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Originally Posted: 2008-12-17 3:00pm

Rave: The Ultimate Guide to Breakups

You can smell it coming. Your paramour has left an ominous message on your voicemail. S/he wants to talk. Perhaps you have been invited to meet him somewhere public. Maybe she's cancelled a date, and is meeting you at your place instead. But you're not an idiot and you can anticipate what's next: your ass is about to get dumped. C'est la vie.

Here is your foolproof guide to navigating your breakup. Follow these simple directions and I can guarantee a minimum of stress and heartbreak. If you desire, this technique will ensure your probability of reconciliation is maximized. Want her back? Listen well:

1. On the day you get the news, listen very calmly. Say as little as possible. You will probably hear some BS like, "It's not you - it's me" or "I just need some space for a while" or "let's still be friends"... blah blah blah. Do not argue. Accept everything s/he says. S/he may become emotional. Make no move to comfort him or her. When s/he has finished, do not linger. Say goodbye and leave. If you are in your own home, show him or her the door. A chaste hug is OK, but under NO circumstances should you offer or accept a goodbye kiss, a final quickie, or any of that shit. If you're at a restaurant, do not hang around to split the tab: guys - pay the bill and leave. Ladies - just bail. There is no need to be sterile or brusque, by all means be courteous and kind. Understanding even. But wait until your (now) ex is out of earshot to cry like a bitch.

If you get the news over the phone (ouch), the same rules apply. Just hang up.

If you get a voice/email message, DO NOT respond. Chances are a relationship that ends electronically can't be salvaged, but don't make things worse by taking the bait.

2. The bad news is, this is the hard part. The good news is, this is the part of the Ultimate Guide to Breakups over which you have the most control. It is the centerpiece of the method, and your stamina during this phase will determine your success later on. Want the secret? Here is is:

DO NOTHING.

At first you will be sad. Possibly very sad. Get out of the house. Distract yourself. Hang out with your friends - preferably the ones your ex doesn't know too well, because s/he will be checking up on you. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you contact your ex. For anything.

Chances are after a few days s/he will contact you, "just to see how you're doing." Do not respond. Let it go to voicemail. Don't call back. Delete the email. It's that simple. It'll be hard, but hang in there. Don't let your curiosity get the best of you. You are under no obligation to respond to someone who has kicked you to the curb.

Maybe you've been together for a while and s/he has left personal items in your home. This is the only circumstance under which it's ok to respond. Wait at least 24 hours before you reply. Tell your ex that you will FedEx his/her stuff. Pay for the fastest method you can afford. If s/he insists upon picking it up, leave it someplace safe and make sure you're NOT there when s/he arrives. Make your interaction courteous and brief. Get off the phone as quickly as possible.

If you do not receive a call within a month, you probably won't get a call until s/he drunk dials you many years from now. Move on.

The sooner s/he calls you after dumping you, however, the better your chances are for reconciliation. Again, do not call back. Stay tough. You are now in control of the situation.

3. The sooner the first post-breakup call comes, the more calls/texts/emails you will likely receive. DO NOT RESPOND to any of them... yet. In these modern times you may also be privy to his/her evocative facebook updates, blog posts, reality TV show episodes, whathaveyou. Make no contact. If you absolutely must be in the same place at the same time, try to look fit and happy and surrounded yourself with people s/he doesn't know.

Right around this time (unless you were dumped for someone else) your ex is beginning to experience the downside of singleness. S/he may be feeling lonely and horny, and start wondering if s/he made the right choice. That is exactly what you want. Let him/her fucking stew in it. Your patience will be rewarded.

4. By now, your ex is curious about you. Maybe s/he's even been seeing some new people. But the fact that you have made a clean break with such poise will be a blow to the ego. Remember, the opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is indifference. S/he will be thinking, "Was I really so easy to get over?" and "Gee - maybe it really WAS me." If you've done this right, you will receive a call (or email) inviting you to "hang out." Perhaps the tone will be casual, perhaps it will be desperate. Either way, congratulations for getting this far. The ball is now in your court.

5. Proceed carefully from here. Eagerness could lead to a booty call, but little more. Ask yourself: what do I want? If you want to resume a relationship, wait 48-72 hours before responding. Say you're unavailable at the time your ex suggests, but recommend another meeting time at least a week in the future. You name the place. From here on out, everything is on your terms.

6. Let nature take its course. If your ex is ready to give it another shot, s/he will be dressed like it's a first date. If the sexual tension is palpable, you may choose to knock boots and sort out the details in the sticky afterglow. If you can contain yourself, feign trepidation and ask him/her to meet you again - also in a place you select. Build anticipation. Make him/her work for it. If executed correctly, your ex will be so grateful to have you back s/he will be on his/her very best behavior, possibly for years to come.

7. Repeat as necessary.


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