The Goodbye Letter: Can You Break Up On Paper?

I’m sure I’m not the first to say it, but relationships are great. They can make your life feel happier and fuller. Sometimes though, they come to an end, and the breakup might be amicable, it might be messy and full of drama, and it might be something anywhere between. Regardless of the reason for its ending, each relationship teaches you something, it has some impact on the person that you are at the time and shapes, at least in some small way, the way you will approach life in the future.

Ending a relationship can trigger a lot of feelings, some private, and others that you might think are important to share with that person you invested part of your life in. Sharing isn’t always easy, and it can be hard to think of exactly what you’d like to say when you’re face to face with someone. I’ve always found that it’s helpful to write things like this down in advance so that you don’t forget the things that you meant to say. When possible, I like to use my writings as notes for actual conversation, but sometimes it’s too hard to actually verbalize things, particularly things that carry a lot of emotional weight.

Some people believe that it is cowardly to break up with someone other than face to face, but even now in the age of e-mail and instant messaging I do have a great deal of respect for the written letter. I particularly like the idea, as well as the sentiment behind this goodbye letter over on The Urban Dater. Writing out the things you really want to say so that you don’t forget anything and then delivering it in person seems like a really nice compromise between delivering the news in person and successfully managing to say everything that needs saying without forgetting it.

What do you think?