The end of a relationship is a funny thing. I had a best friend breakup well over three years ago and I still think about her all the time. Yet, I’ve had multiple boyfriend / dating breakups and after a year I rarely think about it. In the immediate aftermath of a breakup though, it’s all you think about and it takes your best effort to not share your piss and venom with everyone who surrounds you. It also takes a great deal of restraint not to burst in to tears in the middle of staff meetings. Trena and I were talking over the weekend and we both claimed to be experts at the breakup (after all, we’ve both been to this party before). So, over time, I’ve developed my personal rules of engagement for the breakup.
The number one rule? Be incommunicado. It serves no purpose but to drag it on. I don’t believe in closure. Closure is the end of the relationship. Conversations after the fact drag it out and take time away from your healing process. My personal mantra is that you don’t talk with them until you stop wanting to talk to them. This includes texts, emails, actual phone calls, etc. Set up an email filter to delete messages, suspend your Facebook account and give your cell phone to a neighbor at night if you have to.
Rule #2: Get back down to your dating weight. Truly. It works out the stress, will help you sleep better at night and will make you smile at the thought of how great you’re going to look when you do eventually see the ex.
Rule #3: Don’t lose it in the office.This falls under ‘Keep it Classy’. You don’t want your coworkers avoiding you and your bosses questioning your sanity. Life will suck more if you don’t have a job.
Rule #4: Use discretion. This is also under ‘Keep it Classy’. It’s your business, it’s personal, it’s private. Most people asking are being nosy and after two weeks, they won’t care and will have moved on to the next bit of gossip. Personally, I believe in the no explanation explanation. ‘Do you want to talk about it?’ ‘Thank you, but no.’
‘OMG. What happened?’ response: ‘You know, I’d rather not talk about it.’
Rule #5: If you need to talk, get a therapist. A dear friend said she went to a therapist so that she would have to sit and listen to her cry. They are unclouded and untainted in their assessment. Your friends love you, but they know you. Remember when Carrie and Big broke up and Samantha gave her a therapist’s card?
Rule #6: Ignore the following statements from people:
- You’ll find someone else
- Well, you didn’t date that long, so you’ll get over it soon enough
- It’s not like you two were married…
- You know, you’re so independent, I just think….
- Have you ever thought you might be happier with a woman?
- Have you ever thought about why your relationships don’t last?
- Well, I know you’re 33, but you you might still find someone
- I had such high hopes for you two
Rule #7: Remember that life goes on. Think about the last person you broke up with thinking that you would never be the same again. And think about how it doesn’t even phase you now. You’ll get to that point soon enough.
Remember this: You are not alone. Even when someone says, ‘who wants to be alone?’. Geez. You have family, you have friends, you have your faith. You are NOT alone.