Just because you’re over them, doesn’t mean it’s over.
Ever had the break-up blues? You might wonder why on earth we’d make light of that but, when you think about it, it really is one of life’s most pathetic moments. It’s not a memory you want to savour, take photos and stick up on your Facebook page, now is it?
Then again some people put everything on social media. He’s dumped me. I’m crying. I’m listening to sad songs and crying. Oh, the pain! Seriously, no one wants to see that crap. Imagine your next job interview? They do ask for your social media links, these days. You didn’t know that? Well, you do now!
Having seen your last 50 Facebook statuses or hearing it via the gossip vine, friends and family may try to console and comfort you. What’s with that? You are miserable. It’s no secret. You certainly won’t be the best company. Why would anyone in their right mind want to spend time with someone who is miserable?
Bottom line: It makes them uncomfortable. They need you to feel good, so they can feel good. Basic social psychology, folks. You thought it was your selfish stage to mourn and grieve, right? No. It’s your friends and relatives selfish stage. They have the best of intentions, but they are usually blissfully unaware of what they are doing or why.
That won’t last long though. Miserable people repel others. You’ve been whinging, whining and totally obsessed with your broken heart and your ex. Ever time they try to change the subject, because you’ve driven them crazy, you change it right back. They need to get as far away from you as possible. NOW – before they crack!
This is when you’ve learned break-ups are best handled alone. You can begin to grieve without distraction. Instead of hiding tears when your friends suggest watching a comedy and something reminds you of your ex, you can ball your damn eyes out. You can avoid showering, eating right, maybe drink too much, avoid sunlight, ditch work, and generally make a complete and utter mess of yourself. Now, this here is your selfish stage!
Maybe this is what your well meaning friends and relies were trying to save you from. Yeah? No. Be 100 per cent, research assured, it was their needs they were tying to meet, but weren’t they useful while they were doing it? At least you didn’t smell bad.
This period of chaos only ceases when you’ve hit rock bottom and you are faced with two very distinct options. The first is to pick yourself up, right here and now and get on with living.
Then there’s option two. Your job will go if you neglect going to work, that’s a given. Then, you’ll have no money. Makes sense doesn’t it? Homelessness will then become a very real probability. That is, unless you can manage to convince one of those well meaning friends or relies to take you in so you can “lounge surf” until you’re ok.
The only thing is the stress of having no fixed address, no job, no money and, of course, no partner will be considered stressors, in psych terms, and provide ideal conditions to bring on an episode of mental illness. What? You don’t think this happens? You clearly haven’t spoken to any homeless men!
Yes, folks. This is the grim reality of the break up blues. Next time those “helpful” friends and relies come to the rescue; think back to option number two. Welcome them in. Thank all that is good and holy that they are selfish enough to want to come and save you!
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Don’t use ‘honestly’ as an excuse to be bitchy. Listing his faults in minute detail and all the reasons why you believe he’ll never find true love is not the way to go. A good thing to say is, ‘I’ve realized I still have feelings for my ex-boyfriend and it wouldn’t be fair for me to start something serious with you,’ or try saying, ‘I’m really loving being single at this stage of my life. Sorry I’m not interested in getting serious.’ Do not say ‘It’s not you, it’s me.’ It doesn’t really make sense and he’ll know that it’s a line.Charm School Rule 4: If you’ve met someone else
The best thing to do is tell your current boyfriend that you are sorry, that you have enjoyed your time together but you have met someone else. Tell him you respect him and that you wouldn’t cheat on him, so that is why you are telling him now, before anything happens. It may seem harsh, but if you are honest you won’t give him any false hope that he’ll be able to ‘win you back’.
Charm School Rule 5: Don?t make up elaborate excuses
Don?t say that you?re breaking up with him because of things he can?t change about himself ? and that you probably knew about him before you started going out ? such as, ?You?re too short? or ?I don?t fancy bald guys?. If you want to break up because it just doesn?t feel right or your feelings towards him have changed, then say so. Tell him that he deserves to be with someone who is right for him, and that you feel that, even though you have had a great time going out, the two of you aren?t right together in the long term.
Don’t miss part 2 next week!
Kathy Buchanan is the author of Charm School: The Modern Girl’s Complete Handbook of Etiquette and Quit for Chicks. Charm School offers fun but helpful advice on why manners are sexy and how to use them to create the life you’ve always dreamed of. It deals with difficult love, social and work situations like how to ace an interview, help a friend through a difficult break-up, handle cheating flat mates, keep your hairdresser faithful and how to not fall in love with gorgeous gay men. Charm School: The Modern Girl’s Complete Handbook of Etiquette rrp $24.95, Penguin is available in all good bookstores.
Christmas is family time which means, you guessed it, you’ll have to meet his extended family. If you don’t fancy chatting to Mr.Cute Smile’s great uncle Barry about the war and having to accept politely when offered the fourth helping of Aunty Sue’s chewy, curdled trifle, ditch him asap. All the more time to spent with your loved ones too!
If you already have doubts and your friend happens to be having a massive New Years’ Eve party, drop him! There’ll be some serious new-boyfriend material floating around so the last thing you want is the soon-to-be-dropped current boyfriend getting in the way of your romantic future.