The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Living Single. And an at-home marriage proposal with a main character singing Jagged Edge's original version of "Let's Get Married" (good job, Randall/Sterling!). Yeah, you've got a love a show that's Black-aware enough to put these kinds of intricate details into it.
And while it's rare that I miss an episode of This Is Us, last week, after Randall left a voicemail that was the shot heard all around the world on Beth's cell ("I hope that you're having fun teaching bored housewives how to twirl better. Grow up, Beth.") and I then peeped the preview of the episode that aired last night that included Beth saying, "We've been having the same fight since we met. I'm not giving up what I love. Now what?"—as a fan of the show and a marriage life coach in the real world, I knew it was must-see TV. And it was.
Per usual, there were way too many things addressed and great one-liners to recap everything in one article (although if you put the hashtag #ThisIsUs into your favorite search engine, you'll catch a ton of what went down, blow-by-blow). But there are a few things that I do think need to be addressed. There are several reasons why I think last night's episode should be required viewing for singles who want to be in a serious relationship someday (first) and long-term committed couples who already are (second).
Here's why I say that.
Something that has always been stellar about the writing team of This Is Us is they constantly remind us that life is lived in layers; so is love. That said, if you only watched the episode featuring Randall's rude voicemail, you might chalk him up to being a selfish jerk or, if you're married and know that rudeness happens sometimes, a man who was having a really bad day (REALLY BAD). On the other hand, if you only saw Beth say that she wasn't going to give up what she loved, she might earn the same response from you.
But since the writers were kind (and thorough) enough to take us all back to the beginning of their love story, I'll be honest—I walked away from the episode knowing that they love one another but wondering how much they actually like each other. Whether it was day one or now. Because while they are committed to one another, a part of what comes with truly liking another human being is accepting that they are not like you, probably won't ever be and...being OK with that. Celebrating that fact even. Some of the core of Randall and Beth's beings? It seems to constantly get on each other's nerves. Not because anything is "wrong"...just different.
A lot of energy seems to be put into wishing the differences weren't so and merely tolerating that blaring reality.
Peep their first date, for example. Randall dressed up. He bought a bouquet of flowers (several, actually). He took Beth to a fancy restaurant. Beth was in a sweatshirt. She berated Randall for dressing up and talked about wanting nachos and ginger beer instead of the fine cuisine. Oh, and she cut the date short after saying, "It's too much. It's all too much."
You know what else I noticed about their date? Beth's father died a year before Randall's did and also—this is key—Randall told Beth that she had a love for dancing. In response, Beth shut him down and said no, her passion was architecture. Bookmark both of those points. I'll be coming back to them.
Fast forward to Randall trying to propose for the umpteenth time and Beth once again getting irritated. One of the things that she said to Randall was eerily reminiscent of her review of their first date—"I love you, but you consume things." After they went putt-putt golfing with Randall's mom and she convinced Beth that she was more than fine with her being Randall's wife, that same day, Beth did the proposal her way—at a casual restaurant with some nachos and ginger beer sitting in front of her. After Beth told Randall that he could then propose, something she declared was, "We're not gonna lose ourselves in each other. We're gonna be full people; a team." Was that a mutual agreement or a way to convince herself to marry him…then?
Fast forward again to their wedding day. Before the ceremony, Beth was wingin' her vows while Randall realized that what he wrote was (his words) "a dissertation on marriage." They then have an impromptu meeting in their bathroom and write their vows together. Something Randall says is, "You're the only thing I'm ever going to need." Something Beth says is, "The single most extraordinary thing I've done in my life, is fall in love with you." Sure, it sounds sweet, romantic and tear-jerkingly wedding day appropriate, but was it the total truth? Do any of us only need one person? Are all of us only capable of doing one most extraordinary thing?
Fast forward one more time to when Tess was a newborn. While sitting in the kitchen in the middle of the night and eating nachos, two things that Beth says are 1) "Making it work' usually means I adjust. I make it work...I have to lose something," and 2) while comparing their relationship to a bowl of chips, "You're a whole-chips-with-a-lot-of-cheese kind of person. So am I." As she looks down into the bowl at the smaller broken chips, Randall catches on and says, "What? I leave you with the crumbs? I'll never eat nachos again." He wasn't playing, by the way. He was dead serious. That's another thing that I wonder about them—how much of their cute playful banter is really more like a low-key form of passive aggressiveness because they're still learning how to hear—and I mean really and truly hear—one another. And then respond appropriately. Hopefully.
Like I said. Most things are in layers. But the reason why I think that singles and those in long-term relationships (especially engaged) couples should see last night's episode is because of what went down on the first date, especially. Ever since Randall lost his dad, it seems like he's been trying to be him; to fill his shoes and to overcompensate in ways that no son fully can when his dad leaves far too soon. And Beth? I can't help but wonder how much of her "tensed-up-ness" isn't just about Randall "being too much," but about feeling anger about losing her own father and perhaps convincing herself to do architecture over dance, maybe because it was something her dad always wanted her to do or because she felt like she needed to take care of her family in a way that no daughter should feel burdened to when her father leaves far too soon.
Cautionary tale #1—Process your childhood. Where you feel wounds, fear and/or uncertainty, heal. Have hard conversations. See a therapist. Confront your pain. Love on yourself…before looking for someone else to do it.
Next up. Randall saw Beth. He really saw her. He asked around. He paid attention. When he spoke her passion into her life at their first date, she damn near bit his head off. And so, he shut down. All these years later, Beth is ready to do what she loves and what Randall recognized way back when. However, Randall has gotten used to it being a dream deferred. Beth says it's been about her breaking the promise they made of neither of them losing themselves all along. Randall says she's reciting (his words) "revisionist history."
Cautionary tale #2—Be honest with yourself, most of all. What do you want? Who do you want to be? How do you see your future before bringing someone else into it? A part of the beauty of having a season of singleness is you can focus on you and nothing but…unapologetically so.
There were moments in last night's episode when it was implied that Randall often convinced Beth to move outside of her comfort zone or timing. Sometimes that's good for growth. Other times, it feels nothing short of being railroaded and ignored. If you're pushed into a corner long enough, even if it's by someone you love who has the best of intentions, you're gonna lash out. Healthy love? It feels like freedom.
Another point. During the current day fight that they were having, in response to Beth wanting to dance and it being non-negotiable at this point, she said, "I am not going to bend. And that's the problem. Our lives don't work unless I'm doing the bending. And we both know it." A lot of marriage counselors and relationship coaches will say that, in a relationship, you should compromise and not sacrifice. I disagree. Sacrifice simply means giving up something good for something better. The thing is, when two people are in a long-term commitment, sacrifices should be mutually agreed upon and mutually made, not always at the same time but as both individuals need them to be. Beth shouldn't always be doing the sacrificing. Randall either. And neither should say—or worse, act—like they are OK with said sacrifices when they are anything but.
Cautionary tale #3—No matter how much you love someone, you were an individual with a purpose before they ever arrived. So no, they can't be all that you need because you need to fulfill the reason why you were placed on this earth to begin with and, also no, being in love is not the most or only extraordinary thing that any of us are called or expected to do in this world. It sounds good, but it's not realistic.
As one of my favorite Leo Buscaglia quotes on love so poignantly points out, "Love is continual becoming." You need to become your best self; that is what's truly extraordinary. The man or woman who can support you in that happening, all throughout your life, that is the best kind of love story.
Randall and Beth are on quite the emotional roller coaster ride right now but personally, I like that they are being revealed in this way. It's a reminder to not look at some rom-com or scripted sitcom where a couple has no issues and say, "I want that." Instead, we should look at this beautiful Black couple, see where their missteps are, ask ourselves if we're making some of the same ones and adjust accordingly. Then rinse and repeat. As often as needed.
Randall and Beth (or R&B as Susan Kelechi Watson, the dope chick who plays Beth, calls them) are not a perfect couple with a flawless love story. They are two individuals who are learning to love themselves, their purpose and one another simultaneously. That's no easy feat. And what last night reminded me is when you're striving to be in a solid and lasting relationship, all three kinds of loves must factor in. From day one and every day that follows. By both people. Intentionally so. Otherwise, it's hard to like who you're with or your life with them or even yourself after a while, no matter how much you love them.
Thanks for the reminder, Randall and Beth. It's noted. And profoundly appreciated over here in the real world. It really is.
Featured image via This Is Us / NBC
- Care More About The Wedding, Than The Marriage? - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Are Randall & Beth Still Together In The 'This Is Us' Flash Forward ... ›
- Will 'This Is Us' Couple Beth & Randall Pearson Divorce? | Heavy.com ›
- Does anyone else want Randall and Beth to get divorced? : thisisus ›
- This Is Us Theories: Beth Randall Divorce, Rebecca Death and More ›
- Tuned In: Will Beth and Randall make it as a couple on 'This Is Us ... ›
- Are Randall and Beth Divorced on This Is Us? | POPSUGAR ... ›
- Best 'This Is Us' Fan Tweets About Beth and Randall's Future - What ... ›
- Sterling K. Brown on Randall & Beth's Rumored Divorce in 'This Is ... ›
- 'This Is Us': Will Randall and Beth Get Divorced? | Hollywood Reporter ›
- Are Randall and Beth Getting Divorced on This Is Us? ›
After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
Amber Riley Is In Her Element
Amber Riley has the type of laugh that sticks with you long after the raspy, rhythmic sounds have ceased. It punctuates her sentences sometimes, whether she’s giving a chuckle to denote the serious nature of something she just said or throwing her head back in rip-roarious laughter after a joke. She laughs as if she understands the fragility of each minute. She chooses laughter often with the understanding that future joy is not guaranteed.
Credit: Ally Green
The sound of her laughter is rivaled only by her singing voice, an emblem of the past and the future resilience of Black women stretched over a few octaves. On Fox’s Glee, her character Mercedes Jones was portrayed, perhaps unfairly, as the vocal duel to Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), offering rough, full-throated belts behind her co-star’s smooth, pristine vocals. Riley’s always been more than the singer who could deliver a finishing note, though.
Portraying Effie White, she displayed the dynamic emotions of a song such as “And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going” in Dreamgirls on London’s West End without buckling under the historic weight of her predecessors. With her instrument, John Mayer’s “Gravity” became a religious experience, a belted hymnal full of growls and churchy riffs. In her voice, Nicole Scherzinger once said she heard “the power of God.”
Credit: Ally Green
Riley’s voice has been a staple throughout pop culture for nearly 15 years now. Her tone has become so distinguishable that most viewers of Fox’s The Masked Singer recognized the multihyphenate even before it was revealed that she was Harp, the competition-winning, gold-masked figure with an actual harp strapped to her back.
Still, it wasn’t until recently that Riley began to feel like she’d found her voice. This sounds unbelievable. But she’s not referring to the one she uses on stage. She’s referencing the voice that speaks to who she is at her core. “Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind,” the 37-year-old says. “It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women. I got so comfortable in [doing so], and I really want other people, especially Black women, to get more comfortable in that space.”
“Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind. It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women."
If you ask Riley’s manager, Myisha Brooks, she’ll tell you the foundation of who the multihyphenate is hasn’t changed much since she was a kid growing up in Compton. “She is who she is from when I met her back when she was singing in the front of the church to back when she landed major roles in film and TV,” Brooks says. Time has allowed Riley to grow more comfortable, giving fans a more intimate glimpse into her life, including her mental health journey and the ins and outs of show business.
The actress/singer has been in therapy since 2019, although she suffered from depression and anxiety way before that. In a recent interview with Jason Lee, she recalls having suicidal ideation as a kid. By the time she started seeing a psychologist and taking antidepressants in her thirties, her body had become jittery, a physical reminder of the trauma stacked high inside her. “I was shaking in [my therapist’s] office,” she tells xoNecole. “My fight or flight was on such a high level. I was constantly in survival mode. My heart was beating fast all the time. All I did was sweat.”
There wasn’t just childhood trauma to account for. After auditioning for American Idol and being turned away by producers, Riley began working for Ikea and nearly missed her Glee audition because her car broke down on the highway while en route. Thankfully, Riley had been cast to play Mercedes Jones. American Idol had temporarily convinced her she wasn’t cut out for the entertainment industry, but this was validation that she was right where she belonged. Glee launched in 2009 with the promise of becoming Riley’s big break.
In some ways, it was. The show introduced Riley to millions of fans and catapulted her into major Hollywood circles. But in other ways, it became a reminder of the types of roles Black women, especially those who are plus-sized, are relegated to. Behind the scenes, Riley says she fought for her character "to have a voice" but eventually realized her efforts were useless. "It finally got to a point where I was like, this is not my moment. I'm not who they're choosing, and this is just going to have to be a job for me for now," she says. "And, that's okay because it pays my bills, I still get to be on television, I'm doing more than any other Black plus-sized women that I'm seeing right now on screen."
The actress can recognize now that she was navigating issues associated with trauma and low self-esteem at the time. She now knows that she's long had anxiety and depression and can recognize the ways in which she was triggered by how the cult-like following of the show conflicted with her individual, isolated experiences behind the scenes. But she was in her early '20s back then. She didn't yet have the language or the tools to process how she was feeling.
Riley says she eventually sought out medical intervention. "When you're in Hollywood, and you go to a doctor, they give you pills," she says, sharing a part of her story that she'd never revealed publicly before now. "[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that's not fixing my problem. If anything, it's making it worse."
“[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that’s not fixing my problem. If anything it’s making it worse.”
Credit: Ally Green
At one point, while in her dressing room on set, she rested her arm on a curling iron without realizing it. It wasn't until her makeup artist alerted her that she even realized her skin was burning. Once she noticed, she says she was "so zonked out on pills" that she barely reacted. Speaking today, she holds up her arm and motions towards a scar that remains from the incident. She sought help for her reliance on the pills, but it would still be years before she finally attended therapy.
This stress was only compounded by the trauma of growing up in poverty and the realities of being a "contract worker." "Imagine going from literally one week having to borrow a car to get to set to the next week being on a private jet to New York City," she says. After Glee ended, so did the rides on private planes. The fury of opportunities she expected to follow her appearance on the show failed to materialize. She wasn't even 30 yet, and she was already forced to consider if she'd hit her career peak.
. . .
We’re only four minutes into our Zoom call before Riley delivers her new adage to me. “My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway,” she says.
On this Thursday afternoon in April, the LA-based entertainer is seated inside her closet/dressing room wearing a cerulean blue tank top with matching shorts and eating hot wings. This current phase of healing hinges on balance. It’s about having discipline and consistency, but not at the risk of inflexibility. She was planning to head to the gym, for instance, but she’s still tired from the “exhausting” day before. Instead, she’s spent her day receiving a massage, eating some chicken wings, and planning to spend quality time with friends. “I’m not going to beat myself up for it. I’m not going to talk down to myself. I’m going to eat my chicken wings, and then tomorrow I’m [back] in the gym,” she says.
“My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway."
This is the balance with which she's been approaching much of her life these days. It's why she's worried less about whether or not people see her as someone who is humble. She'd rather be respected. "I think you should be a person that's easy to work with, but in the moments where I have to ruffle feathers and make waves, I'm not shying away from that anymore. You can do it in love, you don't have to be nasty about it, but I had to finally be comfortable with the fact that setting boundaries around my life – in whatever aspect, whether that's personal or business – people are not going to like it. Some people are not going to have nice things to say about you, and you gotta be okay with it," she says.
When Amber talks about the constant humbling of Black women in Hollywood, I think of the entertainers before her who have suffered from this. The brilliant, consistent, overqualified Black women who have spoken of having to fight for opportunities and fair pay. Aretha Franklin. Viola Davis. Tracee Ellis Ross. There's a long list of stars whose success hasn't mirrored their experiences behind the scenes.
Credit: Ally Green
If Black women outside of Hollywood are struggling to decrease the pay gap, so, too, are their wealthier, more famous peers.
Riley says there’s been progress in recent years, but only in small ways and for a limited group of people. “This business is exhausting. The goalpost is constantly moving, and sometimes it’s unfair,” she says. But, I have to say it’s the love that keeps you going.”
“There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman,” she continues. “We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
"There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman. We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
Last year, Riley starred alongside Raven Goodwin in the Lifetime thriller Single Black Female (a modern, diversified take on 1992’s Single White Female). It was more than a leading role for the actress, it also served as proof that someone who looks like her can front a successful project without it hinging on her identity. It showcased that the characters she portrays don’t “have to be about being a big girl. It can just be a regular story.”
Riley sees her work in music as an extension of her efforts to push past the rigid stereotypes in entertainment. Take her appearance on The Masked Singer, for instance. Riley said she decided to perform Mayer’s “Gravity” after being told she couldn’t sing it years earlier. “I wanted to do ‘Gravity’ on Glee. [I] was told no, because that’s not a song that Mercedes would do,” she says. “That was a full circle moment for me, doing that on that show and to hear what it is they had to say.”
As Scherzinger praised the “anointed” performance, a masked Riley began to cry, her chest heaving as she stood on stage, her eyes shielded from view. “You have to understand, I have really big names – casting directors, producers, show creators – that constantly tell me ‘I’m such a big fan. Your talent is unmatched.’ Hire me, then,” she says, reflecting on the moment.
Recently, she’s been in the studio working on original music, the follow-up to her independently-released debut EP, 2020’s Riley. The sequel to songs such as the anthemic “Big Girl Energy” and the reflective ballad “A Moment” on Riley, this new project hones in on the singer’s R&B roots with sensual grooves such as the tentatively titled “All Night.” “You said I wasn’t shit, turns out that I’m the shit. Then you called me a bitch, turns out that I’m that bitch. You said no one would want me, well you should call your homies,” she sings on the tentatively titled “Lately,” a cut about reflecting on a past relationship. From the forthcoming project, xoNecole received five potential tracks. Fans likely already know the strengths and contours of Riley’s vocals, but these new songs are her strongest, most confident offerings as an artist.
“I am so much more comfortable as a writer, and I know who I am as an artist now. I’m evolving as a human being, in general, so I’m way more vulnerable in my music. I’m way more willing to talk about whatever is on my mind. I don’t stop myself from saying what it is I want to say,” she says.
Credit: Ally Green
“Every era and alliteration of Amber, the baseline is ‘Big Girl Energy.’ That’s the name of her company,” her manager Brooks says, referencing the imprint through which Riley releases her music after getting out of a label deal several years ago. “It’s just what she stands for. She’s not just talking about size, it’s in all things. Whether it’s putting your big girl pants on and having to face a boardroom full of executives or sell yourself in front of a casting agent. It’s her trying to achieve the things she wants to do in life.”
Riley says she has big dreams beyond releasing this new music, too. She’d love to star in a rom-com with Winston Duke. She hasn't starred in a biopic yet, but she’d revel in the opportunity to portray Rosetta Tharpe on screen. She’s determined that her previous setbacks won’t stop her from dreaming big.
“I think one of my superpowers is resilience because, at the end of the day, I’m going to kick, scream, cry, cuss, be mad and disappointed, but I’m going to get up and risk having to deal with it all again. It’s worth it for the happy moments,” she says.
If Riley seems more comfortable and confident professionally, it’s because of the work she’s been doing in her personal life.
She’d previously spoken to xoNecole about becoming engaged to a man she discovered in a post on the site, but she called things off last year. For Valentine’s Day, she revealed her new boyfriend publicly. “I decided to post him on Valentine’s Day, partially because I was in the dog house. I got in trouble with him,” she says, half-joking before turning serious. “The breakup was never going to stop me from finding love. Or at least trying. I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness, and you enjoy it and work through it.”
Credit: Ally Green
"I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness and you enjoy it and work through it.”
With her ex, Riley was pretty outspoken about her relationship, even appearing in content for Netflix with him. This time around is different. She’s not hiding her boyfriend of eight months, but she’s more protective of him, especially because he’s a father and isn’t interested in becoming a public figure.
She’s traveling more, too. It’s a deliberate effort on her part to enjoy her money and reject the trauma she’s developed after experiencing poverty in her childhood. “I live in constant fear of being broke. I don’t think you ever don’t remember that trauma or move past that. Now I travel and I’m like, listen, if it goes, it goes. I’m not saying [to] be reckless, but I deserve to enjoy my hard work.”
After everything she’s been through, she certainly deserves to finally let loose a bit. “I have to have a life to live,” she says. “I’ve got to have a life worth fighting for.”
Director of Content: Jasmine Grant
Campaign Manager: Chantal Gainous
Managing Editor: Sheriden Garrett
Creative Director/Executive Producer: Tracey Woods
Cover Designer: Tierra Taylor
Photographer: Ally Green
Photo Assistant: Avery Mulally
Digital Tech: Kim Tran
Video by Third and Sunset
DP & Editor: Sam Akinyele
2nd Camera: Skylar Smith
Camera Assistant: Charles Belcher
Stylist: Casey Billingsley
Hairstylist: DaVonte Blanton
Makeup Artist: Drini Marie
Production Assistants: Gade De Santana, Apu Gomes
Powered by: European Wax Center
Text This Before You Ghost Them, Sis.
We’ve all been there at least once (or a few times) along our dating journey. Maybe you’ve had a date or two with a potential suitor, but the spark just wasn’t there. Perhaps you convinced yourself that just “one more” date would help you overlook a non-negotiable ick. At this point in the dating cycle, you’ve probably reached the point where you must decide to either communicate “why” things won’t be moving forward or simply ghost them.
What Is Ghosting?
“Ghosting” refers to the act of suddenly and unexpectedly cutting off all communication with someone you've been dating or talking to without any explanation or further contact. It typically occurs in the early stages of dating but can also happen after a few dates or even in more established relationships.
The act of ghosting has become quite a common practice in our modern dating culture and can manifest in a number of different ways. From days of ignored text messages and phone calls out of the blue to not showing up for pre-arranged plans and sometimes disappearing from someone's life without any notice or explanation.
Morsa Images/Getty Images
The Problem With Ghosting
Being ghosted may seem like a harmless act of “self-choosing,” but the person on the receiving end of your decision can be left feeling confused, rejected, and even abandoned, wondering what happened and where they went wrong.
And we get it, what explanation do you owe someone for leaving after a few cocktails and a $100 date? While that may seem like the perfect opportunity to cut and run, taking an alternative approach to fizzle out a fling is a great time to practice clear and effective communication that can pay off in the long run.
While there is a time and a place for ghosting (and even blocking) if your boundaries have been crossed or safety has been threatened, if we’re looking to live out our best healed, secure-girl summer, there are ways to date freely without leaving others with damage of their own to recover from.
Being honest and upfront about your feelings while being respectful of the other person's time is the best way to leave a situationship or fling with both parties emotionally unscathed. So if you’re looking for ways to break things off with care and consideration, we’ve provided five text scripts to send instead of ghosting somebody’s son:
Morsa Images/Getty Images
5 Texts To Send Instead of Ghosting Them
1. If you want to take the honest but gentle approach:
"Hey [Name], I've really enjoyed getting to know you, but I've been doing some thinking, and I don't see this going any further. I wanted to be upfront and honest with you rather than leaving you wondering. I wish you all the best."
2. If you want to express gratitude before saying goodbye:
"Hi [Name], I wanted to reach out and say thank you for the time we spent together. You're an amazing person, but I think we're better off as friends. I hope you understand and that we can still maintain a positive connection."
3. If you want to leave a note of appreciation:
"Hi [Name], I wanted to let you know that I've had a great time with you, but I don't think we're compatible for a romantic relationship. I appreciate the moments we shared, and I hope we can both find what we're looking for."
4. If a face-to-face convo is needed:
"Hey [Name], I've been doing some thinking, and I believe it's important for us to have an open conversation about where we stand. Can we find some time to talk about our relationship and how we both feel? I think it's important to address things honestly."
5. If you want to keep things cute and concise:
"Hey [Name], I've realized that we're not on the same page, and it's best if we part ways. Take care."
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Morsa Images/Getty Images