Non-Boyfriend Break Up

How do you break up with someone you're not actually with? Read on for advice on ending a non-relationship.

Woman ending relationship on phone

He's not even your boyfriend... !

The non-relationship. It looks and sometimes even feels like the real thing... but it is definitely not. You've never had "the talk." You don't introduce him to anyone as your boyfriend; you've never met his parents. He doesn't check in with you and you don't ask questions; you're not on his holiday card list and he would never be your plus one to an important work function. You get all of the easy, fun stuff with none of the complications. The rules seem simple until you're over it. Then what? How do you break up with someone you're not actually with?

First, take a deep breath.

This is so not a big deal. In the realm of relationship dilemmas, this ranks pretty low, so don't stress. Chances are, he is feeling the burn out too and is also ready for the finale of your dead-end relationship.

Phone or in person?

For a real breakup you should always to be considerate of where and when you do it (i.e. not when they are having a bad day, not over the phone, etc), but for the non-relationship, orchestrating it with such precision shows you had more invested than you actually do. Phone suffices for this scenario but skip the text message approach since you want to make sure your message definitely goes through.

Honesty policy.

Your non-boyfriend deserves to know the truth about why you are ending it. Deliver a simple, clear message such as that you are seeing someone exclusively now or you are looking for something more fulfilling. No details required.

To be friends or not to be friends?

The aftermath of the non-relationship breakup depends on whether you were originally friends that started sleeping together, or strangers that fell into bed and became friends, or never friends at all. The easiest way to measure friendship potential is to plainly decide do you want to hear about the new girls in his life? If yes, then by all means!

Tech cleanse.

Now that the deed is done, if staying friends is out, it is time to delete your now ex non-boyfriend from your life, permanently... which means literally erasing him. Wipe him from your cell, your Facebook, email and so on. To make room for the new, you need to completely let go of the old.

Stay strong.

No matter how lonely the night, how tipsy your head or how hollow your heart might feel, unless you left your non-boyfriend on non-relationship reserve, fight the temptation to rewind. As you go to reach for the hidden number you stashed under your bed during the tech cleanse, remind yourself why you ended it in the first place, burn the number and move onward and upward to something more prosperous.

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Comments on "How to end the non-relationship"

why? June 27, 2013 | 9:51 AM

If it is a non-existing relationship, there has never been a beginning, so what's the point of writing this SOP for existing strategy? You just DISAPPEAR. no contact, no communication...Let actions speak itself. If the guy is really that dumb and can't get the message, again, it proves you made the right decision to dump him...

Emma May 24, 2012 | 2:40 PM

It is so important to be honest in a situation like this. Especially if it is something that wasn't fulfilling, he should know so that it doesn't happen to someone else after you! I think it is hard to stay friends with anyone you may have dated, sometimes it is possible, but don't bank on it. Delete and move on, he was never someone that serious anyways!

Fab1 May 09, 2011 | 9:48 AM

I especially agree with the "Stay Strong" paragraph. There is a reason why you got to the point to end the non-relationship and no reason to go backwards. I do believe if you end the relationship because you want more from that person... potentially that person may eventually realize they want to give you more. That can always be up for discussion. Some relationships are not fruitful and need to be pruned. A person has to decide what they want and don't want and stay strong until that right person comes along.

PH March 15, 2011 | 12:37 PM

so funny, I didn't think I would find something like this online, but here it is. I'm about to end it tonight, and wasn't sure if I should even bring it up since he is a non-boyfriend....awesome!

Chris Taylor August 09, 2010 | 10:46 AM

Totally agree with honesty being the best policy. I married my best friend more than 25 years ago.

mankind August 03, 2010 | 11:41 PM

love is not about finding the right person,but creating the right.its not about how much love you have at the start bt how much love you build till the end

cara August 02, 2010 | 9:09 AM

Love this article. It is so awkward to end it with a guy that you aren't really dating and this was so helpful in making it less awkward. The tech cleanse is going to be hard though!

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