19 Real World Break-Up Letter Examples to Give You Closure

No matter why you're breaking up, there are some things you can say to make things go a little smoother.

Updated April 22, 2023
Woman holding bunch of letters

No one loves ending a relationship, but writing a break-up letter to someone can help bring closure to the situation. In some cases, it can even take the place of a face-to-face break-up.

However, this is a sensitive situation, and it's easy to get lost in your emotions and lose track of what you want to say (or say something you might later regret). It can help a lot to look at a good example letter and use it to inspire your own words to end the relationship. Learn how to write a break-up letter for all kinds of situations like lost love, cheating, and finding someone new.

Break-Up Letters for Lost Love

When you fall out of love, it's time to let go. Try to get your point across as gently as you can with a break-up letter like this one.

Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me

Dear Jill,

I'll always have a special place in my heart for you. At times, our relationship felt like it was the best thing that had ever happened to me, but lately, everything has felt wrong. It pains me to admit this, but my love for you has faded away.

I can't stay in a relationship where there is no love, and it isn't fair to you to be stuck in a relationship that's a lie. I hope you're able to move on and meet someone who will love you the way you deserve to be loved.



Love Doesn't Follow Rules


Love doesn't follow any rules. It comes and it goes as it pleases. Unfortunately, my love for you is gone, and I don't think it will come back. I know it's hard to hear, but the least I can give you now is honesty. I hope you can move on with strength and purpose.

All the Best,


Quick Tip

It can feel awkward to figure out how to start a break-up letter, but just keep it simple. Use the person's name, and add "dear" if that feels natural.

Break-Up Letters to Someone You Still Love Who's Hurt You

Writing a break-up letter to someone you love often takes on a more sad, emotional tone. Sometimes you have strong feelings of love for someone, but they've hurt you through their words or actions - and you come to realize that the relationship just doesn't work. If this is the case, you can write a goodbye break-up letter that shares the love and emotions you have or had for the person, but still lets them know you need to move on.

Sad woman after reading a letter

I Love You, But I Need to Move On

My Dearest Taylor,

As I write, I wish we didn't have to say goodbye. You brought me a joy like no other person ever could at a time I needed it most. You brought out the best in me by simply being you. Your love has lifted me to the greatest heights imaginable.

However, I am deeply hurt, and it's time for me to move on. My heart will undoubtedly be scarred because we can't be together. I don't think I'll ever find a love as true as ours, and I'm not sure I ever want to try.

I've given you my heart, but the love I have for you can't change the hurt. Even though we can't be together, our love was real, and I don't think I'll ever love anyone else the way I've loved you.



Thank You for Showing Me Love


There may be billions of people in the universe, but none will ever shine brighter than you. When the night skies were filled with darkness, your love will would always shine.

But despite the incredible love we've shared, I've realized I just can't get past the way you've hurt me, and it's best for us to go our separate ways. Thank you for showing me what love was meant to be. It breaks my heart to end this, but it's time for me to go.

Goodnight and goodbye,


Goodbye Letters for When You Find Someone New

If someone else has captured your heart, be honest with your partner and make a clean break. A letter worded like those below will help you do it as kindly as possible, even if the other person feels it's a sad break-up letter.

Not Fair to You

Dear Aidan,

It's not easy to tell you this, but I recently began spending some time with someone from work. You don't know them, but over the course of the last few weeks, I've realized we have a connection I can no longer pretend doesn't exist.

It's not fair to you for me to pretend our relationship is going to work when I know in my heart my attention is elsewhere. You deserve someone who will love you, and only you, and I know you will find someone who will treat you right.

I'll always remember our time together as a special time in my life. I hope you can forgive me and realize my leaving is the best thing for everyone involved.



I've Made a Mistake


I've made a mistake, and it's not easy to admit. I let my emotions wander to someone new. I should have been focused on our relationship, but another person captured my heart.

I want you to know my actions have nothing to do with you. I've enjoyed our time together and appreciate what you've given to me. You were filling my cup, but for some reason I never felt full. I wish for you to carry on being you; it will be exactly what another person needs.

Best wishes,


Break-Up Letters to Someone That Cheated

Nothing kills a relationship quicker than infidelity. If you discover your partner's been cheating, you can write a letter that leaves no room for doubt that it's over.

Sad woman holding letter in hand and thinking

I'm Terribly Hurt


You may not realize I know what you have been up to. I'm terribly hurt, and I can't ignore the fact your attentions have turned to someone else.

We're over. We have to be. It's going to take me time to heal from this, but that's something I need to do without you in my life.


I'm Devastated


I know you've been cheating. I thought I meant something to you, but obviously, our relationship is not enough for you. Even though I'm devastated, I never want to see you again. Please don't call me or text me.



Letters for Long Distance Relationship Failures

Long-distance relationships are tough, and sometimes they don't work out even if no one is at fault. If you want to try to stay on good terms, say goodbye to your partner with a letter which ends the romance but still leaves an opportunity to remain friends.

Just Too Much

Dear Will,

I thought I could handle a long distance relationship, but I'm afraid this is just too much. I spend so much time worrying about what you're doing, who you're doing it with, and if you even think of me. That's not your fault; it's just part of this whole distance thing.

Our relationship might have had a fighting chance if a great deal of distance wasn't involved. I have to let you go so we are both free to move on with our lives.

I hope we can remain friends, and I hope you agree this is the best decision for the both of us.



Here as Your Friend

Dear June,

I love you so much, and that's why it's become too hard to maintain our relationship long-distance. It's just too hard not being able to hold you, spend time with you, and just see your face. We both know chatting online and talking on the phone is a poor substitute for time spent together.

If we can't be together in person, then I don't think I want to be together at all. It's too much to bear. We have to end things so we can start healing our hearts and move on with our lives. This isn't easy for me, and I can't imagine it's easy for you either. I'm here as your friend always.


Letters to End Abusive Relationships

No one should have to put up with abuse. You should end the relationship immediately with a letter that slams the door on any chance of reconciliation.

Man reading the letter sitting on the floor
Need to Know

If you are in an abusive relationship, consider placing a call to the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Many people need support leaving abusive relationships and figuring out next steps.

The Way You Treat Me Is Wrong


The way you treat me is wrong, and we both know that. I'm not sure why you treat the people you love like you do. If you keep going this way, you're going to find yourself alone.

I'll no longer take your abuse. I did love you at one time, but those feelings are long forgotten. Don't try to contact me because we are completely over, and I will never speak to you again.


Not Fair to Me


I refuse to live in fear of someone who is supposed to be my protector. I tried to make our relationship work, but your abuse is too much for anyone to handle. It's not fair to me to have to endure your wild mood swings and temper.

The way you treat me is not the way you should treat someone you love. I respect myself enough to say goodbye to you. Make no mistake about it - we are finished.

Have a good life,


Letters for Break-Ups Over Money Matters

Whether you're in a relationship with a gold digger or someone who is a walking financial disaster, one of these letters will help you regain control of your heart and your bank account.

I Believed You Loved Me for Me


When we first met, I believed you loved me for me. After having been with you for a few months, I feel like the only thing you want from me is my money.

I know this may be painful to hear, but it's important for me to say. I hope you find what you're looking for someday.

So long,


I Need to Be With Someone Responsible


I've tried so many times to help you dig yourself out of your financial problems, but unless you're willing to make big changes to how you spend your money, you'll never get out of trouble with your money. I'm not so shallow to think money is the only thing, but I am realistic enough to know I can never have a future with you where we buy a home together or even go on a vacation because you won't be able to afford either at the rate you're going.

If you're not ready to make changes to the way you handle your money, we can't be together anymore. I need to be with someone who is responsible enough to handle his business and pay his bills.



Letters for Differences in Hopes and Dreams

It's possible to care for someone deeply and still find yourselves heading down different paths in life. Break up with a letter that states the truth but still shows you respect and care about your soon-to-be former partner.

We Have to Be Realistic

Dear Mark,

We have to be realistic when we look at our potential future together. After we had talked about our plans for the next few years, it became obvious to me (and probably to you too) that our futures just don't align. We want different things, and this is just too much to ignore.

It's best we part now and learn to live without each other instead of going on together knowing it will someday end. I hate that it has to be this way, but I can't disregard my hopes and dreams for the future. I also know you would not be happy if you gave up your dreams for me either.

Even though it hurts right now, this is what's best for the both of us. I'll always love you.


It's Better We End It Now

Dear Shari,

You are an amazing person. I have always been able to envision a future with you, and I know we could have been happy together if circumstances were different. When we talk about a long-term relationship and maybe marrying someday and raising children, we inevitably begin discussing our spiritual beliefs, and it's obvious we're just too different.

I would never ask you to resign your beliefs, just as I know you would never ask me to give up mine. For this reason, we can't realistically have a future together.

It's better we end it now. I will always remember you as a wonderful person, and I'll always have a special place for you in my heart.

Please remember me fondly.


Break-Up Notes for Career Changes

If you feel like you're playing second fiddle to your partner's career and you've had enough, it may be time to get out of the relationship. Depending on the circumstances, one of these letters should serve as an example of how to set yourself free.

I Know You'll Go Far

Dear Kevin,

I am so proud of the things you've accomplished with your career. You've worked so hard to get where you are, and I've always admired how you pursue your dreams.

Your promotion was no surprise because you certainly deserve to get promoted. Your relocation, however, came as a bit of a shock to me. You and I never discussed maintaining a relationship long-distance, and it's not something I feel able to do.

It's best we say goodbye to each other so you can be free to pursue your career. I know you'll go far, and I hope you will always remember me as one of your biggest cheerleaders.

Love always,


Always Hoped You Loved Me More

Dear Keri,

I can no longer accept being second-best behind your career. I understand you love your job, but I guess I just always hoped you loved me more.

I'm letting you go so you're free to work to your heart's content. It's not what I wanted, but it's what best for the both of us. From here, it feels like your work may be costing you relationships with people who truly love you, but there may be someone out there who has different expectations for work-life balance than I do.



Break-Up Paragraph for When There's No Reason

You don't always know why it's time to end things, but it can still be the right decision. Explain that this is the right choice for you without going into details about why.

Man using his laptop in a cafe

Dear Ellen,

I'm really sorry, but our relationship has simply run its course for me. I don't want to hurt you, but I feel certain breaking up is the only choice. I want you to know that you're amazing in so many ways, and you deserve to be in a relationship with someone who wants it just as much as you do. I hope you will be happy again.


Basics of What to Include in a Break-Up Note

There aren't any rules for what needs to be in a break-up letter, but it's mostly about what you think the other person will need to hear or what you might need to say. Ultimately, everyone has common questions when they receive this type of letter, and if you can answer those right away in your note, it will give you both closure. Keep these tips in mind for what to include:

  • Your decision - Your letter needs to include a statement about wanting to break up. This should feel like a final decision when someone reads it.
  • The reason - You don't have to include the reason for the break-up, but it's nice if you can. This helps the other person understand your decision and process.
  • Something positive - A break-up is a hard thing to read about, and you can soften the blow by including something positive about your future ex or about the future you hope they'll have. Don't worry about this if you're very angry or if there's abuse involved, but in many situations, it can help.
Quick Tip

What you don't include in a break-up message also matters. If possible, try to avoid making assumptions about your future ex or wishing bad things for them. Easier said than done, we know, but it's good to try.

It's Not All About the Letter

A break-up letter to your boyfriend or girlfriend will help you end the relationship with your partner, but delivering it won't be all you will need to do. Depending on the situation, you may want to talk to the person face-to-face. Since you did once care for this person, it can be sensitive to be talk to them honestly and provide some closure, but your well-being is important too. In some circumstances the best course of action might be deliver the text or letter and not engage any further.

Say goodbye the way that feels right so you'll be able to move on in your life in a positive way. Remember that even if the break-up is your choice, you'll still likely need time to process and grieve the relationship, and that's ok. Lean on people you can trust during this tough time.

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19 Real World Break-Up Letter Examples to Give You Closure