I’ve been thinking about the end of relationships recently.
Most of my relationships are either fade outs or end on my terms, but I’m not sure I’m good at them despite my experience. I’m honest to a fault, which means that I can end up just saying, “sorry, but, I’m not really interested in…
I can’t really imagine going the “being so unpleasant they walk away from you” route. I mean, I suppose it could work for some people, but for me it smacks of emotional cowardice for many of the reasons you describe in your post.
Relationships do not require the consent of both parties to end. If someone is unhappy, they should be allowed to leave regardless of how the other party feels. That really sucks for the other person, and I encourage them to take care of themselves and find things to make them feel better, but it doesn’t change the fact that no one is obligated to be in a relationship they don’t want to be in. So with that in mind I am not really bothered about getting someone else’s agreement or allowing them full agency as to whether a relationship should end. It sucks, but no one is obligated to have you in their life.
When things are bad enough that I need to actively decide to end a relationship, I’d rather fade out than have a feelings conversation about why I’m leaving. This is mostly because feelings conversations are tiring and exhausting and take a lot of work, and if I have decided a friendship needs to end, I do not believe a feelings conversation will really fix the problem. That’s why I’m leaving! I am totally happy to have feelings conversations when I think they will get me somewhere, but if I don’t think they will change anything why stress myself out? Much easier to quietly distance myself from the person and have a feelings conversation if they actually notice and object.