Top Five Post-Breakup Mistakes


Breakups are difficult enough. There’s so much crying, lost sleep and painful memories to be repressed — you need to put things behind you as quickly as possible. Make sure you do just that by avoiding these agony-prolonging screw-ups.

1. Staying friends
I’m cheating a little because this goes both ways. There are those rare, lucky relationships that end peacefully and allow the bond you’ve created to change, not sever. But don’t force it. If you were broken up with, the last thing you need to do is cling to your former girlfriend. It’s not fair to you to keep showering her with attention and affection while she’s not interested in reciprocating. If you’re the person who severed those ties, don’t assume you’re doing your ex any favors by not giving him or her some space to get over you. Yes, either way, it will be difficult to be apart. You’ll get sentimental and wistful at times. Fight it.

2. Becoming enemies
The longer you and your ex were together, the more likely it is you’ll have mutual friends. They won’t want to pick sides, so being vicious and accusatory of your old boyfriend isn’t going to win you any accolades. No matter what sins he committed against you, try your best to grant forgiveness. Taking the high road is admirable, especially when people expect you to whine. Woe-is-me bitchiness is not attractive, so class it up. You don’t have to be nice — just don’t be mean. Aim for polite. The last thing you need is more drama, right?

3. Having post-breakup sex
No. Absolutely not. Don’t tell me it’s just convenient because you’re so familiar to each other or that you’ve both definitely moved on. It’s not going to be so convenient when your ex falls in love all over again and you have to break her heart. There are too many prospective partners you don’t have a complicated history with. Stop being lazy and get to know a new girl. You can never fully know what feelings are lingering in your ex’s mind. Haven’t you ever seen a romantic comedy? This will not work out well. More likely than not, it’s going to hurt you or her in the long run.

4. Drunken anything
Exes and alcohol are the worst possible combination. If you have to be around your former lover, don’t assume getting trashed is going to make anything easier. It may feel like a foolproof defense mechanism, but it can’t save you from yourself. No calling or texting him while drunk, either. Delete the number from your phone if you have to. Alcohol primes you for making mistakes by exacerbating your emotions. Combining that with a high-stress situation like a fresh breakup? That can’t end well. If you want to work something out, you should be committed enough to do it while sober.

5. Getting back together
This is another choice that could be wonderful or terrible. I’m crazy about my current boyfriend, and we dated, split up, then reunited after a year. It’s worked out phenomenally for us — but that’s no guarantee. Getting back together with your ex only to remember all of the things you hated about her will have your friends saying, “I told you so.” Stick to your guns on this one, and keep the reasons you ditched your ex in mind. If you were the one left heartbroken, be careful. It’s possible she’s realized the error of her ways, but also consider that she may be back to take advantage of you again.

Email Ellie M. at [email protected]