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LeavesNoTrace's avatar

Avoiding Breakup Cliches: How to say 'I love you but I'm not in love with you'?

Asked by LeavesNoTrace (5674points) December 4th, 2011

Kind of self explanatory. Another good one is “it’s not you, it’s me”. Sometimes you just want to say it but you know how cringe-worthy it must sound. Any ideas? Let’s discuss. Get creative!

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24 Answers

Sunny2's avatar

I don’t think we’re on enough of the same wave length. One of us will fall off and I don’t want to go through that.

You’re one of the nicest (smartest, funniest, handsomest, coolest etc) people I’ve ever known, but I don’t think I can measure up to you. I think my self-esteem would suffer. You need someone more like yourself.

If I fall under your spell any more than I have so far, I’ll lose myself and I don’t want to do that. I need to feel more independent.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

@Sunny2 lol nice! Especially the first one. Sadly, it wouldn’t work in my case but maybe it could help someone in a different situation. I hope you guys keep ‘em coming. This might help a lot of people.

King_Pariah's avatar

I can tell you right now as a guy, I HATE that routine. If you’re going to break up with me, just say you can’t keep doing this, that you’re not in love with me. BUT LEAVE OUT THE I LOVE YOU. That hurts. a lot.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

@King_Pariah Understandable. Been through it myself on the receiving end. That’s why I’m looking for a more tactful way to handle the situation without relying on tired cliches but still conveying what I need to convey.

lillycoyote's avatar

You want a non-cliched, tactful one-size-fits all relationships and all people breakup line? Are you breaking up with a specific person for a specific reason. Anyway, you might try something like “We’ve given this a try but I just don’t think it’s going to work out between the two of us. I think it’s best for us both to just move on.” Short, non-commital, definitive.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“Oh Jeez we can’t date… I think of you as my Sister/Brother”.

lillycoyote's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Or even better: “We can’t date. I’ve recently seen my adoption papers… and you are my Sister/Brother!”

King_Pariah's avatar

Real tactful break ups are rare. No matter how tactful you try to be, most of the time, someone’s emotions are going to feel like they got shat on, and often that effort to “ease” it makes it worse. Some things are better left unsaid. Now the manner you say, “things aren’t working between us,” that can be done in a way that’s beneficially tactful.

perspicacious's avatar

Don’t. Say you aren’t happy and are leaving the relationship. That (should be) the truth and is not rebuttable.

zensky's avatar

I agree with persp.

If you actually do LOVE the person – don’t hurt them too much. There’s a reason why cliche has a negative connotation.

Pele's avatar

Just stick with the cliche way. Why sugar coat it? That’s just a gateway to more frosting which will make things more confusing, then the breakup will be too sticky.

Pele's avatar

Or tell them that you just lurve them.

flutherother's avatar

As above, the truth is never a cliche.

Luiveton's avatar

If you want to avoid breakup clich├ęs then don’y use any? Simple.
Don’t leave without a reason if you ever plan on coming back with an excuse.
Just tell them the truth.
“If you’re gonna be two-faced, at least make one of them pretty.”—Marilyn Monroe

marinelife's avatar

I don’t think that it’s a good idea to say I love you, but I’m not in love with you. I think breaking up requires crystal clarity so there is no wiggle room and no change for misunderstanding.

I would just say, “I cannot be in a relationship with you anymore.” (No talk about my feelings at all.)

sliceswiththings's avatar

I just move away. They get the hint.

Judi's avatar

They became cliche because there IS an air of truth to it. Trying to find a creative way to say the same thing won’t make it hurt any less.

6rant6's avatar

No need to be coy, Roy. Just get yourself free.

downtide's avatar

I agree with @King_Pariah. I’d feel worse hearing an “I love you but…” than just a simple “I don’t love you any more”.

GladysMensch's avatar

I’m breaking your heart, and depending on the length of time we’ve been together, possibly destroying your entire view of intimacy and relationships. However, I don’t want to feel any guilt for it. So, I’m going to say that we can still be friends or some other cliche. Regardless, don’t contact me.

zenvelo's avatar

Easiest to me, in some way, was “I value our closeness, but I need other things in a relationship that I can’t get from you.”

It still hurt, but could have been worse.

Luiveton's avatar

I think you’d have made it easier for us if you gave us a precise reason as to why you want a breakup, then we can actually give you something to say. If it’s not too personal, that is.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’ve broken off with more than a few people I loved but wasn’t in love with, it wasn’t cliche for me and I don’t think it was for them because it was genuine and both parties knew the reasons that led up to the change in the romantic part of love.

If something is true and concise, why mess with it? Creativity and sugar coatings really suck in a breakup. Save that shite for when you’re trying to forge and hold a relationship

majorrich's avatar

I’m sorry ________, we have the wrong kind of love. I have tried to make a go of it, but the plain truth is I love you and will always love you; but not in a romantic way.

I think that is the best ‘letting you loose’ line I ever got. We are still best of friends.

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