Break-up Letters I Have Known

There are more actual photos of "Dear John" letters following a thousand or so words of wisdom.

The Captain and Tennille said it best… “Love will keep us together”. They publicly declared their love for each other to millions of people in the ’70s who voluntarily (or otherwise) listened to their song. Where are The Captain and Tennille now? Not together. I guess they fell out of love.

See how that works? Falling out of love is the great deal-breaker. Anything that was ever said between you and your former lover — every single promise — is now null and void.

Only a fool actually believes all the drivel said to them during courtship. But it’s no easy task to weigh the smooth words flowing from between the pouty lips of someone you have the serious hots for using the scales of reason and common sense. We can even be fooled by song lyrics written by people we have never met about people who are not us. Take the song “Touch Me” by The Doors, for example. Jim Morrison yodels forth…

“Now, I’m gonna love you
‘Till the heavens stop the rain
I’m gonna love you
‘Till the stars fall from the sky for you and I”

Such sweet words of devotion, right? Wrong! See, even you fell for some guy’s line! Look closer at what he’s saying… “I’m gonna love you ’till the heavens stop the rain” means, I’m going to stop loving you when it stops raining. He also says, “I’m gonna love you ’till the stars fall from the sky for you and I” which means, Even if it keeps raining, all bets are off as soon as the sun rises. You didn’t actually think that Jim is saying that he’ll love her until some cosmological event destroys all the stars in the sky, did you? Jim was slick with words, but he was fickle and ready to move on before breakfast.

The desire to get out of a relationship is not only felt by songwriters — most of us at some point have wanted to ditch a person who has transformed from the object of our affection into some detestable beast. But what to do next?

The absolute best way to break off a romance is to tell the unwanted one face-to-face. It allows them to get clarification as to why you are suddenly nauseated by anyone with the same first name as theirs, it lets them say goodbye, it gives them a sense of closure, and it provides you with an opportunity to get your keys back. And if you have grown to really hate their guts, the face-to-face break up allows you to see them squirm one last time.

But not all of us have the stomach for direct confrontation so we seek out other solutions to such problems. A quick phone call prevents you from having to see their poxy face even one last time while providing you with confirmation that they’ve gotten the message. But sometimes just hearing their voice is more than one is willing to endure.

For people who just want to end it and have no qualms about denying their now insignificant other closure or the opportunity to beg for a second chance, I suggest leaving a note in a conspicuous location. Texting them is great, but a real note can be kept by the jilted one forever as a reminder of what they once had and what they lost. Many a paper-based note have contributed to the onset of debilitating eating disorders in spurned lovers.

You can offer a degree of kindness to the one being rejected, if that’s what you want, by keeping the so-called “Dear John Letter” short and to the point. Its brevity is akin to a quick removal of a Band-aid — the quicker the yank, the more painless it will be. Here’s a sample do-it-yourself break-up letter…

Dear Ned,

I’m sorry but I just cannot be “your girlfriend” any longer. Here are just a few of my many reasons:

  • You have no idea how to treat a girl… you treat me just like one of your guy friends except that you’re super nervous whenever I’m around.
  • You have hair in places monkeys don’t.
  • You’re about as much fun as Amish Spring Break.
  • Even Liberace thinks you’re a mama’s boy.
  • You’re a mouth breather and the doctor’s treatments aren’t helping.
  • Your coveted colonial crumb broom collection is stupid.
  • Your feet smell like Kalamata olives and feta cheese.
  • Your breath is worse than your feet.

I’ve left the Betsy Ross crumb broom you gave me on our first date on your back porch. I think that you are more attached to it than you were to me.

Please don’t call me, Vanessa.

First of all, any girl named Vanessa is way too hot to be dating a mouth breather with a crumb broom collection, colonial or otherwise. In spite of that obvious mismatch, I think Vanessa handled that pretty well (although not quite perfectly). She not only gave him a few reasons why she doesn’t like him anymore but she had the maturity and compassion to return Betsy Ross’ crumb broom to him. I’m sure Ned will cherish it not only for its historical significance but also as an object handled by a real girl who actually went on a date with him. Unfortunately, none of his friends will ever believe that the girl’s name was Vanessa.

There is something you can do to take the Dear John (or Jane) Letter up a notch… add a little poetry to the brush-off. This tells the recipient that you have remained calm enough to compose a tiny piece of literature so whatever they’ve done to earn your ire or indifference, it was not significant enough to really upset you in any deep or enduring way. And if you model your brush-off poem after another well-known piece of poetry, every time your ex sees or hears the original they will be reminded of how you ditched them.

So after having gone through my archives, I’ve found some great examples of notes left to communicate that a person’s affections will no longer be required. Please note that these were not all written to get rid of me… some were provided by friends.

I hope you find these notes useful in your quest for freedom!

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About HoaiPhai

I'm up late digging up the dirt. View all posts by HoaiPhai

19 responses to “Break-up Letters I Have Known

  • Carl D'Agostino

    Does this mean we’re not going to the beach Saturday ?

  • The Hobbler

    Those are so funny! Glad I’m not in any position to send or receive one of those notes!

    • HoaiPhai

      I have been ditched in so many ways but I am so thankful that I’m finally totally confident that my wife and I will spend the rest of our days getting in each other’s way and questioning each other’s purchases.

  • Stepping My Way to Bliss

    Funny stuff. I shared a couple with my husband who didn’t find them quite as funny…maybe it triggered a painful memory. BTW–guess what! I found red lentils!!! I will be making your yummy recipe this weekend.

    • HoaiPhai

      Ha-ha! Poor guy. Maybe he thought you were trying to tell him something.

      I got the idea a few weeks ago so I started writing the poems as they came to me and my wife found one of them. She realized that I was up to something but I detected a modicum of concern in her voice during “question period”. Yesterday all that was left to do was to write the messages on paper, stick them on context-serving objects, take pictures, and stick the pictures into the post. This morning she had a good laugh when I showed the post to her, except the one with the coffee cup. She asked if it was “her” cup in the picture (a mug I gave her with a picture depicting a romantic Korean myth called Chilseok… there is a brief outline of the myth in this post I wrote quite a while ago).

      I had first thought of using the Chilseok mug because it has a black handle, but at the last minute I changed to another black mug so as not to allow a break-up letter to touch my wife’s cup and jinx our marriage. I’m not superstitious, but I just thought it would be wrong.

      Don’t forget the tarps when you make the lentils unless you want a yellow polka dot motif in your kitchen!

  • Dave Farmer

    Hoaiphai, this was a great post, funny enough to raise my chuckle level to a rolling laughter in parts. However my concern rests with your final paragraph where you state that some of the notes where provided by friends, leaving “some” left to you. And whilst this in itself is perfectly fine, it’s the notion that amidst a torrent of emotion, anyone would have the foresight to take a photo of said note just in case they need to refer back to it at a later date!

    Despite that, I’m glad because I particularly enjoyed Hickory Dickory Dock note!

    • HoaiPhai

      Glad you liked the post! The phenomenon of photographing such notes is a new one, with the pictures being taken by the notes’ authors and posted on the recipients’ social networking pages to further humiliate the poor wretch, sometimes even repeating the disgrace on annual anniversaries of the ditching. It’s also interesting to note the similar script of all the notes. I believe that a competent graphologist would agree with my explanation that different people with psychologies similar enough to share the similar behaviours of leaving poetic Dear John letters (and photographing them) would have similar handwriting.

  • The Hook

    This was absolutely frackin’ hilarious, my friend!
    Great work!
    Worthy of Freshly Pressed status for sure!

  • xeriouslywtf

    I wish i was a young man today and had your wise direction to take advantage of.. the kids these days have it so good. I feel I would have been a better, less idiotic individual in the many failed relationships I endured. Great post.

    • HoaiPhai

      I agree… in the old days you had to really think before you broke off with someone. After the first time you did, you thought very seriously about getting in too deep lest you have to go through the whole breaking-off process once more.

  • ns

    HoaiPhai, these are hysterical! I love the “instrument” with which the last note has been affixed to the door? table?. Two-timers! BEWARE!!

    • HoaiPhai

      Ha-ha! Glad you liked the post. In reality the last note was done by jamming the cleaver between the leaves if a table but I was trying to make it look like it was a door. Glad that at least I achieved a little uncertainty!

  • Cardinal Guzman

    I like the first one best. “Best before…” haha 🙂

    • HoaiPhai

      I went to great lengths to produce that picture… I had to search everyone’s drawers (“desk drawers”, that is) and finally found the stamp in the Big boss’ office and used it without permission! I could have photoshopped a passable rubber stamp but I wanted to keep it authentic. Glad you liked the post!

  • Shut Up and Sing « HoaiPhai

    […] is that if I really like a song, I don’t read the lyrics with the speakers turned off. In a previous post I spoke about The Doors’ song “Touch Me”. It’s a lovely song but if you […]

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