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How to survive a breakup

John Davis

by John Davis
Writer, Comedian and Star of Come Date With Me
Friday, 13th July 2012

Recently dumped? It’s hard of course. I’ve been dumped many, many, many times. Most of the failures I have experienced have, admittedly, been my fault so perhaps many of us, despite our inability to actually say the words, communicate quite effectively our desire to end a relationship while convincing ourselves we have successfully avoided being an arsehole and feeling guilt by being dumped.

But this article isn’t meant as self-therapy in the confessional style of say Sarah ‘Start every article with a question’ Jessica Parker’s character in Sex in The City. It’s meant as a five-step guide on what to do once your relationship has ended.

Acknowledge The Positives

The end of most relationships is traumatic and emotionally fraught.

Notwithstanding the more extreme reasons for breakups it’s important to focus on the positives.

You were together for a reason. Accept and acknowledge that there were fantastic elements in your relationship. If every relationship was THE ONE, we’d all be married at the age of five.

Sometimes, despite the rational reasons we come up with as to why the relationship ended, it really is no one’s fault. Successful relationships require a combination of compatibility and LUCK. And most successful relationships end.

I once had a conversation mid-relationship about marriage. My now ex dismissed the idea on the basis that promising to be together forever is a false promise because we simply cannot know what the future holds. I prefer to think of such promises as expressions of intent. Not, I promise to be with you forever but, I promise to try, no matter what occurs, to make this relationship work.

There is No Good Time

Ending a relationship is what it is. We’ve all experienced the confusing mixture of sadness and relief that comes at the end. The truth is that once you’ve made the decision, a clean cut needs to be made. There is no such thing as waiting for the right time.

There is talking and trying to work things out however. It’s important to distinguish between the two.

However, fear, pity or just general laziness are not reasons to put off the inevitable.

Post-Break Up Communication

Unlike countries ending a war, the loser rarely experiences a change in government that allows amicable relationships to be established with the victor.

If you are the one to end the relationship, you must on no account communicate with your ex if they have not first instigated conversation.

It sends very mixed signals and is likely to result in one of those circular conversations that either end in frustration or amazing ex-sex.

The former is exhausting, the latter possibly exhausting in a good way but ultimately selfish.

If you are the one who has been dumped, tell your ex that you need time and ask that they don’t contact you, for a while at least. They will probably feel the same way.

And for both of you, DO NOT bitch loudly to all and sundry about your ex. Sure, you need to get some things off your chest but be discreet.

You probably share friends but good friends will sympathise and support you without publicly indulging in public character assassination. It turns the end of a relationship into an ongoing poisonous feud that has the potential to damage other relationships in your social circle.

If you bump into each other, be polite and acknowledge the awkwardness of the situation. You shared significant and intimate time together. Say hello, ask no questions (see next point) and move on.

Don’t ask questions

Don’t ask questions you don’t want the answer to. Better still don’t ask questions. Likewise don’t proffer information in the false belief you are being adult and have moved on.

Whether the dumped or the dumper, neither of you should subject or be subjected to details of new found loves, friends with benefits or details of your newly debauched lifestyle. The only acceptable exception is when you broke up because you have come to terms with your sexuality that conflicted with your previous relationship. And even then, don’t try this one if you were gay but realised you are now attracted to the opposite sex.

Back to the Future

You will grieve and you will hurt but acknowledge this is natural and necessary. Be gentle with yourself. Treat yourself every so often (interpret this as you wish!). Get in touch with friends you didn’t see enough while madly in love. The world is a big place. There is plenty of life outside of relationships. Besides, there will be more. Probably many more.

God that was far too serious. I promise the next one will be a lot lighter. I’m, a goddam comedian not an agony aunt for fucks sake, even if I do dress up every so often.

Peace y’all though I’ve no idea what that means

John

topic tags: break ups, marriage, relationships

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about the author

John Davis

Like a modern day Moses, John Davis (formerly Jay Sivad) was rescued from under a bushel by the Dating Trail team. Cleansed of his past as a serious journalist, John emerged, the proverbial butterfly, as the country's leading dating writer. He's got practical skills too and can attest to being nation's most experienced dating host having run over 250 speed dating events for Original Dating. A stand up comedian, radio host, philosopher (it's true! He has the paperwork) and budding media personality (Channel Four's Come Date With Me), Jay turns a wry eye on the travails of modern dating and its participants.

John writes regularly for Dating Trail. If you'd like to be be first to find out about his next installment then please follow us on Twitter or 'Like' our Facebook page for updates.

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