You’ve been wined and dined, you’ve 69’d and a fair few other positions, in and out of the bedroom. You’ve thrown moves on the dance floor that would be the envy of any Strictly Ballroom judge. Then, out of nowhere, “It’s not you, it’s me” or “I’m not ready right now, can we be friends?’” Yes, you’ve guessed it; you’ve been dumped.
The vision of romantically walking hand in hand into the sunset, the picket fence ideal and long smug married brunches with friends have been well and truly relegated to the scrapbook. It happens to the best of us, and, fortunately, to the worst of us some of the time. You feel as though that luxurious hot bubble bath has gone cold and drained away, leaving yourself in an echo-filled cold bathroom. It’s not nice.
The old adage says, “To get over one man get under another.” This option rarely ends well as your heart isn’t in it, and rebound relationships are almost always bad news.
Don’t mope around the house for a weeks on end, wallowing in a fug of self-pity over the loss of the relationship and all those lost possibilities. You can only watch so much of the back catalogue of Hallmark films and debauch yourself on delivery pizza. Mourning the loss is fine. Limit yourself to a weekend of being curled up under a duvet on the sofa, with mindless television for company and eating your body weight in Haagen Dazs.
Don’t declare war against your ex on social media. Social media brings a plague of self-pitying zombies that will have even the best of friends running for cover. The ones that stick around and comment are normally those who enjoy watching you melt down into soap opera theatrics.
Don’t keep phoning your ex’s friends or family, fishing for information about what he’s doing; it’s along the same lines as social media stalking. If your ex is having a wild, fun time this will make you miserable. If he is down in the dumps, what satisfaction will that bring? None whatsoever.
Don’t keep turning up at places your ex frequents, (his gym, his local bar,or just hanging around the neighbourhood where he works/lives). It’s not going to do you any favours and could result in a restraining order for your stalking behaviour.
Don’t send an avalanche of romantic gifts in the form of flowers, jewellery, cuddly toys, or the cringeworthy sonnets of handwritten poetry to win him around. He’s made a decision that you may not like, but it’s been made. It’s time to wake up smell the coffee, dust yourself down, and get yourself in a date-worthy condition for a more suitable guy.
So what to do…
Create stimulating things to do. Reconnect with friends, but not to bitch about how wronged you were. That’s a sure-fire way to have your calls go unanswered. Book up two or three social activities a week, to get you out and about.
Go to the movies to see those films you’ve been meaning to watch. Go through the book listings in the Sunday paper and read one that takes your fancy (and try and stay away from your normal Jackie Collins or Stephen King reading list).
There are bound to be a few jobs around your home that you’ve put on the back burner. Repaint your bedroom, clear down the unwanted clothes in your closet, chucking out those ancient towels from a long-forgotten Ibiza holiday.
With emotional de-cluttering, go through all your photos, and remove the ones on your phone and computer, and put them on a memory card/disk. Along with any dating trinkets you’ve gathered with your ex, either throw them out, sell, or donate. If you feel the need, create a memory box, however, give this to a friend for safe-keeping. The important thing is not to have any reminders that trigger a negative or emotional reaction. Get the memory box back a few months later; the dust will have settled somewhat and then you may be in more of a mind to toss it out or at least be able to emotionally relegate the feelings associated with it.
On the social-media front, remove your ex from your friends list. It may be temporarily, but you need some time away. The last thing you want to see are photos of him throwing moves with a new squeeze.
As for resuming the dating reboot, give yourself a minimum of 30 days of a dating detox before relaunching yourself on the scene. After 30 days you will be far more prepared to be sparky, enthusiastic, and not have “how wronged you were by your ex” on the top of your discussion list.
Finally, rebuild the relationship with yourself. Date yourself, show yourself a good time. At this moment you are the most important person in your life.