The Breakup Bill of RightsThis truth is self-evident: Breakups suck. Give yourself time to recover. But how much? “The normal trajectory for healing is six to 18 months,” says Rachel Sussman, author of The Breakup Bible. If the pain lasts much past that, then you probably should reach out for a little professional help.
In the meantime, you deserve a little dignity. Read on.
As a Dumpee, you have the right...
-To be broken up with in person -- not on the phone, by email or by text. We're looking at you, Joe Jonas.
-To pamper yourself. Go to yoga! Get a manicure! Take a long walk! Get some of that artisanal bacon-flavored chocolate!
-To completely reject any weird stuff he throws at you. "I never loved you," after two years? Nice try.
-To use any means necessary for closure. If that means throwing out the presents he gave you and the menus you used to order from, so be it.
-To blow off "Let's still be friends" overtures that are more about his guilt than your happiness.
-To avoid him until you are totally over it. Once you are, you have the right to show up everywhere looking ridiculously hot.
-To wait before you "get back out there" again. You may be tempted or pressured to distract yourself by dating, but wait until you are ready, not others. "You need to be happy again first," says Sussman, "and then you can find a new, healthy relationship."
As a Dumper, you have the right...
-To let him down easy if only for simplicity's sake or to feel better -- or even smug -- about it. Need a script? "You can say, 'I see now that I'm not ready for the kind of relationship that I feel you want,'" suggests Sussman.
-To refuse to become his therapist. Tell him what was wrong and let a paid professional do the rest.
-To set boundaries. You don't owe him anything if he's behaving badly. Block his emails (and texts and calls) if he won't take the hint.
-To reverse your opinion on formerly sacred subjects. You may now acknowledge that his sense of style was dubious even if you used to defend it. Your friends will be relieved to hear you didn't really love his pleated khakis either.
-To move on and be happy -- no regrets.
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