Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How to break up.

Break-ups happen. They suck, but they happen. There are right ways and wrong ways to do them, yes, but like it or not, unless you're either deliriously happy with your first love, or have never fallen in love, your heart is going to be broken at some point in your life.

There are rules in every break-up. I can't say that I've followed them all. I've been the victim of horrendous public shamings, and I've been the perpetrator of the phone fade (calling when you know the other person is busy, letting it trickle down the drain like dishwater). And I've fallen everywhere on the spectrum in between.

But there's one rule in any break-up that can't be broken. It's an important rule. It's one you should never forget. Whether you are the dumper or the dumpee, it remains the same.

No emotional abuse.

This means if you're getting dumped, don't:
  • threaten suicide;
  • tell the dumper that they'll never do better than you;
  • insist that the person leaving you can't make that decision on their own;
  • call, e-mail, show up unannounced, text repeatedly even though the person has told you to stop;
  • scare your ex.
Commonly, people tell each other that they owe each other something. Relationships are not a series of checks and balances. No one is obligated to give another person anything, whether they are partnered, recently ex-partnered, or not.

I am a fan of the advice from It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken: The Smart Girl's Breakup Buddy by Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt that was passed along to me by @sobbee: two months, no contact, no (e-)stalking. This seems absolutely reasonable, as well as maybe allowing for the possibility of friendship down the road.

However, having said that, @missbontemps gave me the very sound advice of not trying to be friends. Actually, the way she put it over on the Twitter was DON’T TRY TO BE FRIENDS, but I prefer to interpret that as don’t try to be friends. If a friendship comes about naturally (as it has between me and Michael), then cool. You’re lucky. You’re rare. But if not, don’t try to force it.

It sucks to be hurt. But usually, the person doing the hurting isn’t feeling too good about it either. Don’t add more to their plate.

Some of you who are near and dear to me might know that I have recently gone through a breakup of spectacular proportions. While it was not handled in the best way by any of the parties involved, please do note that this blog post is not an implication of guilt. A lot of feelings and thoughts have been brought up by this situation, and I needed to write about what is OK and what is not by me. So that in the future I can point to it and say, "Look, see, what you are doing is not alright with me."

No comments:

Post a Comment