In an industry where few women are positioned in front of the mic, Vildana “Sunni" Puric is on a mission to make a name for herself.
During the late mornings and early afternoons tune your radio to WPGC 95.5 and you can catch Sunni on the airwaves as the voice of Washington, DC., ironic considering at one point the Bosnian native didn't even speak English. As a radio host in the coveted midday slot, she's breaking down doors that aren't often left open for the female minority, proving that sacrifice and hard work pays off when relentlessly pursuing your passion.
It's almost hard to believe that at one point Sunni hated radio. The on-air personality is a perfect balance between upbeat and down-to-earth, the home girl that you can kick it with and talk everything from gossip and glamour to what's going on in the gritty streets of the DMV. When Sunni's in the city you can catch her on the social scene hosting parties or interviewing celebs, but when she's not living the glamorous life she's in the streets giving back to the community that she so closely connects with. For Puric, it's not simply charity work to write off on her taxes, but a reminder of her humble beginnings before Reggie Rouse, VP of Urban Programming for CBS, called her during her stint of unemployment to fill the midday slot.
“When I see a homeless person I'm like yeah, I know exactly what it's like to sleep out in the cold. I know what it's like to go days without food," she says on our call.
And that's an understatement.
It's the early 90s, and nine-year-old Sunni is playing outside in the woods with her sister and brother in Donji Purici, Bosnia—a town so small that even Google gave up on trying to map it.
Sunni (left) with her family in Croatia.
Life is simple, but good. Slow. No telephone. No car. There was a television, which was occasionally tuned into one of two channels that showed The Simpsons and Beverly Hills, 90210, but even that remained relatively untouched. She preferred climbing trees and running through the countryside to planting herself down in front of the TV.
But when bombs began to drop one summer morning as a result of religious tensions between the Serbs and the Muslims, the Puric's carefree lifestyle quickly turned into chaos within minutes as the family was forced to snatch up anything they could carry and join the thousands on the run towards the borders of Croatia. While they escaped the mass killings that lay behind them, they had little to look forward to in their makeshift refugee camps.
The Croatian army wouldn't allow them to camp in nearby towns, many of which were littered with land mines ready to take the lives that weren't cut short by gunfire. The journey south quickly turned into the survival of the fittest and the generous—there was no room for selfishness when everyone was just hoping to stay alive. “If you have a piece of bread you share with whoever is next to you. Or if you get some water, you share that. I think that's where we created our own situation. Like we have to survive here so let's just make it happen."
For three years, they were on the run before being offered the opportunity to migrate to America. After an intense interview process to determine if her dad was a terrorist, Sunni and her family arrived in Hamtramck, Michigan in the middle of winter. It was a culture shock, nothing like the palm trees and white picket fences that she saw on 90210.
Surviving war was just one of the many battles that the future radio host would have to face. As a new immigrant who didn't speak English, Sunni was placed in ESL classes in the basement of the school with other refugees. Her new mission? Learn English so that she could move to the top floor with the “regular" kids, and somehow manage to survive the middle school bullies who picked on her for not wearing deodorant or the latest threads.
The summer before eighth grade she and her siblings pigged out on cheap chips and sweets while brushing up on their English from popular American television shows such as Family Matters. By the new school year she walked in with her head held high speaking the language fluently in her thick Bosnian accent. “I was like I just want to be American and blend in. I don't want nobody to know where I'm from. I just want to be a regular American girl so people will leave me alone," she says.
Sophomore year, her family relocated to the suburbs to a predominantly white school where her slang was just as unwelcome as her accent. She spent more time trying to fit in than creating a way out for herself, and by the time she reached her senior year had yet to settle on a career path. She took a radio class, but hated the small studio set up in a dark corner of the room. The good grades that she once brought home began to slip as she carelessly coasted through her courses, and her family began to pressure her about her next step, reminding her that they came to America to give her a better life, not a purposeless one.
After high school she attended community college and her sister snagged her a job as an assistant at a dentist's office, but she hated the sight of blood. What she did like was listening to the radio, which is what she was doing when on-air personality Kris Kelly for Detroit's WJLB announced that she was looking for interns. Sunni arrive at the radio station for the open call interviews, only to find herself in a room full of hopefuls that she felt she couldn't compete with. She didn't have the experience but she did have a story, which she poured out to the radio host. “She was like 'oh my God, this is really incredible. Yes, I'd love to hire you as an intern.' She gave me the job on the spot."
It wasn't paid, but it was a start. Her first day at the station was much different than the small, dark corner that she imagined it to be. Big studios filled with DJs and celebrity guests made her reconsider the career path she has written off just months before. “I was like holy shit, this is completely different than I thought. I can't be on the radio, but I'm definitely going to figure out a way to stick around and did something here."
Finding a way meant doing what others wouldn't with a smile. Her bright and cheery demeanor earned her the nickname “SunShyne" (she would later change her name to “Sunni" when she started working on air), which she maintained despite balancing school, an internship and an overnight clerk job at Walgreens. For eight months she hustled before her boss finally told her that she had gone beyond the standard length of an internship. She boldly told them she wasn't leaving without a job, and snagged the Promotions Assistant role for $9 an hour with an extra $100 doing club promotions one night a week.
But as much as Sunni loved her new position she wanted to go to the next level. Watching the on-air hosts sparked a desire to have her own show, but her thick accent made public speaking a challenge. Instead of giving up she got to work, and at the recommendation of her boss contacted the program director at a smaller radio station in Lansing, Michigan and drove two hours from Detroit for her first interview. She arrived to find that the afternoon host was sick, giving her the opportunity to do her tryout shift on the spot.
“Everything I learned in Detroit watching the personalities there, I did that here. I changed the show. I had a four o' clock countdown. I had a DJ at five o' clock—all this stuff that I added. And he was like okay you're pretty good, but you're still terrible. Literally people would be like you got the idea you just have to work on your voice."
She was offered a Sunday shift for $6 an hour, which covered the gas for her four-hour drive there and back from Detroit. She worked on perfecting her voice by reading books out loud and recording herself in the studio. The years of practice paid off, and it was just enough to eventually land her back in the top 10 market of Detroit as a part-time on-air personality. “If you really want something and you work hard at it, it's going to have to pay off. You will not fail because you're going to work so hard at it you're not going to allow it to fail."
"If you really want something and you work hard at it, it's going to have to pay off."
From 2002 to 2009 Sunni built her name in radio before Clear Channel was bought out, resulting in massive layoffs. Sunni, who was then working the late night “Quiet Storm" shift, found herself jobless at 26. Looking for a change of scenery, she packed her bags and drove to Miami where she ran into friend and former promotions department worker Necole Kane, who extended an offer to work on the then popular celebrity gossip site Necole Bitchie.
Initially sunny Florida was a much-needed break from the bitter cold of the north, but the heat and humidity soon had her packing her bags and following Necole to New York just months later. “When I got to NYC I decided that the whole blogging thing wasn't for me. I told Necole this is my year of my transition. And she was like great, I can see that your heart is not in it, and she's like you're going to get back in radio. I'm like no I'm just going to take a break from everything, and she's like no trust me, one day you'll get back in radio."
While walking through a New Jersey mall with only five dollars to her name, she received a call about an open position at WPGC in Washington, DC. Her former boss in Detroit sent her tapes out in hopes to replace the radio job that she lost months prior, and by January—just eight months after being laid off—she had relocated to the Chocolate City to work as the midday host for the radio station and continue the next chapter of her dream.
February 2011, Sunni sat in silent reflection as if she were alone instead of in a room surrounded by 80 people celebrating another year of her life—courtesy of Ciroc, of course.
It had been a year since she took over the midday airwaves, and though she'd built a reputable name for herself, she humbly remembered when just a year prior she brought in her birthday in a hotel room alone and a little scared, but determined to make the most of her opportunity. “I was in my own little world like holy shit, last year I sat on the fucking couch watching the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest eating a pizza not knowing one soul here."
This past January, Sunni celebrated five years at WPGC, and she's finally giving herself credit for all of her accomplishments. “Overcoming that fear of feeling like you're not good enough…in the presence of certain people I get like I'm just some radio girl that doesn't speak well, that's always really extra, that's tatted up, whatever. And then I have to be like no, you're a radio girl who worked her ass off, who's been in the business for 14 years now, who's done amazing charity work, who's helped so many people, and who's overcome so much. I feel like so many times I just get so…I'm just on the air, that's just what I do. And I'm like no…"
“You're phenomenal," I say, a slight attempt at completing her self-motivational thought.
“Yeah, you have to remind yourself of that, otherwise you can fall so deep into that thought of yes my job is shallow and I talk about celebrities all day. But I think the other things outside of [radio] has made me really appreciate and love it so much more."
Photo by Terri Baskin
Sunni isn't driven by accolades from herself or from others, but by the memories of once being the girl who wore the same pair of ripped socks for two weeks straight at a refugee camp miles away from home. In an industry where a woman at the top is questioned on her climb, Sunni finds peace in knowing that everything she's gained has come through a positive attitude and relentless work ethic. The best advice she received on navigating the industry came from a former boss, who reminded her that she deserved to be exactly where she is.
“For women, it's always hard for us because it's like when you get that promotion, how did you get that promotion? Or if you're pretty, oh it's only because she's pretty. Nobody can ever deny your hard work, and your reputation is all you've got. So when you work your ass off and somebody tries to bring you other shit, you know the hard work you put in you're never going to feel like it's anything else.
"Nobody can ever deny your hard work, and your reputation is all you've got."
Her best advice to other young women following their dreams? Stay away from boys.
“I was just a hot mess," she says, chuckling at the naivety of her youth. “I'm happy that I definitely stuck to my career because it taught me so much. Looking back at my early experiences in my twenties, I guess I had to go through all of those heartbreaks just to be the person that I am right now—easy breezy, no drama, very calm about everything."
But in all seriousness, she hopes that her story, which she's penning in a memoir, will encourage anyone with an unconventional childhood, who may be walking a crooked path instead of the straight and narrow, or who's just simply chasing purpose that it's all going to be fine.
“Looking back there were so many crazy moments in my life that if I were in front of [younger Sunni], I would be like girl, you're going to get through it. You're amazing."
*Featured image of Sunni via @officialsaraboyd
Kiah McBride writes technical content by day and uses storytelling to pen real and raw personal development pieces on her blog Write On Kiah. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @writeonkiah.
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.”
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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.
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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:
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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."
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