It can be agonizing to be on the receiving end of a break-up, but crying, pleading, manipulating or threatening just isn't going to get you what you want. At worst, you will come across as pathetic. At best, you will achieve a temporary reconciliation. You and I both know that it isn't going to work over time.
The best thing you can do is listen carefully, hear him/her out. Then clearly remove yourself from the situation. Leave. Hang up. Sign out. Whatever. But get the heck outa there and stay away. Save face. Get some space. See a counsellor to make a new plan for your life. But do not cling or beg.
It is pretty much impossible to have a clean, effortless break up. The word 'break up' is descriptive. Something got broken and maybe it was you. It is a time for healing and rebuilding, not constantly re-exposing yourself to hurt and confusion.
The best thing you can do is to get clarity regarding your future. See a counsellor. Talk to friends. But do not call or text. Staying attached that way only keeps you stuck in a place of uncertainty and pain. It may feel good for a few minutes when you connect but it will be disastrous in the long run. Trust me. You will regret it.
3. KEEPING HIS/HER FRIENDS IN YOUR LIFE
This one is a bit tricky. Maybe you made some good friends as a couple. However think long and hard about whether it is good for you to stay connected. Does it 'break you open' again every time you hear his/her name? Are you tempted to 'pump' people for information regarding him/her? Would it be better to develop some new relationships unburdened by memories and connections?
The best thing you can do is be intentional about this. Decide what works for you. See a counsellor (yes, I will advise that every time :). Join a new group. Move on.
4. KEEPING THEIR 'STUFF'
After a break up there are always lots of memories in your apartment or home. Photos on the fridge. Concert tickets on the bulletin board. T-Shirts in your bedroom. Favourite drinks in your fridge. It is tempting and comforting to hold on to these.
The best thing you can do is clean and purge. Create a fresh new space for making new memories and moving forward. If you find this difficult, see a counsellor. Seriously.
5. KEEPING TABS ON-LINE
Break ups these days are different. We have the technology to keep tabs on people quite easily. You can check out your ex on facebook, monitor their participation on dating sites, and follow their tweets. It can be a full time job.
The best thing you can do is unsubscribe to their tweets and remove them from your on-line social network. You might think it is not a problem to stay connected this way ... but it pretty much is. If you find yourself obsessing about his/her on-line connections, then see a counsellor and make a plan to stop that sort of emotional self-destruction
6. BADMOUTHING/ REVENGE
It's sometimes tempting to 'make them pay'. But let me remind you that it does not actually bring any resolve or peace for you, and it may get you into a lot of trouble. In any case, people will think better of you if you can take the high road and just 'lettigo'.
The best thing you can do is to say nothing or speak only briefly of them in good terms. If you find there is anger, bitterness and hostility boiling inside of you, then see a counsellor. There are things you can do to deal with those feelings and you will be grateful you chose that route.
7. SLEEPING WITH THEM
This is a big one. So listen carefully. Your ex boyfriend or girlfriend is not going to suddenly realize that leaving you was a terrible mistake because you sleep with them again. If anything, they will think "this is cool - I can still have sex but with no strings attached!" You might sincerely believe it is at best 'hopeful' and at worst 'harmless' but it is not. It is at best pitiable and at worst stupid. You are worth more than that.
The best thing you can do is stay away. Do not put yourself in situations where you might end up in bed together. If you have trouble valuing yourself to that extent, please see a counsellor.
8. UNHELPFUL FORMS OF SELF SOOTHING
Let's face it. You feel pretty fragile. You deserve to pamper yourself a little. But it is a critical time to make sure you truly pamper yourself and not just submit to vices. Have a small treat but do not indulge in an entire cake and carton of ice cream. Have a glass of wine, but do not go on a drinking binge. You will be able to cope so much better if your body is operating with good fuel. It's true. You know it is.
The best thing you can do is to start a new exercise program. Choose your food with care. Love yourself enough to set yourself up for success. Pamper yourself yes, with a hot bath or a new outfit ... something that does not hurt your body, mind or soul. And if your vices seem to be gaining control over you, then see a counsellor. This is too important to neglect.
Most people's standards are pretty low immediately after a break up. You feel so desperate to be held, complimented, valued, esteemed. This is not the time to jump into another relationship, in spite of the sometimes overwhelming temptation.
The best thing you can do is give yourself some time. Spare yourself the regret and feelings of 'what was I thinking????' If you feel compelled to seek comfort in another relationship too quickly, see a counsellor.
10. GOING THROUGH IT ALONE
This one is important. Because the fact is that if you do not process your break up properly, you are doomed to repeat it. A break up is a unique opportunity for self-growth. That may not make you feel any better right now, but truly, it opens you up to learn about yourself and relationships in a way that you just can't contrive. That's the silver lining. Embrace it.
The best thing you can do is to seek the assistance of a good counsellor. I know ... what a surprise. But the truth is that this can be a pivotal moment in your life. It will be a decision you do not regret. You can change things for good. You can. Get a therapist. Email me (email@example.com). I can help.