How to end a hookup relationship? 3 Easy Steps
Unless your goal in a given relationship is marriage, chances are that it will need to come to an end eventually.
Maybe you're ready to settle down, and you need all of your casual relationships to end if you are to go the distance with the right girl. Maybe you don't want a committed relationship, and your hookup partner is starting to catch feelings. Or maybe you just want to change things up and find new people.
Regardless of the reason, breaking up a hookup relationship can go one of two ways: You can either do it right, preserve everyone's dignity, and remain friends. Or, you can do it wrong, cause pain, and create problems.
Often, a casual relationship is seen as disposable. "Ghosting," or simply not replying to any messages or phone calls you get from your hook up, is by far the most common way for men to end a casual relationship.
But there are other, more respectful ways to end things. You can even frame the break up in such a way that both you and your partner walk away with an overall positive experience.
If you need to break up with your hookup, you'll need to know why you are doing it and take the right steps. Let's dive into why a sexual relationship might end, and how to do it properly.
Types of Hook Ups, and How To End a Casual Relationship
First, let's define what a hookup or casual relationship might look like, and how to end each one properly.
Casual Relationships Type 1: "The Naughty Strangers"
Also called a quickie, this is the fastest type of hookup. Many people think that a one-night stand is actually the shortest-lived casual relationship, but in fact a one-night stand implies moving locations from wherever you met this person, and often spending the entire night with them.
The Naughty Strangers, by contrast, is a term to describe a hookup wherein the location never changes, and the whole thing is over within a couple of hours.
For example, let's say you meet a girl at a club. She's into you, you're into her, and the sparks are flying. You're looking and smelling good, and she's totally your type. After a few fiery lines in her ear, you decide to have a steamy romp with her in a private area of the club. Boom, naughty strangers.
How To Break Things Off After a Quickie
Since The Naughty Strangers is by no means a serious relationship, you can probably get out of it without an uncomfortable conversation.
The best way to do this is typically with a simple "That was amazing, but I need to go check up on my friends." Nine times out of ten, she will say the same thing. Then, you slip out and rejoin your friend group, who will certainly pry you for all the raunchy details.
Of course, if the sex was really incredible, and you genuinely clicked with this person, why not take down their number before you split? It never hurts to have a hookup on deck for when that merlot hits on a lonely night.
Type 2: "The One-Night Stand"
The one-night stand is the most famous phenomenon in the casual dating realm. Made notorious by movies, TV shows, and music, the one-night stand fulfills your sexual needs in a convenient and semi-safe way, without requiring too much focus.
The biggest problem folks run into when trying to end a one-night stand is miscommunication.
As such, the most important thing about ending a one-night stand is to manage expectations from the get-go.
How To End Things After a One Night Stand
- Set clear boundaries about what you are looking for. Don't lead this person on by saying things like, "we should hang out sometime" after you have sex. You want her to know that you are doing this once, and then that's it.
- Be honest about your intentions. While this can turn some people off, it's the best way to avoid any drama down the road. You don't need to be crass about it (for example, "I'm just going to f**k you and then dip" is not the way to go.)Instead, say something like, "I like you a lot, and I want to respect your time, so I just want to let you know that I don't expect you to continue spending time with me after this." This softens the blow and is the most respectful way to make your intentions clear.
- Stick to your guns. If you don't want your one-night stand to become a relationship, you have to follow through on what you say. If you keep running back, she might get the wrong idea.
Now, just because it's a one-night stand doesn't mean you get to become a caveman. After you finish your business, help her clean up her place or, if you did it at yours, offer to call her an Uber or drive her home.
Focus on being genuine, avoiding mixed messages, and acting like a gentleman. That's the healthiest way to create a clean break from your one-night stand.
Type 3: "The Booty Call"
Ok, so you weren't careful about your one-night stand, and now you have a casual thing that continues into the long term. Or maybe this was your plan all along, but you're ready to move on and try new things or settle down with the right person. How do you break up with someone you have been having casual sex with for months?
As is the case with most breakups, communication is key. By now, you are probably friends, or at least casual acquaintances, with your booty call. This means you can speak to them more candidly.
How to End It With Your Booty Call
Initiating the conversation looks different depending on how close you are with your booty call, but almost always, the first step is sending a text message. A simple "Hey, can we talk?" usually does the trick. It's a serious turn in an otherwise casual relationship, and sets the tone for what's about to happen.
From there, you can either keep texting, call her up, or set up a meeting face to face somewhere neutral.
Once you have her attention, it's time to be honest. Explain to her your reasons for ending the relationship. Most people are actually very understanding of this type of thing, especially if you haven't led them on.
Explain that you want to end things before they get too serious, or that you want to try new people, or simply that casual sex isn't your thing anymore and you want a long term relationship.
If you're looking for more committed relationships, it's best to be honest about this as well. The last thing you want is for your hook up to see you on Instagram with a new girlfriend, after you told her the reason you needed to break things off was that you wanted to focus on yourself.
This is a mature, modern way to end a casual relationship.
Being upfront and honest helps her to feel safe. Breaking off any relationship can make a person feel exposed and lonely, so ensuring she gets the face to face communication she needs is essential. A good note here is that, while you should be honest, there's no harm in softening the blow either.
Mention that you really enjoyed spending time with her, that she is an amazing person who deserves whatever romantic relationship her heart desires, and that ending things doesn't mean you never want to talk to her moving forward. You just want everyone's emotions to be protected.
Type 4: "The Friends With Benefits"
Having a "friend with benefits" can be an incredibly fun and sexy experience, but this type of casual relationship is trickier to end, because there are a lot of moving parts.
The method you use when breaking up with an FWB you have an somewhat undefined relationship with depends on what you want the end-game to be.
How To End It With A Friend With Benefits
If you want to remain friends with this person, you must emphasize that. Start the conversation by asserting that your friendship with her now means more to you than the sex, and that to preserve the friendship in the long term, the sexual aspect of the relationship should end.
If you don't want to stay friends with her, it may not be possible to end the relationship without some hurt. The best way to do this is to be honest about what you want, and emphasize the pain it causes you as well.
No one wants to feel like they're being tossed out by someone who never cared about them. Make it clear that this is not a fun decision to make, and that you're aware of the difficulty that lies in severing the connection.
Support her during the process and reassure her that she made a positive impact on your life. Help her to understand that while it hurts now, it's what is best for both of you in the long run.
Three Steps To Ending a Hookup Relationship
Here is a catch-all guide for how to break up with someone you have a sexual relationship with. While every relationship is different, there are three major steps to take to break things off without getting your feelings hurt and ensuring that the people involved have as much of a clean break as possible.
Step One: Decide What You Want
If you are simply no longer interested in casually dating this person, the way you communicate will be different than if you want to end a casual relationship in favor of a more serious one.
Remember, contact might be limited after the tough conversation, so go through the process of nailing down exactly what you need, and then stick with it. While this may seem obvious, giving someone space only to try and take it back can create a sense of instability.
Consider your feelings, as well as the feelings of your partner, and come up with the best way to talk about it.
Step Two: Have The Conversation
Set up a date to speak with this person, and talk about why the relationship is ending. Is it something about their behavior? Are you looking into dating someone else? Do you just need some space?
Relationships end many times through life, and each person you break up with will want to know why. Be truthful with your partner, and explain why the relationship doesn't fit in with your life anymore.
After giving this person the appropriate time to digest what you tell them, ask them for their opinion. Make it clear that they can speak candidly, and that you'll answer any questions they have.
Step Three: Follow Through
Life after a breakup can be full of grief for one person, and full of relief for another. Relationships can have differing effects on the psyche of one person compared to another. Give them room to be themselves, and limit contact.
There will likely be follow-up questions from them, and they may try to win you back by flirting or, in unfortunate cases, guilt-tripping you. If you have done Step One properly, you should be able to stick to your guns and maintain a healthy breakup.
How To Turn a Hook Up Into a Committed Relationship
Ending a hookup relationship doesn't necessarily mean blocking this person on your phone and never allowing contact. Sometimes, ending a hookup occurs because you decide you want to become exclusive with the person you once hooked up with.
Maybe you've developed heavy respect for this person, or her observing her behavior makes you happy. Maybe the connection has become more intense, and you're starting to develop feelings. Maybe continuous dating is becoming tiresome, and you want to settle down. Whatever your reason, a hookup can often easily change into a committed relationship.
1.) To start, you should contact them requesting a time to speak with them about other things besides sex. Maybe plan a date with them.
2.) Get to talking about what you have in common and what you like about her personality. Express your desire to make things more serious and why you think it would work out. Many hookups decided to try no-sex dating each other formally first to make sure the fire can keep alive without sex as the primary drive.
3.) Once you get to talking, read the other person. Examine their body language and facial expressions to gauge their interest. Once you have said your piece, allow them to give their opinion.
4.) If they want to try dating or becoming exclusive, then you're done! Have fun with your new girlfriend. If the other person does not want to be exclusive, then you must respect that. From there, you can either continue hooking up or start dating other people.
No matter what relationship you are getting out of, and for what reason, the key point remains the same: Be communicative, truthful, and straightforward, and everything will be ok.