How To Say Goodbye To Someone You Love

Throw them a party. Hire circus people to juggle things and invite all your close friends and family. Don’t let appearances fool you though because this is no ordinary celebration. No sir, it’s more of a tribute to the love that was once had and now lost. Order a cake from the local bakery and have them write in sugary icing: “R.I.P. Our love (2006-2012).” Smash the cake in your lover’s face and then quickly hide all the sharp kitchen knives.

Text them frantically, saying you need to talk. Get no response. Think about all the closure YOU need to finally say goodbye, think about all the loose ends that are driving you insane. You want to put the heartbreak in a nice pretty package and perhaps sell it at Tiffany’s. “I don’t love you anymore” bracelet. ZERO KARATS, ZERO DOLLARS. You don’t want this to get ugly. You pray they don’t hate you but guess what? They definitely do. They’re looking at your texts and being like, “No thanks. You don’t break my heart and then get the gift of closure. I have the power now and I’m not willing to give you the satisfaction of a clean ending.” Oh well. Say your goodbyes to the mirror, I guess.

Don’t say goodbye at all. Keep the relationship going and going and going, until there’s nothing left and you’re in two completely different places. You’re sitting next to each other on the couch but you might as well be in Somalia and them in Delaware. The emotional distance is actually terrifying. Now you know that you can understand someone so completely and then not at all. Just like that. And even though it’s terrible, none of you have the guts to cut it off so you just act out the love; you dig deep inside of yourself to access a time when it felt real and you try to bring it to the surface. It’s really quite dreadful and pathetic. Sometimes, the most painful goodbyes are the ones that never get said.

Say goodbye by turning your cheek in bed. Say goodbye when you accidentally tell someone you’re single. Say goodbye when you start to think of your grocery list during sex. Say goodbye when you start to wince when they rub your shoulders. Say goodbye when you find yourself behaving with an edge of ugliness. Say goodbye when you sleep with someone else. Say goodbye when you start to actually hate them for not doing the dishes. Say goodbye when your mind is made up. Say goodbye when there’s no longer a reason to say hello. TC Mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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  • Dennis

    This is so true and so good. You’ve described my feelings which I couldnt describe myself. Thanks for the aricle.

    • Gina

      same here….

  • i

    “Text them frantically, saying you need to talk. Get no response. Think about all the closure YOU need to finally say goodbye, think about all the loose ends that are driving you insane.”


    and this was fun to read.

    • crm

      amen :(

  • IdeaSmith

    Thank you, I really needed this just now. I hope goodbyes come easier and softer to you.

  • Paulina

    “Say goodbye when there’s no longer a reason to say hello”

    Great ending line

    • Elisabeth


  • Odcar_Wilde

    This is one of the most painful pieces I’ve ever read. Beautiful work, Ryan.

    • Kenai

      it hurts so bad… i want to cry. but i can’t…

      You’re a genius, Ryan.

  • Archita

    Hmm mine was 2002-2008. We both got our closures and are great friends now :)

  • Aviva

    How To Say Goodbye To Someone You Loved*

    Thought-provoking article, though.

  • Magdalena

    Ouchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh so dead on.

  • Zane.sidetrack

    ” Say goodbye when there’s no longer a reason to say hello. ”

    perfect goodbye they say

  • Rachel

    ohhhhhhhhhhhh ryan so true

  • Only L<3Ve @

    […] Thought Catalog » Love & Sex Add a comment […]

  • Sofia

    This is so nice!!! <3

  • blake

    Paragraph 2 ME right now..

    thanks for writing this!

    if you ever read this, i hope you know i genuinely loved you more than anything and you broke my heart so see addendum 2.

  • pilotbpsfl4902505084584

    The pains and pleasures of endings start with the word goodbye.

  • Amrita Tapadia

    Loved the ending!! Did all of that and only then could I totally say goodbye! :) Beautiful article Ryan <3

  • Liz

    Delaware, holler. Come visit us. I’m a friend of Alex and Cedric, the ones who drunk e-mail you.

  • birdieboots

    Just broke up with my boyfriend on Sunday. Still in wallowing phase. This article made me feel better and more miserable simultaneously.

  • womp

    all the bitches love it all the- all the bitches love it

  • George


  • Mariadp

    Ryan this is perfect! Just write a book already

  • Alex


  • calebhildenbrandt

    This is so beautiful and so sad.

  • meg

    The only other thing that has made me cry was a john steinbeck novel, and now this.

  • Y

    This broke my heart

  • timo

    Reblogged this on Mine.

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