10 Ways to Make Your Breakup Suck Harder


By Stephanie St. Claire

For starters, he’s not at the bottom of that wine bottle sister.

I have gone through some sucky break ups and I have made them suck harder by doing A LOT of the self-sabotaging below. When you’ve just won the sorrow jackpot, a lot of this stuff makes sense. It makes you feel better temporarily. But doing this crap only delays your healing, makes you look like a psycho, and worries your mom. Stop it.

10 Ways to Make Your Break Up Suck Harder

1. Keep getting back together. Seems obvious, but this suck-harder pitfall wears a costume called “hanging out as friends.” It includes going to dinner, going to the movies, meeting for a drink, Netflixing, or going to his cousin’s wedding. The only thing this does is reinforce the emotional attachment that used to live inside of a commitment. Your psyche goes through hell as it tries to accept that there is no relationship, while your body gets flooded with endorphins as you hug good-bye after dinner.

2. Keep perpetuating the story in your head that you were true soul mates and you are the only one that can really “get what’s happening.” Listen attentively to your inner social worker who feels compassion for him in this “confusing time” and knows he just needs some extra understanding and a cookie. Refuse to accept that he surveyed all the awesome soul-mateness and still walked out your door.

3. Text him to see if he’s okay. Text him to check in. Text him to say you got the job. Text him to say you’d still consider being friends. Text him to see if he got your last text. Text him to ask if he can help move your couch. Lock yourself in that airless chamber of expectation…waiting for him to respond. Lie to yourself and say you don’t care if he texts back. Wake up at 2 a.m. and check your phone.

4. Use media to your disadvantage: Make a playlist of your old songs and listen to them on repeat. Send him funny YouTube videos he’d like. Email links that will be helpful for his latest project. Send a picture of you looking hot, now that you’ve been on a diet of tears and tears for two weeks.

5. Stay in touch with his mom. Call his friends just to say hi. If you listen carefully you can probably get clues as to what he’s doing. Stalk his Facebook. Check his friends list to see if there are any new female faces. It’s all the same: keep his circle inside your circle.

6. Bad mouth him to others. Every time you create him with your language, you are creating an aberration of him in the room. He gets invited back into your life the very same way he was invited in when you were creating him with love and excitement…you are conjuring energetically. Love and hate are two sides of the SAME coin. (Hint: Your goal is neutrality.)

7. Torture yourself with “what-if” scenarios. Make a religion out of your star-crossed-loveredness. Fantasize about him waking up and realizing he lost the best damn thing that ever happened to him. If he texts you to say hi, text him right back. Or make him wait 3 hours and then text him. Either way, just text him.

8. His stuff is at your place. Your stuff is at his. This can only be solved one way: The In-Person Exchange. Really? Or maybe you could make arrangements with a friend to drop his crap off. And maybe that friend wouldn’t mind picking your stuff up. Or maybe you could just throw his toothbrush out, cuz those are like, three bucks at CVS.

9. Constantly create long, anguished speeches in your head that let him know exactly how he’s tortured you. Imagine him feeling bad. Imagine him FINALLY coming to his senses, and concocting a plan to win you back. Don’t imagine him going out with his friends all weekend, moving on with his unrestricted life.

10. And if you REALLY want to make your break up suck harder tell yourself that you will never love like that again. This is a good one, because when you are in heartbreak hell, that feels like the truth. And the thought of loving someone else makes you sick. Like the 3 margaritas you drank this morning.

6 Ways to Make Your Break Up Suck Less

1. Don’t see him or talk to him for 60 days. If you could accidentally run into him at the gym, grocery store, dry cleaner, or route to work- change your gym, grocery store, dry cleaner, and route to work. I know, I know, it’s not fair. But do it.

2. Join a new gym or sign up for a 5K. This is about giving your grief a physical outlet. Endorphins take a break UP and make it a break OVER.

3. Go out with your friends, both male and female. Do not dominate the evening with your sob story. Ask them questions about what THEY’RE doing, what projects THEY’RE working on, how THEIR crazy family is doing. Something magical happens when you leave your own world for a while and get into others’.

4. Remember he’s not hiding at the bottom of that wine bottle sister. Drink lots of water, give yourself a salt scrub, get a pedicure, and kick Uncle Ben and Jerry to the curb.

5. Run out immediately and get this book: It’s Called a Break Up Because It’s Broken by Greg Behrendt. My copy is swollen (tears, original break-up, Fall ‘09), warped, dog-eared, underlined, and thrashed. I’ve given away about 20 copies to friends and clients.

6. Read some new stuff: DOOCE (Heather B. Armstrong), Texts From Last Night, and The Paris Review are my favorites), create a kick-ass collage of your new life (Pinterest - you can now have secret boards), and write a letter to your future love. Create a fresh relationship with your faith. Press into God. Write down the wisdom you are learning from all this.

writer photo

Stephanie St. Claire

Stephanie St. Claire is a writer and workflow strategist. She lives in both LA and NYC, has three kids, and has a membership to a wine club.

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