10 breakup blunders you can avoid

Published: May 5, 2012

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.

  • Yawwnnning..

    …Sorry to say,

    ..per baht farig article hai…simply waste of time… wasted.Recommend

  • Hira Z

    I think Ms Author forget to mention that the context is extracted by The movie ‘Love, Break Up, Zindagi’ .

    Google the title and you can find more of it very easliy. Recommend

  • IBA ka Graduate
  • Yawwnnning..

    ..I wish i never would have read the article at the first place…Recommend

  • Ammar

    Nice write up Mahvush.
    Though it’s far from reality and maybe applicable to a very small class of people, but then again…… ET’s blogs are for everyone.

    Cheers !Recommend

  • AK

    Nice and very well written. The way you have put up these experiences reflects that everybody goes through. Recommend

  • http://www.gettingpastyourbreakup.com Susan Elliott

    I wrote one of those non-helpful self help books and people tell me it’s helpful. Except for the on-line stalking part, I agree with almost none of this. What is the term for non-helpful non-self help columns? If self-help books don’t work, why would a non-self help column?Recommend

  • AK

    @yawning: then dont read it if its such a bore.
    @hira z wow u think that?
    i personally think it was written from the heart. everybody goes thru this phase so why not write about it..takes guts to write stuff like thisRecommend

  • bulls eye!

    haha! awsome especially how u dont fit into those skinny jeans man! at point no 2Recommend

  • shah!

    point7 : hardly can one see their exes face! serioulsy if its ur first love…no freaking way!Recommend

  • billu!

    @Susan Elliott: you can ask why the moderator put it up:P
    @Yawwnnning..: sou jaa yar!

    vush well done. seriously we all have hidden skeletons in our closet. who talks abt it? thank god we are over it! though wink…keep up the good work manRecommend

  • Icydevil

    I can’t believe I actually wasted my time reading about stuff that happens in LAA LAA land. Sheesh!Recommend

  • Ahmed Bilal

    Such a lame article,waste of time and space.
    ET growup…will you..?????Recommend

  • Kay Jay

    Garbage is the word for it… Break ups happen for a reason.. more than trouble it should relieve you…The whole article if an exaggeration and nothing more…

    You girl need TO GET OUT OF YOUR POST BREAK UP TRAUMA FIRST, then suggest something to someone else!Recommend

  • Sorry I am not Emo

    I skipped the article just by going through the headings before I came to know what is the lamest of ET till yet.

    Tell this to Emo 15 yo’s perhaps they give a bit or appreciation, or cry with you.Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/#!/asadfarouk Asad

    Stalking the FB is reality :pRecommend

  • Sana

    I personally belive the author has used her words quite tactfully when it came to sharing her experience. That’s why it seems tad boring but ambushing the writer? What for? So the moderator has it tough or simply putting down journalism? ET updates on news movies gossip n everything, it’s multifaceted not just focusing on the dark sides but uf possible at lighter sides of life. Just like the article on how we have fun at cinemas uf people hoot n cheer. It’s fun n come on I had a laughing fit after my breakup. However he is now my husband… And I hardly let him forget it! I think we so times laugh at our ownselves…we have fashion blunders too then we can laugh at them n post pics if then reminiscing good times then what’s wrong with this? Recommend

  • Sara

    @Kay Jay:racist much?
    @Sorry I am not Emo: u r the kind of people who define the word I judge the book by it’s cove.
    @ author read it been there done that! Recommend

  • Gigi

    Breakups are not easy if u have a highschool sweetheart and neither do the divorces .. Sometimes when one is divorced Islam tells the parents to welcome their daughter with list more love and while somepoints do apply like praying and looking at the bigger picture I think the article is good. N I think to some extend same goes for breakups…Recommend

  • Sheikh

    Ok I’ve seen my men love bitches in stores and apparently they ate on the best sellers… In the line below the biography of einstine can u believe it ???? But yet the books popular so obey girls buy it buymt c’mon babe bible????? Are u kidding me being a man I totally agree with the bum syndrome but we save a lot on our phone bills:p while some points are totally right others not much related to men…. Mahvush focus on both genders plz. The article wud have been a hit if it didn’t just cater to females n their tears!!Recommend

  • rabia

    ok so can i give the author a nickname and the ET walas too?? what is wrong with u ppl…Recommend

  • amna

    @Kay Jay: i think thats what the the author is saying that please grow out of that era dude. seriously read mr whatever.ur annoying!Recommend

  • amna


  • amna

    @sana not everyone is as lucky as u man.
    bakwas articleRecommend

  • Awais

    You have seen your “men love bitches in stores”? Your misogynous statement doesn’t make much sense. Well the second half of the comment does ever so lightly. Try again Sheikh.Recommend

  • ahsen

    Very well article … some points are actually true !!! Recommend

  • http://Lahore GlobalNomad

    Humm who is this article for?? how many girls or boys makes boyfriends and girlfriends and then break. To me this seem for a typical ‘wannabe’ crowd of ‘Negatively Urbanized Pakistani Youth”. Recommend

  • Parvez

    I liked it. Thought you embellished it a bit to make the blog readable but then its not an easy subject.Recommend

  • Sheikh

    @Awais:I think u should get the weight loss tamasha:p what’s wrong with ny statement? I think she did an ok jOb except she didn’t include both genders! How abt a perspective from a mans side?Recommend

  • Rafi

    What a waste of an article…I dont understand why get involved in a relationship and spent s much money on each other…If u like each other then get the parents involved in thisRecommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/11378/10-breakup-blunders-you-can-avoid/ Aroosa

    Dear Friend,

    I do not know you, but you really give me courage to live alone. i think it is better to have a fake relationship. specially one thing is important that what he thinks about you,leave it that what you thinks about him. I love a man who has a wife, he married that girl and saying me friend, i was his lover, now he loves me just because his wife is disturbed due to my comments on Facebook. i wish that no one girl finds that type of guy in life. I do not know that why boys are mixed with every type of girl even they were in the hatters life in the past.

    I am thankful to you dear that you write for those who are suffering from this problem.
    Allah bless you. Recommend

  • Raza

    I got confused in the middle; wasn’t this article about things to avoid rather than things to do? Just saying. Recommend

  • donku

    whats the big deal with breakup… one affair ends other gets started…Recommend

  • Shan Nasir

    Garbage. Recommend

  • http://NewYork Falcon

    Contrary to most of the comments here, I found the article a light read. I think it is a tough subject to talk about…but the author has done quite well.Recommend

  • http://www.insaf.pk Antebellum

    or.. join PTI :pRecommend

  • Ridze

    i agree with the falcon here..and while its apparent men just jump from a relationship to another so do females. however when some guy here said its for the pakistani’s young spoilt generation (or something like that) the context was laughable, point 6,7, 8 and 9 totally agree with the every SEC of pakistan. and i can say that because i was a citizen there. look at sea sides to the parks..from a female who works at a salon to the affair she has with a the pan wala or sabzi wala.
    relationships are everywhere and these people who live under stick observations are the ones who will be up all night talking with their beloveds. so yes they might not have the blackberries and iphones of this world but its so darn true! globally girls do exactly the same if you are talking about pakistanis there have been girls who have OD’D, their “momentary pleasures” as the author has very lightly put are icecream bowls or cigarrete buds goes up to hash weed, hard core neat drinks (which are available not only at the upper classes). the temporary relaxants can be drug addictive medicines some of them which are very easily accessible over the counter. there is a lot more which can be put.
    the only point missing here is that the amount of aggreatory enactments genders resort to. the one of the many sins : revenge. high school kids go up to dis treatment of their exes where bullying becomes suffocation and they resort to suicides
    this is a very very very light read on the heavy headed breakups.
    p.s i think the dedication goes to none other than the cable operator…i think he might be called many nicknames! :PRecommend

  • mrs. mansoor

    touche to no TWILIGHT saga! the topaz eyed shinny vampire? err right i dont think you need that! AT ANY TIME!
    and no need to hog on nachos and Doritos to make those jeans pop ( igave em to my little sister and i have 3)! so that should not be happening coz its as torturous as reading twilight saga AT ANY TIME AGAIN!
    oh my gawwd u look so pretty lets get together..realisticly put …im ready to take u back again……yeah right! Recommend

  • Ali Nasir

    Sorry to say but I don’t have enough time to read it completely. Recommend

  • sultan mirza

    whenever I breakup I celebrate it with good food, music, a big woo hoo in the sky and before you know it I’m with someone else, call it a memory lapse or something else but “what was your name again?” is all I say when I encounter any ex.Recommend

  • sultan mirza

    I mean I used to (et pls don’t delete my critical text you can get me fired off my personal relationships and get me kicked from home). not the time or age right now for these adventures. when you grow older the time for your affairs decreses rapidly atleast it did in my case….from years to months to weeks to days and sometimes even in hours I found somone and before the next sunrise would not like to see the faces of eachother. The older you grow the more aware you get and more strength to dismantel a relationship and form another.Recommend

  • umar

    sorry to say but this doesnt look like an article but autobiography of you won breakup..
    a breakup story of girl instead it should had adressed to both genders. Recommend

  • Xara

    This blog is for teenagers for sureRecommend

  • Yasir Mehmood

    I have not been in relationship with someone in 22 yrs of my life and why now im readin this hahaRecommend

  • sunflower

    though i started to read wid an enthu hmm bt it soon faded……Recommend

  • SaadH

    Sigh…i’m a guy and I could relate to this, most of the times anyway as I’ve recently come out of a relationship…

    And people, please! This is meant to be a light n breezy article, no need to get all philosophical about it!Recommend

  • OS

    Dating before marriage? Haye mein mar gayee. Recommend

  • Saad

    I just had a Breakup and i want to get over it but i am failed…
    and i am actually going through the same phase which writer has pointed out..
    in most of the cases, a person who is ditched also deletes his/her FB account..
    and the most indigestible thing is that, when u came to know from different sources that your ex is having a fun with his new gf/bf etc..errrrrr

    PS: I think this article fits on both genders.Recommend

  • asher hussain- NOT!

    AGREED! thats why i didn’t marry anyone from yale and married a hyderabadi parday wali khirad!
    i totally agree with this article except hmm khirad knew how to use my MAC however she didnt have a fb account so i couldnt virtually stalk her…..but im saying no to ciggs! my best friend sara is so right as the author puts “you deserve someone better” I DO DONT I? but just as she steps in my office im so gonna throw her out!
    thank u so much for reminding me of my unfaithfull wife
    no so much love
    p.s dont tell mom!Recommend

  • Hareem

    I just broke up today.. and I NEEDED that! Thankyou so much! You’re an angel!Recommend

  • reader123

    I want the last 10 minutes of my life back!Recommend

  • http://www.venturebees.com issac

    very lame article i just waisted my timeRecommend

  • Alizeh

    This is an awesome read! absolutely loved it! spot on!!Recommend

  • SarahB

    This is hands down the WORST article i’ve read on express tribune so far. Haven’t we seen enough of all this unrealistic trash in chic flicks ?Recommend

  • relax!

    @reader123: your ten mintutes surely would come back with such comments..??
    why do you bother reading it girl and whats with un realistic here is that u ppl just brawl on the serious topics.
    at all the emotional people please shes just written an article and at people who dont like it…honestly why bother commenting if u dont like it? u gotta read it and then u gotta comment…seriously is it supposed to be a brain teaser:P adviceto author please4 lay off and write how our country is being butchered thats how everybody likes it here …absolutely no room for personal affairs or advices! Recommend

  • sara

    the article was a jumbled up desi version of several similar articles on international forums, so “relax”: what or whoever you are didn’t need to go outta your way to advocate the articles by belittling the readers’ comments. The author when he or she writes must have the guts to face the criticism and it mostly depends on whether he/ she takes it positively or negative. So RELAX, ms. or mr. whoever u are, u take a chill pill. Let the readers be. this is an open forum and if the writer uses the facility of freedom of speech to put together some useless crap, then the readers’ too have a right to own an opinion. Freedom of speech right? And since you’re so fond of giving out the muft ka mashwaraaz, there are more interesting things out there to explore that you could have advised the author bout. Recommend