Whoever said that breaking up with someone is just as hard as being broken up with was, in my humble opinion, a freaking idiot. A big, fat liar. Not much in life sucks worse than having the object of your affection end your relationship. Your guy could be the biggest loser on earth, but as soon as he walks away he looks like a million bucks, doesn’t he? Oh sure, we’ll say things to ourselves like “Whatever!” and “Good riddance.” But what we’re really feeling is more along the lines of “How could he do that to me?” and “Why doesn’t he want me?” I know this because, just like every single one of you, I have been there as well. Let me be honest: In my younger years, I rarely handled myself well in a break up. I was the queen of the “disappearing act” (why bother to call back if you don’t want to see him anymore?), the guru of the “blow up” (usually followed by the “storm out”), and (when I was on the receiving end) the master of the “beg and plead.” Just trust me when I say it was never pretty. It was total bad news…
But the good news is there IS a way to handle yourself when a man decides to leave you “in search of greener pastures.” And here’s the beauty of it: Not only will you be able to hold your head up high, but there’s also a damn good chance that he will (in about five seconds) regret his decision. Because, duh, you’re a catch. He’s just an idiot. It’s very simple, but it will take a lot of self-control and tongue biting. Are you ready? Here it is:
LET. HIM. GO.
That’s right. Let him go. Agree with him. Tell him that you’ve been thinking the same. Even if you haven’t (it’s OK to lie a bit when you’re getting dumped – I promise). Keep everything short and sweet. Thank him for being “man enough” to say what needed to be said. And then hang up the damn phone or walk the hell away. End of story. (You can cry at home.)
Do NOT, under any circumstance, say something to the extent of the following: “Yeah, well let me tell you something. You’re a complete a-hole. You dress for crap, your jokes aren’t funny, and I faked every orgasm.” Don’t even go there, sister. All that’s going to do is make you look like a psycho bitch (which he probably thinks most women are anyway) and will confirm in his mind why he’s dumping your ass. You’ll be thinking it, of course. But do not say it. In fact, say almost nothing.
Further, it’s never a good idea to ask “Why?” (or the even more pathetic version, “Whhhhy are you dooooing this to meeee?”). Really, who the heck cares? The bottom line is he doesn’t want you anymore, so why worry WHAT his reasons are. It’s very likely that (a) he doesn’t really even know himself, (b) he won’t be straight up about it anyway, and (c) all it will do is hurt you. One of my all time favorite relationship quotes is “If he was stupid enough to walk away, be smart enough to let him go.” Amen. You obviously won’t feel this way at first. Oh no. And that’s OK. But keep telling yourself this simple mantra and eventually you’ll believe it. Especially after you meet the next guy…
The less emotion you show the better. Let’s face it, he’s expecting you to show emotion. So no anger, no tears, no nuthin’. Wait until you’ve said your short and sweet “Thank you and goodbye.” Once he’s out of earshot/eyeshot/the range where he could hear a sonic boom go off, you have my permission to scream, cry, swear, throw things, drive to your nearest McDonald’s and order everything on the dollar menu. I don’t care what you do. Just don’t do it in front of him. And make sure he doesn’t find out about it either. Don’t call one of his “bros” and say, “Do you know what your a-hole friend did?” And don’t take a hit out on him on your Facebook page (I know this is tempting. TRUST ME.).
Of course I’m going to allow you some time to wallow in your misery. I’ve never really been able to figure out how long is an appropriate amount of time to mourn a lost love. My college relationship lasted over two and half years. I was over it in about five seconds. I dated one guy for four months. After I walked in on him having sex with another girl, it took me nearly a year to recover. Who can say? But I do know there are things you can do to speed up the process. Here’s how I survived my last “relationship” and “break up”:
1. Gather your ”Army of Bitches” These are your two or three best girlfriends who will hold your head to their chest as you sob and wail. But they’ll also talk tough and tell you the deal straight up. I like my comrades to have diverse skills. One of my girls is very wise and spiritual and said deep and profound things which made me see things in a different light. Another is the “mean” one who told me, “I don’t know why you liked him anyway. He was ugly.” And lastly there’s my friend who listens more than she talks. She would let me go on and on (and on) until the wee hours of the night, usually over a bottle of vodka. Whoever your army is, gather the troops quickly and warn them that the battle ahead may be long and arduous. But no lives will be lost and you’re all going to make it home just fine. Eventually.
2. Do The Things You Enjoy Doing (And Maybe Didn’t Do/Stopped Doing When You Were With Him). Again, the “what” you do isn’t as important as just doing it. One of my friends gave me this piece of advice and I am so grateful. At first I was like, “What the heck do I like doing that’s just for me?” Shopping? Ummm, yeah, but that can be dangerous (i.e. expensive). Fine dining? Great. Don’t have anyone to do that with. Wait a sec! WRITING. And so that’s what I did. Use your free time to rediscover an old love or to maybe find a new one. And one that has nothing to do with a man…
3. Stop Thinking About Him. Just stop. Force yourself. If he pops into your head, banish him. It’s hard at first. But it does get easier. And whatever you do — DO NOT contact him. No calls, no texts, no emails, no FB wall posts. I’m serious. Do not even “like” a status update he puts on his page. In fact, just take him off your Newsfeed altogether, mmkay? And whatever you do, please don’t “accidentally” run into him. No contact means NO CONTACT OF ANY KIND. Nada. Got it?
4. Never Underestimate the Power of Music. Songs that remind you of him need to be taken OFF the iPod. Songs that make you feel good and strong and happy should be played over and over again. I have a personal favorite break up song. It’s “Already Gone” by The Eagles (does this make me old??). The words are amazing. And every time I listen to it, I feel f-ing fantastic.
Here’s the fun part: While you’re doing all of this, and assuming that you conducted yourself with grace and dignity during the actual break up, the poor bastard is going to be very, very confused. He’s going to wonder why you didn’t react, why you didn’t try to change his mind. He’s thinking, “Wow. I guess she wasn’t really that into me.” And this is going to mess with his head. Big time. Suddenly, you’re not the girl he dumped. Nope. You’re the girl who got away. Correction: You are the classy, emotionally together, cool chick who got away. (Little does he know, right?!?) I have a theory that all men eventually come back around — unless of course you acted like a complete lunatic. (In that case, he will RUN if he ever sees you/hears your name mentioned again.) Usually, they seem to do this at the exact moment we are over them. Strange how that works, isn’t it? If you follow my advice, I would give it at least a 75% chance he’ll be banging down your door in oh, say, one to three months. Tops. Then it will be up to you to decide if you want him anymore. Which you probably won’t.