Break-ups aren’t nice by any means, but they have always fascinated me. It’s incredible how being on the wrong end of a break-up can eradicate every shred of common sense or self-worth we proudly once possessed. Much like everyone else, I too have been on the wrong end of break-ups and albeit a good few years back, some of my reactions still make me laugh to this day. With that in mind here are just a few examples (including my own) of how guys can react to being dumped.
We get questionable piercings – I was 19 years old, she was French and love of my life number 3 by this point (so naive). We’d dated for around 10 months, she’d been in the year below me at school and had made a name for herself in all the wrong ways by sleeping with a guy on a bouncy castle in her back garden – true story. When I heard this I judged her in all the wrong ways, but then two years later we ended up dating. The relationship was actually pretty good until she started working at a popular Japanese restaurant chain, she struck up a friendship with her boss to the point where she’d started trying to set him up with different women. Eventually she set him up with herself. That first two weeks after we broke up all I could think about was winning her back. I decided I had to be even cooler than I of course already was *jokes* and so I got two questionable ‘snakebite’ lip piercings. When she saw them her response was anything but ‘wow’ in fact she saw it more like self-harm than anything impressive. My poor Mum was horrified and I walked around the house for three months covering my mouth with a scarf to hide it from my Dad before eventually giving up on them. Back to her though, to cut a long story short boss man broke up with her after a month of dating and she promptly tried to patch things up with myself. After around a week though I was well and truly over it, making it even more embarrassing that I’d stuck metal in my face to impress her. I’ve discovered that if you have to stick metal in your face for love, then it’s probably not love.
We recreate John Cusack’s famous scene from ‘Say Anything’ – a friend of mine actually went one better. He hired a busker to duet with him and perform Plain White T’s hit ‘Hey There Delilah’ outside of his ex-girlfriend’s apartment. I seem to remember I encouraged this at the time, but no, he has never lived it down and no, it didn’t work.
We turn up in a foreign country to surprise them – I say foreign, I mean Ireland. My Irish first love broke up with me when she went home for the summer, what did I do? I booked a flight over there to try and win her back, I got lost in a small town just outside of Dublin and eventually never found my way to her countryside home. I left without her knowing anything about it. I was 18, had no credit on my phone and remain embarrassed about the incident to this very day.
We give up food – I’ve spoken before about my craziest and longest relationship ‘the compulsive liar’, but never before has this ‘foodie’ lost his appetite quite like this. I quite literally just couldn’t bring myself to eat, it only lasted a few days but it was just unheard of for me to go off food. As it turns out, that break-up turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. It sparked my love of travel, getting my own place, a better job and eventually it inspired this very blog – the right kind of reactions you might say. But don’t ever ever give up food for love folks!
We sleep with everything that moves – we all have our one night slip-ups but choosing a one-night stand kind of lifestyle isn’t by any means the best route to take after a break-up. The thing about one night stands is that it doesn’t really solve anything. It may take your mind off the break-up, but only ever temporarily. The second they leave, your mind wanders straight back to everything you were trying to forget. We all need a bit of fun from time to time but some dalliances will only make you feel a million times worse, be wary of hurting yourself and others.
We get nasty – sometimes the heartbreak can turn guys into monsters, at least verbally anyway. I remember sitting with a female friend on ‘MSN messenger’ (back in the day) whilst she was talking to a guy she’d broken up with. The conversation went along the lines of…”babe I miss you, please take me back,”…”no, I’m sorry it’s over”…”fine, whore.” He was actually a really nice guy too, but it just proves how our emotions can get the better of us in these situations. I’ve lost count of how many times love can oh so quickly sound like hatred.
We cut contact – us guys love a bit of attention even when it’s not warranted. We’ll always deny this but we thrive on a bit of a ‘pity party’. I remember when I was in my teens I used to love it when I had a fall-out with a girl because it meant I could play the silent, heartbroken emo kid at the back of the bus, gazing out of the window feeling sorry for myself thinking I was in some depressing music video. Fun times.
We turn up the power ballads – so this is a story I may regret sharing and I realise it’s starting to sound like I get broken up with a lot but regrettably I’ve had more girlfriends than I’d like to admit. When I was in first year at high school, I had a girlfriend who was in third year (this got me a lot of brownie points with the ‘cool’ kids). We dated for around 7 months or so when for Valentine’s Day she bought me the most hideous medallion ring complete with eagle engraving and words that loosely translated to ‘United States of Mexico’. She actually expected me to wear this monstrosity and politely, I did. The relationship turned sour not long after when a girl in my own year complimented the ring and in return I gave it to her (harsh but it really was that hideous). What I hadn’t expected was for that girl to then parade it in front of my girlfriend’s face. Not nice to give it away I know, but bare in mind I was only 12 years old. My girlfriend of course broke up with me and being the old romantic that I was at the time, I was completely devastated. That night I went home, plugged in my ‘ghettoblaster’ opened the window and played Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ as loud as it would go for all of my neighbours to hear. My Mum and Dad were beyond mortified – as am I at this very moment.
My advice in dealing with most break-up situations is always to focus on bettering yourself. I think it takes a lot to break-up with someone, it’s not something people do lightly and it’s important that you respect your partner’s decision. However, that doesn’t mean you have to give up. I’ve rarely been through a break-up where an opportunity to get back together didn’t arise further down the line. The key is to give them space and a reason to miss you, make them wonder why you’re dealing with the situation so well. If they ask for space and you don’t give them it, I guarantee you’ll push them further away than ever before.
Piercings, performances, insults, pity parties and hunger strikes don’t work. Simple, common sense, adult behaviour will see you through – I learned this the hard way.