I am working with a group of women who have a history of being in abusive relationships. We have been discussing red flags, and they want to know how to end a relationship as soon as they see warning signs. They need advice on how to end it within the first few dates, before things get serious.

A: Generally adults know after only a few dates whether there is potential in a relationship or not. There’s no need for drama if they want to end it. Either party can simply say something like, “You’re a great person but I know what I’m looking for and this just isn’t a match. It’s nothing about you. You’re great. The chemistry just isn’t there for me. I wish you all the luck in the world in finding the right person for you and I hope you can do the same for me. Thanks for a really nice evening.” It’s important not to try to respond to “yes buts” with anything but a kind restatement that it’s not about them and it’s not something that can be fixed. Chemistry is chemistry and isn’t it too bad that it just isn’t there.

I strongly suggest that the women role play how to end a date like this until they are comfortable If they have difficulty asserting themselves this way, please talk with them about how it is their right to decide not to pursue a relationship. They don’t even have to have a reason. Who someone finds attractive is a matter of taste. There is no arguing with that.

I wish them all well,
Dr. Marie