Break-ups suck. Whether you've been dating for a few months, years or casually seeing each other, hearing that the other person no longer wishes to be around you is like taking a sucker punch right through the chest. I'm not going to lie...I don't handle break-ups too well. Loving someone who doesn't love you back anymore is an awful situation to find yourself dwelling in, and I have heard many many stories of relationships ending up messier than 'Mr Messy' and he is pretty messy....
Love does crazy things to people and there is a reason this saying exists: "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned". I'm talking cars being keyed, physical stalking, clothes being cut up, long-ass teary voice-mails, threats and in general behaviour Beelzebub would be proud of. This is not the way to go ladies, shock horror. But nor is hiding under a duvet, fleeing the country or disappearing into an Ashram to 'find yourself'. There must be ways to deal with the pain, anger and sadness in a manner that keeps your head high.
As a woman (yep, I really am a woman) I feel I can't do justice to how we should embrace a break-up or what guys expect of us post-split because, in the essence of being female...I haven't a fucking clue myself. So I enlisted the help of my fab guy friends to help deliver some potential 'break-up rules' that, should you choose to stick to, may salvage dignity and end ultimately in a friendship between the two of you, which is always the best outcome. I'm still really close to my ex fiancée who cheated on me and I love having him in my life still, because out of everyone around me he still knows the real me, and knows me best. So I'll take his judgement and opinions on future plans with open ears. Had I smashed his car up/punched him/stalked his house/wailed down the phone, I doubt he'd still be interested.
My first port of call is a familiar face to most of you, the adorable Melvin Odoom from Kiss FM. He's got a mature, decent, caring head on his shoulders and was willing to share his opinion on the subject. He says:
"It's called a break-up for a reason. So the best thing is not to make contact unless he does. You can still be polite when you see them but don't go out of your way to contact him anymore. No contact is the best way. I had someone recently who obviously still listened to my shows and then would reference what I said about other girls. That doesn't look good! Obviously everyone deals with mourning in different ways and I'd expect them to accept it has happened rather than still texting daily or still sending pictures as if the break-up didn't exist, which has also happened to me. With regards to crying...it all depends. If we were out somewhere I wouldn't expect her to start swearing or wailing in my face, but it if were just us alone and she was upset that's fair. On the same score if there were no tears and she seemed absolutely fine, I'd question why she wasn't bothered in the first place. The main point though is no contact. Just try accept that it has happened and move on however you can."
Okay got that girls? No contact. The hardest thing to do is cut off completely (I know!) but it seems to be the main thing that a break-up requires. Tears are fine if you can't stop them, but once it's done, it's done. Melvin is a great guy so I'd take his advice on board if you're in a split and feeling crap about yourself or worried that your 5 voice-mails may have been too much. You'd be right. So moving on to more pearls of wisdom, below are word-for-word responses from my guy friends, which include: Designer, Model, Boy Band and Student. Eclectic mix of dudes and I assure you ALL are absolutely beautiful. The kind of guy you'd want on the end of your arm. So listen to them:
"Worst thing is to be aggressive/angry that is awkward an unattractive! The best thing to do is a big hug, no awkward dramatic crying please. If it's over she's not going to change his mind by crying or doing anything unattractive! Just say something like...I'm really sad to hear you are unhappy but I am glad you told me now. Then that's the end of it."
"If I were to break up with a girl I'd expect her to understand. I would explain the reason why we broke up and the reason how I want to move on. Breaking up is never easy unless there is a valid reason such as cheating. Best way I find for break ups is to keep to yourself in work and spend as much time with your friends that pick you up. Worst thing for a partner to do is not expressing their feelings prior to the break up. For me a lot of things can be resolved in relationships but it is amazing how we don't talk about things that annoy us. We are quick to hate and slow to resolve in our culture."
"It depends on who broke up with who. If she broke up with me I'd expect a valid explanation why! If I broke up with her I'd expect her to be mature about the situation and understand that we'd be happier apart, but it depends on the reason for the break up. Best way to move on is focus your mind on something else. No one even really 'moves on' their attention is just switched from one person to another. The worst thing she could do post-split is be a stalker, like Twitter stalking and stuff, or getting with one of my mates."
"If I'm dating her, I'd like to think I choose a good woman in the first place and she's classy, mature and dignified. In which case, I'd like her to give the relationship the respect it deserved and move on. I've had girls before though who have been amazing until we split, then turn into screaming banshees. It's such a turn off and all it does is make the guy realize they made the right choice. What girls ideally want is us thinking, damn she's handled herself so well, have I made the wrong choice? Stalking us or crying down the phone won't do that. Go cry to your girlfriends instead."
There's an 'in your face' obvious theme here...guys want maturity, dignity and in general, non-psycho behaviour. In fact it works in your favour if you take this approach...there is no greater feeling than knowing your ex now regrets leaving you and you're flying high without him around. Lets, for once, listen to the men and take their word for it...after all, they're the ones dealing with us lot on a daily basis! See below the main points I've taken from my guys...
The Break-Up Rules
1. No contact. Once the conversation has happened, treat that as the line in the sand, then step right over it. If need be, write his number down, give it to your friend then delete his digits off your phone, including all call logs and texts. You don't want the urge to call at 3am once you're pissed.
2. No stalking. All your doing is hurting yourself more anyway, what you don't see can't hurt you. Delete him off facebook/twitter if you have to, to stop yourself pouring over his new photos or statuses.
3. Don't turn into a bitch, or get nasty. It will just remind him that he's done the right thing, and make you look like you deserved it.
4. Don't try get him back by dating his mates or flirting with mutual friends. Once again, you just look needy and desperate.
5. Bury yourself into work, going out or just keep busy in general. If you have time to spend alone you'll have time to start thinking about everything, which leads to the calls/texts he doesn't want.
6. Focus on yourself, and try new things. Make it a positive change to your lifestyle rather than a negative.
7. Actually accept the break-up. Carrying on as if the conversation never happened will just frustrate him and make him get angry with you...face it. You've been dumped. Say it out loud over and over if it helps to admit it to yourself.
8. Above all, walk away with your dignity still in tact. You'll feel 10x better for it, I promise!