How to Write a Break-Up Letter or Break-Up Email

by braniac
How to Write a Break-Up Letter or Break-Up Email

Break ups are always tough, and it's often best if they can be done in person. However, sometimes circumstances demand that the break-up be initiated by writing. These circumstances include: 1) Long-distance relationships 2) Instances when you're too mad at your partner 3) Instances where you expect your partner to have an extreme reaction, such as resorting to violence There are certain benefits to writing. You have time to choose exactly what you want to say, and you don't have to worry about losing you composure and saying something you regret

Determine whether it's necessary to write your partner. If the relationship is brief, writing is fine. If the relationship has been troubled by violence, writing is the best option. If, however, you've been in a long-term relationship and you know that you're able to have a level-headed conversation with your partner, you may want to show them the respect of breaking up face-to-face. That said, if you've been avoiding breaking up because you dread the face-to-face encounter, it's definitely better to break it off through whatever means possible, so you both can get on with your lives. Some people spend years avoiding a break up because they're scared - do it in writing if that's the only way you can!

Start the letter, "Dear _____," Explain that you regret having to write them as opposed to speaking face-to-face, but that circumstances made this necessary. If you are afraid of a violent reaction, or you simply feel too guilty to face them, just let them know. Tell them that you know they'd want to hear this information as soon as possible, and this is the best way for you to do it.

Express why you have decided this relationship isn't for you. Don't dwell on the other person's faults. You might mention that they're a great person, but the dynamic between you too isn't working. You might say that you've treasured your time together, but you know it's time for you to move on. If it's true, tell them that you'll always have fond memories, but you can see your paths diverging.

If there was an obvious problem, such as cheating, drug or alcohol abuse, or violence, mention how much those things hurt you. Tell them that you wish them the best in handling these problems, but you know that you no longer want to be involved in a relationship involving those things.

If you want to stay open to the possibility of friendship, let them know that though you both need time apart to heal, perhaps in the future you can remain friends. If you don't want to retain any possibility of getting together again, tell them that you are certain in your decision to split, and ask them to respect that. Let them know that you don't wish to spend any more time working on the relationship or discussing what went wrong.

If you feel sorry for hurting them at any time, apologize for anything you might have done to hurt them. Wish them the best. If you wish, you can let them know that contact you at a certain email address. Tell them that though you respect them, you will not be responding, because it's important that you get on with your lives.

Sign the letter however you feel most comfortable, such as "Wishing you the best."

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Tip

  • You might want to avoid saying, "I still love you, but..." This may give the other person hope that the relationship can survive.