10 breakup blunders you can avoid

Published: May 5, 2012
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Remember, he is not hiding in the cigarette butt nor at the end of that ice cream bowl. PHOTO: AFP

My cable operator recently found a way to irk me and my childhood friend with a particular music channel that he constantly televises.

Repeatedly playing “Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely” by the Backstreet Boys and the Titanic theme song, throws us back into a galaxy far away, purposely buried away, of our first love and the breakup that followed.

Nobody likes talking about breakups, but these sappy songs reminded us of some absurdities we have gathered along the way and how to avoid them. Here are a few:

1. Breakup shopping

Before throwing away your months’ salary on shoes and bags, just remember, there is no reimbursement policy at Zamzama.

You see the board that says “No exchange, no return”?

Read it. They mean it. So keep your eyes open and wallet closed.

My exorbitant retail therapy forced me to blow up my entire month’s salary! Now I have start saving up from scratch for things that I actually needed to buy.

2. Momentary pleasures

When going through breakup meltdowns, we are all bound to surrender to things that help numb our mind for a while. We surrender to those forbidden things we run away from all year.

Yup, I’m talking about the guilty pleasure of tubs full of ice cream, bars of chocolate and French fries. There we have it; the warmth of a security blanket engulfs your body – a security blanket made of fat! So snap out of it; you can’t just fling those pounds away and it will get worse when you can’t fit into that new pair of jeans or that great button down shirt.

Breakups should not come at the expense of your waistline.

I gave in to sheesha, but it did me no good. I felt just as bad accompanied along with an unwelcome headache.

So remember, the ex is not hiding in the cigarette butt, nor at the end of that ice cream bowl.

3. Virtual stalking

The incessant calling and text messaging with no response has the ability to make you (even men) curl up like a foetus and cry.

The calls and texts do not explain your pain to him. They will, however, exasperate him. Don’t do it.

Stop checking his Facebook profile and put a halt to the Messenger sign in. Try changing your SIM card or delete his previous messages – they are of no use to you now.

It’s crass to harass him and it gives him the power to give you some heinous nickname like ‘stalker’ or even worse, ‘obsessive stalker’.

4. The bum syndrome

Ah, the sleep we can’t seem to get enough of.

We love sleeping off our breakups, sulking in our pyjamas and in short just becoming uber sarcastic slobs.  We cut off all contact with the world, remain constantly in sync with our iPod’s and their depressing playlists and pride ourselves on becoming hairy gorillas; the beards and unibrows continue to grow.

It is integral for the breakup warrior to stand back on his/her feet. Go ahead, take a few days off but being a bum and dwelling is no sign of maturity or recovery.

5. The self-help book

Since we are led to believe that authors and psychiatrists have all the answers in the world, it isn’t difficult to guess what the next reprieve for a breakup victim is.

You may find yourself sneaking into a book shop and picking up, “Babe Bible” or “Why Men Love Bitches”. If such books actually had healing powers, life would be as easy as pie, now wouldn’t it?

Quit racking your brain on trying to win Mr Right Now back and look for Mr Right instead!

6. Friends

So here’s the confusing bit; your relationship with friends suddenly becomes a love-hate bipolar rollercoaster ride. You can avoid them as much as you want, but their companionship can be the beacon of light in the darkest of hours.

Your friends can assess your relationship impartially. They may not buy your re-vamped version of the breakup or your idea of the ‘perfect love’, but they’ll give you the reality check you desperately need at that time.

Yes, you might want to punch them when they say things like,

“Grow up!”

“You’re better than this!”

“He/she doesn’t deserve you”

“Don’t you dare dial that number, I know where you live.”

In the end, you’ll thank them for that slap that bruised your senses back to reality.

7. Avoiding work

The ‘my-ex-boyfriend-is-my-co-worker dilemma’ is quite a problem indeed.

My personal suggestion is to look for a new job. But if your job is your childhood dream, then you have to choose between what you think is more dispensable and how you work around your personal feelings.

Whatever the case may be, you know the answer, so stop calling in sick. It doesn’t affect him at all, and you will get fired!

8. The accidental meet

No matter how much you premeditate, it is never enough to prepare you for the dreaded meeting that happens before you’re ready to face each other. I don’t think you’re ever prepared to face one another post-breakup.

Another unfortunate event that goes along with the accidental meet is the preparation you require to see your former half with his new half, your replacement, his new girlfriend or worse, his old girlfriend before you!

You bump into them, she is a farce with inch-thick affection, perfumed to suffocation with the musk of pretence, and the colour of her cheek is part paint, part mockery.

Now reassess this with no rivalry, you look ostentatiously gorgeous but he will not say,

“Oh my god! Tou look so amazing, we should have never parted!”

Also, he doesn’t have the time to curse himself for what he already left behind. And trust me, neither should you.

9. Praying

This commandment is guaranteed to pick you up. Praying does actually soothe you, so pray that the next one isn’t a Xerox copy of the former. The last thing you need is an archetype. Also, that should not be your only plea.

Pray, listen, look at the bigger picture, evaluate yourself, your relationship with your ex and then pray for what He thinks is best for you, not what you think you want instead.

10. Help yourself

Read classics or re-read sagas of Harry Potter and buy Hunger Games.

Watch documentaries or volunteer for a bigger better cause – we all know there are lots out there and you can devote yourself to a good cause.

Do not, however, purchase the Twilight Saga or watch re-runs of Sex and The City or Ally Mcbeal’s of this world. We owe ourselves more than that. You may not have been “the one” but then neither was he. There are lots of other fish in the sea.

Hope can be your best friend and your worst enemy. Use it intelligently, use it to harbour the desire to be with a better person the next time around and not for another chance with the same person who killed your hopes in the first place.

Here I think it would be appropriate to quote Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who said,

“All are architects of fate, so look not mournfully into the past for it comes not back again”.

Read more by Mahvush here.

 


Mahvush Aslam

Mahvush Aslam

Mahvush holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and is currently pursuing a career in writing. She enjoys reading and watching movies.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.