Break ups. They are an unfortunate rites of passage in life and even the most amicable of parting ways can sting.
Whether it was traumatic or you ended on good terms, sometimes the aftermath of a break up can cause even more heartache and bitterness in the long run.
So if you're mourning the end of a relationship, be sure to avoid the cardinal sins of break up etiquette by following the list of break up “don’ts” below.
Pretend you’re fine
Cry. Punch a pillow. Surround yourself with friends who listen. Whatever it takes to get over the initial shock and sorrow.
It is tempting to pretend you’re unaffected by the breakup; don’t let pride get in the way of being real.
While sobbing at the office may be a step too far, remember that it’s okay to be angry, hurt or humiliated, and far healthier to express yourself honestly than grow numb.
Try to be “just friends”
Very rarely can a breakup lead to a solid friendship, especially when it is recent.
Until you’re okay with the idea of your ex dating someone new — and vice versa — it is wise to create some intentional space.
If your ex is being pushy about staying friends, stand your ground and let yourself mourn the end of the relationship.
While the thought of keying his his car, kidnapping his cat, or destroying his stuff may sound like a good idea in your head, don't do anything malicious or that could land you in legal trouble.
You may have been deeply wronged, but “getting even” won’t heal any wounds. Choose to take the high road and forgive and move on.
Communicate. In any format
Tempted to text or call your ex about it. Don’t.
There will be times when it’s important to communicate with an ex. Maybe you need to return his things? Maybe you have to deal with a shared lease, or pet custody? However, resist the urge to call or text whenever you would have when you were still dating.
Overcome the void a break up causes by recruiting a support system of friends and family to help you fill the time normally spent with a significant other.
Many people feel lost after a breakup; not because they miss their ex, but because so many of their daily habits once revolved around someone else.
Give yourself some time to adapt to single life.
Beg for reconciliation
Yes, dogs can get away with begging. But you can't.
There are plenty of reasons for not wanting to let go, but instead of clinging to lost hope find a wise friend who can help you walk through the reasons why you’re having a hard time letting go.
Don’t beg for him/her to return. Deep down, you know that you don’t want to be in a relationship with someone you had to beg to be with you.
Besides, if your ex rejects you a second time, it won’t just hurt; the rejection will sting with extra humiliation and regret.
Don’t do it. No woman on her deathbed says, “I really wish I slept with my ex-husband one last time.”
Let the break be clean.
Facebook-stalk your ex
Social media can be dangerous at the best of times, but when dealing with heartache you should be extra cautionary.
Give yourself two rules: Don’t post anything about the breakup drama online, including those vague and ambiguous quotes, and resist the urge to stalk your ex.
“De-friending” or at least hiding statuses can help you avoid the constant temptation to check in and see if your ex is living a life more miserable or better than yours.
Get a haircut — or tattoo
It’s easy to make rash decisions post-breakups. One major change in your life can inspire even more change.
If you have a tattoo-design epiphany in the days following heartache, wait a few months before acting on it.
You may think a new hairstyle will make you feel better, but be warned: a bad bowl cut can hurt your already-bruised confidence. Don’t kick yourself when you’re down.
Take some time to refocus and pursue the things you’ve always loved to do. Spend time with loved ones and learn to love the single life again.
Value the lessons learned from the relationship that just ended and move forward. And be thankful that the wrong relationship ended to free you up for the right one.
Avoid meeting someone new
Don’t give up on meeting your perfect match.
Once you're ready to dip your toe back into the dating game there are plenty of ways to meet new people - from online dating to starting a new hobby or exercise class.
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