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The 6 Worst Breakup Lines (& What to Say Instead)


Let’s face it: breakups are terrible for everyone involved. That’s why when it’s time to end things with your latest campus cutie, you may be totally clueless about how to approach this sensitive subject. In the heat of the moment, you could end up saying some terribly clichéd (and super lame) things that no one wants to hear when they’re getting the boot from your life. But not all breakups have to be a complete failure!

Avoid these six breakup lines, and your conscious uncoupling might go a little more smoothly.

1. “It’s not you; it’s me.”

This one’s the oldest line in the breakup handbook, and it’s almost completely lost its credibility at this point. Say this to someone during your dramatic breakup speech and you’re almost guaranteed a complimentary eye roll from him or her accompanied by an angry sigh.

What to say instead: “I don’t think we’re right for each other.”

You’ve got to keep everyone’s best interests at heart, but you also don’t want to entirely blame yourself for why you guys didn’t work out. Not everyone can find the Ashton Kutcher to her Mila Kunis right away (even Mila Kunis herself didn’t). If you’re not right for each other, than there’s nothing you can do but acknowledge it and move on to better things!

2. “We can still be friends.”

We hate to break it to you, but the person you just dumped probably won’t be braiding your hair and gabbing about cute boys with you any time soon (or ever, for that matter). While you have nothing but the best of intentions when opening the pathway to friendship, there’s no individual in the world who likes being demoted from the romance zone to the friend zone.

What to say instead: “I hope we can move past this someday.”

It’s highly doubtful that you and your ex will become fast friends, but there’s always the hope that one day you can at least be friendly with each other. After all, you’re bound to run into each other at a party at some point, and you don’t want an Orlando Bloom/Justin Bieber-esque brawl to ensue. A friendly wave in the hallway is really all you’re asking for!

3. “Things are moving too fast.”

If you actually like someone, you’re most likely not going to mind if he or she is picking up the pace in your relationship. Telling a guy that things are moving too fast is just an excuse for when you realize that this guy likes you WAY more than you like him.

“I was seeing this guy my freshman year of college, and he was really into me,” says Hannah, a junior at the University of Washington. “We had only known each other for a little less than a month, and I barely knew anything about him, but he kept talking about making our relationship official. We had only been on a few dates, and I could tell he was super into me, which made me realize that I wasn’t actually that into him. I had to tell him things were moving too fast, but honestly, I just didn’t like him the same way he liked me.”

What to say instead: “This relationship didn’t turn out how I hoped it would.

When you first met him you thought the two of you had some potential, but as his interest in you skyrocketed, yours grew smaller and smaller. You started off with good intentions, but stringing him along now would just be mean on your part. Not every relationship turns out how we hope it will, and he can’t expect you to dive headfirst into a serious relationship if you really aren’t feeling it.

4. “I’m not good enough for you.”

The “I’m not good enough for you” line isn’t going to fool anyone. If someone was really too good for you, why on Earth would you break up with him or her? This line is ultimately just a cop-out so you don’t have to tell him that you just don’t like him like that anymore.

Yes, your former SO may be a wonderful person, but if you’re not feeling it, then you’re not feeling it, and he deserves to know. Otherwise he might spend a few sleepless nights wondering what he did wrong, because, according to you, his only fault is having no faults.

What to say instead: “We both deserve something better.” 

Believe it or not, you can think someone is totally awesome but not want to date him or her! It’s important to be compatible with the person you’re kissin’ on the daily, and there’s nothing wrong with feeling no chemistry even if that person is completely out of this world.

However, this person deserves an explanation as to why you’re ending your romance, and it’s best to just give it to him straight. Let him know you think he’s a great person, but you guys just aren’t meshing like you had hoped.

5. “I’m sorry (x1000).”

Breakups can be pretty nerve-wracking and may induce a serious case of word vomit. That’s why you may feel inclined to throw in a pitiful, “I’m sorry!” after every line of your well-rehearsed breakup speech.

The fact of the matter is, adding on an apology to every word you say won’t exactly make him feel better, no matter how much you truly mean it. Besides, you shouldn’t have to apologize for doing what you feel is best for your relationship. If this is really the right decision for you, then there’s no reason to be sorry!

What to say instead:  “I hope you understand.

You don’t need to ask for forgiveness, but saying, “I hope you understand” is a good way to show sympathy. He may not understand your reasoning now, but give him some time! This lets him know that you sympathize with how he’s feeling, but you’re standing your ground and doing what you feel is best for yourself.

6. “I’ll always love you.”

Regardless of how you’re feeling in the moment, saying, “I’ll always love you” is not the best way to cut ties with someone. Maybe he’s moving away, maybe you’re leaving for different colleges or maybe it’s just best for you two to be apart at the moment. Whatever the reason is, however, keeping the L-word on the table will give him hope for you guys in the future, even if that’s not what you intended.

You never know what time apart will do for you – you might miss him more than you anticipated, or you might just realize how much you love being alone! Either way, it’s probably best to keep love out of the breakup equation.

What to say instead: “I’m always here for you, but it’s time for us to move on.”

Love may be a little too strong in the case of a breakup, but letting someone know you still care for him or her is fair game. Feelings don’t just disintegrate overnight, and you want to let him know that if he’s ever in a sticky situation, he can always call you for help.

Breakups are a tricky business, but when you know how to handle them effectively, they can be a little bit easier to maneuver. As long as you avoid these six terrible lines, your breakup should go smoothly (well… as smoothly as a breakup CAN go). 

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