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Sex + Relationships

Why You Should Write a Letter You’ll Never Send to That Ex

We’ve all been there. You know the moment; the moment when you drop off the last of your ex’s clothes to their house, the moment you finally brought yourself to delete all of their pictures on your phone, or the moment that you’ve deleted their phone number for good. It’s when you’re finally closing the chapter to what you had thought was your “happily ever after”. 

Maybe that works. Maybe getting rid of everything could be your fresh start. But the best way to finally get the closure you need is to write a letter to them that you’ll never send.

Love letter with flowers
Pezibear on Pixabay

  1. It lets you take out all of your emotions. Breakups are hard. You go through so many stages and the different moods that control you will be hard to navigate. Writing down how you feel about someone and organizing your thoughts will help you navigate your own feelings without the burden of knowing someone else will read it. This is for you.
  2. You can say whatever you want. Be angry. Be sad. Tell them you hate them, love them, want them back, never want to see them. You can do this all without the potential negative repercussions that come with contacting someone that you have already decided was out of your life. 
  3. It gives you the closure you need. Since you’re never sending this letter, you can evaluate your relationship and take this opportunity to talk about the good things that you went through. The bad, too. But by writing it down, you might begin to realize that this is you finally letting them go. You’re saying good-bye and every last thought you never got to say to them before it was over. This is your chance to speak. You get the stage, and nobody can take it away from you. You get to let them go.
    couple string lights
    Allef Vinicius

  4. You can be completely honest with yourself. Be honest with yourself. In every breakup, it’s easy to blame the other person for what went wrong. But is there any possible thing that you learned from this relationship to help you improve the next one? There’s a reason this didn’t work out. Maybe he or she cheated. Now you know the red flags. Maybe you fell out of love. Now you know what it feels like. Whatever it is, take it and reflect on it.
  5. One day, it will show you your growth. I look back at my own letter that I wrote to an ex that I couldn’t quite shake. As I read this letter, I came to a warm conclusion that I have grown so much from that. And instead of the anger that I could have harbored for them, it reminded me of the good as well as the bad. In my letter I thanked him for everything; from the late-night calls to 3 a.m. because reality felt better than sleeping, to the “I love you’s” and other empty promises. In one year, I went from this heart-broken girl listening to “Slow Dancing In the Dark” by Joji on repeat to moving on and accepting that it wasn’t the right fit for me.

white paper with letters \"love letters\"
Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

It’s going to be okay. Just remember: don’t send that letter. This is for you. They don’t get to take that away from you. 

All images courtesy of the Her Campus Media Library. 

Anna Dao

U Mass Amherst '23

Anna Dao is a junior at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst, majoring in Legal Studies. She hopes to use writing as a platform for comedic relief, raise awareness for mental health, and short rants on citrus fruits. Follow her on Instagram @anna.dao and Twitter at @annadao19