For most relationships, breaking up in person is the most appropriate and respectful way to end. If it has been a long relationship and you are able to express yourself freely with your partner, you should show them the courtesy and respect of breaking up face to face.

However, sometimes circumstances dictate that the break be made in writing. For example, a break up letter might be appropriate if:

  • Your partner tends to behave violently or commit physical or verbal abuse.
  • Your partner did something to violate you or betray your trust (such as cheating on you) and you no longer want to interact with them
  • You have tried to break up in the past and your partner refuses to listen or lets you speak freely.
  • Your partner refuses to receive or answer your calls
  • It’s a long distance relationship and you can’t see them or call them.

Things to consider…

If you’re thinking about writing a breakup letter because you lack the courage to face it, try to muster the willpower to do it in person. As long as the situation is not threatening, it is the best way to go. While it’s hard to deliver bad news and make someone angry or cry, writing it can feel disrespectful and avoidance.

However, if you’ve been avoiding breaking up because you dread meeting face-to-face, stop delaying and write! it’s best to break it off as soon as possible, even if it means through a letter or email, so you both can get on with your lives. Some people spend months or even years avoid a breakup out of fear; Get it in writing if that’s the only way you can!

Also, if you’re having trouble expressing yourself in person, you might want to write a breakup letter and then give it to your partner while you’re with him or her; there is nothing wrong with that.

I should point out that while email tends to feel less personal, it’s sometimes the best option if time or distance is an issue.

How to write a “Dear John” or “Dear Jane” letter:

Step 1: Why am I writing?

After his “Dear [Partner]”Explain that you’re sorry you couldn’t talk face-to-face, but circumstances made it necessary. You may want to let them know why you couldn’t confront them. For example, if you’re afraid of backlash, feel too guilty, or just don’t want to see them again, just say so. Tell them you know they’ll want to hear this information as soon as possible and that this is the best way to do it.

Step 2: Why I keep going

Tell them that you have decided to end the relationship. You might want to explain why, or it might be obvious to both of you (eg cheating). Focus on yourself and how you feel, and try not to dwell on your ex’s faults.

If there’s no clear reason, you could say that while you appreciate their positive qualities, the relationship isn’t working for you. Express that you have enjoyed your time together, but now you know it is time to move on. Let them know that you will have fond memories (if true).

Step 3: “Get Help”

If the relationship was affected by your ex’s unhealthy behavior (eg, cheating, substance abuse, violence), you may want to express how that affected you. She may recommend they get help and wish them well. Repeat that you know it is time for you to move on and that even if he or she changes for the better, your decision remains.

Step 4: Possibly friends?

Although I don’t recommend that you mention friendship, if you want to remain open to the possibility of friendship, you can say so. This is usually not a good idea, but sometimes it’s okay, especially when you were friends first. You can let them know that you both need time to heal, but there is a possibility of a friendship in the future.

Step 5: Your decision is final

If you don’t want to be left with any chance of getting back together, tell him that you are sure of your decision to separate and ask him to respect it. If you do not wish to hear from them again, please let them know that calls, visits and correspondence are No welcome. Remind them that you don’t want to spend any more time talking about what went wrong and that you are moving on with your life.

step 6: Apologize

If you did something to hurt your ex, especially if you cheated or lied to them, apologize as sincerely as possible. However, as advice columnist Dan Savage puts it, “All relationships fail until one doesn’t,” so he doesn’t blame himself simply because her relationship didn’t “succeed.”

step 7: “All the best…”

Wish your partner the best. If you want, you can let them know that you will be contacted at a certain email address in the future, but remind them that now is the time to heal. Although it may be difficult, avoid ending the letter with “Love, [Your name].”

Remember: Focus on the task at hand: finalizing the relationship, without analyzing it. Also, avoid mentioning that you love them, even if it’s true. Mentioning your love for them will only confuse them and give them hope, so avoid it.

Finally, If you’re a man in an unhealthy relationship and having a hard time leaving, or if you know such a man, check out my breakup manual for men who feel stuck. For the female readers, if you know a man who is stuck with a clingy, overly jealous, or unstable woman, please visit my site and see if the ebook is right for him.

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