The Break Up Do’s & Don’ts You Can’t Ignore
We’ve all been there. You’ve either been the heart breaker, nervously sending a text that causes a whirlwind of guilt in the pit of your stomach, or the broken-hearted on the other side of that situation reading the dreaded group of 160 characters that will either free you or ruin you.
It happens even in the healthiest of relationships: one day, the quirks you found adorable become a nuisance. The cute texts at 10 a.m. in the middle of class earn a swipe up on your notification bar because you’re trying to pay attention to the professor. Or, even worse, you wake up one morning and realize you are the annoying 10 a.m. text.
Having been both the dumper and the dumpee, I can guarantee that no matter what the cause, break-ups can become unnecessarily complicated for both parties involved. Whether she’s throwing your clothes out the front door because you liked that one girl’s picture or he’s leaving you for the girl from work that he swore to you was only his friend, this guideline serves as a road map for when your hotline ceases to bling.
1. If you are the one considering ending the relationship, make sure a break up is definitely what you want. Before you go any further, ask yourself, is this really the best option? Are there ways I can fix the problem? Lack of communication is the most common issue within relationships. Talk it out. Granted, no one is 100 percent happy with a break up, regardless of whether you are the dumper or the dumpee, but being confident in your actions will make the process a lot easier. Keep a healthy amount of communication. Most break ups start to become unhealthy when the conversations about what went wrong in the relationship drag on longer than they need to. Discuss what the problem was but keep it short. Avoid drunken texts at 1 a.m. when the vodka has all of a sudden made you brave.
2. If you are the one that is less on board the break up ship, try and understand the other’s reasons behind wanting to end it. Love is blind, we know, but the only thing worse than blindness is refusing to see. If the person breaks up with you, chances are their mind is made up and you will not be able to change how they feel. The best option for you is to try and understand where they are coming from so you can avoid the problem in the future.
3. Know when to give each other space. Take it from personal experience, space may seem like the worst idea in the world, and it may seem like both of you are just running away from the problem, but it is actually one of the best things that could happen in a break up. Chances are, both of you are hurting because you keep picking at the wound. Stick a band-aid on that sucker and let it sit for a bit before thinking about it again.
4. If you decide to pursue a friendship, know your boundaries. This seems like quite the obvious tip, but you would be surprised what people think is an okay topic of conversation with an ex. Carry normal, friendly conversations and stick to “how was your day” type of questions. As a rule of thumb, if you would not send that text to your mom do not send it to your ex.
1. Do not, under any circumstances, drop your ex and immediately get with someone else. There is a very strong reason this is number one. If you know for a fact that the person you broke up with is already hurting do not get with someone else and make it a thousand times harder on them. Lets face it, looking at pictures of your former bae with their current bae sucks. If you absolutely MUST get with someone else, hold off on parading it on social media. Wait it out. If the person you want to be with really wants to be with you they will understand. Break ups suck, and feeling replaced does not make the situation any easier.
2. Do not try and pretend like the relationship never happened. Do not delete pictures of both of you on Instagram (insert neon sign that reads “THIS!”). This concept is such a simple one, yet controversial. Sadly, social media is a double-edged sword when it comes to things like this and as soon as you make the relationship Instagram-official, it’s pretty real. Newsflash: you are publicly wiping this person from your past. Don’t think anyone doesn’t notice it, because they do. You are essentially taking all your memories with this person and pretending people are naive enough to believe that those moments did not exist. If they made you happy at some point, then there should be nothing to erase and nothing to forget.
3. Do not fall into a pit of depression. Find hobbies, meet new people and do not be afraid to put yourself out there. You might not be ready for a new relationship, but no one ever says “I’m not ready for a friendship right now.” Take the opportunity to remove toxic people from your life and cut ties as needed. Surround yourself with people who you know you can trust and who will be there at 2 a.m. when you need a shoulder to cry on or someone to split Midnight Cookies with. Find the Ann Perkins to your Leslie Knope.
4. One of the biggest problems with finding happiness, not only in relationships but in life in general, is that we continuously try to find happiness in the exact same place we lost it. Let each other grieve and heal. Do not try putting Scotch tape on the enormous crack that is a break up.
5. Do not continue to hook up after you break up. I almost feel like we need to have a moment of silence for this because you would think people would understand how unhealthy this is. Basically, you are both trying to cross the bridge while still clinging on for dear life to one side. That being said, decide whether you want to cross the bridge or stay on one side. No matter how earth-shattering the sex is, a break up implies that you are breaking up with everything about the person, including the sex. If you want to complicate a break up, this is definitely the way to go. Keep in mind that sex with your ex is never “just sex”.
Look, I get that not all relationships work the same, so these guidelines might not be universal. No matter how careful you are, there are always some break ups that will inevitably make you question every decision you have made in your life. (This isn’t Grey’s Anatomy where everyone breaks up to the tune of a popular song covered by a grungy underground band that no one knows.)
But take a moment to consider these trusted tips and I promise you’ll both be on the fast track to a healing heart.
Photos courtesy of: Unsplash