I know you should never break up by text, but what’s the right way to end something that isn’t really anything, yet? I’ve hung out with this girl a few times, and we’ve fooled around, but it’s not really going anywhere, and I’ve started seeing someone I’m interested in having a more serious relationship with.

So what do I do with girl #1? Meeting in person to call it off seems too formal but texting seems kind of dickish. Do I just say nothing and let her work it out on her own?

-Not Mr. Right

Good for you for wanting to be the nice guy, even if you’re not THE guy.

And since you so clearly DO want to be the nice guy, I’d suggest taking it all the way, even if you think it will be awkward (it might).

Get that coffee, and say it in person.

Yes, when you haven’t even had the let’s-be-exclusive chat it might seem like a bit much, but it’s a lot better than the (possible) alternative: right when you start getting serious with this new girl, girl #1 starts texting for a booty call. Or the less-destructive, but still unkind, version: she finds out the hard way that someone she may have been developing feelings for (because you don’t know if she’s as noncommittal about this as you are, obviously) is going after someone else. Just because she doesn’t make a scene or pitch a fit doesn’t make it any easier on her.

The conversation will be awkward, but ultimately it’s better to be clear and upfront; you don’t want to lead anyone on, after all. Make the conversation as brief and kind as possible: “I really like you, but I don’t see this going anywhere, and I’d feel more comfortable just calling it off.”

Just don’t say the words I once heard in college: “I found someone I actually like.”

Yeah. If you’re not going to think it through, maybe just-not-answering-the-phone IS the better option…