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Should I Write a Letter to My Ex? (6 Ways To Do It Right)

by Sonya Schwartz

Writing a letter to an ex is a tricky thing to do. You may be asking yourself, “Should I write a letter to my ex?” Well, I think a letter is an outstanding way to find closure and gain perspective with what went wrong with the relationship! You can compose a message letting all your feelings out. Just don’t send it!

I think you should definitely consider writing a letter, but don’t send the correspondence to him. Rather, use the message as a medium to let all your feelings out. You heard the reasons he wanted to break up. Do you understand them? What have you changed about yourself?

If you’ve had a deep, meaningful personal transformation based on what you’ve learned from the break-up, maybe you can send one to your ex, but don’t create as you would a love letter. I will go over how to compose and send a letter to your ex, so if you want to mail it, you can; however, let’s formulate the best kind of letter - one that will make your ex want you back!

6 Guidelines For Writing A Letter To Your Ex

1. Wait For The Right Time.

If you and your ex just broke up, now is not the time to reach out to your ex; your feelings are fresh and probably running hot. You need time to heal, time to lick your wounds, and time to grow as a person.

That’s right. You need self-improvement; everyone does! But, did you learn anything from the break-up? Did you listen to your ex when he said why he wanted to end things? It’s time to understand what caused the break-up and make personal changes as necessary.

Use this time to reflect on what went wrong during the relationship. Why do you think you broke up? Usually, in a relationship, both parties have made mistakes. It may take time to come to grips with what you may have done wrong, or perhaps you think you did nothing wrong. If so, why do you want to write a letter to your ex?

2. Have The Right Purpose.

So, WHY do you want to send a letter to your ex? Are you just wanting to vent your feelings and talk about how mad you are? You may find that therapeutic, but don’t send the letter, especially if you are thinking about getting back together with your ex.

The purpose of the letter is to show your ex that you listened to what he said. So ask yourself: What did he complain about during the relationship? Why did he end things? Learn what caused the break-up; think hard. 

Your purpose should be to write a thank you letter - i.e., “Thank you for helping me grow as an individual.” Demonstrate how you understand your part in the break-up now and how you could have done things differently, but that you have now changed. 

3. Do Not Create A Love Letter.

Don’t write a mushy love letter confessing your undeniable love for your ex. You may think he’s the one who got away. Missing your ex can sting, I know, but you’ll sound desperate if you give him a love letter talking about your feelings. Don’t talk about getting back together either.

Don’t talk about how much you miss your ex or how you now realize he is the one. If you need to, start writing the lovey-dovey stuff down in a journal, but don’t give it to your ex. Just keep it to look back on later to see how far you’ve progressed and to see how you were feeling back then versus how you feel on that day in the future.

Don’t ambush him with your feelings. You can easily sound too emotional when you unleash that kind of vulnerability. If your ex never responds back to your love letter, you will feel pretty lousy about the situation. 

4. Talk About How You’ve Changed.

Discuss how you now understand why the two of you broke up. List the details of how you have become different, specifically, what you’ve changed about yourself. Understand your part in the break-up. What did you do wrong? What part did you play in the outcome of the break-up? Could you have done something differently?

Right now, you should analyze these answers and realize what went wrong. What have you done to change? Talk about your personal transformation. How did you change? What were the means of your change? Did you seek counseling, read self-help books, or follow professional advice you found online?

Talk about how you changed, what you did, and how you are different. This is your chance to show him that you aren’t the same person anymore. But, tell that his former complaints about you are less relevant now because you are a new person (provided you have indeed changed).

5. Create The Best Kind Of Letter For You.

It’s best not to talk about how you want to get back together. Let him make that decision. If your letter has shown him that you’ve changed, he may decide that there is no reason you two should be apart any longer. But, keep in mind that he may have already moved on.

If he isn’t wanting to get back together, just find the closure of knowing that you let your feelings out. You may feel like there was no purpose in writing the letter, but there was. You received closure and can now move on and find someone new - find a person who can now enjoy the changes you’ve made.

Self-improvement works! Were you controlling with your ex? During the next relationship, if you have worked on yourself and changes, you can be less controlling, and the new guy you found can reap the benefits!

7. Take Caution Before Sending Anything.

So, you’ve written the letter. Now the real question, “Should I press “send”?” I recommend holding on to it. You let your feelings out, you said what you needed to say, and you’ve gotten some closure just by writing the letter. That’s really all you need. 

If you do want to send it, remember the key points to include

  • You realize what went wrong with the relationship, 
  • You’ve realized the part you played in what went wrong
  • Here’s how you’ve changed, and 
  • Thank him for helping you grow as a person!

There’s really no need to send it unless you really want to patch things up. If you really want to restore the relationship, take caution with what you say in the letter. Writing a letter can be quite therapeutic, but sending it can bring problems. What if he doesn’t contact you back? How will you feel? What’s your purpose in writing the letter?

When To Write A Letter To Your Ex

When To Write A Letter To Your Ex

You shouldn’t write a letter until after the No Contact period. Having no contact for a specific period can provide you with an excellent means of healing. The no contact period should include absence from texting, social media, email, or face-to-face contact. This should be a “break” from each other - a period where you can regroup and recover.

The no contact period will also give your ex time to miss you before writing to him, and by not having contact via social media, for example, you can keep the mystery of you alive. He doesn’t know what you’ve been up to because he can no longer see your Facebook feed. Keep him wondering what’s going on with you. Don’t tell him the details of your life.

During the no contact period, work on healing - work on yourself. Build a stronger relationship with yourself. You heard why he wanted to break-up. Is there something you can work on to become a better person? What could you have done differently? Work on that!

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

The Benefits Of Writing A Letter

A letter may seem like an ancient method of communication, but there are many benefits to writing an email or mailing an actual letter. First of all, you can take your time writing, editing, and rereading it to make sure it’s worded just right. 

Second, you can “take it back” easier than tweeting, texting, or posting a message via social media; you can hold on to it without feeling the need to press “send” right away. If you are emailing it, you can save it as a draft and return to it later when you have a fresh perspective to make sure it says precisely what you want it to.

Finally, it gives your ex a chance to read it over and over again - a chance to digest it. Let him ponder what you said. He may not respond right away. Don’t worry, though. Remember, you are mostly writing this letter as a self-improvement tool, a way to find closure. 

How To Write The Letter To Your Ex

How To Write The Letter To Your Ex

Greeting/Opening

“Hello John,” - Your greeting should be casual but friendly. Avoid using words like “Dear” or “Dearest.” Start with a casual opening. Something such as, “I hope you are doing well. I saw the lastest wrestling tournament on television last night, and I immediately thought of you.” Just a simple statement telling him something made you think of him.

Purpose: “I see why we broke up now.”

During this section, acknowledge what went wrong and be accountable for your part in the break-up.

“I wanted you to know when we broke up, I was at a loss. I didn’t know what part I played in the break-up, but I realize now that I made some mistakes. I should have supported your career more. I never realized how important it was to you. I was so focused on our time together, I didn’t understand what you needed. Now, I do.”

Announce You Have Changed

Talk about how you’ve changed. “Lately, I’ve been career-oriented, and I now see why having a full-time job is so important. I’ve conquered the ‘controlling’ traits’ I previously had. I’m now much more easy-going - believe it or not!”

Thank Your Ex 

Say, “You helped me start the journey in becoming the person I am today.” (in your own words).

Show you have moved past the things that went wrong. “I was so concerned with having everything going according to plan, I lost sight of the value of being spontaneous; I was always worried about things not going as planned. I wanted to thank you for telling me about this flaw I had. I now understand our break-up better.”

How You Have Changed

Include the details of how you changed. “I’ve been practicing the Budda’s principle of “letting go” and going with the unexpected. It’s like a sigh of relief! I had to work hard, but I’ve now completely let go of an attachment to plans. In fact, I go with the flow now.”

Closing

Add an easy-going closure. “Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for helping me change the things I needed to. Feel free to get in touch with me if you want to hang out sometime. If you’ve moved on or don’t want to, I completely understand. No worries! I just wanted to get all of that out.” End with something soft, “Regards, <First Name>.”

FAQs

Should I Write A Closure Letter To My Ex?

Writing to your ex is a great idea, but take caution when sending it. I recommend not sending it; just hold onto it. Write what you need to in order to find closure and keep it. If you are seeking closure, you should find it just by writing one.

What Do You Write To An Ex You Still Love?

While you probably want to discuss how much you still love your ex, it’s better not to. Instead, talk about the break-up and how you have changed; you understand why the two of you broke up, and you know your part in it. Discuss your personal transformation to your ex.

How Do You Write A Good Break-up Letter?

If you want to break up with someone via a letter, start by talking about why you want to break up. Don’t accuse them of all the wrongdoing. Rather than blaming them, talk about your part in the break-up, and how you think it’s best that you part ways and why.

Does Closure Help You Move On?

Most certainly! The best way to move on is with closure. Realize what went wrong with your ex, admit why the break-up was necessary, and always own up to your part in the demise of the relationship. You will feel better once you let it all out.

Should I Give My Ex Closure?

Yes! Allow your ex the opportunity to hash out any baggage he may be carrying around. If you ended things, let your ex get their feelings out; if it was the other way around, consider finding closure by writing but not sending a letter to your ex.

To Sum Things Up...

Consider writing to your ex if you have the correct intention and message. What’s your opinion of this post? Did I leave off any critical details? Please share!

Have you ever written to an ex after a break-up? How did it turn out? Please share your thoughts in the comments section!

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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