Posts tagged dear
5. Dear "Things Change"
These breakup letters were sent in by FTS readers

Dear “Things change..”,

I guess I was right all along. Deep down I think I knew this would happen. I must have been “blinded by love”, or maybe it was because you told me everything I wanted to hear, or maybe I just wanted it to work so badly that I overlooked all of the red flags. I’m not sure how it happened, but I fell so quickly for you… and you just as quickly took three steps backwards and allowed me to fall flat on my face.

Let me clear something up for you, I’m not writing this because I’m angry, or sad, or confused, and definitely not because I miss you. I am writing this letter to tell you all of the things I kept myself from saying the day that you broke up with me. I wasn’t about to give you the satisfaction of hearing how I felt after you ended it. I thought to myself, why should I even say anything back? He doesn’t deserve it…. And you still don’t. I am writing this to get everything off of my chest, since I have only been able to vent to my best friend about it.

First of all, I gave you so many outs; so many chances to end it while it was still easy for me. I knew distance was hard, and it was only going to get tougher. I tried to explain that to you, but you were determined to be with me no matter what. The first time I didn’t believe you because my walls were still up pretty high. The next couple times you started pushing my walls right over... you told me you were all in and I started hopelessly falling in love with your words. One of my best friends then told me, “If anyone is going to break down those crazy walls you have had built up for so long, it’s going to be him!” And I knew she was right. It was always going to be you…. wasn’t it?

You sucker punched me with this break up. I was not prepared. I was so excited for you to meet my family, for you to come visit me, for all of the fun things we (I) had planned, and super excited for the future. You obviously weren’t. I’m not sure why you did it, maybe there was someone else, maybe you weren’t ready, maybe I wasn’t what you wanted, maybe it was the distance, but no matter what I’m so glad you broke up with me. I was really frustrated at the time because you hurt my ego. That’s one of the toughest parts about break-ups, the feeling of rejection; feeling like you weren’t good enough. (Let me tell you right now, I am more than good enough.) I am at peace with it now. I am not going to let something so miniscule in the grand scheme of things, bring me down.

This is the part where I thank you. Thanks so much for ending things the selfish way you did, that made me realize you really didn’t care the way I hoped you did. Thank you for making it so easy for me to get over this. Thank you for bringing me closer to my best friends and my mom, who I was pushing away while we were together. I honestly could not be more grateful for you. Thank you for this new found motivation to eat better, work out more, and feel passionate about things other than you. Thank you for helping me see that I shouldn’t be disappointed in someone else's decisions, because they are not my own.

I was disappointed at first because I felt like I lost my best friend and I couldn't believe your feelings could change so fast, but now I am empowered. I am positive. I am happy.
I sincerely hope you are too.

4. Dear J
These breakup letters were sent in by FTS readers

Dear J,

This feeling I have right now is indescribable. I haven't thought about you in a very long time and sitting here trying to think of what to say to you is causing hesitation. I hate letting you occupy space in my consciousness. Out of all of the dumb things I've done in my life you take the gold. Looking back, though, I know that you had to come into my life to make me the person I am. I know that's what everyone always says, but really it's true. Everything lined up so perfectly for me to accept you.

I had just gotten out of a relationship that I didn't let myself call a relationship. I had all of this guilt built up inside of me from it. I had hurt this person and so many like him in the past because I was afraid of commitment. And when he called me a horrible person for being with him without committing to him, I believed it. I wanted to change, I wanted to be better. So I said this time is going to be different. I'm going to find a decent guy, commit to him and love him unconditionally.

Now you see why I call myself dumb. I was so naive to believe that anyone was worthy of that blind love, especially you. You showed up just when I needed you to validate that I was a good person, and you did. You also were broken and that meant I could help heal you and that would double my good person points. When you said you had always loved me I believed you and used that statement to justify you being the person I chose to give everything I had kept from others who had wanted it.

To be honest... I really didn't care who was telling me these things. I was never in love with you, not even close. I remember the first time you came to visit me. My idea of you was so different from who you actually were, I remember having to force everything. One of the most vivid moments in my mind was when we cuddled for the first time and I remember thinking "this is wrong, you need to end this", but I talked myself out of it. I just kept telling myself "but he's such a good person and he'll make you a better person".

Smh. I wish I would have listened to that voice in my head and would have prevented the abuse. It started slowly. You said your family kicked you out of your house over summer break and you needed to stay with mine. I believed you and compromised my boundaries for you. You would make excuses to try to keep me in your presence at all times. If I wanted to go out you had to come with because you had anxiety. You moved to a new city for me and had no friends so I had to entertain you. You were sick and I needed to be with you and try to make you healthy. There was always something I needed to do for you. Just thinking about it makes me feel like I need a nap.

Guilt is how you kept me from leaving. I tried. I tried to leave multiple times, but you always pulled me back using things against me to get me to stay. You knew exactly what buttons to push to make me hate myself. I convinced myself to stay thinking that I needed to help you and that I needed to be a good person. I couldn't leave you like I had left the others in my past or I would be a bad person. Funny thing is... I never, not once, felt like a good person when I was with you. You always made sure I felt weak, insecure, and depressed enough to stay.

I don't think you fully understand how this affected me. The light was stolen from me. I walked around like I was on drugs. I didn't laugh, I didn't cry, I didn't feel for a year and a half. Breaking up with you was like a breath of fresh air. I cried for 4 minutes exactly after I kicked you out, not out of remorse or sorrow, but out of relief. It was my proudest moment. It took me a while to get the light back into my eyes and to build up my self esteem. My best friend had to move in with me for a few weeks to remind me how to laugh and how to think positively and for that I owe her everything.

I know that I shouldn't regret you because you made me the strong person I am right now, but I do. I wasted so much time on you. I was so unproductive and I could have accomplished so much more in college if you weren't there holding me back. This was 2 years ago and you still try to contact me. I had to move, change my phone number, change my email addresses, tell mutual friends that they could not give out my information just to try to get away from you. I have not said one word to you since I kicked you out, and that is never going to change. You took a year and a half of my life, you do not get one more second.

P.S. I do not hate you. Hate is not the opposite of love. There has to be feelings for me to hate you. I feel nothing when I think of you. You could die or win the lottery and I would not care.

3. Dear Ex-boyfriend
These breakup letters were sent in by FTS readers

Dear Ex-boyfriend,


Over these past weeks I have felt an array of emotions: pain, loss, relief, sadness, regret, anger, excited. Our relationship began and ended quickly, without much time for me to process what was really happening. I was wrapped up in so many emotions during our journey that I didn’t give myself time to sit back and reflect on the reasoning behind our actions and words. We weren’t patient with each other and never gave ourselves time to process what we were feeling.


Reflecting back on it all I have realized so much. I would do it all differently if I could. I would have given myself more time. More time to heal from my past, more time to fall in love without jumping steps. I would have focused on me so. much. more. I lost myself in you. I forgot what gets me going in the morning, what pushes me. I relied on you to fill that hole for me, to satisfy my needs when I thought I couldn’t do that on my own. I threw so much at you at a regular basis, leaving you to deal with what I thought I could not handle. I wanted you to deal with and fix things for me when they were hard, and if you didn’t I tried to find approval somewhere else. I definitely regret that the most. Now that I am focused on me and doing what I want to do (and feels really good to do whatever the fuck I feel like) I stopped searching for approval in others. I am eating this time up, using it to find comfort in being alone, entirely by myself. I wish I could slap my old self, tell her to wake up. So many of our problems were rooted in each others insecurities. Why didn’t we realize that? Why were we so comfortable in the ways things were despite the fact that both of us were not happy?


I thought that I would hold on to the fact that you moved on so quickly. At first it stung like a bitch. But then I realized that this is your way of dealing with all of your emotions. That is the way you have always dealt with them, by avoiding and running as far as you could. I never cared for that in you and lost a lot of respect for you after I saw how shallow your words are.  But most of all I want you to be happy. I hope she, or whoever you end up with, loves you better than I ever did. We both deserve so much happiness, love, and selflessness.


You hold a big part of my heart but I know that over time that part will grow smaller and less meaningful. Part of me wishes that things ended differently and that we could still be close. I miss being able to share my day with you. I don’t know if I will be able to do some of ‘our’ things comfortably again, such as watching the office or go to our favorite restaurant. But I do know that we will be okay, and that I do not want to be with you anymore.


I want to be so much better, both for myself and for who I eventually end up meeting. I love myself a lot more already compared to the past few years. It didn’t take me long to realize how much happier I was not feeling all the guilt that I felt when I was with you. It feels good to feel in control of myself and to not rely on anyone else to fill or satisfy me. We both had holes within ourselves that we expected each other to fill and for the first time I am doing that entirely on my own.

I am grateful for my time with you, but even more so, I am grateful to move on.



1. Dear You:
These breakup letters were sent in by FTS readers

Dear You:

This is for you. Yes, you, sitting behind the screen and wondering if you really want to read something this long. I know it sounds an awful lot like a break-up letter, but you have to trust me on this. It’s a love letter. You’ve got to believe me and just stick it out.

I am a girl who’s been dumped — and here we’re talking the sort of break-up that comes with all the waterworks, being dragged through the dust and left in the ditch — all of twice in my life. That was how my first real relationship ended, and afterwards I spent a couple months in a haze, watching the guy move steadily through my closest friends like a snake through the grass. It didn’t surprise me nearly as much as it should have, but it was a sucker punch to the gut every day for about a year. At the time it seemed like a fair enough penance, after giving him a year of my life and coming up short at the end.

I dated a few girls after that, and surprisingly the two girls I had a real connection with are now two of my best friends. Even the messy break-ups smoothed over with time. I don’t know if that means I work better as a girl’s ex-girlfriend or a guy’s, but it’s just an interesting coincidence.

The next guy I dated was a completely different person. More the outdoorsy type, for our first date we hiked into the mountains behind my house and had to creep through the desert in the dark to find our way back. He was less into music — I think his favorite song was Pocket Full of Sunshine. But we really hit it off. We made a great pair. His family liked me. His family got along with my family — but then again, we were both military brats. My dad liked him a hell of a lot. We made out to the cacophony of fireworks over the Fourth of July — and if you’ve ever known a military base, you know they go all out for fireworks. The cracks and booms rattled us to the bones, and somehow the stars in his eyes surpassed it all. I didn’t even mind that his aunt made us all wear matching shirts.

But he left anyway. Called me up one day, and said, “I was talking to my case worker, and he’s really happy for me,” he said, “but he also thinks that I am putting too much energy into this relationship and not enough into myself.”

“Okay,” I said. “And what do you think about that?”

“Well, he bet me I couldn’t handle being single for a month.” He started to get choked up. “So that’s what I’m going to do.” I asked if he just meant for the month, and he was too busy apologizing and calling himself an idiot to answer. But that was the end of that. I still don’t know what the hell kind of therapist he was seeing, but if I ever met the guy I’d give him swift kick in the ass. We had a great thing going.

I started going to college full time in the fall semester, after several flings that seemed to splutter and die before I could fan the flames. And somehow, my first high school boyfriend found himself in my group of friends again. I have no idea if he was dating anyone at the time, and I wasn’t interested in finding out. We could have conversations again, talk about the little things. He tried, for example, to get me into the Lumineers because they seemed like the sort of thing I (tiny baby fourteen-year-old me, the me that he remembered) would like. For the record, I don’t like the Lumineers but I certainly would have in my freshman year of high school.

Did we start having deep conversations again, like the time we laid on his floor for hours pointing up at the ceiling like it was set with all the constellations? No. Did we pretend we knew what the hell we were doing with our lives, the same as before? Definitely. But, still — there comes a time where the pain fades enough that it’s apparently possible to exist peacefully in the same room as someone who wrought your world in two.

They say time heals. We do the healing on our own, though. Time is just one of the ingredients. Nonetheless, hurt has always been something that makes the synapses in my brain fire wrong and leads me to throw myself into the fire without even taking a big, deep breath first, and I decided that I would never be dumped again. And that decision — was really stupid. The world doesn’t actually get divided into the ones who leave and the ones who are left. We can’t tap on the trunk of our feelings and discover which tree is infested, where we should feed or flee. We aren’t that profound.

I went through a long string of relationships, turning tail at the first scent of danger. I got called a lot of things, most of which I don’t care to repeat. How dare I barge into people’s lives, throw some things around like some mix between siren and poltergeist, and then flee before they I could be exorcized properly? And so, the worst thing I’ve ever been accused of is changing someone’s life. Eventually that became just as bad as being left, so there came a point in time where I decided that I was going to stick it out and let it happen even if it killed me.

And, because I picked the absolute worst person to stick it out with, it just about did.

I ended up spending two years of my life with someone who could only love me at his own convenience, and he had an awful lot of excuses. Some of these were mental health-related, some of these were being more interested in what he wanted than what

I needed — but to make matters worse, I made excuses for him as well. I took a trip and ended up spending a week without cell service and a just copy of Wild Child’s album Pillow Talk for company in The Middle of Nowhere, Tennessee. I did an awful lot of hiking around Fall Creek Falls and I definitely impulse-bought a mandolin at a secondhand instrument shop. And somehow, over the course of this week on my own, I found the clarity that I had spent so long avoiding.

Strangely enough, the first days of that week, I was a nervous wreck. I was checking my phone constantly, and my head was swirling with questions: What if something awful is happening right now and I’m not there for him? What if he does something stupid and I can’t talk him out of it? What if he has another fight with his mom and he gets kicked out or decides to just take off, and I can’t help him find solution? It was forty-eight hours of straight panic, and on the third day, when my mother had to go to a dingy little dialysis clinic an hour away from the national park — I didn’t pick up the phone at all. I had spent so much time expecting disaster that, by the time I was able to get in touch with him... I had no desire to find out what was going on with him, and more importantly I had no energy to deal with it. A month later, that mindset hadn’t changed, so I called him up and ended it.

After I broke up with him, I completely cut him off. But I missed him, all the same. I know that sounds weird. I’m the one who ended it, right? Shouldn’t I have been happy and healthy and all that jazz? Well — yes. And no. But this is a person I spent two years of my life with. For all the horrible times, there were just as many good times, just as many good things that I simply couldn’t bring myself to enjoy as much anymore, just as many cool and interesting things that I wished I could show him. I spent a lot of that time getting back to myself: getting back into my art, back into my writing. I hadn’t even noticed that I’d stopped.

But that radio silence only lasted a few months. I have no idea what possessed me to get back in contact with him. It may have been residual anxiety, leftover knowledge that he couldn’t take care of himself without another person standing beside him. I walked him through trying to build new friendships, new relationships. I told him not to take illegal drugs, I told him to make appointments and then to actually go to them. And whenever something problematic cropped up between us — I called us both out on it. I started telling him when I needed to take a step back and consider my behavior. When you’re used to being hurt by something, it doesn’t matter if they turn into the Second Coming of Christ — you will still react to them the same way. And for a while, he acknowledged the issues I brought up, said he would work on them. Over. And over. And over. Until the friendship ended in a very dramatic way. At this point, I don’t think we’ll even be able to talk about something so simple as the weather without getting into a fight about it. And to be honest, I don’t want to. It isn’t worth my energy, and I shouldn’t have gotten to that level to begin with.

The point of all this is: you don’t owe anyone anything. In a relationship and especially when a relationship ends, your feelings, needs, and safety always need to be the priority. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting dumped, or if you’re the one ending it — you are the person you need to be taking care of. I’m not telling you not to feel bad about breaking up with someone, or that you should be able to get over someone as quickly as possible. Regardless of where you stand, grief is like a boulder in the living room which, try as you might to ignore it, nonetheless redirects the traffic of your life.

But that doesn’t mean you need to make concessions in your future relationships. That doesn’t mean you should run at the first scent of danger. That definitely doesn’t mean you should sit through an unhealthy relationship. You have to find a happy medium for yourself. You have to take the time you are alone and figure out what you’re looking for in a person. Chart out the red flags — but don’t constantly scrutinize and nit pick every little thing. Make time to enjoy the small stuff. Make sure your partner will open up to you. Make sure you can open up to them. Use your time alone to see how your friendships work — because, let’s be real, if you spend the rest of your life with someone, you’ve got to recognize how to fit other people into the ebb and flow of your life. You have to find your place.

You are the only person you are going to spend you entire life with. And you have to love yourself first.

Love, leighannwrites