You and your best gal just broke up. Shit happens. Oh, it was amicable? Doesn’t matter.
What’s that noise? It’s a bell that can’t be un-rung.
Forever, and ever and ever, her perception of you will never be the same. It’s not the end of the world, but if you’re careless, you’re going to end up looking like a real jerk.
Below are the 3 phases of transitioning from boyfriend to ex-boyfriend, as well as my tips for what to do… and more importantly, what not to do.
The Morning After
You’re probably going to be hungover. And you’re probably not going to remember that you don’t have a girlfriend anymore.
If you broke up early in the day, you went out with your friends and got drunk to feel better. If you broke up in the evening, it was because of an argument the two of you had when you were drunk.
Immediately delete all the text messages between the two of you. It’s step one to your new life, and will save you the embarrassment of reliving that last fight. Selfish? Yes, but it’s about you now.
Do not contact your ex once you realize what happened. It’s a sign of weakness.
The Withdrawal Period
You’re going to miss her. Duh.
You’re going to miss the annoying shit she did. You’re going to miss how she couldn’t pick her feet up when she walked, so that every step resulted in a scuffing sound.
But you’re also going to miss the cool stuff she did, like consenting to have intercourse with you. Think about that for a second. But not too long. You’re going to miss that a lot – sex with someone you actually care about. But it gets better.
The withdrawal period almost never ends, by the way. It just wanes over time. It progresses from you laughing alone at a once-shared inside joke to having a very infrequent and very unsettling sex dream.
The Feeling like a Dickhead Period
This one hurts. Even if you didn’t do anything wrong, you’re eventually going to morph into a dickhead in her eyes, as well as her friends’ eyes.
You can try to be friends, but at the end of the day, are you really going to be pals? Are you going to be palling around with the woman you used to share intimate moments with but is now sharing those intimate moments with someone way less handsome than you? No, you’re going to be that dickhead ex.
Just save face. Move along. She’s not coming back. Hell, her friends aren’t going to make eye contact with you if you bump into them. Any Facebook status you see from her is just going to make you mope around like a pussy.
Don’t ever comment on anything she puts on Facebook. It’ll embarrass her, and you.
It Will be Fine
I was at an art museum event with the last girl I dated when she suddenly turned and gave me a big smile and kiss. I asked “What was that for?” I didn’t really need to ask. It was clear she had seen her ex in the crowd.
But guess what. That was months ago. And we aren’t dating now. And while that guy was a piece of shit (I’d like to think I’m not), it’s a weird feeling whenever that list of women you’ve dated grows a little longer, and you join the company of the men who came before you and also failed.
But, gentlemen, I leave you with the thought that, while you will join the ranks of the misremembered , your exes have no power over you unless you let them.
I was at a nice bar the other night with an old co-worker and his friend, “scoping out the babes” – to use the cheesiest term possible. I caught a little red dress out of the corner of my eye, and, after little time, “me and the guys” were all admiring her.
The woman was beautiful. Blonde hair, heels, legs that would make ZZ Top proud. But then she turned, and you know what else she happened to be? No, not a guy. The first woman I ever dated. The one I took to prom. The one who is probably still scuffing her feet when she walks.
And I laughed. I couldn’t help it. In that moment, 5 years of being the ex – five years of being the dickhead – didn’t matter at all. I had just checked out a woman that I had already, well, you know… dated.