Maybe you knew it was coming.
Maybe you didn't. You've been dumped. So,
other than moping around in your pyjamas,
spending quality time with Ben & Jerry,
what can you do? Well, clear away that mountain
of soggy tissues, and I'll tell you how
to get through the worst of it, the first
30 days. Three things: Take care of yourself.
Give yourself time to mourn. Move forward.
The first 48 hours. The first 48 hours are
the toughest. Give yourself at least one
full weekend to cry your eyes out, eat junk
food and lie around on your couch in a broken-heart
coma watching sappy movies or a kung-fu
marathon. Try to throw a few comedies into
the mix if you can, laughter is good for
you. If you want to be alone now, be alone.
If you want to be with friends, by all means,
invite them to console you.
Whatever you do, don't call your ex.
Don't e-mail your ex. Don't see your ex.
Turn your answering machine on and screen
your calls. I'm not saying you should never
talk to your ex again, but give yourself
at least a month or so to build up your
ego again. If you think you might be tempted,
by all means, invite a friend over to run
defence and keep you away from the phone.
Next, force yourself to think of the relationship
as over. I know that's tough right now,
but it truly is necessary. Grieve for what
it was, and consider it dead and gone.
The first week. After your first
48 hours, it is important to get off the
couch and take a shower. Not just for hygiene
reasons, (but trust me, by this time you'll
really need it) but because it's now time
to start taking action. Take down all photos
that include your ex. If you need to have
a ceremonial snapshot torching, by all means,
go ahead. Put all reminders of your ex (letters,
gifts, photos, etc.) in a box and stuff
it way in the back of your closet, or better
yet, your garage - someplace you won't see
it on a regular basis. If you feel yourself
starting to idealize your ex, and feel the
desire to call him or her, sit down immediately
and make a list of all the things about
your ex that really annoyed you - the more
humorous, the better.
Think hard, I know there's something.The way he gave the exact same 22-minute
response to every single person who asked
how his job was going for three solid years.
The psycho-squirrel noises she made when
she laughed. The cheap, ugly, green, plastic
phone he gave you for Christmas. The way
she tried to hold in her sneezes, producing
that imploding, snort noise instead. Whatever
you do, don't call your ex. Start returning
to your normal life. Take an extra 20 minutes
with your appearance this week. Sure, you
may not feel like getting dressed at all,
but trust me, if you look good, you'll feel
Wear something that makes you feel stunning
or confident. Nothing smoothes the ragged
edges of a recent break-up like a few well-timed
compliments. If your weekend on the couch
still shows in your face, put some tea bags
on your eyelids. Make plans with friends
for every Friday and Saturday night for
the next month, and stick to them. Get out
and go dancing. It may be the last thing
you feel like doing, but you'll find it's
a fabulous release. The music and physical
activity will make you feel tons better.
Speaking of which, exercise four times this
week. Yeah, I know you won't feel like it,
but do it anyway.
You need those happy endorphins that
exercise brings. Do a little bonding
with your pals. Go to a basketball game,
or even bowling. Just get out of the house.
One last thing for this week, schedule a
massage. You need it! The second week. Whatever
you do, don't call your ex. Make a detailed
list of all your good qualities. Remember,
you're a unique, wonderful, person, and
someone (probably several someone's) will
fall madly in love with you, and you with
Keep your plans with friends every weekend,
and by all means, do something physical,
or humorous, like going to a comedy club.
Work out (three times this week, and for
the rest of the break-up survival period),
go rock climbing, or dance like the Backstreet
Boys in your living room (nobody will see
you.) Get your heart rate going. Aside from
making your body look good, you'll boost
your mood as well. This week is all about
pampering yourself. Get a pedicure, or sit
in the sauna. You've been through a lot,
and you deserve it.
Spend some of your newfound time (and probably
extra cash, too) on something just for you.
Guys, you may be feeling the need for some
type of electronic device you've been putting
off. Now is the time. Girls, all I can say
is, SHOE SHOPPING!
Treat yourself to a little something
nice this week, and every week for the
rest of the month. The last two weeks. Whatever
you do, don't call your ex. You're halfway
through the black period, and the worst
is over. This is when you'll start easing
back into your pre-girl/pre-guy routine.
Be a little selfish with your time, and
do exactly what you want to do. You should
be focusing on taking care of yourself right
now. Now is also the time to start making
long-range plans. Make two plans: One plan
for a vacation (even if it's three years
away,) and one plan for your life.
You have a clean slate, what do you want
to do? Go back to school? Become a rock
star? Learn how to make crawfish traps?
No one is holding you back now. Write down
your goals, and the steps you'll need to
take to reach them. Holy Moly! Before you
know it, the entire month has gone by. You're
through the thick of it now, and on the
road to recovery. Sure, you'll hit some
bumps along the way, but you'll live through
You've made it this far, and you'll
be a stronger, wiser person because of it.
Someday, you'll meet someone who will love
and appreciate you for the amazing person
you are. And this break-up, which is so
awful now, will just be one forgotten U-
turn on your path to true love.
Leave Your Lover, HOW?, find
She squeaks when she blows her nose.
He eats like a rabid pig. It's just not
working out. We've all spent some time stuck
in a relationship we didn't want to be in
because we didn't have the heart (or some
other equipment) to end it. Maybe we don't
want to hurt someone we've been close to,
or worse, maybe it's clear right away we're
dealing with a nut and we don't want to
be the trigger for an economy-sized bottle
of Prozac and a six-week stint at the Bendy
Willow Psychiatric Centre.
So what do you do when it's completely
obvious you're just not meant to be together?
You break up. Or, you try to break up, don't
quite hit the mark, and end up sucked back
into the awful relationship for round two,
because you just couldn't make it stick.
Is there a way to make it permanent
without causing permanent damage? The key
is to have a plan, a good plan. Location,,
Location. It's really important to pick
a good strategic break-up setting. The best
places to have "the talk" are both public
but fairly private, with a convenient escape
route. The best location? Outside, walking
at a park. It's crowded enough to ensure
you won't have a big scene, but private
enough your dumpee won't feel like he or
she is naked at a funeral. Other agreeable
break-up locales include restaurants (but
not a favourite restaurant) or a walk around
The worst place to break up, at a
party or work. The only thing worse than
being dumped is being dumped in front of
people you're going to have to see on a
regular basis. Timing Is Everything. Another
key to effective break-ups is precise timing.
Breaking up at a park gives both your dumpee
and you the chance to leave once the deed
is done. If you're ending the relationship
at a restaurant, do it only after the check
has come and you've paid for dinner. (And
by the way, if you're about to dump someone,
you should DEFINITELY be buying dinner.)
There's nothing more horrifying than being
dumped and then having to sit around making
small talk for another 20 minutes while
you're waiting for the check to come. (As
in, "Hey Lula, what are you doing now that
you don't have plans for tonight? Laundry?")
Happy Freaking Birthday. Never break
up with someone within two weeks of a major
holiday or his/her birthday. Make that a
month for Valentine's Day and Christmas.
There's no faster entry to the Bitch/Bastard
Hall of Fame than permanently destroying
the holidays for your soon-to-be-ex. It's
just not nice, and you don't want that what-goes-around-comes-around
thing biting you in the ass when your turn
as the dumpee rolls back around. It's Not
You, It's Me.
The first thing to remember is not to
drag it out. The longer it takes, the
worse it is for everybody involved. Whenever
you end the relationship, be sure to make
your reasons relevant only to you. Say,
"This is not working for me." Stick with
your basis and keep repeating yourself over
and over if necessary. It's impossible for
someone to argue with you about reasons
that pertain only to you.
If you end up getting sucked into a situation
where you have to list grounds for wanting
it over, you may find yourself in for an
encore. If you say, "we fight too much"
or "you don't seem happy" your partner may
offer to change, taking all the air out
of your break-up and landing you right back
in the relationship.. Worst-case scenario,
if you're too much of a weenie to break-up
with your girl or guy yourself, Hire A Hit
They're not interested in
Forget boring dinner parties. Older
Americans looking for love have taken
a cue from young urban singles and are
flocking to speed-dating events and
online personals sites.
Match.com, a popular dating
website, says registrations among people
over 50 have soared 340 percent since
2000. The American Association of Retired
Persons now has a dating advice column
in its member magazine.
On Maryland's Eastern Shore, where the
roads are dotted with ads for new retirement
communities, the changing senior dating
scene is evident.
The speed-dating event Walsh attended
was put on by Mingling Singles, a group
that's tripled its membership since
its creation just two months ago.
Another group near Ocean City, Beach
Singles, has 150 members, all over the
age of 45, with a new chapter planned
in nearby Salisbury. The Merry Widows
and Widowers Social Club also operates
in Ocean City.
"The seniors are pouring down here,"
said Lois West, 71, secretary of Beach
Singles. "They move here for the beach,
but then they don't know anybody."
re-learning how to meet people' and they're not interested in old-fashioned
"We're much more active. A widow in
the olden days would sit inside and
wear black. Today she's probably out
dancing," West said.
The silver-haired singles scene on the
Eastern Shore is likely to keep growing.
Eight of nine counties on the shore
have a greater proportion of people
over 65 than Maryland as a whole, according
to the Census Bureau. In Talbot and
Worcester counties, more than one in
five residents are now over 65, compared
to about 11,3 percent for the state
as a whole.
At the speed-dating event, some attendees
said their grown children pushed them
to attend. Others said they were sick
of tagging along with friends who are
couples, or were just tired of trying
to find love in a bar.
"As soon as my 31-year-old daughter
heard about it, she was like, 'Oh, Mom,
you have to go,"' said JoAnn Collinson,
52, a widow from Bishopville who said
she's looking as much for companionship
Rick Hosler, 56, retired to the area
after a career as a firefighter admitted
being a little scared to talk to single
"I would've never thought I'd do this,"
he said before the lights flickered
to signify the speed-dating would begin.
"I just thought, it's something different.
I'm not a bar-type person. I don't like
The matchmaking industry is catching
on to the dating interests of older
adults. Some dating websites now have
special seniors-only areas. Spark Networks,
based in Los Angeles, started
SilverSingles last year, and
the site now has about 600 000 members.
Another of its dating sites,
PrimeSingles has another 13
"They're not a segment we've been marketing
to aggressively, but we're still seeing
it grow," said company spokesperson
Gail Laguna. "Seniors have started to
see that it's more acceptable, more
socially acceptable, to try online dating."
Seniors are more comfortable than they
used to be with the Internet, and they're
finding that online dating lets them
take their time choosing a possible
mate, said Kathleen Roldan, spokesperson
"Fifty-five and over is our fastest-growing
segment," Roldan said. "As we get older,
the pool of eligible people we have
to choose from gets smaller and smaller.
And the bar scene is not attractive."
It's too soon to know whether the speed-dating
event resulted in any romances - like
many singles groups, the women far outnumbered
the men -but based on the din of laughter
in the crowd, the singles enjoyed it.
Even Charles Walsh eventually sat down
and chatted with some ladies.
"I'm just starting again" in the singles
scene, said Ryan Boyer, 49, of Ocean
City. "It's hard. You know what I mean?
Where do you start again? I'm just re-learning
how to meet people."
Even if they don't find love quickly,
senior singles enjoy the activities
more often associated with younger people,
West said. And if romance comes later,
they'll be ready.
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