Breaking up with someone is never easy because we cause our partners a lot of pain. No one wants to hurt the other person even if the relationship isn’t working out.
It is difficult to fathom how we should breakup; on the one hand, we need to put an end to a partnership, but on the other hand, we want to be sensitive to our partner’s feelings.
Ending things in person can be too confrontational and intense while breaking up over a call or text is plain old rude. A nice way out can be found in the middle of these two by writing a breakup letter.
Here are 20 free examples of breakup letters and tips to help you resolve the conundrums of a breakup.
Now I don’t know what kind of an emotional space you’re writing a breakup letter from, but you need to know and name your feelings. Are you hurt? Angry? Relieved? Whatever your emotional state is, neutralise it. A letter should never be written from a place of passion, because it corrupts reason. Take a few deep breaths before picking up your pen.
Given below are 20 examples of breakup letters, depending on the circumstances of your relationship. Don’t make the silly mistake of copying them directly; use them as inspiration for your own letter. There are many more handy tips as you read ahead!
1. A letter for when things aren’t really working out
Maybe you’ve realised at the early stages of a relationship that you’re both incompatible. She’s a really great person, but you just aren’t right together. You want to tell her that you’re better off as friends, but don’t know how to. Here’s one of the finest examples of breakup letters to clear things up:
I couldn’t bring myself to say this in person because hurting you is the last thing I want to do. I just feel that you and I are different people. We aren’t a perfect fit, and maybe there’s someone else out there for the both of us. Forcing a relationship is never ideal, and I respect you far too much to lie about my feelings. I hope we can part ways with best wishes for each other at heart. We both know that the relationship has come to an end. Please call me once you’ve had time to think about this. I’d like to hear your take on things too.
My best always,
Notice how the letter is balanced and respectful. It clearly communicates the writer’s feelings while leaving room for the reader’s opinion too. It is one of the most mature examples of a breakup letter to a girlfriend.
2. A breakup letter to someone who hurt you
Ending things with an insensitive partner always poses the question – “Will they even care that I’m breaking up?” When someone has been inconsiderate of our feelings, gaslighted or manipulated us, the breakup letter has to be well crafted.
I’ve been feeling this way for a while now, and I think it’s time I conveyed it to you too. I can’t move past how you treated me and I don’t deserve such inconsideration or thoughtlessness. Since I cannot rectify the past, I want to build a healthier future for myself. I think it’s best that we call things off between us. I hope you understand where I’m coming from; you know how hard I’ve tried to see things from your end. I’m sorry things have come to this, but I have to put myself first. I always hope the best for you.
Can you detect a tone of firmness in this letter? It is not desperate or melodramatic at all and instead, sounds level-headed. The reason behind this is that it conveys a decision that is final. There is no need to get hostile when you want to end things – play it cool.
3. A sentimental letter because the timing isn’t right
It sucks when two people have wonderful chemistry but the circumstances don’t allow for a relationship. When you write a letter here, it should convey your regret. Never discard the possibility that the future may bring you both together again.
You have no idea how gutted I feel to write this letter. You and I clicked on the very first date itself, and I had hoped that things would work out between us. The potential we have is immense, but we both know that the timing is not right. We’re great together, but have our individual lives to focus on. So while I know that parting ways is the best (and only) option we have right now, I also know that we should never say never. The future may hold something much, much better for us. Text me and tell me what you think?
All my love, Ryan.”
Just because a situation is sad, does not mean it needs further dramatizing. Keeping it simple is a good technique for effective communication. Realistic yet hopeful is the note to aspire for.
4. A breakup letter for someone who cheated on you
This is one of the hardest things to write. Being cheated on is one of the worst experiences you can go through. When you break up with a cheating partner, you are regaining control of your own life by refusing to tolerate such disrespect. Here is the perfect break up letter to someone who hurt you.
I’ve been trying to figure out what led you to be unfaithful. Maybe the relationship was not enough for you, or maybe you had your doubts about me. I only wish that you had voiced your discontent rather than cheating on me. I don’t think I can place my trust in you, or build a relationship where I am being lied to. Breaking up with you is not something I thought I would ever do, but I have to start prioritising my own self. I have moved beyond the disappointment and anger, and I only wish to end things between us. Let’s not complicate this further.
This is a touching breakup letter that will make them cry. It is devoid of bitterness and makes the writer seem very mature and dignified. They’ll realise what a huge mistake they’ve made by cheating on someone like you.
5. A letter for an unsupportive partner
A partner who’s never there for you can generate a lot of emotional stress. Being let down constantly is very corrosive to one’s wellbeing. Breaking up with them can be equal parts distressing and equal parts liberating.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I am not being nurtured in this relationship. Since the past few months, I’ve been struggling with feelings of inadequacy – and you have played a part in reinforcing them. There has to be more to a relationship than having fun, and I’m afraid that our bond is a little shallow. You’re rarely present with me, and it seems that you’re disinterested in what I have to say. I know we all have our shortcomings, but I’m not in a space where I can be with someone who doesn’t have my back. I’m sorry it came to this.
Direct, and concise. There’s no beating about the bush with flowery sentences in this breakup letter. The words hold the partner accountable without playing a blame game. It calls a spade a spade, and that’s why it’s a winner.
6. A tender breakup letter for a long-distance relationship
Breaking up with someone you love, just because they’re far away is one of the most heart-wrenching things. In such a scenario, a breakup letter is very touching. It is a personalised token of love before you part ways.
My dear Chris,
Charles Schulz wrote, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it sure makes the rest of you lonely.” And as much as I love you, I am finding it hard to keep up with the distance between us. I spend so much of my time wishing we were together and things were easier. The most sensible way ahead is ending things between us. We’ve shared some beautiful moments together and I hope we can part ways with love and respect in our hearts. Maybe we’ll find our way back to each other in the future. For now – and I hate doing this – I have to say goodbye.
This emotional breakup letter is bound to melt hearts. It marks the difference between what you wish were true and what the ground reality is. The person being broken up with will never take this personally and this can minimize the hurt caused.
7. A breakup letter to end an unhealthy relationship
Here’s a well-written break up letter to someone who hurt you in an unhealthy relationship. Toxic relationships are very hard to get out of. And when you break up with a partner like this, you must exercise caution in what you say. Very often, dramatic scenes follow when a toxic partner gets dumped.
Two individuals can be wonderful people, and still be a wrong match for each other. Our dynamic is not enriching our lives, and at times it is damaging too. A relationship that contributes little to our growth is something we should let go of. I think we end up holding each other back and this stems from the lack of trust in our relationship. We can thrive if we do what’s best for each other and part ways in peace. Do understand what I’m trying to say.
Your friend and well-wisher,
This letter uses the word ‘we’ as a neutralising agent, so that the dump-shock is reduced. It has a gentle perspective where two people will figure things out as a team, because they care for each other. Smart and sensitive!
8. An emotional letter because you’ve grown apart
Partners often grow up together in long-term relationships. But over time, they evolve into completely different people. This does not go to say that they don’t love each other anymore; they were just different people when they fell in love.
After having known you for as long as I have, you’d think I would say this to you in person. But I can’t bear the idea of hurting you. I think we both know that our relationship has run its natural course. We started out as silly, high school sweethearts, and have now grown into wise, capable adults. There’s no one else I’d rather have taken this journey with. I will always cherish the years we have spent together, because they have made me the person I am. As hard as this is, I say goodbye to you as a dear friend. You will forever occupy a place in my heart and mind.
My love always,
The best part about this letter is how it focuses on the good times. Each relationship has its ups and downs, but breaking up on a bitter note just prolongs the healing process. Getting closure with a letter like this is a very healthy choice.
9. A kind breakup letter for a partner who’s an addict
Dating an addict has its own, special set of challenges, and breaking up with them generates guilt. You don’t want to leave someone when they’re vulnerable or struggling. But continuing the relationship means being unfair to yourself.
As much as I enjoy our time together, I have been second-guessing our relationship for a while now. A lot of thinking has resulted in this letter, as well as my decision to end things between us. I do not have the capacity required to see you struggle with drinking anymore. We’ve discussed this countless times, and you’ve made hundreds of promises that you eventually ended up breaking. I acknowledge your reasons and efforts, but I have to stop compromising on my own self. Please put yourself in my shoes. I remain your friend.
The tone of this letter is that it draws a line – respectful, yet assertive. It’s a very reasonable break up letter when you have been in a relationship with a drug addict. Take a step forward towards rebuilding your life with this ultimate breakup letter.
10. A letter for when you’ve been taken for granted
This hurts. Big time. When you’re breaking up with a partner who does not realise your value, you want them to know exactly how bad they’ve messed up. This breakup letter should be crisp and aloof – you’ve had enough! Set the boundaries that were absent from your relationship.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t see this coming. The truth is that you and I have not been okay for a while now. I have consistently felt unequal in this relationship, and I keep thinking that you don’t appreciate me. I see no point in staying where I am not valued. I think I’m smarter than that. It’s time we wish each other well and move on to the next chapter of our lives.
Notice the length of the letter. It’s very short because it offers sparse explanations. The writer is telling, not justifying. This is the sort of breakup letter that will make them cry…
11. A heart-touching breakup letter when you’ve hurt your partner
If you have caused your partner grief by cheating, lying, or manipulating them, then you need to take complete accountability in your breakup letter. This is no time to offer excuses. You have put them through a lot and your apology should go hand in hand with responsibility.
Nothing I say can justify my behavior. My apologies are empty without action to back them up. Hence, I think it’s time we ended things. You deserve so much better… What I have put you through will be the greatest regret of my life. No one in their right mind would mess things up like I did. I can only hope that you find it in your heart to eventually forgive me. I am so very sorry and I bear complete responsibility for how things have turned out between us. I’m here to listen to anything you have to say.
This is such an emotional breakup letter to your girlfriend. The last line is especially important. This is a time where you need to hear her out and help her get closure.
12. A breakup letter because you need to focus on yourself
A relationship is always a work in progress, and requires efforts from both parties. If you don’t think you’re up for the emotional needs of your partner and need to work on your relationship with yourself, then this is the breakup letter for you.
I’ve never been good with words, and I don’t want to use that tired breakup cliché of, “it’s-not-you-it’s-me”. So what I will say is that I’m not in a space where I can share my life with someone. I have some rework to do by (and on) myself. I believe in putting my heart into things I do – I was never one to not do justice to relationships. The fairest thing for the both of us would be breaking it off right now. To say I’m sorry would be an understatement. I wish (so, so much) that things had panned out better for us, but maybe it’s all for the best.
Good luck and love always,
How sweet and refined. This won’t generate any anger in the reader’s heart towards you, because the tone of the letter is very genuine. It is explaining things from the writer’s perspective very clearly.
13. A heart-touching breakup letter for a partner who lies
Being in a relationship where you are lied to can cause several trust issues that impact all spheres of your life. Walking away from a partner who lies is a challenge in itself. Write an emotional breakup letter to your toxic boyfriend or girlfriend and part ways.
Trust is one of the most essential components of a relationship between two people. My idea of a solid bond is one where I can place my faith in my partner. Repeated incidents have led me to distrust you, and I don’t see us working together anymore. It’s what Nietzsche wrote: “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” If only you had respected me enough to tell me the truth. But what’s done is done, and all we can do is move forward without bitterness in our hearts. I wish you the best in all you will do.
A letter like this is bound to stir up regret in the reader’s heart. And this letter is more powerful because it carries disappointment rather than anger. It’s easy to dismiss anger, but disappointment? Not so much.
14. A letter for when you’re in an on-again-off-again relationship
God, such relationships are exhausting. They take a toll on people with all the constant uncertainty. But you can put an end to it once and for all with an ultimate breakup letter.
We’ve become champions at leaving and coming back to each other. It seemed romantic at first, but got tiresome pretty quickly. Even you’ll have to admit that we’ve aged with these constant fluctuations in our relationship status. I think it’s time we finally say goodbye. The thing is, we’ve become habituated to each other. And habits hold us back after a point. I don’t want us to be that couple who slips into old patterns time and again. Moving on will be hard, but staying is not ideal either. You have my admiration and love for the person you are, and I’m sure you’re going places in life. I’m grateful for what we had.
Your dear friend,
This ultimate breakup letter addresses the reader as a friend would; it speaks with understanding and hence, can demand the same level of it.
15. A breakup letter for sexual incompatibility
Physical intimacy plays a larger role in a relationship than you would expect. Not getting along between the sheets is a valid reason for breaking up. Maybe you have different sexual appetites or are into different things. How do you address these?
While things between us are going just fine elsewhere, you and I are incompatible sexually. And we’re both physically very active, so sex is a vital aspect of our lives. I think we have different approaches and styles in bed, and this is spilling over into our emotional connection as well. Since I can see this problem escalating in the near future, I believe we should call things off while we still can. I’m so glad that we’ve shared this time together and it’s taught me a lot of things. I’m sorry it did not work out and I hope you meet someone who’s a better match for you.
People are often hesitant to put their sexual compatibility in words, but this is exactly what should be done. Circumventing the topic, and using metaphors just gets confusing.
16. A thoughtful letter for a possessive partner
The green-eyed monster often possesses our partners to the extent that they become insufferable. Here, a breakup letter should show them the mirror without being insensitive.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking after our last fight and I don’t think we should keep seeing each other. You’re clearly struggling to trust me; you check my phone, ask too many questions and cross-check where I’ve been. I don’t know what else I can do to make you feel secure in this relationship. Maybe we’re better off without this daily conflict. We both have to work on being better partners and some time off might do the trick. A little soul-searching will help us understand ourselves better. I do hope you see where I’m coming from.
Hmmm, this letter should come with a disclaimer – might cause introspection. Your girlfriend will certainly see your point as well as the mistakes in her behavior too. This is definitely the most thought-provoking in our examples of breakup letters.
17. A breakup letter for when you both have different ideas on commitment
Some people are made for casual dating, others for long-term relationships. When the approaches to dating don’t align, it gets difficult to see a future with your partner. Here’s one of the best examples of breakup letters.
I asked myself a really overused (but important) question about us last night – where are we going? I know for a fact that you don’t want anything serious. You aren’t a believer in marriage or even live-in relationships and because of that, I don’t think I can continue a relationship that has no foreseeable future. While what we have is pleasant, it is not sustainable. To avoid ourselves in a world of hurt, I think we should end things on a positive note. Our different ideas on commitment can become a major issue in the coming months. Hope you see what I’m trying to say.
This wasn’t so hard, was it? Friendly and direct is the best combination that exists. This is the ultimate breakup letter because it is very clear in communicating the writer’s intent.
18. A moving letter because you need to put things on hold
We all know the difference between a ‘breakup’ and a ‘break.’ There are times when ending things with finality doesn’t seem right. But you do need some time away from your partner.
I really didn’t know how to say this, so I’m writing it instead. In order to move forward in this relationship, I think we both need some time away from each other. This is by no means an end, just a temporary pause. I like to believe that absence makes the heart grow fonder. You and I have been snapping at each other a lot lately and this hostility is hampering our bond. We can do some much-needed recalibrating in this time and come back together stronger than ever. Maybe the problem is that we haven’t been focusing on our own selves enough. We have to be happy individuals to be good partners. I know I sound a little all over the place, but you get me, right? Let’s talk about this more over the weekend.
This is an emotional letter to your girlfriend that will make her sigh. The plus point about this is how the letter focuses on the well-being of both parties. It just wants what’s best for everyone.
19. A breakup letter for financial incompatibility
Oh yes, finances can be a dealbreaker. Your partner can be the polar opposite of you in money matters. A careless spendthrift or a stingy miser. This difference is visible especially when you start living together.
A lot goes into building a home – emotionally, physically, and financially. The last few months have made me realize how I’m the one doing the heavy lifting in these areas. Your contributions are relatively minor and I think this has to do with your approach towards finances. What’s happening is, that my money becomes ‘ours’, while your money is still ‘yours’. Even when we step out for dinner, I find myself getting the check each and every time. This puts me in a very precarious position because I can’t save anymore. I wonder whether you don’t see us together in the future or if you just like keeping your money to yourself. Either way, this isn’t working for me. We need to have a serious conversation about where we stand and part ways with the best intentions for each other.
This is a great example of the ultimate breakup letter for sure. It draws some serious boundaries while also standing up for the writer.
20. A breakup letter for when you’ve lost respect in the relationship
Losing respect for someone we love can be harrowing. And telling them the same is even more of a challenge. So how do you maintain your honesty without seeming like a complete jerk? Here’s a touching breakup letter to guide you.
I’ve done a lot of challenging things in my life, but nothing comes close to writing this letter. I’ll get straight to it. After a lot of consideration, I’ve decided that you and I don’t belong together anymore. There are a few qualities I’ve always wanted in a partner, and I lost sight of them until recently. You’re a splendid man, but I can’t be with someone who does not exemplify a few of the ideals I uphold. One of those ideals is self-respect and lately I’ve come to notice how little regard you have for yourself. Forgive me for my bluntness, but I really think we can grow as people if we call it off. I’ll keep you in my prayers.
The last one got real so quickly. But you have to remember, we have to do what we need in order to avoid pain in our relationships. “Never force a pair of jeans, or a relationship,” is what my grandma used to say.
We come to the end of these examples of breakup letters. Reading them was emotionally draining, right? I hope that going through these letters has given you a fresh perspective on how to cordially and effectively end a relationship. Keep the key takeaways in mind and, above all, be honest! May you and your partner be able to work things out. If not, then may your post-breakup healing be swift.