Breakups at their best are unpleasant and at their worst, catastrophic. It’s just one of the risks you take in the game of dating. The traditional “I’m just not that into you” breakups, the ghosting, and the not-so-happy endings are a liability in the fine print at the bottom of the contract you sign when you agree to a relationship with someone.
And even after you return his sweatshirts and have to start pretending you don’t see him at the bar, there is still a code of conduct you have to follow. In a civil breakup, there are just rules that should be followed.
I get it. You’re newly single and you can finally do what you want and you know how much you’re gonna show him by making out with him, his pledge brother and the creepy bartender – but you don’t want to be that ex. You’re right, you don’t owe him anything. I mean, you already gave him everything. You were half a virgin when you met him! But you owe it to yourself not to look like the nutty ex everyone feels sorry for and simultaneously wishes would leave.
Everyone knows that there is a winner and a loser in a breakup, and whoever follows these ten commandments wins, while the sinful loser is left sad tweeting on a Friday night.
10. Thou Shall Not Harass His New “Friend”
Don’t get caught a love triangle that you’ll never get out of. Him, you, and the girl he’s fucking doesn’t exactly sound like a cozy night to me. No one likes the ex-girlfriend who corners the innocent girl who’s just trying to get a free drink and maybe some fun.
9. Thou Shall Avoid Staking Out His Fraternity
He knows what you’re doing, the brother you’re shamelessly flirting with knows what you’re doing and even the weird kid who shouldn’t have gotten a bid knows what you’re doing. No matter how much you linger at his house, he knows that you already know there’s not a fish tank upstairs, so you’re probably not going to get very far with him. Besides, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Or at least makes him think you’re kind of sane.
8. Thou Shall Not Force Mutual Friends To Pick Sides
Don’t be dramatic. It’s not war, it’s just a boy who stopped liking you. There are no sides to take. Wave the white flag so everyone can get back to pregaming together.
7. Thou Shall Try Not To Hook Up With His Friends
I know, the temptation is just sitting there in that backward hat, Xanax slack smile and best friend title. You used to playfully flirt with him and there’s definitely still sexual tension there despite you promising your ex otherwise, but sleeping with the friend is cruel and unusual punishment that should be reserved for the worst kind of ex-boyfriends. Also, it’ll just make you miss him more.
6. Thou Shall Avoid Drunk Texting
It’s going to happen. It’ll be mid-stumble back home when you’re feeling particularly sorry for yourself or maybe after you hear your “song.” It will happen one fateful night at the bar or maybe you’ll just yawn and realize you’re horny, but seriously try not to drunk text. Just order pizza. You’ll regret the carbs a lot less.
5. Thou Shall Not Have Hate Sex
It’s easy, but hate sex with your ex is just better in theory. It’ll either leave you unsatisfied or too satisfied. It will either be just like old times or it’ll make you think you should’ve just taken that hot stranger home. Just hop on Tinder instead.
4. Thou Shall Play Nice
When you see him in public, just smile and wave. Pretend you shared notes for English instead of his freshman year hostel bed. Pretend you hardly know him until you no longer know his favorite song anymore. Pretend you’re a decent member of society and not a psychopath who’s still waiting on him to realize you’re the one.
3. Thou Shall Not Bring Up Old Times
He remembers, you remember, your roommate definitely still remembers how you sounded that night. There’s no reason to bring it up. It’s not an inside joke with an old friend, it’s an invitation to bring up a time with an old girlfriend he, *ouch*, doesn’t want back.
2. Thou Shall Not Mourn Too Long
Breakups build character. Rub some dirt in it and if you’re going to drunk cry, keep it in the safety of your home. It’s unhealthy and it makes him weirded out when he sees you staring at him without blinking across the bar.
1. Thou Shall Not Fucking Beg
Do not text, tweet, send a smoke signal or any other sort of desperate form of “I miss you.” He doesn’t care. That’s why he broke up with you. Do not beg for him back. Do not chase him down with your tail between your leg. You’re a bitch, but you’re not a dog.
Again, these only apply if it’s a civil breakup. If he cheated on you, he can go to hell.