I’ve been dumped, like, once. I visited my ex-girlfriend for a long summer weekend and she broke up with me next to her pool 45 minutes before my flight while I unknowingly ate a Chipotle fajita burrito. It made for a crazy fun flight home, and an even more fun time answering everyone’s, “How was the weekend with your girlfriend?!” questions.
“Uhhh, I’ll tell you how it was — I spent like a grand on meals out while sweating my dick off in southern Ohio humidity, only to later find out she made out with some dude two weeks prior on her study abroad trip in Europe.” I then learned that said dude had a YouTube rap video (couldn’t be more devastated that it has since been deleted), and when I met him three months later, I got chastised by everyone at a party for asking him, “Is rapping more of a hobby or a career move?” while I was in the bag from drinking too much Four Loko.
But, what I learned from that experience wasn’t that girls from Cincinnati suck (they do) or that Chipotle is best eaten next to a pool (it is), but getting dumped is completely demoralizing. While one person is about cannonball into the single life, the other is about to spend three days slumped over in their shower listening to Alanis Morissette trying to find clarity.
Let’s face it though. Everyone gets dumped for a reason. The long distance isn’t working. Someone cheated. One of you got too comfortable in the relationship (read: fat). You realized you hate each other when you’re sober. I mean, fuck, when I was in high school, my girlfriend threatened to dump me because I played too much FIFA with my friends. I later cheated on her and we mutually parted ways, but that’s neither here nor there. Fact of the matter is, it’s always something.
But you can’t concern yourself with the past when you’re on the receiving end of a breakup. You need to plow forward with an out-of-sight-out-of-mind mentality. Billy Martin had five different stints managing the New York Yankees because he and George Steinbrenner always thought they could work their shit out. They were the annoying couple that constantly fights and thinks no one realizes how terrible they are, when in reality, everyone is behind their back complaining about how they need to break the fuck up. They Yankees used Billy Martin like you use that one girl who’s on the receiving end of your 2 am “you up?” texts.
You? You need to have some respect for yourself adn not be a Billy Martin. You’re going to want to text her. Don’t. You’re going to want to check her Instagram. Stop it. Want to wish her a happy birthday? Feed the geese and see if that’s still a good idea. And you know, on second thought, just delete her number. You probably know it by heart anyway, and if you don’t, bury it deep in some note on your phone in case of emergency. And an emergency isn’t a “How much detergent do I use in this load of laundry?” It’s more of a “I’m sorry to hear your parents died in a plane crash.”
Talking about a breakup is like telling someone about your dream from last night—no one really cares because it doesn’t personally affect them and they’d really prefer for you to shut up about it. But while their hopes for you to move on are unrealistic, you need to have a plan of attack. A treasure map to reference. You need The Rule of Threes.
Your public mourning process? Three days. You’ve got three days to look sad, justifiably not talk to anyone, and drink depressingly and uncontrollably. Just don’t hit the hard stuff too hard.
Mandatory radio silence quota after the breakup? Three weeks. You are not to even THINK about contacting this lady for at least three weeks after. Going back to the well isn’t a good look. Snuff that candle, bro. It’s a certainty, nay, a guarantee that after three weeks you’ll be off your ex-girlfriend’s dick. That came out wrong but you get the point.
Ultimatum for finding a replacement? Three months. You don’t need to find someone that you imagine yourself walking down the aisle with, but a casual hookup that leads to a playful text rapport to show you still got it? That’s acceptable and encouraged. On Frasier, Niles got super pervey on Daphne to get over Maris and Mel. Steal a page from his book.
And if you really feel like being a blubbering mess and 40 Days of Summer-ing yourself, just remember: at least your girlfriend didn’t cheat on you with a 5’6″ aspiring rapper.