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18 Break Up Lines You Can Use For a Mess-Free Break Up

It’s hard to be eloquent when you are breaking up with someone. It’s even harder not to hurt them. What do you really say? Try these break up lines.

break up lines

Relationships end. Maybe you’re one of the lucky few who never had to go through a breakup and are either single or, better yet, happily in a relationship. For some, though, breakups are inexplicably painful—and to be expected. To say that they are excruciating can be an understatement for some. This is especially true when you’ve been together for a long time and thought you’d be together forever.

One day, though, you’re suddenly alone, realizing that there is no forever and you have to end your relationship. So what do you say? How can you cushion the blow of separation using well-chosen words?

Break up lines for a mess-free break up

Here, we breakdown for you some of the best break up lines to use to make the process as mess-free as you can.

#1 “We’ve both changed and grown apart.” This may be one of the most honest break-up lines that you can use. Often, relationships really do end. They die a slow, painful death without you even knowing it. And then, one morning, you wake up and feel like you’re living with a stranger. [Read: 12 reasons why so many couples drift apart over time]

#2 “I just don’t see this working.” Short and sweet. Sometimes, you just have to lay it out on the table without all the frills. You can be honest about you not seeing a future in your relationship. Maybe you really are just not meant to be. Often, brutal honestly is what the other person needs to let you go, and they might thank you for it—eventually.

#3 “I need space.” Although it is one of the most painful things you can say, it can still be said right. If your partner is always on your case, or trying to get you to do things you don’t want or are not willing to do, maybe you really do need a little breather. Telling your partner that you need space and clearly giving them your reasons, without being condemning or accusatory, is the way to go.

#4 “I am not cut out for something like this.” This is one kinder, gentler way to tell your partner, “Whoa, this isn’t what I signed up for!” Some relationships *or people* demand more from you than you can give, and you’re just not the person for the “job.”

#5 “Love shouldn’t be this hard.” It’s been said that relationships are hard work. However, there are those couples who find themselves profusely struggling—so much so that one or both of them are clearly not happy anymore. If your relationship is an exercise in futility, then somebody has to bring down the curtain. [Read: 10 steps to take to tell your partner you’re unhappy]

#6 “I love you enough to want something better than what I can give you.” Sometimes, you really do care, but you know exactly how much you’re capable of. Maybe your partner has been voicing that they feel shortchanged in the relationship. Or maybe you just can’t make your partner happy, whatever you do. Breaking up with them like this is the best thing you can do—for both your sakes.

#7 “Some things are just out of our control.” Whether you fell in love with someone new, are not happy in the relationship, cheated on your partner, or just changed your mind *or heart*, you don’t have to say it outright. Use this line to make the breakup less tragic for your soon-to-be-ex.

#8 “You deserve your perfect match. It’s just not me.” Opposites attract; however, there are those who are on opposing ends of the spectrum, and their wavelengths just don’t meet. If you’re like that with your partner and you end up fighting and hurting each other because of your incompatibilities, you know the drill.

#9 “You’re too good for me and I’m not ready. You deserve something better.” You meet this person and they are thoughtful, kind, caring, and all-out amazing. Let’s face it, you feel like an asshole for not reciprocating—but you just don’t love them. [Read: Why you fall out of love even when you’re dating a really nice person]

#10 “I love you, but I am not in love with you.” This one is a classic, and I bet you, yourself, would cringe and cry if someone were to say this to you. Use this lightly, as this breakup line is applicable to a new relationship, when your partner first tells you their feelings and expects you to feel the same.

#11 “I love you, but I am not in love with you anymore.” This line is somewhat like the former, but can be used for a longer-term relationship. Sometimes, love dies, and if your partner saw the telltale signs sooner, you saying this is just going to be a welcome confirmation. [Read: 18 critical signs of an unhealthy relationship]

#12 “I’m not ready for something like this. I still have so much growing and learning to do.” Feel like things are going too fast and you’re not in the same boat? Chances are, you’re really not ready. Grow up—and mustering the courage to say these words is the first step.

#13 “It’s not fair to you. I don’t know what I want.” Ah, the classic case of they-want-something-and-you-want-something-else. Unless you two find a way to compromise *or are willing to do so*, then it’s out the door for you.

#14 “This doesn’t feel right.” There are relationships that are just wrong from the get-go. Maybe one of you cheated your way to each other, hurt people along the way, or you just don’t feel right about each other. Say it, and who knows—you partner may be thinking the same thing.

#15 “I need something more out of this relationship.” Some relationships stagnate. Maybe you want a rollercoaster ride that at least gets your heart going, but all you have is a rut. Tell your partner exactly what your needs are and explain that they’re not being met. [Read: 9 relationship stages all couples go though and how each stage affects them]

#16 “I think we both should work on ourselves—separately—before we can share a life together.” Maybe you’re too young to get into something serious, or you still have too much you want to do on your own. Stating this to your partner during your breakup is fair and, if your partner is mature enough, they will understand.

#17 “Our lives are going in different directions.” You finally got that long-awaited promotion and it takes you to another state, country, or continent. However, you partner can’t come with you for one reason or the other. You want one thing and they want another, and you both know something’s got to give.

#18 “Whatever I do, I keep hurting you. I want to be fair to you by letting you go.” Maybe you’re in a relationship with someone who you just can’t seem to make happy. Maybe they are complaining or are hurt about whatever you do. In this case, say this and throw in the towel.

Relationships end, and more often than not, it’s not really what you say that hurts your significant other; it’s the fact that the relationship ended and that the two of you will now start living separate lives.

[Read: 25 tips to avoid a messy confrontation in that final breakup conversation]

Aside from learning the right words to say, be sensitive to what your soon-to-be-ex might feel and try to be honest and sincere about your case without being bitter and accusatory. Done right, you and the other party can walk away and spare each other the drama and mess of an otherwise ugly break up.

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Tiffany Grace Reyes
Tiffany is a wordsmith who has played with words ever since her letter-to-the-editor was published nationally at the age of 9. Since then her writing has gone f...
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