The best part of a breakup is wallowing. There are five stages immediately following a breakup, and they aren’t denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. They are as follows: shock, blubbering, wallowing, staring blankly at walls, and finally, dancing. The final stage is usually preceded by a music montage featuring upbeat adult contemporary music, a shopping spree, and a night out with your best slutty friend. But of all these stages, the one I enjoy the most is wallowing. It’s the best part of breaking up or getting dumped, because there is no such thing as a “mutual breakup.” That concept is strictly for the press. One party always wants the breakup a little more than the other party. Not that I’m advocating dramatic split-ups that resemble NASCAR fireballs. But one person is always left sniffing a forgotten, leftover sleeping shirt, searching for a whiff of their lover’s familiar funk. The wishbone never cracks completely in two. Keep reading »
When I discovered one long-term, live-in ex had been cheating on me—long after we’d split—I was shocked. I’d had my suspicions, but he’d always been so judgmental about philandering friends and sanctimonious about his own fidelity, I figured I was just the jealous crazy lady he kept accusing me of being. So when he broke up with me, I had no clue as to why and desperately tried to talk him into loving me again. (It was every bit as humiliating as that sentence would lead you to believe.)
I have yet to experience the pain-free breakup, but I wondered if knowing the truth about this situation would’ve helped me heal faster. I mean, I’ve been less than up-front with certain guys I’ve broken up with. So when isn’t honesty the best policy? Keep reading »
My sophomore year of college I had a boyfriend who cared for me more than I cared for him. Devin* was a nice guy who treated me well, but after maybe five months of dating, I broke up with him in the kindest way I could have. It was a clean break for me, but Devin needed — insisted, in fact — to know the details of why I was breaking up with him. If I remember correctly, he said he needed to know why I didn’t love him so he could get over me. But the honest truth is he hadn’t done or said anything wrong. I wasn’t angry at him. There wasn’t another guy. It was painfully simple: I just didn’t like Devin’s personality anymore. Somehow, at his insistence, I must have explained this to him, because eventually he stopped calling.
A year later, Devin published his first novel and gave an interview with a major media outlet and said he wrote the gang rape scene in his book after I had broken up with him. I remember sending him an email about that at the time, but I don’t remember what I said in it. I just know I was freaked out and disgusted. Keep reading »
I met Brad* a few months after my first serious relationship blew up in my face. He was pretty much everything my ex wasn’t, and after getting a few rebound flings out of the way, I thought maybe I’d found someone I could really feel safe with. True, he didn’t have the intellectual prowess my ex had; he wasn’t terribly charming or adventurous, and as far as I could tell, he didn’t have much passion for anything other than golf. But he was nice and respectful … and comfortable. My grandmother once described him like “an old shoe,” and that actually wasn’t far from the truth. He was completely different from my usual type, and therefore, I figured he’d never hurt me the way my ex had. Keep reading »
You’ve discovered your union is more Ben and J. Lo than Ben and J-Gar. Some things just weren’t meant to be. Luckily for you, making a few dumb decisions on love doesn’t mean you — or your finances — are doomed for all eternity. As long as you’re smart enough to avoid a major financial setback during your breakup (and, of course, avoid making “Gigli 2”), you’ll emerge a little heartbroken but with a bank account as strong as ever. Here’s how to cover your “ass-ets” when you’re breaking up. Keep reading »
If I could have all the months — nay, years — back that I spent wallowing over a breakup, I’d have enough time to travel around the world twice, become fluent in French, and cook all the recipes in all the cookbooks on my shelf. And I have a feeling I’m not alone. After all, it’s healthy to grieve over the end of a relationship, but it’s hard to always know when it’s time to move on. After the jump, 10 signs it’s time to get over it. Keep reading »
My pal Stella* is going through a terrible breakup with a horrible man. Like most of us, Stella knows how to deal with their split (time, wine, chocolate, more wine, more time), but she was concerned about the bigger picture. Why had she gotten herself mixed up with this jackass in the first place? Or the moron before him? Or the cad prior to that one?
Being a sensible lady, Stella called her old therapist in order to get some perspective and guidance. Surely a licensed professional would have some clue.
Sure enough, she did. After giving my friend a dose of very tough love, Ms. Shrinky Dink gave her a list of questions to ask the next man she considers dating. According to the good doctor, the answers will tell her everything she needs to know before getting in too deep. Keep reading »
It’s time again for “Shortcuts,” wherein I answer readers’ letters in two sentences or less. Sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. Today we discuss ending dead-end relationships and how to scare a guy off in three easy steps. Keep reading »