Write The Breakup Letter, But Don’t Send It

Sarah McMahon
3 min readMay 3, 2021

I have a habit of writing letters to the men who break my heart. Sometimes, I send them but most of the time I don’t. I don’t think I ever should. So I’m sharing one with the internet instead, in the hopes that someone else finds this just as therapeutic. Xoxo.

Hi [Insert Common White Man Name Here],

I’m not here to profess my love. I’m not here to reiterate exactly how and why you hurt me. I’m not here to tell you how selfish you are, either. You already know that. You actually told me that a long time ago, and I should have believed you. Fool me once, and shame.

I hate that I want you so much. And I hate that one of the reasons I want you so much is that you’re categorically unavailable. When I asked you what you wanted in a relationship, you couldn’t even tell me, out of fear, maybe, or simply not knowing. I don’t blame you, necessarily, for running away from the thing you want most. It is clear that you want love and are simultaneously afraid of it. I understand that fear, too. We are not so unalike.

One of the hallmark signs of an avoidant man is valuing freedom over everything. So, considering the needs of another human probably seems like an infringement on your freedom. I’ve met so many men who are like this, who want the freedom to do whatever they please but also want the love and security of a partner. But no self-respecting person can stand to be in that type of partnership, and both are left unsatisfied.

I don’t think the right kind of relationship would be an infringement at all. Probably, the right kind of relationship would offer so much freedom. The freedom to be truly oneself and loved for it. The freedom to fail and fuck up and still be loved. The freedom to respect another person and receive that same respect in return. The freedom of knowing that at least one person on this wild and weary planet loves you, unconditionally. The freedom of knowing that being together is better than being apart. We were obviously not better together, so this probably for the best. My brain knows that, but my heart hasn’t quite caught up yet.

Part of me and my bruised ego wants to believe that you’re just as sad as I am, but I know that isn’t true. Part of me wants to believe that you knew you were not giving me enough…

Sarah McMahon

Blogger | Poet | Freelancer | Ultra Runner IG: @mcmountain email: sarahrose.writer@gmail.com