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Every relationship and a break up that may result from it is different, but for your own sanity and that of your ex partner’s, I recommend certain behaviours that will keep you on the right side of a healthy self respect.

1. Thou shalt not call him. Yep, there is a reason why you guys broke up and what a lot of people make the mistake of doing is breaking up and then entering into a ‘friend’ dialogue. Guys are very keen to maintain some level of contact and pull out the friend card in particular as it makes them feel like they aren’t as awful as they think you might think he is, but it also keeps a foothold in your life that women often end up using to stop themselves from moving on. Whatever reason you believe is a good idea to call, whether you think he’ll change his mind if he hears from you or that you’ll feel good, it’s not a reason to call. The initial surge of hope you feel will be replaced by a slump which will take you to a lower place mentally than you were before you made the call. If you need to get something from him, get someone else to sort it out for you.

2. Thou shalt remain mature. Cutting up his possessions may help you take out your revenge but you’ll probably find your ass in court. Don’t be petty, don’t let your friends be petty on your behalf with your interests at heart and don’t get gangsta. Revenge may feel like a dish best served cold but it’s better to leave it off the menu all together. Maintaining dignity and him knowing that you have moved on will actually reward you better in the long run – let him regret the loss of someone so great rather than have him thanking his lucky stars that he got shot of you…

3. Thou shalt not slip him some post break-up sex. If sex was what was holding you both together in the first place, that’s not a good thing, and if it was that great he wouldn’t have broken up with you. If you think that breaking him off a piece will have him crawling back to you, it won’t. Sex is a temporary, albeit pleasurable remedy but you can’t shag him back into being your boyfriend. I’ve said it many a time before: Why buy the cow when you can drink the milk for free?

4. Thou shalt not email him. Or text him….This may seem like a less scarier option than calling him but it’s just something else to make you feel like crap as you agonise over the tone of his reply (that’s IF he replies), the length of the reply or even how long it takes for him to respond. Again, if you need to get something from him, like your possessions, have a trusted friend collect them for you.

5. Thou shalt not accidentally on purpose keep on going to the places that you know he goes to. Trust me, the initial high you get when you see him is likely to be replaced by paranoia, insecurity and misery as you wonder what he’s thinking or even worse, what he’s saying about you to his friends, or worrying about who that woman is that he’s speaking to. Even if you went there first, it’s better just to steer clear.

6. Thou shalt not cling to pathetic signs that you’re getting back together. The horoscopes, the psychic, the hopefulness of friends and family who actually don’t know anything, magpies, and anything else that makes you think you’re on your way back to love will only lead to disappointment.

7. Thou shalt not hide away. Trust me when I say that it is very likely that when you’re lying around in your PJ’s, sobbing your heart out, stuffing your face/not eating, sitting by the phone…he’s not. I’m not suggesting that every last guy is cold, but when they dump you, they don’t tend to react like a lot of us women do to a break up. The words ‘short attention span’ spring to mind, which means that even if it hurts, he’s unlikely to be locking himself away; he’ll be living his life.

8. Thou shalt accept the break up as final. Don’t break up and spend your mental energies clinging to the hope that you will be getting back together. You are not a yo-yo or a boomerang to be picked up and discarded at will. Instead of clinging to hope and living your life with a view to him making his way back into it, take it as final unless he comes back one day with a firm decision to want to get back together, and have the issues that broke you up in the first place resolved, even if it means you need to pay a therapist to help you out. And of course, by then you may not even want him…

9. Thou shalt not return his calls. I always say that men are 75% water and the rest is ego. They NEED to think that you want them, that you’re pining for them, and that your whole life revolves around waiting for him to dignify you with contact. They want to move on but check that you’re not, and they like to make sure that you haven’t moved on to the next guy, or rear their ugly head when they know you have started to want someone else. I’m sure many of them are concerned to an extent about how you are but a lot of it is about reassuring himself that he’s not an asshole. A lot of men like to think only the best of themselves. Don’t reply to his inane emails either. If you worry about feeling like a cruel bitch, give yourself license to avoid contact by telling him that for the sake of you both (it’s all in the wording) that it would be better if you don’t have contact for a while (at the bare minimum a month but ideally 3 months). People don’t go from being lovers to friends in a blink of an eye and these things take time so he’ll just have to suck it up.

10. Thou shalt recognise when he is behaving like a bastard. One of the perturbing things about break ups is that even in the face of him treating you like dirt at the time of the break up or after, some women just won’t take the hint. They blame themselves, they lose their self-esteem and throw in their self-respect to date. Recognise that he is being an assclown and lose your respect for him and keep your self-esteem intact. Believe it or not, when men behave like this, they are doing you a MASSIVE favour by showing you his real side. Trust me, if you take him back after he has treated you badly, you are writing the script of your future.

Now, as an aside, I know that there are some women out there that will not be able to resist contact but I do recommend that there must be at least a month of no contact. Two weeks if desperation calls… Good luck!

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