I don’t know much about men or dating, but I do have one thing down: staying broken up. I was recently asked by a friend, “How do you do it? How do you not call, text, or email him? Do you just not get the urge anymore, the minute things are over?” Oh, I get the urge. I just don’t give in to it. And I’m better off as a result — here are six ways I resist the desire to call, text, or email an ex.
1. Self-Love: So you were getting laid on the regs and now you’re not. Sucks. You’re likely craving a warm body to cuddle up to, an orgasm, or both. You could go out and have some good old-fashioned (protected) casual sex, but as I am not looking to add to my number with randoms — I’d like to keep it at a little more than half my age for now — I cuddle my dog at night and get my orgasms from my homie, Mr. Hitachi.
2. Meditate: Spend, oh, five minutes thinking about his absolute worst quality. Often when we are missing someone we focus on the “good times” and ignore everything that led you to break up in the first place. Screw that. Remind yourself of why he was a total douche wad.
3. Go Shopping: My most recent ex didn’t like my clothing. This weekend I was feeling sort of blue, missing the fun we had. Then I went into one of my favorite stores, admired a dress I knew he would hate (but I loved!), and bought it. Then I looked forward to the compliments I would get from people with better taste, and more consideration, than him.
4. Identify Your Inner Internet Stalker: Maintaining digital contact with an ex often adds to the pain of a breakup, keeping the wound open and giving the mind a place to obsess. However, for some people, checking an ex’s Facebook or Twitter is a way to get a “fix” without actually making contact; for others, internet stalking is the last stop before a regrettable text is sent. Know which kind of internet stalker you are and act accordingly. However, if you eventually want to move on, the internet cords to your ex MUST be cut — I just happen to understand that keeping them intact in the short-term can be therapeutic.
5. Distraction: Chances are, before you broke up you were fighting a lot. Fighting is a distraction — relationship problems can make it hard to focus on work, hobbies, friends, etc. Now that you’re broken up, use those very same things you were distracted from before as your distractions now. Fill up your calendar with plans with friends and family, take on a new responsibility at work, start a blog or open a Formspring account (I did! Ask me anything!), or take up a hobby or project that requires concentration — I, um, do jigsaw puzzles. If you were busy fighting with douche wad — which is sure to happen, eventually, if you call him and invite him back into your life — you wouldn’t be able to do any of those things, right?
6. Think About The Consequences: This is the last piece of advice, but ultimately the most rational and important. When you feel tempted to call, email, or text him, ask yourself two questions: 1) Do you want to get back together? 2) If you do get back together, do you actually have a real shot at working it out? If the answer to either of these questions is NO, why bother? Yes, there will be the momentary thrill of seeing the person again, of indulging your desire to reconnect with someone you miss. But guess what comes after that? The pain of ending things again. Don’t put yourself — or him — through that. Allow yourself to feel sadness — it’s a valid emotion that shouldn’t be avoided. No one said breakups were fun or easy — so don’t go in for seconds.