How to joyfully breakup

Seb Grynko
5 min readNov 14, 2020

Dear ….,

I have wanted to write to you for a while now. Not to tell you I miss you. Nor to tell you I love you or even to say I hate you. I realized some time ago that even though you were the one who left. I have never thanked you for all those years we spent together.

It was selfish of me to let you go without even saying how grateful I am to have had you in my life. For a moment there my ego was a bit bruised. I was not really hurt when you told me it was over because I think our relationship was dying for a while at that point.

I really want to apologize for everything I have done to you and everything I could have done for you. I have no regrets. We were not meant to be together but for a moment there we were together and when I look back on our relationship. I can only remember your beautiful face and the good moments we shared together.

I loved you with everything I had. A lot of times I was blind to your love and what you needed from me. Know that If I could go back in time I would do things differently and put forth more effort.

Not to keep you. No. Only to see your radiant smile more often. You truly are an amazing woman and to this day I can only see your beauty both inside and outside and from the bottom of my heart I hope your life has unfolded the way you wanted and you got everything your heart was deeply yearning for.

That’s a lot of words. I know but it was important for me to do this. It was important for me to tell you that you were a huge part of my life for three years. You were by my side when times were hard for you. Forgiving me too many times even when I was undeserving.

I will finish by saying this. Life goes on. People come and go. Some stories never end, others do and new stories are written. In the story of my life and in my warmest memory you will always be this beautiful girl who followed me through the streets of Xintiandi one rainy autumn night.

Best regards,

The best way to conclude a breakup. I wrote that message to my former paramour about a year and a half after we broke up. We were together for almost 3 years. Mind you, she initiated the breakup but we were not meant to be. We wanted different things and were not compatible on so many levels.

I remember the day she broke up with me. She was in Milan. I was in Shanghai. She got an opportunity to go to work in Milan for three months. She was a few weeks in and she started becoming distant.

Our relationship was OK before she left but our relationship had been rocky for the 6–8 months prior to her departure. Long story short, I picked up on her vibe and she told me needed some time to think things over. One week later, she sent me my “Dear John” letter which consisted of 5 long text messages.

You might think that this is not the proper way to break up but she knew me enough to know that it was the best way possible to break up with me. Sometimes, written words can be more helpful than anything else. Anyhow, she concluded her message by saying that we can facetime to discuss things further.

In my mind, I was thinking that there was nothing left to be said. I don’t remember what my answer was after I finished reading the message but I think I wrote something along the lines of like ok I understand.

She kept on trying to call me but I did not want to talk to her even though we had things to talk about regarding her stuff (we were living together before the breakup), our cats, and things of that nature.

I still don’t really know why I did not want to talk to her but It does not matter. I guess, I just needed to move on and let time give me more perspective. I was not bitter or angry about the breakup. I do not even feel sad. I felt relieved. After a breakup, you don’t only let go of the good stuff but you let go of the bad stuff as well.

My ego was hurt because I was the dumpee, not the dumper. I also had to deal with living alone again which takes time after being with someone for so long. Fast forward to 18 months later, I am hanging out with a friend we had in common. She told me about my ex-girlfriend and I had an impulse to write the message you read above.

At that moment, I was very happy and it was one of the greatest times of my life. I was still single but I was a happy camper. I had clarity and I had gained wisdom after all those months without her.

I felt compelled to write the message. I wrote a lot of heartfelt, loving messages in my life but this one I am particularly proud of. Right after the breakup, I felt that there was nothing left to talk about but there were things that I should have said that I ended up saying 18 months after. Better late than never.

I had to thank her. I had to be grateful to her for being by my side for almost 3years. Yes, we had our ups and downs and the downs ended up superseding the ups but we were together through it all.

We shared our time, our bodies, our apartment, our love, our sorrows, our pains, our joys, and more. Yes, it’s easy to be tempted to forget about the good times and just remember the bad times. It’s easy to let the ego dictate our conduct. It’s easy to give way to unwholesome thoughts because we are hurt. We are angry. We are bitter. We are lost and confused.

That’s why, sometimes it’s better to take some time, to let go of all that negative energy and leave room for clarity, wisdom, and hindsight. Girlfriends are not perfect. Boyfriends are not perfect. Relationships are not perfect. Relationships are fragile especially these days. Nonetheless, when we choose to be with someone, we accept to be imperfect together, and sometimes it works and sometimes we cry instead.

Maybe, the relationship was too imperfect too last but perhaps we can try to make a perfect breakup. Which does not mean we end up being friends but we part ways on a good note. We part ways on a warm and lovely note so when we reminisce upon our times together we do so with a smile. Not because we long just because we remember a good memory, a different time. That’s it.

Like watching a good scene in a movie. When a movie ends there, sometimes, is a dedication. Well, when a relationship ends we should dedicate the movie and thank the main person who was in the movie/relationship with us.

We thank them for the good times that made us smile and thank them for the bad times that made us cry but also learn and gain wisdom. More importantly, we let go with grace and wish them godspeed.