I've had a lot of friends break up with their significant others lately. It's been interesting to watch from an outsiders point of view. I've done everything from taking phones away till my friend sobers up to eating a lot of Gelato while watching The Notebook as they cry next to me. It kind of inspired me to talk about the modern rules of handling a break up gracefully.
1. DO NOT make threats. It seems desperate and it's really unsettling for everyone involved. Do not tell someone if we don't get back together I'm going to hurt myself. It's really not tasteful and furthermore, it puts them into an impossible position. If you really feel like you may do something then reach out to someone who can help you process the emotions you're feeling about the break up. Don't seek attention. Worse, if the person got back with you, it wouldn't be because they cared but because they feel bad or are scared. It can also look really desperate.
2. DO speak your mind in a thoughtful and neutral way. If some one has wronged you then say so. You don't need to insult them or be mean about it. You don't need to raise your voice. You can just say, that was unkind, or even better When you did that, it made me feel like this. That phrase is one of the most basic was to express your emotions without making anyone feel defensive.
3.DO NOT stalk. I don't know why people do this to themselves. I hear it all the time, "He just instagramed a picture of him with this really pretty blonde girl" or "Oh my god, he is in Vegas with his friends. He's probably going to sleep with someone." I hate to break it to you but you broke up and there is nothing you can do about it. Truthfully, it isn't even your business anymore. Tracking everything they are doing is only going to make you feel awful and less a part of their life. This will only lead to you to miss them more.
4. DO go out and have fun of your own. Using a break up as an excuse to sit inside and mope is probably the worst idea (I know it feels so good). It's really terrible idea. I want to start by addressing the fact that your romantic relationship is not your entire life and shutting yourself inside because you lost it means your shutting out the rest of your life. Go out with your friends, go see live music, go on a trip, focus on one of your hobbies. A break up is a good time to focus on yourself and your favorite things.
5. DO NOT get drunk and call or text or email. In fact, if you are drinking just put away all abilities to communicate with the ex. If you are drunk, just dance, cry, and sleep. REALLY PLEASE. In my personal opinion, don't get drunk at all but no one is going to listen to me. Getting drunk isn't going to solve anything. All that's going to change is that you will be drunk. Maybe you'll hurt less for a few hours but there is a bit possibility that you won't. The only thing that takes away a heartbreak or any emotional pain is time.
6. DO treat yourself and others nicely. Wish them well. Leave them with a compliment. "You really were one of the funniest people I've ever dated. Thank you for a lot of laughter." Leave it nice. You did once care for each other and if for no other reason than to honor that, leave it in a good place. When that is over treat yourself, buy yourself a nice outfit, a manicure, a new haircut (just nothing drastic. girls always want to do something drastic to their hair after a break up), go to the gym. Do whatever it is that makes you feel good and remind yourself that you do deserve to feel happy.
It's never going to not suck to end a relationship with someone but if you handle it well then at least you won't also have to feel like a total jerk. Pain will pass and life will keep moving on.