Break-up Lines in Japanese : If you read the last article about how to make a marriage proposal in Japanese, then today is the other side of the coin. We’re going to learn about breaking up in Japanese, complete with a list of nice and not-so-nice phrases to use in order to express your feelings. Get out the Kleenex box because it’s gonna get ugly!

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Breaking Up in Western Societies

As you know, every relationship is different, and the reason for one couple splitting up is different than any other. Sometimes your significant other cheats on you, or you suspect they’re seeing someone else. Sometimes work and long-distance relationships get in the way. Or perhaps you may realize that you simply don’t want to be in a relationship right now and want to stay friends. Here are some common break-up lines heard in western countries. Some Japanese may be familiar with the English if they’ve taken an active interest in aus non-Japanese people. 

Breaking Up in Western Societies
Breaking Up in Western Societies
別れましょうWakaremashouWe’re done.
あなたにふさわしい相手が他にいるはずAnata ni fusawashii aite ga hoka ni iru hazu.You deserve better. (Lit. Certainly there is a more suitable partner out there for you.)
私たち、いい時間もあったよねWatashi-tachi, ii jikan mo atta yo ne.We had some good times.
傷つけるつもりじゃなかったのKizu tsukeru tsumori ja nakatta no.I didn’t mean to hurt you.
あなたとはもう終わり!Anata to wa mou owari!I’m done with you!

Breaking Up in Japan

While breaking up can get messy at times, the Japanese like to avoid dramatic scenes in public as much as possible. As is consistent with the culture, maintaining harmonious order takes precedence above all else. Although it’s hard to continue having a civil relationship between two exes, they’ll still at least pretend that the friendship will continue. Therefore, when breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend in Japan, it’s a good idea to be calm, in control, and try to not turn it into a big scene. 

Having said that, I must also note that dramatic scenes among Japanese couples are not unheard of in Japan. I’ve seen a number in my time living in Tokyo, especially when one of the two is caught cheating.

Also, as with traditional marriage proposals, break-up lines can be indirect at times. Did you know that Japanese novelist Natsume Soseki once translated the English “I Liebe you” to「月が綺麗ですね」(T.suki ga kirei desu ne, The moon is beautiful, isn’t it). This may sound like a random statement and/or meaningless to westerners, but this level of indirectness and subtlety is poetry to the Japanese. Take a look at the break-up lines below, and notice how some of them don’t come right out and say what they mean.

Top 12 Break-up Lines in Japanese

Ima made suki de ite kurete arigatou.
Thank you for loving me all this time.
Anata ni deaete yokatta.
It was a pleasure getting to know you.

This one seems a little short and cold at first glance, but in Japanese it conveys to the other person that meeting and getting to know them was a positive experience that they will forever treasure in their memory.

Anata to sugoshita jikan wa isshou wasurenai yo.
I will never forget the time we spent together.
Shiawase wo inotte imasu.
I’ll pray for your happiness.

This is said to people who will be especially mortified by the breakup. It shows that you care about their happiness in the future even though you’re part ways.

Anata no koto nanka, kirai ni narenai…
I can’t hate you.

“Gee…thanks?” you might respond with sarcasm. 

Apparently this is a good break-up line to say if you’re splitting up due to work or having to move away. It means the possibility of getting back together could still be on the table.

Kaze hikanai you ni ne. Wakarete mo genki de ite ne.
Don’t catch a cold. Even though we’re breaking up, stay healthy.

Don’t catch a cold. Even though we’re breaking up, stay healthy.

The woman still caring about the man’s well-being after she dumps him is supposed to make the guy feel better about the situation. Um…if you say so!  

Itsuka mata waratte aitai ne,
I want to meet and laugh with you again sometime.
Baka! Anta nanka shiranai!
You idiot! I don’t even know you!
Ikuji nashi!
You coward! 
Ore-tachi wa ~sai ni nattara, Toukyou eki de aou.
Let’s meet at Tokyo station when we’re _ years old.

This sounds like a line from a movie! If you’ve ever had a platonic relationship with someone, this scenario is something to consider. If you haven’t met Mr./Mrs. Right by age, say, 40, maybe the two of you were meant to be together all along!

Wakarete shimau kedo, korekara mo ouen shite iru yo.
I’m breaking up with you, but I still support you from here on out.
Unmei nara, mata aeru.
If it was meant to be, we shall meet again.

Now that you have some new break-up lines at your disposal, you have a better idea of how to break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend…should the unfortunate situation arise. I recommend expressing your feelings in both your native language and Japanese for double the impact! 

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