Bohemian Love Diaries

How our quest for the L-word impacts our creative spirit

The 5 Dumbest Things Guys Can Do in a Breakup

Breakup Bootcamp for Dummies

If you're struggling with your breakup, you're not alone. It seems that no matter how many times I go though a breakup, it never gets any easier. In my twenties, (when I had the self esteem of a garden hose), I convinced myself that breaking up in a headlock was far better than a breaking up with a handshake. In other words, having someone to hate or blame made it easier to let go.

Wanted: Meaningful overnight relationship.
But, I only had to go through one breakup that involved cheating and a subsequent chip shot to the head with a cast iron skillet to decide that my logic wasn't all that it was cracked up to be (pun intended).

These days my breakups are a lot less toxic. They tend to involve a long-winded-cerebral-and-amicably-designed-mutually-agreed-upon parting of the ways. But still, no matter how many self-help articles I read, I've realized that when it comes to my heart, saying good bye is never an easy thing to do.

Unfortunately, most of the self-help articles written by the so-called "experts" make me feel stupid. They seem to be based on distractions and escape (take a bath with candles, write in a journal, go parachuting) and they tend to recommend rules that I can't ever follow (never call her under any circumstances).

If things weren't sucky enough, breakup articles make me feel even worse for making me feel like I broke up wrong. Which is why I've created the following list so you too can get your own affairs in order and feel like you're well on your way to recovering from your breakup instead of feeling less than whole.


9 out of 10 experts recommend a method that includes a rotary phone, nudity and Santa Clause.
1. Don't call your Friends. Call her: Let's be real. A breakup is a process and chances are you're exactly like me and exactly like most of the guys I know. This breakup is taking a long time. A really long time. Before midnight last night, you probably broke up and got back together at least a dozen times. In the process, you've blown your wad in terms of getting emotional support from your friends.

Behind your back, they simply giggle when you tell them you've broken up again. (Truth is, it's nervous laughter. You see, they never knew you got back together in the first place and they're also accepting the reality of the situation better than you. They know she's a booger on your finger that just won't go away).

So, what's a guy to do? Call her. That's right. Hash it out... again. Sometimes you need that salt in the wound feeling. It'll be like that reoccurring dream you keep having where you're wandering through a maze of isles at Lowes trying to figure out how you can get to the Dominic's Italian Sausages in the food cart outside.

Q: What's the difference between 2 elephants having sex and a bunch of grapes? A: Grapes are purple.
2. Begin Break up Sex Immediately: It's snowing out. You're cold. You're alone. If this were a movie script it'd be a spaghetti western. Only in this version you've been riding Trigger through the blinding white-out blizzard of your metaphorical Colorado break-up for the last twenty pages. Finally,Trigger lays down. You're out of options.

Do you take your bowie knife, make an incision along Triggers underside and crawl inside, revel in the warmth and pray the storm ends? Or do you keep walking and walking and walking until the closing credits begin to roll over you?

Why would you avoid seeing your former love when there's perfectly good breakup sex to be had? Sure, it'll probably end in a fight. And, No, this isn't being immature. Seeing your former flame can bring out emotions and may cause you do to or say something you will regret. Regret is good. It makes for better break-up sex.

3. Rebound Hard and Fast: It's called a "break up" rather than a "break down" for a reason. When the love of my life met her soulmate on the very day of our breakup I was crushed. But years later, when I met the love of my life on the day of my divorce, I came to understand things differently. The time between your goodbye, signing the storage unit rental contract and another first kiss, doesn't necessarily follow logic.

"Won't you please put on your polyester leisure suit and join me for a night on the town?"
Let's face it. Sometimes things keep limping along long past their expiration date - that doesn't mean they are working properly. When the tall hottie with the tattoos comes on to you at the party and you can feel things you haven't felt in months or years or ever, here's what you say, "I just got off one ride, I'm not getting on another." Walk away, close your eyes, count to ten and then turn around with a nod and a wink. Things like unscrupulous make out sessions and connections where you try to rub your own loneliness away with the help of someone else aim to promise, but never deliver. But neither do most things that are sold at Walmart - and they have a really good return policy.

4. It's not you, it's me: Don't be be tempted by the magic fairy dust contained within this phrase. Once considered reverse-psychology lip service, nothing could ring more true. It's her fault, not yours. You don't need to to change a thing about yourself. You're perfect the way you are.

No longer used as a way to loosen the noose, it should be an affirmation to what you need to do. Go out and find another girl just like the one you lost. It helps if she looks just like your old flame. That's the amazing thing about life. You get to take the relationship test over and over again until you get it right.

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5. Do Not Declare Your Breakup on Facebook: This can have permanent and severe consequences on your future relationship status. As soon as you change your Facebook status to single, that certain confidence that you exude vanishes. Girls will see you for the creep that you are. It makes you look like a "try-hard" - desperate and unattractive. There will be a time to change your relationship status, but it's not now. Hide it. It's more endearing.

And in conclusion: An astrologer friend once told me that the sound of a heart breaking is the sound of a heart breaking open. "Don't let your heart close to begin with," he said, "and you won't have to break it to get it to open up again."

Post conclusion: By all means go out and get into another relationship. If you get in a good one, you'll be happy. If you get in a bad one, you can always become a single Pscyhology Today blogger.

 

Slash Coleman, M.A.Ed. is an award-winning writer and performer best known for his PBS special and Off-Broadway one-man show, The Neon Man and Me. more...

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