Ask Emma: How do I stop this text conversation?

Stop replying; tell them directly to end the messages



With the multitude of dating apps available nowadays, losing interest in a potential date is common. Emma gives advice on how to let the person down easy.

EMMA LEDBETTER, Evergreen deputy news editor

Dear Emma,

I recently connected with this person over an internet dating site. At first we hit it off, but then the conversation started going downhill. There’s nothing, in particular, I can identify that is off, but I just don’t want to be talking to this person anymore. Unfortunately, they keep texting me. Do you have any ideas for how to get them to stop?

I appreciate any advice you have about this.

Thank you,

Leave Me Alone

Dear Leave Me Alone,

That’s always an awkward scenario. At least you met this person online, so you (maybe, hopefully) won’t have to worry about seeing them in person ever. 

My first piece of advice is to stop replying to their messages. Maybe you’ve already done this, but if not, this is the first step. 

This can be difficult if you want to be nice, but it will achieve your desired effect quickly. Resist the urge to reply with short one-word messages and just don’t reply at all. You’ll feel a little yucky inside for a while, but if you really want to be left alone, this is the way to do it.

If you feel guilty about ghosting them, try a more direct approach. Send them a message explaining why you feel like the conversation isn’t going anywhere. Ask them politely to stop messaging you in the future. 

I hope this doesn’t happen to you, but if it gets to the point where they are continuing to message you after you have asked them to stop, don’t feel bad about blocking them. That feature is there for a reason and if you need space, feel free to use it.

These are my best pieces of advice for dealing with this person. Usually, you won’t need to do more than this, but if you feel unsafe, reach out to a trusted authority figure or the local police.

Or, maybe they’ll read this column and you’ll be off the hook!

Hope that helps!


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