction.
There is nothing worse than getting a pen pal when you were looking for a relationship. So if you want to end that dead-end relationship, show some standards on your part, so the person on the other end of the line will either hang up or finally hang out with you.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!