Dealing with breakups

Gabe Blumenfeld, guest columnist

It’s not me, it’s you. 

As all good things begin, so too must the bad ones end. The dreaded breakup is a confrontation that marks the formal end of a relationship. From being as straightforward as a flat-out conversation with the pretense of discussing the future of the relationship to being as indirect as texting a screenshot of messages to someone else justifying the breakup, these finales come in all shapes and sizes. 

The common thread? They almost always happen. 

My own breakup was messy, unpleasant, and painful, in large part because I wasn’t prepared. The best way to approach inevitability is to be prepared. So, what’s the best way to have a breakup, and how should you deal with it once it’s happened?

If you find yourself performing the deed itself, the single most important thing to adhere to is as follows: do not break up over text. There are many options, and although some of them are unavailable depending on the situation, do not break up over text. Preferable alternatives include, but are not limited to: breaking up through FaceTime (if it simply must be digital), while having lunch (in public, so they can’t convince you otherwise), or meeting with the purpose of breaking up (so they know exactly what to expect going in). 

If you simply must break up over text (again, please don’t), then avoid things like veering into both extremes of length. Instead of either just saying “we’re breaking up” or sending a multitude of paragraphs, send only as much as is actually necessary. Also, avoid immediately posting online about toxic relationships and “how grateful you are to be single”, trying too hard to say the last word, and generally being petty and indecent. You’ve also probably befriended some of your former partner’s friends, and it’s likely they’ve done the same. 

Even if your relationship with your ex is now in the gutter, that doesn’t mean the same must happen to the relationship with your friends. People will be watching, so be a good person! Let the “choice” (if there even needs to be one) between the two of you be an easy one for your friends.

Following those simple guidelines, most breakups that fit into this mold should be successful. (Keyword: should).

On the other end of the stick, finding yourself having just been broken up with isn’t pleasant. Being on the receiving end of a breakup, the game of red flags begins! 

It is important not to fall into the world of self-pity when distributing blame. This effectively sabotages your self-esteem, and by extent, your chances of getting back into a relationship. You should also make sure not to dump all of the blame on your former partner. Unless they’ve broken up with you without any reason whatsoever, and your relationship was totally flawless and the pinnacle of love on Earth, blame should be distributed to both people. 

Another thing to do, something that is significantly more important than blame placement, is to take inventory of your new time, and begin spending it well. 

Spending time with your partner has likely taken up a decent part of your schedule. Whether it’s half an hour after school or a whole day of the weekend, you now have free time! Do something you want to do: use that gym membership, join that club, play that video game, and hang out with people that actually value you. It’s your time now!

So, where does this leave you? 

Well, single. But, it leaves you with a neat breakup, a good mindset, and a new schedule. Hopefully, you’ll have better luck in the future, but remember: as all bad things end, good things begin.