Home / Relationships /

13 Break Up Letters to Use (Short and Sweet)

My friend Steve asked me a great question about relationships the other night. Asking, “Ryan, what are some breakup letters I can use as examples?” Well, that’s a great question. Most likely—you’re not going to be writing a letter. Your break up letter will probably be a text message! So we left them short and sweet so you can see how it should be done! My advice: use these break up letters as a guide for your authentic and loving letter.

People break up for a number of reasons. Typically, there’s a violation of trust in the relationship. Trust is the foundation of where the relationship will be successful. Brenè Brown puts trust into a simple acronym: BRAVING.

This is:

  • Boundaries
  • Reliability
  • Accountability
  • Vault
  • Integrity
  • Non-judgment
  • Generosity

Most likely, you’re feeling something missing in one of these buckets. I’d highly advise reading her resources on how to maintain trust.

our paths are splitting gif

13 Break Up Letters to Use (Short and Sweet)

—13 powerful break up letters (and text messages) that you can use!

1: You withdraw during arguments.

Dear [Name],

I can’t find myself investing time into this relationship any longer. You deserve something more. I think the problem is me. I see that you’re engaging in the conversation and conflict in the right way… But I just don’t think that I can do this any longer.

There has to be more out there for us. Can we see what happens in the future?

I love you.

2: You don’t agree on big-picture decisions.

For [Name],

It seems like we just can’t align or work together, does it? We need to be able to work together. I’d love to see you move onto something where you have the ability to agree on big-picture ideas.

I want us to be fair to each other. And move on.

Can we stay in touch as things progress?

3: You hold your partner to unrealistic standards.

For [Name],

I’m realizing that I’m holding you to a standard that I hold myself to. But that standard doesn’t really seem to work for you. I’m sorry that it has come to this. But I would like to be friends with you rather than be in a relationship. Can we do that?

This is something that I have to pursue—my life alone. Will you support me?

i want a divorce meme

4: You’re afraid of being alone. — One of the sweet break up letters!

My friend and lover [Name],

I’ve been in this relationship—which isn’t treating me very well—simply because I’m afraid of being alone. That’s not the right way to handle this. I should be happy. And so should you. We need to end this.

Can we please stay friends?

5: You rely on body language to convey your feelings.

Dear [Name],

You deserve someone who is able to convey what they want and need in a relationship. And I deserve someone who can help me come out of my shell when it comes to my communication. I understand that it needs work.

It’s something we need to do here. Can we stay friends?

6: You compare your relationship to everyone else’s. — One of the sweet break up letters!

For [Name],

I’m comparing myself to other people’s relationships. And I know that’s not the right thing to do. But I just can’t help it. We are aging. We are getting older. And I need something that shows me that there is a future inside this relationship.

This letter is so hard for me to write. I’m sorry!

7: You play the blame game in arguments.

Dear [Name],

It’s not you or me, is it? It’s just US. The relationship. It is not working so well, right? I’d hope that we can come together as adults and agree that the relationship itself is just no longer working.

Let’s try to be friends, okay?

I love you.

break up letters - oprah crying gif

8: You don’t forgive or forget. (Cheating, lying, stealing)

To [Name],

I feel like my trust was violated and once it was, I was unable to really come back from it. I’m sorry that it came to this. Although, I didn’t take your actions and do them for you. I don’t control you. You control yourself. And I need some accountability.

I can’t go on… I’m sorry!

9: You don’t express your emotions similarly. — One of the sweet break up letters!

Dear [Name],

It seems like the things I want aren’t the same things that you want. It hurts. We are hurting each other. And I don’t want to do that. We need to be able to be in a healthy relationship where the two of us are capable of love.

You are everything to me. But I’m very sorry. This has to end.

10: You see your partner as inferior. — A hard break up letter!

For my Susan/John,

I hate to say it—but it seems like you’ll never grow up. And I need to be with someone who is on my level. I have practiced patience and understanding long enough. I’m losing my patience for that and I need to move on from this relationship.

This is the right decision for us. I’m sorry!

11: You take your anger out on each other.

Dear Susan/John,

We are just simply taking our anger out on each other. It’s not working for us. Every time that we try to get through issues in a mature way—it seems to go completely wrong. Don’t you feel like we’re hurting each other enough? I don’t want to hurt you any longer!

We need to part ways, I’m sorry!

12: You have trust issues. — One of the sweet break up letters!

To Susan/John,

It’s truly not you—it’s me. I feel like my whole life has been relationships where the trust has always been violated. And when that happens, I just can’t move forward. This isn’t really fair to you. I’m using all of my old relationships and holding onto them. I need to let you go!

This is better off.

13: You blame your partner for your own lies.

Dear Susan/John,

Everything that’s happening here is not what I want. I feel like I’ve had to manipulate the entire situation to fit my own needs/wants. I don’t want to do that. We both need to be authentic in the relationship. And be in a relationship where we can be ourselves.

I’m sorry!

Fact checked:
Board reviewed by Marianne Tomlinson, LCSW (Couples and Family Therapy). Content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Learn more.

About the author

Ryan Sanderson (LCSW) Ryan is a game and relationship enthusiast who enjoys all things quizzes, games, fun, love, relationships, and family. He's a licensed social worker and helps families, couples, and children in need. He's spoken about love and relationships on Salon.com, Forbes, and Mirror, to name a few.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.