If you’re wont to participate in what is typically referred to as a “relationship” (but more aptly described as a commitment to relentless disappointment), there may come a day that you are broken up with. If you’re shaking your head and mumbling, “No way, dude. Not me. All of my relationships end amicably and mutually,” then you’re either an aloof Dumper (the worst kind, in my opinion) or you’re a delusional Dumpee – in which case, this one’s for you. Don’t go soft into the cruel, lonely night, fair Dumpee – use what little strength you have to manipulate yourself into believing that you’re better off.
Pretend everything you’ve ever said was a lie: “What? I never loved you. I was just kidding, ha-ha! Yeah no, you must’ve misheard me. You’re so not my best friend, where’d you get that idea? I said I’d always care about you? Unlikely… but if so, I was lying! Everyone lies once in a while, wouldn’t you agree?” This is the mentality you need. Of course, none of this is true. If it were, you’d be the Dumper – and we both know that isn’t the case.
Pretend everything anyone’s ever said about your ex is true: Lots of times, outsiders wish to share their feelings about your significant other. Rumors will surface, insinuations will be made, and accusations; they’ll fly. They’ll fly like fish in April. But because other people acknowledge the “You don’t know them like I do” defense, you’re able to brush off any criticism of your partner. You probably had good reason to do so, back then. It’s okay to think of those criticisms now. They might be baseless, mean, and flat-out untrue; but you’re trying to survive a break up, not win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Dispose of artifacts: There is one thing to be done with photographs, postcards from trips, and meaningless trinkets from your failed relationship: make a collage entitled “Back When You Had a Soul” and burn it someplace symbolic. You can also just throw them out or hide them in a closet with the rest of your old relationship shit that you’ve kept to remind yourself that once, someone accidentally thought that they loved you.
Throwing out everything that has to do with your ex is unrealistic, though. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind kind of made you feel like, “I need to get rid of EVERYTHING that has to do with you, no matter how expensive, rare, or meaningful!” In real life, throwing out something useful for no reason just makes you an idiot and perhaps creates more resentment where there’s already plenty. For these items, you will need to reassign their value. Your dresser is no longer “the dresser we found on the side of the road in Connecticut and brought home to paint. We stayed up until 3 AM painting that dresser, remember! And we had pizza!” No. It’s just your fucking dresser now.
Delete them: When you were basking in the haze of newfound singularity, friends and even casual observers would say, “Maybe you guys shouldn’t talk… maybe you should like… block him on Facebook for awhile,” and you were like “Ugh, that’s so unnecessary. We’re gonna be friends, it’s cool.” Then a few weeks go by, and you begin to realize it’s not cool. “You think you can go out and have fun, you fucking weasel asshole?! Look at this fucking guy… hanging out with friends. YEAH, OKAY,” you snarl at no one in particular. Not that you expected them to curl up in a ball of shame and regret, but sort of.
Watching life move on without you isn’t going to do anything but cause irrational anger. You need to delete your ex. When you delete that number from your phone, delete your texts, too. Delete your call log. We always half-ass it, don’t we? We do it so that, when drunk and desperate, we can hunt down the number that resides in the dark crevices of our cell phones. Commit this time. Hit the ‘Unfollow’ button. Go through the sanctimonious act of defriending them on Facebook. Do it before you lose Twitter followers who dislike your passive aggressive, pandering Tweets and overall pathetic displays of unrequited emotion.
Become bitter, jaded, etc.: You’re never going to love/trust/care for/believe in/blow anyone again. You know that, right? Subtly make sure everyone knows that. Play your “I’m a loner, Dottie, a rebel” card frequently and flawlessly. “Oh, you think I’m beautiful? Cute,” you’ll say to the member of your preferred sex who’s afflicted with Broken Baby Bird Syndrome. Come to think of it, your ex was sort of a Broken Baby Bird when you met, wasn’t he? Contribute to the cycle by constantly reminding everyone that you’re Damaged Goods. Your unwillingness to believe in love and the uncanny way you brush off significant emotional connections will land you in your next relationship – and ironically, in the Dumpee seat once more – this time, because you’re an asshole.