What To Say To Break Up? | Letting Go with Love

The dreadful day has come – you’ve just decided it’s not working anymore. Knowing how to break up the correct way can be quite a task, whether it was a two-month fling or a two-year solid relationship.

When breaking up, it is best to be as direct as possible and speak the truth. However, you should not say anything and everything that comes to your mind. You should focus on letting them know the cause, the aftermath, and the gravity of your situation – but you do not have to defend your decision.

Here’s how you should craft your words carefully when breaking up:

What To Say To Break Up With Someone?

Before you jump in, know that most statements are built keeping in mind healthy relationships.

When drawing in the right words, take into consideration the state of your relationship and the relevance of these messages. However, the fundamental idea behind most statements remains largely universal.

Also, while this article is focused on breaking up with someone, I’ve another one focused on making someone break up with you in case you ever need to go there!

1. Ask Them for a Conversation

Breakups should be taken with kindness and care. If you want to break up with someone, the first thing you should do is to ask if it’s a good time to talk.

“Hey, I needed to discuss something really important and serious. When do you think you can have time for it?”

Your partner can have a lot going on without you knowing. It’s always good to respect their individuality and the responsibilities they must cater to first.

Asking a question will always prepare them for a serious conversation to come and ensure that you get to talk to them at a time when they can function with control and logic.

Ask Them for a Conversation

2. Request a Breather

If you’re really scared to bring up the conversation, request a breather.

“I’m sorry, can I please have a moment?”, followed by a little silence will also give them a cue and give you time to compose yourself.

They’ll have their eyes set on you, knowing what is to come, and you get to talk in a well-thought-out manner rather than recklessly blaming or fighting over it.

You want to craft your words carefully and have your partner know how serious you are.

3. Be Upfront

No point beating around the bush if you are completely sure this is what you want. If you think your partner is strong enough to take it or it was already well-anticipated, just break things off.

“I hate to break this to you, but it’s not really working out anymore. I tried to the best of my capacity, but I really think this is it.”

The exact words can be crafted based on your particular situation – just make sure that you are clear, direct, and leave room for no doubt.

4. Break It Down to Them Slowly

On the contrary side, maybe you don’t want to give your partner a blow. You’re afraid they might not take it well, so instead, you break it to them slowly.

The best way is to bring in a story, something like this:

“You know, when I first met you three years ago, I didn’t know we’d make it this far. I had some of the most amazing moments of my life with you, moments that I will always be grateful for.

And then, there was a moment, I thought this would last forever. Until this happened, and now I can’t go back to it ever again.”

Break down your story – slowly and consistently. Show the path you have tread and where you stand now.

Break It Down to Them Slowly

5. State The Reason

It is our nature to take a break up upon ourselves – like there’s something wrong with us.

Whatever it may be- it is best that you give them the true reason so that they don’t build their own inaccurate stories.

“I know it might sound odd to you, but we just stopped connecting. Conversations started feeling dry, I had a hard time opening up, and my feelings kept bottling up inside of me until the bubble burst. ”

Note that you don’t directly put the blame on them. Be expressive, but also take responsibility. Most importantly, present the broader picture.

6. Focus on How You Feel

When breaking up, don’t feel guilty about expressing your feelings or how your partner made you feel. However, as previously stated, don’t make it sound demeaning or play the blame game.

You can phrase your feelings in a kind and gentle manner: “I’ve just felt so lost recently. I often find myself alone, unable to express myself, and all the stress keeps getting to me.”

Notice how the entire focus is on how your feelings within the relationship played a huge role towards the end. But know that you have to touch their empathy, not sound narcissistic or self-obsessed.

7. Acknowledge How They Might Be Feeling

After letting them know the cause or sharing your feelings, be open to extending some empathy from your end too. Saying something simple that lets them know you are not completely insensitive will work.

“I can’t even imagine what you’re going through right now. I understand that you might be frustrated – even hate me a little bit or a lot.

I feel terrible for hurting you, but I’m only trying to do what’s best for both of us. I just can’t keep hurting you in the long term.”

The above statement ensures that you’re not a complete jerk and are aware that they are the ones that are more shocked and in pain, rather than victimizing your own self and making them feel guilty about it.

Acknowledge How They Might Be Feeling

8. Mention the Negatives

Breakups have a trigger, but there are usually a ton of signs that we turn a blind eye to throughout our relationships. Highlight those negatives.

“We fight every weekend. Our work schedules collide, and sometimes I don’t hear from you for days. Honestly, it just worries me.

We started bringing out the worst in each other – over stupid things such as a movie. I would yell at you for not doing the dishes, and you would be so irritated at me for creating a mess on the bed.”

Pulling out the bad stuff in such a scenario is pretty easy – so tone it down. Don’t keep going on and on about how horrible of a relationship it was.

Your aim is to make your partner realize that this partnership wasn’t a good deal for either of you.

9. Acknowledge the Positives

Don’t forget to appreciate your partner through all that they’ve done for you, either. It will still hurt, but it can ease their pain or at least make them feel better about themselves.

You can do so by thanking them or just pointing out the good about them. “I wasn’t an easy person to be with, and you still persevered. I will always be grateful for that.”

Or “You were always such a reliable partner, and I couldn’t thank you enough for it. Irrespective of all the chaos, you taught me so much and have made me a much better person.”

10. Be Kind and Understanding

When trying to break up, try to word your statements as gently as you can – especially when the other person has not wronged you in any way.

Do not discount their feelings or reactions. Sometimes silence is golden – let them express themselves. Or offer any help you can – like getting them some water.

Just be kind: “Please don’t be so harsh on yourself. It’s not your fault.” or “I can’t imagine what you have to go through. If there’s anything I can do to make this easy for you, please let me know.”

Be Kind and Understanding

11. Apologize

Again, if your partner did nothing wrong, and you are breaking up due to ‘differences’ or simply falling ‘out of love’ – apologize. You are breaking a promise, after all.

Usually, a genuine “I’m sorry” is enough. But if you’re good with words, feel free to add more details to your apologies, like what you are sorry for.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you this sooner or that I couldn’t keep my promise. But I didn’t know better at the time. Now I do, and I want to do the right thing.”

12. Hold No Grudge

Whoever is to blame, or whatever may have gone wrong between the two of you – let your partner know you’re letting the past be in the past.

“What’s done is done. Let us both move forward with our new lives. I appreciate what you’ve done for me, and if you ever need my help – I’ll be here.”

Or you could just end your statement with “No hard feelings, right?”, hopefully ending it on a good note.

13. Express Certainty

This is one that many people get wrong. When breaking up, avoid leaving behind the possibility of getting back together. Your words should be clear and certain.

“It’s just not going to work out for me. I’m breaking up with you. I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but that doesn’t change the truth. I’ll help you collect your belongings as and when you’re ready.”

Adding in an element of the future of what you plan to do or how you’re separating can truly seal the deal for them.

You don’t want them to keep pursuing you just because they think they have a chance to fix it.

Express Certainty

14. Be Grateful

The art of breaking up is a perfect blend of niceties and blatant truth that stings. So balance out your truth with some gratefulness as well.

When breaking up, let your partner know that you are and will always be grateful for their contributions to your life.

Never forget to thank them. “ *Insert Name*, I just really want you to know that I truly appreciate all that you’ve done for me. You helped me grow into who I am today, and I don’t think I’d ever take it for granted.”

15. State Your Boundaries

While all the niceties are aimed at trying to make the break up as little painful as it could be and drama-free, you don’t want to make false promises.

Do not lie to your partner about where you stand or give them false hope of possibility. Before walking away, make sure you set all the boundaries you have to verbally.

“While I’m always open to helping you out, I would like to keep my time away from growing out of this relationship.

I need some space of my own to think and plan ahead, and can’t be around unless absolutely necessary.” Do not just assume your partner would know what you expect of them; you will have to state them all.

16. Discuss the Aftermath

This can be tentative and dependent on how deeply you two were involved. If you simply dated for a month or two and do not have a common share in assets or responsibilities – there’s not much to discuss.

But if you have a child together, a common bank account, live in the same house, or even use the same subscriptions – this is essential to speak of before you leave.

Always first ask: “Is it a good time for us to discuss XYZ? I know it’s already stressful for you as is, and I wouldn’t want to make things any harder for us.”

Make sure you get to this after the heavy lifting of the breakup conversation is done and cooled off.

Discuss the Aftermath

17. Provide Clarity on What You’re Looking For

You’ve said it all – and there’s not much left. You’ve let them know where things went wrong, but if you want to, it’s also good to let them know where you’re headed.

This is a healthy note to end on for those who had mutually understanding relationships.

It will let your partner know they weren’t as good a match as they thought. But if your partner is in a more emotionally unstable state, it’s best to skip this one.

“I think I’m just gonna stay single for a while and discover myself.” or “I might start dating soon to marry someone, but I’m not really sure when.”

It doesn’t have to be too detailed. Just a short statement and an awkward nod, and you know you’re ready to go.

18. Be Willing to Offer Closure

If your partner isn’t handling your breakup conversation well, you can offer some closure first-hand.

“If you want, I’ll be out of your sight for as long as you want. This breakup is going to be hard on both of us, and I’m willing to take the necessary steps to help both of us move on.”

In short, don’t go around bothering your partner after breaking up. Let them be. Even when you are breaking up, you don’t have to go on rambling forever. You’ve said your part – now let it go.

19. Show Respect – to Yourself and Them

It is important that when breaking up, you show respect to yourself and your partner. Respect has to penetrate all of what you’re saying when you’re trying to talk about the above points.

For once, here’s what you should not say when breaking up:

“It’s all your fault.”

“It isn’t that big of a deal.”

“I didn’t love you anyway.”

“You never really loved me.”

Statements like these are, in fact, disrespectful. Playing the blame game or letting the other person do it should be avoided.

Discrediting all past actions is also a part of neglect and disrespect. It is best not to bring up the past and discuss the now.

Show Respect ΓÇô to Yourself and Them

20. Wish Them the Best

If it was a good relationship, you want to end things on a good note, after all. It’s a situation of turmoil, but before you leave – wish them the best.

“I hope your dream of XYZ comes true.”

“I only wish the best for you.”

“I really hope things work out for you better than they were before. I have complete faith in it.”

And just like that – it becomes the last of your words. It’s time to move ahead and let them too.


Breaking up isn’t an easy thing to do – and it isn’t supposed to be. Know that you will feel discomfort. Prepare yourself for it, but dive into it anyway, knowing it’s for the best.

However, no matter how ready your “exact” speech is, you can never truly anticipate the response your partner might have, and most words that come out of you are going to be spontaneous.

Thus, remember the framework: Be gentle, composed, kind, and direct. Avoid discussing too many details or turning it into a stretched-out conversation – and you’ll be good to go.

Shashank Verma

A trained theatre actor and a STEM graduate who brings perspectives and methods from these worlds into dating and relationships. Also a big time Krav Maga enthusiast and practitioner.

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