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You have assessed the situation and see that the relationship cannot go further, and you want to do the right thing, a part of which is to be honest with the person and spare them--and perhaps yourself--of continuing in such a way that will be ultimately more of a sticky situation and more painful.|
When a person feels a strong attraction, such that they describe it as what is romantic love, they obvioulsy has a strong emotional attachment to the object of their love.
So, regardless of what you say, that person will feel pain and rejection. Anyone who has been rejected in love will usually question their own attractiveness and disrability, and their self-esteem will be lower.
In situations, such as these, the only wise thing you can do is to be honest--but gentle with the person. You must be honest with them, telling them that the situation appears too hopeless. If they try to counter with what are really impractical, fanciful ideas of how you can be together; whereas, the ideas are obviously unworkable, you must go to the point, with honesty and determination that you won't be talked out of your decision.
It will help if you first thing about how the person will react and know what you will say.
In a situation like this, being direct and honest--yet gentle and understanding of the other's feelings is best. There in never a way to keep the other from their pain and loneliness, but the person will get over it and go on with a normal life.
You cannot be responsible for the person's life and feelings. You are in an uncomfortable position, yourself, and the other person will not feel good--but this is a natural part of life. Most people go through these things, and they cope with them.
This is why I always feel it wise to know your own heart and go into a relationship very slowly to try to avoid creating a situation that will end for one or both in pain.
My own times of pain and my times of helping others through their pain, be it love, a death of a loved one (grandparent, parent, wife, husband, child, etc).
For those of you who are in the position of receiving the pain, use it as a learning situation. This is how you become wise. Wisdom never comes from reading a book, while you drink tea and eat snacks in the comfort of your soft chair and warm room.
Be kind, honest...and firm with that person, and things will be alright.