How should you tell him that you're just not that into him?

How to End a Dating Relationship That Is Not Exclusive

by Emma Wells

So you’ve been out on a few dates with a guy, or maybe more than a few, but he’s definitely not your boyfriend and you’ve decided you’re just not that into him. Can you actually 'break up' with him if you’re not exclusively dating each other? Would he call you crazy after you did that? And wouldn’t it be tempting to just stop calling him back? Of course, you’re too mature to be extremely dramatic or extremely cold, but it’s hard to find the right kind of in-between break-up language for such an in-between relationship. Still, you can’t just keep dating him because you don’t want to hurt his feelings. Here are some things you can do.

End It Honestly

Marianna Tabares, writer for, wrote in a 2012 article based on her personal experience that it’s better to break off a dating relationship in the most practical way possible. If you want closure, go ahead and make it clear that you no longer want to date him. At least you won’t spend your time worrying about whether or not it’s happening, and you can move on with your dating life. If you want to be exclusive, but she doesn’t, let her know that you’ve reached the point of an ultimatum. If you’re having more fun seeing other people, just tell her that you’re dating someone else and it’s becoming serious. If you’re not exclusive anyway, it’s not likely to be a dramatic affair, but you’ll feel better knowing that it’s officially done.

Gauge His Involvement

Tabares adds that it’s OK if the person you're dating isn’t calling you to hang out a lot or in other ways seems dismissing to you, to just let it go. If the treatment you’re getting from him doesn’t measure up to the treatment you deserve, there’s no reason to spend more time and energy thinking about him. Fill your life with more interesting things and people so that the next time he calls you, you’re too busy for him. He’ll get the message without an explicit break up, and since he seems to be sending you a message with his lack of attention already, you may be better off walking away now.

Think of the Children

No mom wants to use her children as an excuse, but the fact is that they’re an important part of your dating life. You would never take someone home to meet the kids if you’re not serious about him. Also, you likely don’t have a lot of free time, so it’s probably best for everyone if you stop dating someone if the spark just isn’t there. Part of honest communication is reminding the other person that you’re a mom and you have to think about whom you get serious with. The other person might still be let down, but it could be a little easier on his ego if you explain that your dating perspective is so closely tied to your life as a parent.

Don’t Worry Too Much

The dating world is rough and people, including you, are bound to experience blows to their self-esteem as they put themselves out there. For that reason, use the Golden Rule and treat others as they want to be treated. But remember that no matter how kind you are to Mr. Wrong, you’re dating to find someone you click with, and it’s not your fault that you and he didn’t click.

About the Author

Emma Wells has been writing professionally since 2004. She is also a writing instructor, editor and former elementary school teacher. She has a Master's degree in writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English and anthropology. Her creative work has been published in several small literary magazines.

Photo Credits

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