Some of the most difficult moments in a relationship are when we are trying to get to know each other. In most cases, a relationship starts with an attraction which can take many forms. Only then we want to explore if a more serious relationship makes sense with that person because compatibility on more than one dimension is needed for a stronger relationship. So very often we find that the person who was so good-looking or a great person to work with on a project in school or the funniest person in the party is actually not someone you want to be with for too long. That is perfectly fine and it is great to know this earlier on and end the relationship than to keep hoping that you will be successful in changing that person and life will be beautiful after that. (Related article: When should you breakup?)
What remains a challenge though is how to end the relationship at that stage without causing pain to the other person. Since many people do not know how to end it, they may cause unnecessary confusion, as happened to Kim. She writes, "Recently I've made new friendship with someone. We met and talked, emailed, but suddenly he just disappeared with no news. I tried to email him and contact him by text message but no reply. I wonder what happened? What went wrong? I don't understand. I really wanted to be his friend and he was so nice when we met but all of a sudden he cut contact with me. Do you think he's angry or upset with me? Since I really want to have a relationship with him, do you think I should call and ask directly or just wait and see...? I want to talk to him to make things clear. Do you think it's the right move?"
Of course, our one-word advice to Kim is NO. There is no reason for you to call him and set things right. This guy just does not know how to deal with women. It is perfectly fine not to end a relationship but there is a way to do it. You can simply tell the person that s/he is not the person that you sees a future with. It is polite to suggest that you stay as friends so that if you do end up in the same place at some point of time, you can still smile at each other and not feel uncomfortable. (Related article: How to breakup and move on?)
But how do you end a relationship very early on?
- It is best to do it as soon as you know that the other person is not the one. If you are confused, you can say so and if the other person wants, you can continue with an understanding that you are both trying to learn more about each other.
- You do not have to give any reasons to end the relationship. There can be two wonderful people in the world but it does not mean that they can be a wonderful couple as well. For a couple, compatibility, goals, etc. are equally important.
- Never keep the person in doubt if you are in doubt. If you don't like her/him and start checking out others while keeping her/him on hold, is unethical and totally unacceptable. The more honest you are with yourself and with the other person, the better it is for everyone involved.