1. Be an adult and have an honest conversation.
Yes, it takes guts, but it’s by far the best option. Tell them the truth. It’ll be awkward and you risk some hurt feelings, but it’s so much better than just disappearing. This way, you’re giving that person closure instead of leaving them totally confused.
2. Let them down easy.
Compliment them, but stick to your guns. Something along the lines of, “You’re amazing, honestly. And I really enjoyed our time together. But I don’t think I’m in a place where I can be with someone. I need to focus on *insert whatever is applicable to your life*. But I wish you the absolute best.”
3. Blame it on an ex.
Claim you’ve still got unresolved feelings for a previous partner. Whether it’s true or not, it’s an excuse people can understand. Moving on from an ex is difficult. And no one wants to be a stand-in while you long for someone else.
4. Say you’re just looking for friendship.
You’d love to keep hanging out, but need to draw some clear boundaries. Platonic or bust.
5. Do a slow fade out.
If you really can’t bring yourself to talk about it, do a slow fade out. Not the most mature move, but it’s better than a sudden ghosting. Respond more infrequently. Cancel plans or become increasingly busy. Trust me, they’ll get the message.