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Surviving a Breakup Is Easier than Spending Your Life with a Jackass

survivingbreakupIf you are going through a breakup right now you probably feel like your life sucks and it will never get better. Your friends are giving you that sympathetic look that makes you want to slap them.  And you are monitoring your phone or blackberry by the minute in case a new message pops up from him (that you swear you are going to ignore this time).

Rest assured, as time passes, your ex will become a distant memory. Then, one day when you least expect it, he’ll contact you through Facebook just like the hundreds of other weirdos from high school who have managed to find you online. And you will say “Oh my gosh. I remember him. I can’t believe I dated him. Why didn’t someone stop me?”

Until that glorious day arrives, here are a few things you can do to help you get through the tough times:

* Turn off the sappy music…No 80s heartthrob CD, no light listening, no “The Best of Wilson Philips”…put them all away. For the next six weeks you are only allowed to listen to upbeat club tunes with a strong drum beat played by a hot drummer. If you want, you can imagine the drummer drumming on your ex’s head.

* Make a list of all the reasons why the relationship wasn’t working. Get out a couple of notebooks because once you get started you are going to need more than one. And begin with (a) he broke up with me (b) he is a jackass who will regret it and (c) I am too good for him anyway. Now you fill out the rest.

* Rebound men are good, especially if they are cute, fun, and willing to spend a little bit of cash. Don’t let anyone tell you that you need time to take time away from dating. Of course you need time to yourself but it doesn’t hurt to have a few guys around on weekends to take you out to dinner and build your ego. If you can’t meet a good selection of men at bars, parties, or through friends, try online dating. Sure, there are stalkers online but there are stalkers everywhere. If you use your common sense (don’t meet the guy on a back country road, avoid men with duct tape and ropes in their car) you’ll be fine.

* Stop your mind when it begins to wander and imagine crazy things. At some point you’ll imagine your ex riding on a white steed through a field with a hot woman on the back. Or you’ll imagine he’s dating your friend or the bartender or the woman who cuts his hair at Supercuts or…. you get the picture. Basically when we’re under stress, our brain invents all sorts of worst case scenarios. Recognize when you are torturing yourself this way and stop. Replace your vision of him on the steed with a vision of him getting tossed from the horse and landing on his ass.

* Get rid of everything that reminds you of him. You don’t have to throw it out if that idea is too painful right now, but put it all in a box and give it to your best friend to pack away for you. Down the road she’ll call you up and say “Do you want this box of stuff you left at my apartment?” and you won’t even remember what is in it. Then you’ll go over to her place and you’ll stand over the box, peer into it, and slowly peel back the tape, hoping that it doesn’t contain something that was edible once upon a time.

* Remember that things happen for a reason, even breakups. The Universe (God, Mother Nature, Zeus, whatever you call it in your life) knows a thing or two that you don’t know and definitely has better, bigger men in store for you.

Breaking up is painful but nowhere near as painful as staying with the wrong guy for a year or five years or 35 years. Be happy the relationship ended when it did and focus on finding someone new and better. The best revenge is living well (and making sure your ex finds out about it).  Copyright © 2009 Alison James