0002 – Handling Breakups

“In this episode…”

We’re talking about handling break ups. What do you do when y’all becomes just you?

Teaser Bullets

by the end of this episode you’ll learn:

  • Get clarification on why breakups stink
  • Tips on how to handle breakups
  • Tips from Sarah on the idea of ‘Breaking Up’

Describe the problem

As good as the relationship is when it’s on, it hurts alot more when it’s off. Many of us cringe at the idea of having to dump someone that we once (or still) love, but sometimes these things have to happen. By the end of this episode, hopefully you’ll have an idea of how to approach your next breakup with class and tact.

  • Why Breakups Suck
    • Dr Karen Finn (https://twitter.com/DrKarenFinn) – http://www.functionaldivorce.com/
      • Growth: The Unexpected Gift of a Breakup
        • I’m not going to mince words: breakups suck! When you invest your time and very being into a relationship, it’s earth shattering if that partnership ends. When I got divorced, I felt like a tornado had come through and wiped out everything I thought I was, and everything I thought my world was off the face of the earth. I was left feeling desolated and uncertain what to do.
    • Jevgeni Särki (http://enhanceyourexistence.com/blog/)
      • How to Handle a Breakup
        • The breakup itself doesn’t feel bad or hurt anyone. The thoughts we experience during and after a breakup instead do and can feel very bad (because we feel our thinking). Here are some examples of thoughts that can make us feel bad and hurt:
        • “Everything was going so well and now I’m alone again. Loneliness is so horrible…”
        • “What if I never find anyone again?”
        • “What I he/she was The One?”
  • Tips to Handle Breakups
    • Benoit Denizet-Lewis (https://twitter.com/BenoitDLewis) –  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Travels-With-Casey/263362263719249  
      • What Are the Basic ‘Rules’ for Handling Breakups?
        • . . . The girls outnumbered the boys, and they didn’t hesitate to gang up on a charming — and, until then, immensely well liked — 17-year-old named Roberto, who proclaimed with a bit too much gusto that “racing to update your relationship status after a breakup” is a healthy behavior. That was just one of a handful of scenarios the teenagers debated and placed into “healthy” or “unhealthy” categories: others included “posting mean/embarrassing statuses about your ex” (unhealthy) and “rushing into a new ‘Facebook official’ relationship” (understandable, but still not healthy).
    • Rebekah Bell (https://twitter.com/RebekahBell)
      • 5 Things I Wish I Had Known about Breakups
        • Your worth is never tied to other people – One of the most damaging lies countless people struggle with post-breakup is that they’re worthless. We buy into the misguided idea that our value is wrapped up in whether or not a guy takes us to dinner or responds to texts.

Your worth is never defined by the success or failure of any relationship. Your value never changes based on what an ex is saying about you, or whether or not they move on before you do.

    • Alysia Stern (https://twitter.com/@alysiastern) http://www.rendezvousinc.com/
      • How To Handle A Breakup On Facebook
        • First and foremost, wait at least six months to post that you are “In a Relationship”. Sharing your significant other to the social media world should wait. You could always write sweet comments on pictures or posts if you feel the need to “piss on someone’s wall” to make it clear that they are “taken”.
    • Melissa Melms (https://twitter.com/melmsie) – http://dkcnews.com/
      • 7 Ways to Handle a Breakup While (Gasp!) Living With Your Significant Other
        • Make a clean break. While you’re still living together, you may catch yourself falling into your old romantic roles and you may be tempted to have sex. Things will go more smoothly if you stick with the decision to break up and don’t confuse yourself or your partner by behaving in ways that might imply a reconciliation that isn’t going to happen. If you find it hard to be around your partner, spend less time at home and try to expedite plans for one of you to move out.  
    • Margaret Boykin ( https://twitter.com/margaretboykin)
      • Breaking Up in The Digital Age
        • There’s no doubt about it—breaking up in our digital age means that the pure act of not seeing someone in person any longer isn’t enough. You have to break up with their online presence, too, and because your lives are so interwoven through multiple social media platforms, that’s a marathon endeavor.

Segment #2

  • Sarah & Open convo on breaking up from your book!!!
    • How to be Dumped: the Definitive Breakup Guide
    • Breakups are physiological
    • Find your Thing
    • 10 Breakup Commandments
    • Got questions on how to conduct yourself after a breakup? Just follow these ten simple commandments.
    • 1. Thou shalt not contact thine ex for at least 30 days for any reason, and especially not to say, “Hi, I miss you.”
    • After a breakup, you’re an idiot.
    • Sorry, it has to be said.
    • I’m not pointing fingers. I was a COMPLETE and TOTAL LUNATIC after my last breakup. Things that made no sense at all were reframed into, “THIS IS THE MOST BRILLIANT EMAIL ABOUT MY FEELINGS I’VE EVER WRITTEN. SEND.”
    • I cried in public over songs that I’d normally scoff over.
    • I watched terrible movies and derived hope and meaning from 90 minutes of treacly bullshit.
    • And not that my lunacy is everyone’s lunacy, but I’m telling you…your brain is broken right now. Detoxing. Wreaking havoc on your body.
    • Give yourself space away from your ex to re-set to normal (whatever your old normal was, and whatever your new normal will be).
    • Make it at least 30 days, re-evaluate, then add more time if you need it. Remember, your brain is doing some crazy things to your body, so you are somewhat unable to think clearly through this emotional trauma.
    • Take time to leave things as clean and quiet as possible before you let all your crazy break things even further.
    • I promise you, friend, 30 days is but a trifle. I know your brain is thinking right now, “But what if there’s a window???” If there is a window (and sorry, there isn’t), but if there IS and it means you two will be together FOREVER, 30 days is NOTHING for the two of you to get your shit together. In fact, 60 days is nothing…six months is nothing.
    • The BEST thing you can do for either of you–if there is, indeed, hope for getting back together–is to take this forcefully mandated time to look back, fix what you need to fix, and become a better person. That is something that neither of you will ever regret in the long run.
    • Oh, and to answer the questions that are plaguing your ever-loving soul:
    • No, he hasn’t forgotten you completely.
    • Yes, she heard everything you had to say.
    • No, you don’t need to say goodbye one last time.
    • Yes, you made yourself very clear the last time you spoke.
    • No, you don’t need to get your stuff back right now.
    • Yes, sending that email is a bad idea.
    • 2. Thou shalt not permit yourself to stay in a shitty situation with your ex simply because it is convenient.
    • One of my exes and I shared a condo for a few months after our breakup.
    • No. No, no, no. Never again.
    • The space we so badly needed after our split was nonexistent (see Commandment One), because, you know, we regularly passed each other on the way to the bathroom.
    • And sure, it was convenient to continually shack up as we looked for other places, but it wasn’t healthy.
    • (Plus, we broke Commandments Three and Four because we continued in our idiocy.)
    • So I had to ask him to move out…which meant an inconvenient move for him back to his parents’ basement…and it meant I was inconvenienced by now having to live by myself in a sort of scary neighborhood…but man, did it ever feel good to breathe.
    • Therefore, friends: Do not do shared custody of your pets.
    • Do not hang out in the same groups together if it’s too painful (and kick any of your friends who think you should suck it up and be more mature and just do it for the sake of the group. Noooope.)
    • Do not continue anything that feels uncomfortable to you just because it’s close, or easy, or “the way you’ve always done it.” At least, for a minute.
    • Find a new bar, buy yourself a bike if you share a car, crash on someone’s couch (done it), ask for space, define your boundaries, and do whatchoo gotta do to carve out what you need, no matter how inconvenient things are in the meantime.
    • I mean, yay for shared rent and stuff…but that’s what Craigslist is for. Find a new roommate. STAT. Or get a cheaper apartment. Or sell some stuff. Or work out a schedule if you must. But you must start to re-calibrate, and you can’t do that very well if you’re still sharing groceries.
    • NOW, if you’re sharing custody of human beings, you’re going to have to get over yourself a bit and figure stuff out. HOWEVER, you can still take massive strides to reclaim a little bit o’ you in that situation. People do it all the time, promise.
    • 3. Thou shalt not sleep with thine ex.
    • Stop it, stop it, stop it.
    • This move is terrible for both of you, but especially for the person who is still hoping it’s all going to miraculously work out. I don’t care how horny you are, don’t do it. Someone will be sad at the end of it all, I guarantee it.
    • Do you really think it’ll bring him back to you? Do you really think she forgot how good your cock was and will miraculously want to try to be bf/gf after she gets it one more time? Do you really think he will be able to keep his feelings out of it? Do you really think she’ll be able to stay rational when she JUST told you how much she wanted you back?
    • Friend, if he/she wants to be with you, they will want to be with you without needing to sleep with you to work it out. Give yourself a little credit, FFS.
    • And if you’re the one who knows it’s over and you did the dumping? Shame on you. Hands off, bucko (or buckette). I don’t care if she DID give you the best orgasms of your life…you’ve been giving yourself some pretty good ones since you were 13. I bet you’ll find that rhythm again real quick, ya jackass.
    • (I’m not bitter.)
    • 5. Thou shalt not be less than anything but honest with your ex, no matter if you think it’ll make you look bad, or it will be hurtful to your ex.
    • I’ve said this before (and I feel SUPER WISE when I say it): mean is bad, nice is worse, dishonesty is acid on the soul.
    • When you are breaking up with someone, say what you need to say, no more, no less.
    • Don’t coat it in half-promises, or half-truths, or silly attempts to soften the blow. All the person being dumped will hear are the bits and pieces that make it seem like, “Maybe, just maybe, if this one thing changes, he’ll come back!”
    • No. That’s not how it works.
    • If you don’t have the feelings you need to have, say that.
    • If you are seeing someone else, say that.
    • If you think the person is completely toxic and self-destructive and you refuse to be tangled in their web of lies, say that.
    • The most honest thing anyone has ever said to me was, “I do not want a relationship…with you.”
    • He didn’t deliver it as, “I don’t want a relationship…right now,” because all I would have heard was “right now” and then I would have followed him to the ends of the earth (I’m a glutton for punishment like that). Instead, he nipped it right in the bud.
    • Even though I was a mere 18 years old and it felt like jumping into the Arctic naked to hear him say those words to me, it was oddly comforting. I knew exactly where I stood with him, and I could make a clean break and go.
    • Did it suck? Yes. Did it probably take some guts for him to say it, knowing it would hurt me? Sure. Did we both move on quickly without messy talks and pleading and hope? Sure did.
    • Be brave, have a little courage, and say exactly what you mean. No more. No less.
    • 6. Thou shalt fucking go through the five stages of grief
    • Mourn it, baby. Embrace every wave of crazy emotion you feel after a breakup. Get mad. Get sad. Feel both of those things at once. Let it all out, then practice accepting your new normal.
    • Don’t try to skip this part by burying it with the next person you meet. That shit will be like that bowl of ramen you left in the corner of your dorm room Freshman year…it’ll fester and mold and get worse and worse until you are forced to address it.
    • 7. Thou shalt not wallow
    • Get it all out, sure, but set a reasonable time limit for your grief. Four months of the sadz was more than enough for me. It should have been two months, but I also broke commandments 1, 3 and 4.
    • Give yourself that first full 30 days of no contact to auger that shit out. Be gentle with yourself in month two as you proactively practice Acceptance.
    • But if you’re getting into month three and you’re still wearing those awful sweatpants and posting angsty things to Facebook, snap out of it. Or see a shrink, ‘cause you might need some meds (for real).
    • There is too much life to live and too much of your goodness to spread around for you to stay holed up in your hidey hole. Go, go, go!
    • 8. Thou shalt give your friends a break occasionally
    • Your friends are awesome, they really are. Mine are. I have pages and pages and pages of Gchats and emails from them as I processed my little brain through my sadness. They were all wonderful, to a T. Tough love when I needed it, a little sympathy when I didn’t. Beautiful tidbits of advice, shoulders to lean on, company when I just needed to sit with someone and drink some chai and not be in my apartment.
    • Except one day I remember sort of waking up out of my funk, just before I was about to go on yet another tirade of, “Maybe all my sad will go away if I do this,” to yet another of my long-suffering friends when I realized I was tired of hearing myself talk.
    • I think I might have even said, “OhmygodI’msoboredwithmyself.”
    • And then I was like, whoah. If *I’m* tired of hearing myself talk, imagine how THIS BITCH WHO I’M ABOUT TO UNLOAD ON FOR THE TEN THOUSANDTH TIME feels. Shit.
    • Obviously, you need a kind ear to help you through all the whatnot, but remember to ask your friends about themselves here and there. While they are likely happily forestalling their own burdens in the name of helping you with yours (I know I do for mine! Happily! I love them and want to help, 100%), they might just need the smallest break to, oh, you know, talk about the weather for just a minute.
    • Plus, it’ll do your brain good to get outside of itself for a minute and care about something else.
    • Oh, and if you’re the friend who is being supportive, don’t be afraid to say, kindly, “Hey, do you mind if we talk about my work situation for like two seconds?” Remember, your broken buddy needs a second to snap out of him/herself anyway and your problems didn’t miraculously disappear the moment her boyfriend broke up with her via emoji.
    • 9. Thou shalt write/work it out
    • My parents presented me with a journal in the third grade and it’s probably the greatest gift they’ve ever given me (besides the ability to scrub a mean toilet, thanks Mom!). I’ve been journaling my fee-fees ever since. During my last breakup, I wrote a series of letters to my ex. I never sent them, but it was a way for me to get it alllll out in a safe, non-threatening, non-judgmental environment.
    • By the time I finished journaling all about that dude, and by the time I penned the last unsent letter (there were twelve. TWELVE LETTERS OF CRAZY, AH, AH, AHHHH!), I felt reasonably sane. I mean, I look back on that hot mess and can see how I was pretty much fucking insane…but at least it was contained to the screen in front of me and I could keep my dignity to some degree. Plus, it helped me process through some of the tougher emotions.
    • You don’t have to be a good writer to write. Maybe you just record yourself talking. Or maybe you pen some poems. Or maybe you get your fiction on. Or maybe you draw. I don’t care…just do something creative and emotive that allows you to do something with your Feelz besides bottle them up inside.
    • I also learned after my divorce that moving around is one of the best things you can do for yourself after a breakup. It’s one of the last things you want to do for yourself after a breakup, but still. Do it. At least take a walk around your block or traverse the mall, or I dunno, do something more strenuous like beat the shit out of a punching bag or something.
    • One of the things that was most important to me after my divorce was that I not take any meds to dull what I was feeling. But I needed to do something to manage my emotions, so my therapist at the time encouraged me to work out hard. So I did and I trimmed down and found myself looking forward to the hour a day where I thought of nothing else but moving and sweating and maybe even grunting a little.
    • I’ve hit the gym hard after every emotional upheaval since. I try to hit it regularly anyway, but after a breakup, especially, I dedicate myself to moving. The bonus is you get to feel better about your body, and by the time you’re over the breakup, you look supah fly.
    • So move. Move, move, move.
    • And write. Write, write, write.
    • 10. Thou shalt get the fuck off Facebook
    • Goddammit, will you unfriend your ex already? On everything? Seriously. Go right now. I’ll wait.
    • Done? Great. So…why did I tell you to do that?
    • Staying friends with your ex on Social Media is not helping you “get over it.”  When you see her shit on Instagram and fly into random rages about seeing her with her arm around some dude (who is probably her cousin), that is not healthy. You’re not getting over it, you’re rubbing salt into your wound. Or, you’re just feeding all that post-breakup crazy by stalking some random girl who popped up in his feed to say, “Had so much fun last night!”
    • Then–WHADDYA KNOW–you are crying and bugging your friends and posting terribly angsty passive aggressive stuff all over the Interwebs AND IT IS AWFUL.
    • The good Lord above invented the delete button for a reason. Be liberal with it. Push it. Push it real good. Unfriend, hide, delete, block, erase.
    • You’ll be happier that you don’t have to read into every little detail of his/her published life (which he/she is OBVIOUSLY doing just to fuck with you, RIGHT), and we’ll be happier that we don’t have to try to read into your weird vague posts about, “Some people just don’t care about kindness,” bullshit featuring an ironic photo of a dead cat on Flickr. Or one of those Some ecards. Or even worse, a sunset.
    • (OK, clearly I have my own Social Media hangups…but I digress.)
    • Again, you are literally fighting an addiction to someone, and Social Media is the absolute WORST at letting you sneak hits. Quit it. Cold turkey. Move on (dot org).
    • So that’s it! Follow these 10 Commandments (all of which I’ve broken…which is why I wrote them in the first place) and I betcha anything, in 30 days you’ll be feeling WAY better than you would have otherwise. Promise.

iTunes Review

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In Closing

In closing, on behalf of myself, Elijah R. Young, and everyone involved in bringing this show to your ears, we hope we’ve made your relationship better today than it was yesterday. Now go forth and relate to one another…we’ll talk soon.

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