The thing you’ve been dreading has finally happened. Whether it was amicable or horrendous, no one likes a break-up. But it’s only the first step in a whole new journey. Here’s how to deal with everything that comes after.
Getting the random text
It’s going to happen. It might be a week, a month or even years after the break-up but one day they will text you and you’ll be left staring at your phone, wondering how to respond… or whether you should
Now, I know that break-ups happen for a reason but I’m also also a firm believer in second chances – just not for the same mistake. So when your ex pops up again, make sure you remember WHY you split in the first place.
If it’s a legitimate apology or a “Hey, how are you?” you can answer if you want. But if it’s that one ex that you hate with a fiery passion, don’t even bother getting caught up in that again. Ignore the message and pretend it never happened.
Wanting to Facebook stalk them
A common (and probably wise) decision is to delete and unfollow your ex on social media. You don’t need to know how happy or unhappy they are after the break-up and you definitely do not need to see any of their “vague” status updates about you if they’re going to be THAT person.
Sometimes you just don’t want to delete your ex after your break-up. Maybe you want to look like a strong independent woman who isn’t the least bit affected by this or maybe you are trying to stay on good terms. Totally understandable. In that case, at least unfollow them on Facebook so they don’t keep popping up in your news feed to begin with.
If the temptation to Facebook stalk is still strong, go for it. But be prepared for the worst and don’t get angry if you find out something you wish you hadn’t.
Dealing with mutual friends
This all depends on who the friends are and how long you’ve known them for. If they were originally your friend, then (presumably) they’ll remain your friend despite the relationship ending.
If the friend still hangs out with your ex and keeps bringing them up in conversation when you don’t want to talk about it, chances are they’re probably playing messenger. If that ever happens, it’s time to evaluate the friendship and decide whether you can deal with it.
If the person was originally your ex’s friend, things can get a little tricky. If you really care about this person and want them to stay in your life, let them know that you still want to be friends. They might feel exactly the same way. And they might not. It is totally up to them, so be prepared, cross your fingers and hope for the best.
Running into your ex
Depends on the setting, depends on the break-up. If you meet them in passing – at a party, at the shops, in the street –it’s best to just say hi and continue going about your partying business. If the break-up was exceptionally bad and you don’t feel like acknowledging them, then don’t.
Whatever you do, don’t talk to them for half an hour, trying to convince them to stay with you or screaming at them for being a jerk. Those conversations should remain private and the random text is the perfect opportunity to try and organise a catch-up for that purpose.
Dealing with gifts
If it was a bad break-up and you don’t want to be reminded of them, get rid of the item. If it was amicable or if you genuinely still care about them, you can still keep those things your ex bought you, including jewellery. As long as it’s for the right reason. Wearing it because it’s pretty? Totally OK. Wearing it because you’re still holding on to them? Not OK.
Trying to remain friends
Look, it CAN be done. But before you make any hard and fast decisions about this after your break-up, ask yourself a serious question: How will I feel when they start talking about their new partner? If it wouldn’t bother you, remain friends. If it absolutely would, then step away.
Starting a new relationship
The important thing to remember is that it’s not a race. Don’t go out actively seeking new relationships as soon as one ends, just to beat them to the podium. Your ex may or may not find a new partner before you do. You will find someone new when you’re ready.
Seeing them with their new partner
Easier said than done, but it’s best to try and stay calm. At the very least, try not to burst into tears in front of them.
Seeing your ex with someone new will NEVER feel good but try to find the humour in the situation and don’t take it too personally. If you see them out at a club, as tempting as it may be, don’t drink shots to make yourself feel better. It works for a while but soon you’ll just be a drunken mess with a broken heart and a large hangover in the morning.
When they booty call you
If your ex calls you at an odd time, it’s best to just ignore it. Maybe they’re drunk and want you back. Maybe they just want sex. Maybe they want to talk everything over. A late-night conversation is not the best forum for this.
Remember, you broke up for a reason. Assuming you can be friends with benefits with your ex and not get hurt is the same as thinking you can eat 12 burgers, a side of fries and two large milkshakes and still lose weight.
Their mum wants to catch up
A passing hello is totally fine but if she rings up for a coffee date, it’s usually best to decline the offer while the break-up is still fresh.
If you were absolute besties with your ex’s mum, she might want to tell you that she still cares about you or something lovely and mum-like. Just keep in mind that hanging out with your ex’s family is not going to help you move on.
Your ex contacts your family
Proceed with caution. If your ex has a strong connection to someone in your family, decide straight-up whether you want to be polite or just ignore it altogether. You can’t tell your family to immediately cease communication with your ex, especially if they have to work together, but do let your family know what your boundaries are. Maybe ask them to refrain from mentioning the ex around you just so you can keep the distance.
Returning stuff they left at your house
Regardless of the break-up, let them know as soon as possible about the items and give them a specific window to collect it. For example, “Hey you left [furniture/clothing/item] here, when’s the best time to pick it up this week?”
If you don’t give them a deadline, they may put off collecting it. Definitely do not say “just come and get it whenever” because you may need to prepare yourself emotionally before they rock up at your door.
If they don’t reply or give any indication that they want to collect their belongings, send them a reminder. If they still don’t respond, sell it on Gumtree, give it away or chuck it. You’re not a storage locker.
Seeing them on Tinder
You can’t get angry or jealous about it, especially if you’re on Tinder yourself. If one of your mates sends you a screenshot to let you know, just accept it. Yes, they’re using Tinder. That sucks. But at least it decreases the chance that your ex will contact YOU for a booty call.
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