‘Can we still be friends?’

(graphic by Ben Dintsman).
(graphic by Ben Dintsman).

The fact about dating is that sometimes people just don’t click. It’s inevitable that not everyone you date means that you two are meant to be compatible. But when this happens the best thing is to be honest or you will just end up looking and feeling like a “plastic”.

After conversing with one male friend about relationship articles, it immediately turned into a discussion about the last man I had been with, who I call the “essential oils” guy.

In theory he was the type of guy that I wanted and needed. Although sometimes a little too confident, he was extremely creative, open and respectful. But he caught me at the wrong time. It was a very short time after my interaction with “bow-tie man” and since I did not have feelings for the “essential oils” guy, I decided to end it.

When I told my friend that I ended it by texting him with the line “let’s be friends,” I thought it was a nice way to let him go. Even after, when I continued to answer his texts even though I was not as into it as him, I thought it was okay because I thought I was not hurting his feelings. However, when my friend stated that what I did was mean I began to see that, by pulling out that line and not meaning it, I was actually being a real-life Regina George.

The “let’s just be friends” line is almost as bad as when a woman tried to break up with George Costanza using his: “It’s not you, it’s me” routine because the meaning behind it, which appears innocent, is a similar lie that hurts the other person more in the end.

As the Lemonheads sang: “He’d rather be alone than pretend.” I used to only think of this in relation to not being with someone I did not have feelings for. Yet by reflecting on my experience as a “plastic”, I have learned that you should be honest with the person you are with throughout the relationship, even at its end.

“Let’s be friends” can be something good to say if you do not want to sever all ties. Just be respectful of the person’s feelings when you do friend-zone them. Have a talk about it, make sure you are on the same page and do not taunt them about it later on.

If you are like me and either can’t do it at all or need some time apart, be honest with them. The need for honesty does not mean that you should be a dick about it either. Do not just text them. Arrange a time to meet in person and explain to them why you are ending it.

You may be hurting them but if you are respectful it will be easier as it gives them the dignity they deserve. This is because you did not just lead them on, dragging it out and making you both unhappy.I know I respect the guys who have done it to me.

Telling the truth in person will also help you both avoid the awkward run-in that eventually does happen if you go to the same school.

And you never know, maybe after some time, you will run into each other in the Concourse and actually become friends.

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