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May 19, 2010

Surviving a Relationship Breakup

I’ve written before about my long-term relationship with my BF; in fact, I wrote an article about a year ago about the process of moving in together. Well, now I’m writing about the breakup process since yes, we have broken up. This all went down about a month ago, and no, I’m not getting into any details; instead, I’m going to get into the survival aspect: how to go through a breakup like a grownup.  Easier said than done, trust me.

Focus on the issue Regardless of why you’ve broken up, this isn’t the time to drag out every single, solitary thing they have done to enrage you since the beginning of your relationship. Sure, you hate his mother, and he hates that you take half an hour to get ready – unless those are the *actual* issues that are breaking you up, leave them alone. It’s a difficult enough time without ragging on shoes left in the hallway, unbalanced responsibilities or who “always” reloaded the toilet paper. Move on.

Keep the details to yourself Particularly with Facebook, BBM, text messaging, etc, you’ll likely be bombarded with “OMG what happened?” messages from friends, family, acquaintances, and so forth. Keep it simple. If your now-ex did something to severely anger you, you’ll probably be tempted to tell everyone about how awful they are, but that isn’t going to get you anywhere. Don’t rehash the situation with everyone who asks – in fact, a lot of people will ask out of curiosity or outright nosiness, not because they love you. Confide in those you feel you can absolutely trust, and give everyone else the, “The relationship ran its course, thanks for asking” line, and promptly change the subject.

Keep the hate to yourself You may feel like bad-mouthing your now-ex to everyone who will listen, but ignore those feelings. For one, unless you are 100% sure the relationship is permanently over, burning bridges is not the best idea. For two, if you think you might want to one day be friends, telling everyone about a nag she is isn’t going to help your transition. For three, if you two share mutual friends, it’s going to put a lot of people in an awkward position. Take a breath, relax, and zip your mouth.  This is real life, not Jerry Springer.

Be realistic about dividing property If you were cohabitating, it’s likely you have items (like furnishings, for example) to divide. Don’t get petty about the materialistic things: If you paid for it and need it, take it. If you paid for it and don’t need it, don’t take it just because you can. If you didn’t pay for it and need it, offer to pay for it. It’s that simple.

Be timely What you really don’t want is a breakup that drags on for weeks, because of needing to get things from the shared home, or from each other’s homes. Get together, get everything settled, and get out. The longer it drags on, the more times you have to try to get together and figure things out, the more exhausted you’re going to be, and the more emotional you’re going to be. Your emotions are probably running on high as it is; don’t make it any worse.

Don’t be a stalker So your now-ex is seeing someone else. Why do you know that? Are you Facebook stalking them? Do you have spies in their camp? Are you sitting across from their apartment with night-vision goggles? Enough. If you dumped them, you had a reason; remember it and move on. If they dumped you, take the hint; they don’t want you around, so go away. Don’t obsess over what happened, don’t obsess over what (or whom) they’re doing now. Chances are you said you’d be friends, but chances are it isn’t really happening; live your life and let them lead theirs.

Remember the good times, but look ahead Unless your breakup came about because of abuse or harm, generally speaking you shouldn’t forget the good times you had together. There was something you liked or loved about this person once, and it doesn’t need to be washed from your memory. However, it’s easy to get bogged down in memories – don’t let nostalgia cloud your judgment. The breakup occurred for a reason: look ahead, not back. Set new goals for yourself. Try a new hobby. Decide what kind of partner you think you’d like. Move forward with your life, and allow your now-ex to do the same.

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1 Comment(s)

  1. arines | May 24, 2010 | Reply

    very nice article ..


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