Breakup Etiquette

By their very definition, breakups suck.  There’s nothing like the dividing of emotional and personal assets to make you feel like love is nothing more than a cleverly disguised punch in the neck.  But losing a lover doesn’t mean you’ve gained a mortal enemy. Unless you’re John Mayer.  If you practice good breakup etiquette, that ex-boyfriend may even turn into a good friend.  John, take note:

Keep it compassionate

It may be hard to remember in the moment, but the guy you’re about to cut loose is going to date again.  When he does, he’s going to take a little piece of this relationship forward.  Yes, that means that he’s going to use some of your best jokes and sex tips on another girl.  More importantly, this means that you’re creating a dating legacy with each break-up.  In the name of sisterhood, keep his emotions and ego in tact so the next girl isn’t stuck cleaning up your mess.

The bottom line: be a woman about this.  The seemingly easy digital option is not an option. You simply cannot break up with anyone you have ever cared about over text or e-mail without inducting yourself into that man’s personal Awful Girl Hall of Fame.

Keep it clean

When you’re ending a relationship, emotions are running as wild as Paris Hilton circa 2003 and chances are that once you’re ready to call it quits, you’ve spent a significant amount of time familiarizing yourself with his many failures and shortcomings.  But unless that one time he wet the bed was truly the impetus for your split, running through a list of everything he did wrong during your relationship isn’t going to make this break-up any easier.

Organize your parting thoughts into a few break-up headlines, without giving him a full report on all the reasons why he isn’t The One.

Keep it to yourself

The world is drawn to a good break-up story.  If this wasn’t scientifically true, we wouldn’t spend every moment in line at the grocery reading up on Brad and Jen YEARS after they actually split.  The fact is, the details surrounding the demise of a relationship are really nobody’s business, and the more you talk about them, the more chances you have to look like a total jerk and possibly hurt the other person.  If you say it on the Internet, well, it can be cached and saved forever.  If you were In A Relationship on Facebook, revise your privacy settings to prevent the news from appearing in your feed and resist any urge to broadcast the news vita passive-aggressive status update.  And a break-up Tweet? Forget it. Keep that digital lip zipped, little missy.

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Tags: Breaking up, breakup, broken up, compassion, couple, Dating, Etiquette, ex-boyfriends, heartbroken, how-to, John Mayer, Relationships

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Comments

  1. Avatar
    • Anonymous
    • January 1, 1970
    Reply
    Thanks!
    I’m personally friends with only one ex boyfriend, but I like to think there’s no hard feelings with the rest of them. It’s not always worth it to try to pursue a post-break-up friendship, but it can be.
  2. Avatar
    • Anonymous
    • January 1, 1970
    Reply
    Great article with some very interesting and thoughtful points, it seems a lot of couples that break up seem to forget the whole reason they originally got together in the first place. Once that ring is off their finger, or they have moved or just gone there seperate ways its as if they have to mortal enemies.
    Through your hints & tips you show it doesnt have to be that way, and seperated couples can go back to being close friends.
    Keep up the good work.
    http://makeupbreakup.wordpress.com
  3. Avatar
    • Anonymous
    • January 1, 1970
    Reply
    Thanks!
    I’m personally friends with only one ex boyfriend, but I like to think there’s no hard feelings with the rest of them. It’s not always worth it to try to pursue a post-break-up friendship, but it can be.
  4. Avatar
    • Anonymous
    • January 1, 1970
    Reply
    Great article with some very interesting and thoughtful points, it seems a lot of couples that break up seem to forget the whole reason they originally got together in the first place. Once that ring is off their finger, or they have moved or just gone there seperate ways its as if they have to mortal enemies.
    Through your hints & tips you show it doesnt have to be that way, and seperated couples can go back to being close friends.
    Keep up the good work.
    http://makeupbreakup.wordpress.com

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