Trainwreck relationship disasters
have the same basic shape as any other catastrophic events -- dazed, wounded, homeless survivors
, shattered dishes, orphaned pets
. Here are some basic rules to follow when and if the world comes crashing down
Note: These rules are for the dumpee, not the dumper. Some more sympathetic soul might want to take that on.
- 1. Don't Drink!
- I know it seems totally counter to instinct -- at the time it seems to make perfect sense to walk the streets in a bathrobe working your way through a bottle of Creme de Menthe. Believe it or not, the drunken behaviour you perpetrate now will make it that much more difficult to re-insert yourself into polite society later. Plus, you may attempt a drunken reconciliation with your dearly departed, which is, as Martha Stewart says, "a bad thing."
- 2. Get the Pets
- After your friends, nothing will provide you with more solace. Swipe them off the porch if you have to.
- 3. Get the Word Out
- Almost as soon as s/he drops the bomb, a propaganda scramble begins. Your dearly departed will try to spread a syrup-y tale of bittersweet loss ("We just decided it wasn't working out...") to cast into doubt your story of seething betrayal ("He/She was engaged in a protracted and torrid affair with your best friend which you only discovered as the result of misdirected email"). So get your story out there. Make sure everyone knows it -- his/her parents, friends, and small children on the street, who will follow the offender and pelt him/her with stones.
- 4. Circle The Wagons
- Even if this thing came from out of the blue, there is a very short window of time before your nouveau-ex starts making the rounds of your shared friends, making sure that in the Friend Division, they stick with him/her and not with you. Don't let it happen. You'll need them later to help you move, provide much-needed escape cash (see next), and entertain you at dinner parties in your new single life. They are vital to your rehabilitation as a whole person, so make sure you follow Step 3 with them especially.
- 5. Get Outta Town
- A very good idea. You're going to be a leper for a little while, even with your friends. They will tiptoe around, workmates will whisper, your parents will call to say "But we thought s/he was so nice!". Forget it. Borrow a whack of cash from the friends in Step 4 (This is very important). Go at least 500 miles away, to the well-appointed home of a friend who barely liked your ex in the first place. Get on a plane if at all possible. Ideally, the locals should have accents (and not New Jersey accents). Go out. Buy cool clothes. Get a fabulous haircut. Flirt with aforementioned accented locals. Read good books and cook good food. Return a new person.
- 6. New Digs
- Find a totally cool home or a home-with-potential that can be turned into a cool home. Difficult, but very important. If you live in a hole after the breakup, he/she has won -- your spirit will be broken and your new haircut will seem like a hollow gesture.