How To Say Goodbye To Someone You Love

Breakups and Scars | | , Expert Blogger
Updated On: September 18, 2023
saying goodbye to someone you love

Saying goodbye to someone you love can be soul-crushing, end of story. Not all relationships are meant to stay in your life forever. Whether you are moving forward from a wrong relationship or trying to deal with the pain when someone you love is dying – It’s hard to say goodbye and let go of them. So, if you are here today because you’re ready to find closure in yourself and bid a heartfelt farewell to a lover, we are proud of you.

Forget everything that every romantic movie tells you about never letting go of the one you love. No matter how challenging, it takes maturity to walk away from things that do not sustain you anymore. Working toward a better you sometimes means that you have to say the final farewell to those who are not worth fighting for. So put on that brave face and your self-care hat because we are about to go through all the different ways to bid farewell to a loved one, whether it’s a face-to-face meeting or a text conversation.

Saying Goodbye To Someone You Love – 12 Ways 

When one of our readers from Oregon, Naomi, finally realized that her high school romance with Trey was turning into a toxic relationship in college, she knew it was time to call it quits. There were no easy ways to say goodbye as they were in the same college. Seeing him in the hallway or at soccer practices, all the memories of their good times would come rushing back to her.

One day, she had had enough, went over to his dorm room, and broke up with him. Like Naomi, it’s time to muster some strength and learn how to move on by saying goodbye to someone you love. It might seem like the hardest thing to do but we promise that with time, it gets better.

What makes dealing with separation from a loved one even more heart-wrenching is not having closure after a breakup. Emotional wellness and mindfulness coach Pooja Priyamvada once spoke to Bonobology on this matter, and shared, “Even though it’s hard to have a breakup conversation, not giving yourself and your partner closure is plain mean.

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“Ghosting them or not telling them what went wrong for you is not right. You must always come clean and have a heart-to-heart so that you both are clear on each other’s stance.” If you are wondering how to say goodbye to someone you love but can’t be with anymore, here are 12 ways to do what must be done:

1. Embrace the reality of it

Imagine this: You’re saying goodbye when moving away from a romantic partner, and the words are rolling off your tongue. At that moment, you might feel somewhat okay. But the moment you get home, make that coffee, and pick up your phone to see zero texts from them, that’s when the reality is going to hit. And it will hit you hard, especially if you let go of a long-distance relationship and there’s no chance of you meeting this person any time soon, or ever.

  • Sometimes, how to say goodbye to someone you love in a relationship is about continuing to make that coffee and go on with your life
  • You could put your phone away and write down about the final moments with someone you love, about your hurt, how you miss them, and also, how you are now better off without them. It will sting, but it won’t sting forever
  • Give yourself some credit for going through with it no matter how emotionally challenging it was
  • Once your heart and brain are in concord about this decision, you can finally focus on finding peace after a goodbye, and create a brighter future for yourself

Related Reading: How To Move On When A Breakup Hits Hard

2. Tell them that you have no hard feelings 

Saying “Goodbye, love” does not automatically translate to “I never want to see your face again.” While the whole concept of saying goodbye to someone you love might seem harsh, it does not necessarily come with harsh feelings. Before their mind is full of these negative notions, make sure you tell them that you mean no harm to them. Eventually, they will learn how to cope with a goodbye from you.

  • Just because you believe that some distance will do you two good, does not mean you disregard everything that they have done for you
  • Be a little thoughtful while choosing the parting words for someone special and do not make it a cruel game of blame-shifting
  • If you want a healthy breakup, don’t try to figure out how to say goodbye to someone you love in a text. This is especially true for a long-distance relationship farewell
  • Your partner deserves an explanation for the sake of their sanity and dismissing your entire relationship over a text is a bit insensitive (unless the nature of your relationship dictates otherwise)

3. Put away the social media reminders 

How to say goodbye to someone you love who doesn’t love you? Apply the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach and that means a complete social media blackout. Even though you’ve said your sad goodbye to them, Instagram probably does not know yet and still shows them on the top of the list of all those who have checked your stories. These blaring reminders of them being around you and in your space can potentially weaken you. 

Saying goodbye to a loved one is hard enough as it is. Seeing their name or photos pop up all over your social media is only going to make overcoming the pain of parting worse. Block your ex, unfollow, or deactivate your social media accounts temporarily – Do whatever you have to do. No matter how hard it feels, believe me when I say that it just puts you in a better headspace. 

long-distance relationship farewell
A social media blackout might help you deal with the separation in a better way

4. Don’t get angry at them during the breakup conversation

Truthfully speaking, the art of ending a relationship on good terms simply does not exist. Sadly, every relationship that you end leaves a lot of doubt and hurt. No matter how many emotional goodbye messages you draft, the final words when uttered out loud will bring you both down. What you can do is work on softening the blow. Whether you will remain good friends moving forward or this is the last time you are speaking to each other depends on how this conversation goes. So, keep these points in mind:

  • While saying goodbye to someone you love, you say what you need to say but do it as kindly and as calmly as you can
  • When they are angry at the things you’re saying, don’t trudge down that regressive path yourself
  • Try to do it in a comfortable setting so that if they do lose their cool, they can express themselves freely
  • Remember to hold yourself together throughout that conversation, because if you don’t, you will definitely leave things on a bad note 

Related Reading: Anger Management In Relationships – 10 Ways To Gain Better Control

5. Be as firm as you can 

Breaking someone’s heart might be the only thing harder than getting your own heart broken. When the storm has settled, they might start crying or asking you for a second chance. That is indeed when the real test begins of how to say goodbye to someone you love in a relationship. They might say romantic things, bring up old memories, or do anything to shake you up and remind you of how good they are for you.

The emotional manipulation can make letting go of someone you love ten times harder. But you’ve thought this through a million times already. Do not give them a chance to second-guess your decision. Convey you heartfelt farewell, step away, and heal from this. That’s the right way of finding peace after a goodbye as it will bring closure in your life as well as theirs.

6. When saying goodbye to a lover, don’t be evasive

I think the worst thing that people do when they end things for good with someone is to leave them hanging or buzzing with questions. Closure after a breakup helps in overcoming the pain of parting and that clarification is important when two partners are going their separate ways. But your inhibitions may come from a place where you want to avoid the goodbye rituals for lovers, as you know it’s one of the hardest things you would have to do and you may fumble to find the right words.

Or, there is a possibility your heart isn’t entirely into it. You are afraid you are making a big mistake and it will hurt both you and your partner to the core. So, to begin with, you need to make sure that you are doing this for the right reasons. You have to find it in your heart to make peace with the decision before you start writing a goodbye letter to a loved one. Once that’s settled, remember a few things:

  • You’re going to tell them something that will monumentally change their life and everyday existence for the foreseeable future. The least you can do is be upfront and honest
  • Even if you feel like your honesty might hurt them, your last conversation with them cannot be a bed of lies
  • Respect is the most important thing even when you are breaking things off with somebody. Gentle and firm honesty is the only way to respect a woman or a man that you want to dump
  • Try to be as composed and straightforward as you can
letting go of someone you love
You need to stand your ground and not fall prey to their emotional manipulation

7. Don’t make empty promises 

When they’re breaking down in front of you, do not try to think of deep things to say to them or anything else that might give them a ray of hope. “I’m sorry but I’ll always love you” or “I’ll never stop thinking about you” or “Perhaps, one day in the future…” are all the wrong things for you to say. We understand you want to end things in a good way but there is no reason your farewell messages for loved ones should be filled with false hopes just to shield them from temporary pain.

  • If it’s become a dead-end relationship or you don’t want the emotional burden of long distance, you have every right to break it off amicably and not feel guilty about it
  • Making empty promises (that often come from a guilty conscience), hoping that they’ll forget about it and move on won’t be the right thing to do
  • Don’t make them wait for you to come around
  • The ideal goodbye rituals for lovers would be to keep it clean, keep it direct, and try not to lose your balance

Related Reading: Anxiety After Breakup – Expert Recommends 8 Ways To Cope

8. Best way of letting go of someone you love: Forgive them wholeheartedly 

Perhaps one of the most difficult ways to bid farewell to a loved one who might have hurt you is also probably the most essential. To really free your mind of all the negative energy and give yourself the chance to evolve, you must be able to make peace with whatever wrongdoings have taken place in the past. We all talk about the importance of forgiveness in relationships to be happy. But we conveniently leave out the part where we must learn how to forgive someone even if the relationship is over.

When you finally bury the hatchet, your parting words for someone special won’t reek of resentment or regret. In your heartfelt goodbye, you would want nothing less than happiness, success, and good health for this person who once occupied a big part in your life. The only way of letting go of someone you love and find solace is to unburden yourself of things you do not want to recall. 

9. Stop being hard on yourself 

Here’s how to say goodbye to someone you love who doesn’t love you back. Don’t be your biggest critic because one person refused to reciprocate your feelings. If from time to time, you find yourself thinking about them or reminiscing about the old days, don’t punish yourself for the same. It’s a part of dealing with separation from a loved one. After all, we are all humans and we can’t turn off the love overnight.

  • Before the breakup, you might think of ways to make the relationship work again but that doesn’t reflect any weakness
  • Remind yourself of that on the bad days after the breakup too, mope a little, buy that Ben & Jerry’s tub you like, and zone out the rest of the world if you need to
  • If writing a goodbye letter to a loved one instead of having to say it face to face alleviates your mental health, then put yourself first
  • If cutting all contact seems to be the ideal or the only way out in this situation, do what’s right for you
Stories about suffering and healing

10. While saying goodbye to someone you love, save it as a valuable life lesson

We are no strangers to the emotional hell a loving, long-distance relationship farewell can put you through. Maybe you want to meet them one last time or your relationship has turned so sour that you just want to get it over with in a simple goodbye text to ex-boyfriend/girlfriend. Either way, you will get some insights on how to handle the course of your next relationship. You don’t have to put up with this agony ever again.

Call us glass-half-full kind of people but we would try to find a silver lining even in the moments of deep distress. Because the next time you are falling in love with someone who lives in another city/country, you will know that LDRs are just not your thing. And you will have the confidence to walk out before anything starts instead of postponing the inevitable separation. So, don’t lock these experiences in as touching stories of heartbreak. Rather, dig deeper and discover the life lesson you can carry with yourself.

Related Reading: What To Do After A Breakup To Move On? Try This 9 Step Expert-Backed Strategy

11. Pay your respect to a loved one who’s dying

If you are mourning the demise of a loved one or trying to hold your spirits high for a dear one who’s on their deathbed, we have no words to ease your pain. We can barely fathom your broken state of mind. You would want to spend these final moments with someone you love so much — That’s the best way to say goodbye to the one whose days are numbered.

Expressing your emotions in words might be too damn hard when someone you love is dying. You could pour your feelings down in a touching farewell letter. Write about the memories you have created together, things you loved most about them, how they have made you proud on so many occasions, and every happy thought that comes to your mind when you think about them. Do everything in your power to make them feel loved, cared for, and as special as you can.

12. Remember that you’ll always have your own back 

A recent breakup or a heartbreak can leave you feeling blue for a long time. No matter how mature you’ve been, the hurt is the same. You might choose one of the kindest ways of saying goodbye to someone you love, but there’s one last thing that you must tell yourself too. Don’t enter the single life with skepticism or frustration. Here are some pointers on how to cope with a goodbye that you initiated:

  • Keep your head held high, have faith in yourself. You will find love and attract prosperity
  • Once you know that the one person you definitely need is yourself, you’ll never feel compelled to look back so much
  • We won’t sugarcoat. You might go through a dark phase where you ask yourself, “Am I going through depression?” There will be tears, and lots of guilt to top it off too
  • But as long as you intuitively remind yourself that you did the right thing, your sails will continue to stay steady and take you out of troubled waters
  • Whether you are saying goodbye when moving away from a lover or a family member, know you are strong enough to bounce back from any heartbreak
parting words for someone special
Don’t forget you can be your biggest cheerleader in life!

How To Say Goodbye To Someone You Love In A Text

Writing a goodbye text to ex-boyfriend/girlfriend may seem bleak right now, but as Paulo Coelho said, “If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” To be honest, though, we don’t recommend ending a relationship over a text message. But sometimes life throws us into a rabbit hole where the idea of facing your partner and saying those hurtful words out loud seems excruciating. And then there are those complicated breakups that probably don’t deserve one second of your time, let alone any kind romantic farewell ideas.

For instance, if your partner has been nothing but manipulative, disrespectful, or abusive, you may not want to dignify them with a face-to-face explanation. And that’s absolutely okay. It’s one of those unpleasant situations where text messages come to your rescue. Not sure how to say goodbye to someone you love in a text? We have drafted 5 examples of farewell messages for loved ones for 5 different circumstances:

Related Reading: Breaking Up Over Text – How Cool Is It?

  • For a mutual breakup: I know you will agree with me when I say that we both meant well. We were just not meant for each other. I wish you find ‘the one’ soon, someone who will also be a dog person and love Victorian novels as much as you do. Good luck out there!
  • If you are the one who broke up: (Their name), I have been trying to tell you that I am not happy in this relationship for quite some time now. You either choose to not listen to my side or keep postponing amends. My self-respect stops me from putting up with such ignorance. I wanted this relationship to work out but it seems like we want different things. And it’s better to go our separate ways from here
  • If they broke up with you: In our last conversation, you made it pretty clear that you don’t see this relationship going anywhere. I need some space to process these feelings. And I don’t see that happening if you keep reaching out to me. So, this is what I want: We should follow the no-contact rule and let each other move on
  • If you cheated on them: I feel awful for hurting you so bad. If I could go back in time and undo it, I will do that in a heartbeat. I understand me being in your life is not making it any easier for you to deal with the ache. So, here’s the last goodbye. I don’t want to hurt you anymore. You deserve better, my love. Please take care
  • If there have been signs of abuse or unkindness: (Their name), the sooner you accept that we are over, the better. Please respect my privacy and don’t try to contact me ever again. Goodbye

Key Pointers

  • Even the best romantic farewell ideas don’t guarantee a pain-free experience, especially when you need to part with someone you still love
  • Be honest and upfront about your feelings regarding the breakup. Remember that even though you love them, it’s time to let go
  • Block them on social media if that helps in your healing process
  • Avoid blame-shifting or exchange of harsh words in your last conversation
  • Don’t entertain any appeal for reconciliation
  • If you want to say the final goodbye, try to forgive your partner and be kind to yourself

We hope this article answered your concerns about how to say goodbye to someone you love but can’t be with, or how to write emotional goodbye messages to someone you love. But saying goodbye to someone you love in the correct way takes a lot of courage, courage that most people don’t have. So give yourself a little pat, smile that the difficult time is over, and look forward to all that is yet to come.

This article has been updated in September 2023. 


1. How do you say final goodbye?

By being as direct as possible. Try not to beat around the bush or come up with excuses that are dishonest. Even if it hurts them, they deserve to know the truth. Smile at the end, thank them for all they’ve done for you, and walk away. 

2. How do you send a goodbye text to someone you love?

If you are saying goodbye to a lover or somebody you dated, it is best to do it face to face. However, a text can do the job too. So when you text them, put your words across delicately yet firmly so they do not misunderstand your tone. Keep it brief but as real as you can. 

3. How do you let go of someone you love?

With a tremendous amount of strength. Your mind will keep circling back to their thoughts but you must remind yourself that you are better off. It’s not easy saying goodbye to someone you love, which is why you must prepare yourself for how your life is going to change. But keep an open outlook because it will all surely change for the better. 

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