Step One: Get dumped.
I’m sorry, but it’s absolutely necessary for the rest of the steps. It might seem unfair, but there is no revenge without an act to incite it. So go on, get dumped. Get your heart shattered. Become a single in a formerly well-known pair.
Step Two: Do something drastic, but awesome.
Let me clarify.
What drastic is: Going blonde. Experimenting with bangs or a daring facial piercing (note to self: check with employers before doing so).
What drastic is not, if you want to maintain your job/apartment/remaining relationships: burning his furniture and clothing inside your one-bedroom apartment’s just-for-show fireplace.
Depending on your current stage in the grieving process, there are decidedly different routes you can take here. Still in denial? Mail a 10 page letter to your ex detailing how your current turn on the wheel of fate is leading to a longer ride into pure bliss and growing old togetherness. Would Kubler-Ross stick you in the Depression box? Make a chocolate cake around those tears and eat it all, damnit!
My personal brand of drastic? Pick up and move your Acceptance-stage behind to a different city where you know NO ONE and, you know, live there indefinitely.
Step Three: Start your campaign to be an awesome human being.
Sounds easy, right? It’s not. But lucky for you, I’ve got a few nuggets of wisdom under my belt when it comes to this part.
Start by looking better. Whether this means you get on the treadmill every day, or subscribe to the religious process of an 11-step Japanese skin care routine, do it. Looking better is half the battle to living well. Buy some hot clothes that fit well and get ready to wear them, you beautiful person.
Next is a little trickier. If you pulled a runner and now you’re stranded in some city trying to make a new life, you have to upgrade your job. Make more money, or get a better title so people think you make more money. Either way: living well = achieved. It’s all in the LinkedIn title.
Speaking of LinkedIn, here is where I’m going to reluctantly introduce the next step, which is…
Step Four: Make your life look awesome, even when it isn’t.
PSA: I do not advocate oversharing on social media but these are VERY SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES. So this time, you get a pass to take 65 pictures before deciding on one, and you get a pass to ignore your friends for a full 20 minutes while you choose the perfect filter that will make your ex RUE the day he turned his back on your flawless face that is having so much fun with your cooler, hotter friends. Overuse those hashtags and fake it till you make it. Jealousy is the second best revenge.
Step Five: Be awesome IRL.
A picture isn’t worth a thousand words after a few weeks. The dimly lit photos with attractive guys who are definitely just friends tend to lose their luster. So cut down on the intelligent-yet-joyful tweets and stop tagging yourself in the club du jour and start taking this shit seriously, because it’s time to get down.
What’s something you talked about doing with your ex but never got around to because Saturday mornings were wasted at the farmer’s market and eating apple cider donuts? What plans did you make over a bottle of pinot noir and promptly forgot after a the cold hard light of a hangover kept you in bed bingeing American Horror Story?
Do it, do it now.
Finish the book you started four years ago and stopped writing because you were busy eating or being a couple or fighting or not fighting.
Get on stage and perform that song or comedy act you’ve been preparing in the shadow for the last four years but you only needed validation from your significant other so you let your guitar gather dust in the corner.
Be a bright fucking star in the dark, lonely sky of the last few months and eventually forget about why you started this in the first place, because you’re not just living well, you’re killing it, and your ex isn’t just jealous but every single person you know is.
It’s the best revenge.