Breakup Survival Kit
Sure, breaking up is hard to do ... but it's next to impossible when the break up is messy. Instead of wandering blindly through empty containers of ice cream and tear-soaked tissues, get back on track with these great tips from Judy Bolton and Wendy Bolton Floyd.
Ready to call it quits? Tips for breaking up with someone:
Verbal communication -- not written -- is the only way to break up with someone. In today's society, we can have virtual relationships all the time: IM, e-mail, text messaging ... who needs to talk? If you're breaking things off, you do. If you can't face doing this in person, then the very least you can do is pick up the phone. But don't be mean and call the person at work. He/she has to maintain the respect of colleagues and that's hard to do when you're sobbing your heart out. Call at home.
Face it, you're the bad guy. Rejecting someone is not exactly a nice thing to do and being rejected is not a pleasant experience. Be prepared to be the "bad guy" who is inflicting the pain and accept it. Be prepared for the other person's reactions and keep it short. Say what you need to say and get out of there, quickly. Location is key for this: No restaurants and don't do it in bed! A park bench is good. Nowhere too public though as tears will be involved. But do it with respect so you still have your dignity and they have their's.
Give them closure. Don't go all soft when you get to the bitter end. It's over. You don't love them. You never will. You're sorry. Goodbye. If you start saying anything that implies that there is hope, they will only hear that and you'll be having this conversation again in a week's time. "Cruel To Be Kind" should be your theme song right now.
Don't behave badly in order to make them break up with you. Don't think you're being kind by coming home late, acting depressed or flirting with other people. Your-soon-to-be ex may just make excuses for you - and you'll look even worse in the end. It's amazing what people in love will put up with. If you want out, you need to be the one who says so.
Just got dumped? Tips for the heartbroken:
Behave badly - don't try to be brave. Don't try to pretend it's OK. Scream, shout, eat badly. For once, you've got permission. Therapists say the sooner you hit bottom, the sooner you'll feel better.
DO NOT, repeat DO NOT, call your ex. This person is now out of your life. It's like Chutes and Ladders. One call and you're back at the bottom again. We're all weak-willed, particularly when it comes to people who've broken our hearts. You need to get serious about this. You need a contract. Try this:
The "No Contact" Contract:
I hereby pledge that I will not prolong my anguish by attempting to contact my ex or to orchestrate any elaborate "accidental" meeting with him or her. My healing has now begun and I will avoid re-opening those wounds like I would avoid a bear trap in the woods. I promise that, by "contacting my ex" I mean every single form of communication from IM, to chat boards, to friends passing messages, to sending smoke signals from yonder mountain. I will not call or write, I will not try to reach him/her through the spirit world, and I will not think about my ex. Okay, I probably will think about my ex ... quite a bit in fact. But I promise that this phenomenon will diminish over time.
Signed: (Your Name Here), Dated: (Today's Date Here)
Life is short, make it good for you. Is there something you've always wanted to try but didn't? Better yet, pick something your ex NEVER wanted to try (or never would let you try). It'll take your mind off things, reintroduce fun into your life and help you break unproductive thought patterns. Run away on a vacation. Join a gym. Despite all that comfort eating, many people lose weight while they are grieving. Rejoice! Try a little retail therapy.
Get back in the saddle. Avoid super-quick rebounds, but don't make excuses for not getting out there and meeting new people. Not every coffee date needs to be "the one." Browsing online through Yahoo! Personals will cheer you up by showing you how many new options there are.
Some fun ways to keep yourself busy:
Take him out of old photos by covering his face with the stickers in this breakup survival kit.
Take out your aggression on this punching bag. Insert a photo of your ex in the pocket and let 'er rip!
Trying to console someone who's going through a breakup? Tips for a supportive friend:
Make Time. Immediately after it happens, clear your schedule and be with your friend, ideally in person. If not, set aside time to talk by phone or send supportive emails. Let your friend talk, blather nonsensically, and/or sob uncontrollably. If he or she is not talking, encourage it. Let them know that you hear them and understand what they're going through. The point of this exercise is to let them get it out and think it through.
Distract them. Movies, sightseeing, wine tasting, outdoor activities and games are good options. Anything involving physical exercise is particularly helpful because it stimulates their endorphins, which in turn can give them a sense of well-being. Browsing online ads can show the range of options that are still out there for starting over. Timing is everything. Don't move on to this phase too quickly. People need time to grieve about the end of a relationship.
Deflect dangerous behavior. As a responsible friend, your primary goal should be to prevent them from doing anything that will cause long-term damage in their life. That includes reckless rebound sex, retail therapy they can't afford and major life decisions that can't be undone, such as selling a house or quitting a job. Counsel them to wait until they're thinking more clearly.
Practice tough love. At a certain point, you need to stop with the sympathy and give them the kick they need to get their life back on track. Warn them that once the relationship has been over for a certain length of time (six days, six weeks, six months, depending upon the duration of the relationship) you're going to limit the time you spend listening about the ex's foibles and virtues. Be honest about the fact that if the ex wanted them back they would have heard from them.
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