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How to Have an Online Relationship/Re: How to amicably end an online relationship


Dear Mary,

About seven months ago I joined a social app on my phone and began chatting with people around the world. I will be honest - I did not have any desire for anything actually serious, but I simply wanted to see what would happen and just experience it. I live in the United States and a very kind girl from Turkey messaged me and we had nice conversations. We have been talking for the last seven months and she has fallen in love with me, but I simply cannot actually pursue this.

She is very sensitive and I do not want to cause her so much pain, but I know my mistake of not taking this seriously has put another person's emotional stability at risk and that is my fault and I take responsibility for this. However, to be fair to myself, I did feel a strong connection with her and if there was a chance that this could turn into something real, I wouldn't be writing to you, but I know there is simply no way and I don't have any intention for it to be real at this point regardless. I have tried telling her a few times about how I will be busy with school for the next five years (at least) of my life and that I cannot see her until then (hoping that this huge time span would cause her to rethink the whole thing), but she continuously asserts that she will wait while at times sending me grieving messages and how she it brings her pain. She has told her entire family about me, as well.

I know that the longer I keep this up, the more painful it can potentially be when this inevitably comes to an end, so it's wisest to end it as soon as possible. I just need the right words and right advice on how to handle the situation. I have contemplated the easy route which is simply disappearing (it's very easy, just ignoring her messages on Viber and getting a new phone number), but that is cruel in my eyes and she deserves closure, at the very least.

Any advice, I would be most grateful.

Hi there,

Thanks for the message.

There is unfortunately no easy way to do this.  From your mention of school I take it that you are fairly young still.

Keep in mind as well that things in that country might not be ideal and she is looking for a way out.

This is all a bit of a cynical view but when it comes to this sort of thing I believe that one has to be realistic.  I am of the firm opinion that one cannot fall in love in this way so naturally I do not believe that her intentions are pure.

You need to not be harsh of course, but you also cannot take responsibility for someone else.  What she is doing is also a form of emotional blackmail.

You need to be honest with her and sensitive at the same time, in terms of closure.

Tell her exactly what you have told me.  Something along the lines of that you don't want to cause her pain, but you don't feel the same way and you don't believe that anything can come of this.  Tell her that you could have just disappeared and ignored her but you didn't feel that it was the right thing to do.  Tell her you've enjoyed chatting to her and you are sad that it has come to this as you would hate to lose her as a friend but reiterate again that there is no possibility of a romantic relationship.

I hope that this helps.

Good luck and tell me how it goes.

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Mary van Ede


Anything to do with online dating, the internet world and social media.


I have been involved myself in online dating for about 15 years. I have loved and lost someone who I met online. I have been involved in Social Media sites for about 5 years, 6 months of which are now in a professional capacity as it forms part of my job description.

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