I have a friend I don’t want to be friends with any longer. We were good friends in high school, but never particularly close. Since then, we’ve gradually lost contact and went our separate ways. However, he keeps contacting me from time to time, and I honestly cannot hold a conversation with him. Our lives and our interests are simply too different now. Plus he’s like, a super opinionated elitist, so any conversation I try to have with him always ends up with him trying to show off, while I defend my interests from his uninvited critique. I seriously hate talking about tv or games with him. His tastes are awful too.
I don’t want to make up with him or overcome this. I just don’t really want to exchange niceties with him every so often anymore. Occasionally he sends some pretty weird things for a platonic friend as well, like little hearts and stuff. I’ve never been attracted to this pasty fool, and it makes my boyfriend really uncomfortable as well.
But I also think the reason why he keep saying reaching out is that he’s lonely. I went to a fantastic college and met a lot of incredible people that I’ve managed to forge closer friendships with, but he has an illness that’s kept him from going to class consistently and finding friends.
I tried dropping hints. I tried ghosting. Nothing gets through. I don’t want to tell him outright because I fear he’ll try to “fix” our friendship, or he’ll take it really hard and lose a lot of self esteem because someone he knew for years outright told him they didn’t want to be friends.
How do I break this off cleanly with minimum damage?