Technically, I have never had a break up. ‘So why are you writing this article?’ some may ask. Because I have, however, been the agony aunt many a time, there to pick up the pieces for both female and male friends when their love life has turned sour. In doing so I have collected some essential dos and don’ts along the way, and wish to share them with you, should you ever need to remain dignified in a break up situation.
Try to end on good terms. Breaking up while amidst what feels like the beginning of World War 3 might seem appropriate at the time, but it will only make it harder in the long run. Bumping into your ex in town will be much less awkward if the last words you said to them did not involve screaming and profanities.
Bite your tongue. It is so easy to erupt like a volcano and deliver some nasty home truths (or lies) when relationships take a turn for the worst. Keeping your integrity will make you the better person, and means you won’t verbalise anything you may regret in the future.
Break up face to face. Hiding behind your phone, laptop or, even worse, sending a friend as the messenger, will only result in you being nicknamed ‘Chicken’ for the rest of your life. Be mature about the situation; your ex deserves an explanation.
Let yourself feel bad for a while; faking a smile isn’t going to fool anyone. Replace denial with duvet days consisting of what you love best – whether that be chocolate, DVDs or your Xbox – to aid the healing process.
The words ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ should never, I repeat, never pass your lips. This will not make your other half feel any better about the situation and will only result in added bitterness, resentment and confusion. In fact, just ban relationship break up clichés altogether.
Alcohol and break ups do not make for a good combination for a number of reasons. It could result in your other half waking up and not remembering the drama that went on the night before – no one likes having to break up, especially twice. Likewise, alcohol heightens emotions and a mental breakdown after one-too-many glasses of wine is not going to help the situation.
Staying in touch immediately after a break up is not a wise move. You are no longer together for a reason, so move forwards not backwards. Drunken texts might feel right at the time, but cringing as you wake up the next morning is not going to feel so great.
Post break up does not mean you have to plaster hatred for you ex over every social media platform available. Save the details for your closest friends; break ups are bad enough without the whole world and its wife watching.
Talking of social media, avoid E-stalking. Pouring over an ex’s Twitter or Facebook account to prey on their potential new partners is going to drive you insane. Not only will refreshing their page every five seconds result in a counter productive use of your time, you will also over analyse every word or photo when they eventually do post something.
Rebounds. Wanting attention to make you feel better about yourself is inevitable, but it doesn’t need to be in the form of you flirting like it’s going out of fashion. Have fun being single, but wait a month or two before moving on to ensure you are ready.