Dating Don’ts: How Not To React When You Get Dumped

Last week, we covered how to avoid being a bad heartbreaker, so this week we’ll tackle the other side of things. Coincidentally, it’s a side of dating I’m far more familiar with: how to accept being dumped with dignity.

Just as there are myriad ways to screw up breaking someone’s heart, the possibilities for botching a “getting-broken-up-with” are limitless. Here are some behaviors to avoid so you won’t compound your heartache with a total loss of self respect.1. Attempting to argue him out of it. Breakups don’t have to be unanimous decisions, nor are they court battles that you can “win” by presenting your case. Listing your attributes and insisting he’ll never do better than you is just sad. Besides, is that a fight you really want to win? “You know what, honey? I see the light. I’m a big loser and will never meet anyone better than you. Let’s kiss and makeup.” Er, no.

2. Begging. This is what happens after you lose the argument, and he sticks to his guns and shows you to the curb anyway. Begging is really, really bad. Don’t do it. You’re better than that. Even if you actually aren’t better than that, pretend you are. Honestly, if he does take you back after you’ve grabbed onto his ankles and not let go, he’s the kind of sadist you’re better off without.

3. Throwing the loud, dramatic, public scene. The only time pitching a giant public fit is acceptable is if he’s the brand of weasel who drags you out to a restaurant only to ditch you, figuring you won’t screech and cry if you’re surrounded by people. In that case, he definitely deserves a plate of spaghetti carbonara to the face. But if you collapse in heaving sighs and shrieking recriminations upon running into him in the grocery store, make it a point to avoid going anywhere that he might be found until you’re over it. Because along with embarrassing him, you’re making a fool of yourself.

4. Befriending his friends. I’m not talking about mutual friends; I mean the lame attempts to friend-steal his buddies that some of us may have made at one point or another. Attaching yourself to his BFF and prattling on non-stop about how his friend has done you wrong is bad form; attempting to rebound with said BFF is even worse.

5. Exacting revenge. Depending on why you two broke up, this can be extremely tempting. Unfortunately, it will usually come back to bite you on the behind, so try to resist. I mean, just how many times did Glenn Close get killed in “Fatal Attraction”? Nobody likes a bunny boiler.

6. Destructo-Girl. Yes, he did the unthinkable and broke up with you. Not only that, but you’re 99 percent certain he’s been cheating. Even still, that doesn’t give you permission to destroy everything he left at your apartment. I’m sure he’ll be needing that digital camera to take photos of his new girlfriend. Also, she’ll probably like sleeping in his favorite T-shirt, while reading his signed copy of Infinite Jest. So, you should carefully box everything up, trundle down to your local FedEx (you wouldn’t want to entrust important stuff like this to the U.S. Postal Service!), and send his belongings back right away. It would be wrong to deprive his new girlfriend of the things you and he used to enjoy together. Very, very wrong.