Breaking up with someone can be painful, whether you’ve been together for years or only a few months. Either way, it’s essential to both individuals’ well-being and ability to date again that you deal with the loss in an effective and healthy way.
In other words, don’t be a dick when calling it quits. Recognize that there is a proper way to behave when dealing with the end of a relationship that doesn’t include months of post-breakup drama. Acceptance is the key to any loss. Once you accept what was and what is, you can accept what will be. Breakups can be sad, but they also signify the chance for a new beginning. Move on and get yourself in shape to find new love.
Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with either end of a breakup:
Keep it short and simple. If you are doing the breaking up and are 100% sure it’s over, limit what you say and save the drama for Broadway. People have all kinds of reasons for breaking up, but “it’s not you, it’s me” is bullshit. How about a simple, “I don’t want to be in this relationship anymore”? You’re an adult and entitled to choose whom you are with. You don’t have to point out all the details of why things did not work, setting yourself up for a debate with the other person. You wanted to end the relationship, not prolong it. Right?
Kill the contact. Do not call or text unless there are children, finances, or a legal arrangement involved. Otherwise, your ex is now on the DO NOT CALL list. Block their number if you have to, but do not accept their calls. Your relationship is over, and continued contact will only prolong and add drama. If you run into each other, say hello and keep it moving. Your life (and theirs) is now private. No need for an awkward attempt at making conversation.
Know what “closure” means. Accept the fact that sometimes you have to get closure all by yourself. You are not entitled to anything and neither is your ex. It’s over; focus on how you feel and how to deal with those feelings. Adults have freedom of choice. If they do not choose you, that’s all the closure you need. What else is there to talk about?
No “let’s be friends” bullshit. If you got fired or quit your job, would you still show up with coffee and muffins for everyone? Don’t think so. You have other friends. If you don’t, find some. Sure, there are cases where exes genuinely want to be friends, and if you truly believe you can be friends with an ex, do me a favor and imagine your ex-lover, now friend, kissing their new lover. If it saddens or angers you in any way, you are nowhere near close to being friends.
No social media stalking. You are not allowed on your exes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, whatever. Unfriend, or at least hide their activity from your feed. Do not troll their page and don’t post comments. Leave the stalking to the less sane. People unfriend each other over petty differences all the time. It’s okay to unfriend for the sake of moving on.
Deal with mutual friends like an adult. To decide how to deal with mutual friends, talk to those friends. Don’t get mad at your friends or force them to choose sides. Be mature and accept the reality that some breakups can mean a change in your social circle.
Ne'Sha Anthony is a marriage and family therapist and modern-day homemaker here to nurture the minds, souls and tummies of others with her straight-to-the-point advice and homemaking tips. She lives in Philadelphia with her soul mate and stepchildren. Follow her on Twitter @bzexpressoqueen.