Anon asks: Huge dilemma. My ex-boyfriend dumped me two months ago. We tried to be friends for the month after our breakup but it was hurting me to see him so happy and dating other people so I told him I didn’t want to be friends. It was my first serious relationship too. I want him more than anything but I know we are over. Should I ask to be friends with benefits? I know I’ll get jealous and stuff but I feel like I need him with me even if it’s just because of the sex because being regular friends didn’t work out. I’m scared. I don’t know.
You, my friend, are grieving the end of your first major relationship, which, for most of us, is the most painful thing we’ve ever gone through up to that point in our lives. It sucks really badly. There are no two ways about it, it’s just a straight up awful situation. What makes it worse is that it’s one of those horrible situations where you always know what the right and wrong things to do are, but you’ll still spend far more time than is necessary or healthy debating the choices in your mind before ultimately choosing to do exactly the opposite of what you should do. Not you, per se, just most of us in this scenario. I’m pretty sure that you and everybody reading this already knows the answer to your question, but because you asked, I put together a bullet point list of Dos and Don’ts of how to get over a bad breakup that you should write on your arm every morning when you wake up for the next couple of months.
THE ISAAC LIKES GUIDE TO BREAKUPS!
- Get out of bed.
- Surround yourself with people who care about you a lot more than they care about him.
- Separate yourself from his group of friends (he should do the same with yours).
- Throw yourself into work/school/the gym/learning a new language — aka anything that will take up a large chunk of your time and give you a sense of achievement in the process.
- Behave with dignity and self respect. Always remember that people will only ever treat you as well as you treat yourself.
- Get out of town. Go travel the world. Take a Contiki tour. Check out the Greek Islands. Lie on the beach somewhere beautiful where the locals are attractive and get a tan.
- Go see a therapist. It will change your life, and they’re often not nearly as expensive as you think they’re going to be. (Mine costs $100 per session, which, if you’re the average young person, is like one or two nights getting drunk at a pub, except really really good for you.)
- Cry. I always think it helps, just not in public.
- Delete him on every social media channel, even Facebook. It doesn’t have to be forever, but just until you can face seeing him without feeling terrible about yourself.
- Get yourself a wingman whose job it is to make sure you’re having a good time whenever you guys are out.
- Enjoy being single. It’s extremely fun. Especially in summertime.
- Know that you’ll get over it. That’s an Isaac Hindin-Miller guarantee.
- HAVE SEX WITH HIM. EVER AGAIN. Sex does not equal love. In this situation it’s like a drug that will make you feel like you’re together again for the moments it lasts, and then tear you apart when he gets out of bed and tells you, “I just don’t think it’s a good idea if I stay the night, you know? We are broken up and all.” Guys are douche bags like that. And if he does stay the night and cuddle you and make you feel safe and comfortable for eight hours it’s no indication that he’s not going to go out and have sex with someone else the next day. Also, STDs.
- Stalk him or keep track of his movements. That includes talking to your mutual friends about what he’s been up to, or incessantly checking his Instagram/Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr, or turning up to places where you know he’s going to be.
- Try to be friends. I promise you you can be friends in the future, it just takes a while to get there.
- Allow him to talk to you about other girls, his problems, his fears, aspirations, hopes, dreams, failures, or triumphs. You’re not his girlfriend or his personal life-coach, and he doesn’t get to do any of that anymore.
- Call him when you’re drunk.
- Try and compete with him by hooking up with other guys in an attempt to make him jealous. This especially applies to his friends/people he knows. Like I said, guys are douche bags and his best friend would probably sleep with you if you tried hard enough, but for the love of God, don’t do it. Even if you succeed in making him jealous and he comes crawling back, you’re both still the same people and the same issues will crop up all over again.
- Meet up with him for coffee, even if he’s the instigator.
- Talk about your breakup or heartbreak all day, errrr day with your friends. They’ll get over it really quickly and you’ll end up being kinda boring to be around. That’s what therapists, sisters, Mothers, and bloggers you’ve never met before are for. (Hello, new friend!)
- Think that there’s anything wrong with you. Because there’s not. The honest truth is that your relationship didn’t work out. You weren’t right for him, and I bet he wasn’t right for you, either. I know your self esteem has just taken a gigantic beating, but it doesn’t say anything about you as a human being, it’s just the way it is. It happens to us all, it’s incredibly hurtful and painful and devastating and sad, but it’s life. This experience will make you a stronger person in the end, it’s just gonna take you a bit of time to get there.
I LIKE YOU!