excommunicate your ex

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Today we hear from two lovelorn ladies. The first is Hannah from Diss, Norfolk:

I am currently suffering from the great agony of heartbreak. I keep contacting the guy (my first and only boyfriend) who dumped me, who I’ve been with for 2 years, and he will always text me back. I’m not moving on! How do I break my need for contact with him and move on??

Your need for contact with him will diminish the less you contact him. Sure, that’s a mean old cycle there, but it is up to you to break it: there is no external force which will do that for you (although it would help if he didn’t reply; what does he think he’s playing at, huh?). Try following the classic two-phase recovery process.

First phase: Prevention. Delete his number. This is not an act of hostility, but of self-preservation. Make it more difficult to contact him. While you’re at it, block him from appearing in your Facebook feed; ignore his tweets; cast him into the distant shadows of LinkedIn, or whatever it is people do on there, I dunno.

Second phase: distraction. Keep yourself busy. Gather your friends and/or relatives and socialise. Go on rambles. Join classes. Form a book group. Make sure that you fill every possible moment that you’ll otherwise spend pining for him, and meanwhile, encourage yourself towards activities through which you meet new people; no, not so you find a new boyfriend – although let’s not rule it out – but so you interact with people who have no idea about your heartbreak, and who do not plant you in the context of being your ex’s girlfriend.

Run the two phases concurrently, and be plucky, Hannah. Be plucky.

Now here’s Helen‘s partnership problem:

If you have been shagging someone for over 2 1/2 years but it’s still a secret, are they shagging someone else as well?

Not necessarily, but they’re sure as hell not especially bothered about you. Move on. You can follow the phases as outlined above for Hannah, if that helps wean you off. And next time, remember there surely is a time limit for a shagging-only/friends-with-benefits/funbuddy relationship, and unless you only meet up once every few months or less frequently, it is one year. You do not get to celebrate a ruby anniversary with a funbuddy, Helen.

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One Response to “excommunicate your ex”

  1. Richard Says:

    That’s some great advice Helen. I think this advice works for the dumper as well as the dumpee. The dumper is often made out to be the ‘bad one’ in situations like this (not by you in your comments, just in general I mean). There’s always a lot of advice and support for the one dumped. The majority of sad lovesongs take the side of the dumpee to help them get over this rejection. I find this unfair since sometimes the person doing the dumping is actually suffering more pain. They have to get over not just the breakup but also their own guilt at having been the one to call time on the relationship (which might have been doomed anyway!). I broke up with a girl because I didn’t feel I could offer her what I thought she needed. I cared about her so much that I broke up with her, for her! (well now I feel like an idiot but there’s no turning back once it’s done).

    Anyway, after my own breakup, I, the dumper, was the one doing all the texting, asking if she was OK, asking if we could still be friends, etc. If I had kept a bit more of my dignity (and maybe found your advice at the time of the incident), and not texted her, at all, then we both would have gotten over the break-up a lot more quickly. In the end it dragged on for months before I finally got a text from her (the dumped one) saying that she’s found a new boyfriend and if I ever text her again, said boyfriend would be calling me! Good for her! I didn’t text her again – not through the fear of having to talk to the new boyfriend (honest). It was the realisation that if she was prepared to threaten me then she really had moved on and didn’t need me any more and I would have to just manage without any further contact with her 😦

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