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shilolo's avatar

Is there ever a polite way to "break up" with another couple?

Asked by shilolo (18038points) May 12th, 2008

If after some time of “friendship” you realize that you just don’t want to maintain a relationship with another couple, how do you “break up”? Is ignoring phone calls and invitations enough of a hint? Do you need to spell out your reasons?

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14 Answers

lovelyy's avatar

I don’t think there is a “nice” way of putting it. maybe just say you’re busy the days they want to hang out, sooner or later they’ll get the point.

nikipedia's avatar

Breakups always suck. Can we have some context? If they did something offensive, it makes sense to call them out on it. If they’re just boring, well, maybe only hang out with them to do structured events?

I would only spell out the reasons if you can see something constructive come of it (“We don’t really want to associate with homicidal maniacs”). “We don’t enjoy your company” is a bit harsh. They could probably live without hearing that.

wildflower's avatar

Just stop inviting them over or out and don’t accept their invitations. Most people don’t keep trying for very long. If you have to talk it out, just focus on the interests, views or activities that you don’t share, rather than not liking them as people.

shilolo's avatar

@Niki. To date, we’ve had two instances. In the first, the couple always seemed to invite us over to “use” us as surrogate child care, and then, the man of the couple tried to take advantage of us in a “business deal”, when we were supposedly close friends. In the second, the couple were insensitive to my wife and the man was (and still is) a sarcastic ass. Ironically, it took years for the first couple to take the hint. The second couple still calls us to do things!

scamp's avatar

If you have no intentions of ever doing anything with this couple again, you might want to just tell them that you don’t care to continue the relationship. Tell them that you have different tastes than them, and it’s just not working out for you. They will probably get offended, but it sounds like you have been offended by them in the past, so there won’t be any love lost. It might be better to tell them straight out than to cat and mouse with them for a length of time. You can be polite, but firm.

nikipedia's avatar

Not surprising that the insensitive/sarcastic ass duo is having trouble taking the hint!

It would be a pretty unpleasant conversation for both parties if you tried to explain why you’re Just Not That Into Them, but if you’re feeling bold/altruistic enough they could probably benefit from knowing that’s how others perceive them.

shilolo's avatar

Thanks all for the advice. We debated over and over whether to just bite the bullet and tell them off, but we have to see both couples on rare occasions at work and through mutual friends, so we decided at the time that a distant yet cordial relationship would be “best”. Still, I just wanted to say, “Stop being such an a-hole to people!”, but bit my tongue.

marinelife's avatar

Although it makes it drawn out and does not give you the satisfaction of a response, I think the way you have done it is the best rather than confrontation. Anyone rude and self-interested enough to use friends for unpaid child care or for furthering their careers is not someone who might want to learn and grow from feedback.

You have situations where you must see these people and you know mutual people. Why invite them badmouthing you?

If confronted by either couple on why you no longer see them, just reply with something like, “Our schedules just don’t seem to be meshing these days. I hope you have a good time doing X.”

A friend of mine said, “Never explain. It just draws you into an argument.” If asked to do something he did not want to do, he would say, “I’m sorry that’s not possible.” If a rude lout persisted, he would simply repeat, “I’m sorry that’s not possible.” It leaves the other person with nowhere conversationally to go except, “Well, OK, thanks anyway” or the like.

Here’s wishing you more congenial couple friends in future.

cheebdragon's avatar

I think that the best way to handle it is to just ignore their calls or tell them you have other plans. Why burn bridges by telling them you don’t like them? You never know what could happen in the future.

scamp's avatar

Since you will have to see them from time to time, I think what you are doing is for the best. Good luck shaking them off!

gailcalled's avatar

I am doing that with a long-time friend who has become obsessed with money, status, name-dropping – we go way back, so I am increasing the duration between the times I see her or talk on the phone. So I would also take the position of non-confrontation. She is slow to get the hint, however. Caller ID helps.

susanc's avatar

It doesn’t really sound like these guys were ever very good friends. FRIENDS get concerned when you begin to drift away; they ASK what the problem is in a way that’s clearly meant to initiate repair. If people don’t do that, you owe them nothing. Fuck em. You’re too good for them. Stick with us, kid.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

get everything off your chest.
Tell them straight.
They’ll get the point finally.


stephen's avatar

its really hard to handle this kind thing, but i believe: “tell them straight” sucks!

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