How To End A Relationship WITHOUT Ghosting (So You Can Still Be Friends)

what is curving and how to end relationship with friends with benefits

Yes, it's possible!

Ghosting or being ghosted: We hear about it all the time — when singles just stop replying to emails, texts, calls, etc. when they're not feeling it.

It's abrupt and the ghostee doesn't get closure. I don't recommend the disappearing act, especially if you think you'd like to remain friends.

These days most relationships, friendships, or budding relationships have a digital twist to them. You may have met online or offline, but once you exchange numbers, the texting and flirting begins.

That is, until someone isn’t feeling it and their communication wanes from slim to none. This is what it means to ghost, and also fits in with what "curving" means.

Ghosting doesn't provide closure, and curving is passive-aggressive. I believe you should treat people the way that you'd like to be treated, but it’s so tempting to delete someone’s digits and move on to the next person in today’s connected world.

What do you do when you still like the person and want to be friends?

The Ghosting and Curving Timeline:

1. Creating Distance 

First one might try to create distance by not responding to a phone call or a text at all, or for up to a day, when everyone knows mobile phones are attached to our hips.

This is actually called curving. It's a pullback, but you don't disappear completely.

If you're doing this, you are probably hoping the other party will get the hint that you're in the friend zone.

2. Being Unavailable

You'll start to fill up your calendar and date card, so when the suggestion of getting together arises, you’ll feel less guilty when you say you’re booked as you won't be lying to the person who's still on the hook.

3. Moving to the Friend-Zone

It's easy to say "let's be friends", but do you really mean it?

While it might soften the sting, have a convo to find out how the other person feels about being in the friend zone.  

If you have the "friends" talk, make it mutual and ask the other person if they'd be on board for that type of relationship.

4. Disappearing permanently

Online dating site Plenty of Fish surveyed singles and found 80% of millennials have ghosted or have been ghosted by someone they had been dating or communicating with.

I call it the cowardly way to call it quits, so if you're going to go MIA, don't come running back when your other love interest runs its course.

RELATED: 15 Signs You're About To Get Dumped

So, why do people ghost or curve? 

If you know what it's like to go fishing, you'll realize that someone is keeping you on the hook.

The reason people ghost or curve, is so they don’t have a definitive ending. With curving, someone will stay in touch, but will never define the relationship and will be noncommittal to suggested plans.

You'll hear "maybe" when you ask them if they're free on Saturday night. This leaves the door open while they are pursuing someone else to come circling back around. If you think someone could be a good friend or fun to go to a party with, why discard them completely?

When you ghost someone, you'll end up burning a bridge. Burning bridges is something I don’t believe in. Casting a wide net and staying on good terms with someone you like is more desirable.

I've met plenty of singles who met online and now have business relationships with those they met, or actually got introduced to one of their friends.

It's good karma. Take the high road, please.

RELATED: What is 'Zombieing' And Why Does It Hurt WAY More Than Ghosting?

How SHOULD you end the relationship?

As an expert in the phenomenon of ghosting, my best advice is to have a conversation in person or on the phone, where it’s not a unilateral decision of disappearing and putting a nail in the coffin.

Let the other person know you’ve really enjoyed chatting or spending time together, but that you don’t see the relationship developing romantically. Don’t tell the other person you don’t have chemistry. Why bruise someone’s ego when you still might want to hang out together?

If you started off as friends and do want to be friends (without the benefits) let the person know that you'd like to stay connected and ask if they're comfortable with being friends, now or in the near future.

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may swipe or roam.

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Julie Spira is America's Top Online Dating Expert and the founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and Instagram and sign up for the FREE Weekly Flirt newsletter for dating advice delivered to your inbox.