EST. May 2000 (AD)


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How Not to Get Over Your Ex

By Jennifer ten Haaf

Breaking up is hard to do, though arguably, the hardest is the aftermath of the situation. Avoiding each other when you inevitably run into him at the grocery store,

or wondering if that necklace he gave you for Christmas, four years ago, is still yours. If he wants it back, do you have to give it to him? Worst of all, the unhappy retrieval of all the things you left at his place, including that box of tampons. Does the humiliation stop? When you finally have the basics figured out, the most difficult part of the break up rears its head and you are left with the question, how do I get over my ex? There are definitely a lot of excellent theories, though perhaps it might be easier to solve this question by answering its complement. How can you avoid getting over your ex?

So, you are friends on Facebook. During your relationship it gave you the opportunity to write sweet things on his wall and maybe keep a close eye on that girl who wrote somewhat inappropriate comments on his pictures. In your relationship it was good thing. If you are not trying to get over you ex, it is equally as helpful. If you are particularly bitter post-breakup, all the things you see on his Facebook will become construed into things especially treacherous. All those girls who post on his wall will instantly become your enemies, because he is obviously sleeping with them. Even when it is his buddies who comment, it will be all too easy to read too deeply into what they say. Does his status update say something about going to the beach? Suddenly you will be wracked with curiosity. Who is he going with? Which beach is he going to? What if you should happen to "accidentally" run into him? Facebook will help you keep tabs on him, which will help your blood keep boiling. That ought to keep him safely locked within the chambers of your jealous heart.

If you need another easy way to avoid getting over you ex, call him. Find reasons, silly or not, to dial his number. See how things are going, even though the slightest thing he says might easily be taken completely out of context now that you cannot read each other's minds. Just hearing his voice will return you to the good old days when you would ring him up just to see what he wanted for dinner. It will make you feel like your old self for a good ten minutes. You might even get lucky, and he will sound remarkably miserable. Well good, you will think, he deserves the misery. If the gods are smiling particularly brightly upon you, they might even give you a solid sense of false hope.

Now, perhaps the best way to keep yourself crying night after night over the loss of your relationship, is to idealize your ex. Remember how nice he was, at first, and how he always remembered to take out the garbage, sometimes, and how great he looked in those jeans, when they were washed. Take extra time out of your day to think about how sweet and smart he was, all the while forgetting his annoying quirks. Forget that he would clip his toenails, leaving the shreds on the floor for you to step on the next morning. And what about his affection for morning kisses before either of you had your appointment with the toothbrush? That might be forgettable, for now, anyway. What cannot be forgotten is that he liked kissing in the rain. Well, one time, at least. Talk him up and remember him with a glowing golden halo over his head, even if the only halo he has is a title that goes into a game console.

If all this is not keeping him on the forefront of your mind, perhaps the best thing to do is to stop distracting yourself. Spend you time alone at home and avoid thinking about anything but him. Make sure that you are properly stocked with enough Ben and Jerry's, his favorite flavor of course, to get you through a few days and spend some time reminiscing. Remember all the good times you had while idealizing him. Also, sob into your melting pint of ice cream while recalling your first kiss. Your wound won't heal if you keep prying it open, so keep shoveling in the ice cream and running the memories like a movie in your head.

If you must leave your house, for nourishment or sunlight, whichever, make sure you head over to his favorite watering hole. See if that restaurant he loves is still his favorite. You could get completely lucky and run into him there. Of course, you run the risk of seeing him with his new girlfriend and, consequently, bursting into tears in front of a room full of people, but that is a gamble you have to be willing to make. If all these tricks fail, you might be forced to do the unthinkable and get over him.

That's a bummer.


Jennifer ten Haaf is a college senior from Michigan who is a master at
not getting over her exes. She has practiced every single example of
bad break-up behavior known to human kind and on more than one
occasion, she has seriously cried into her pint of Ben and Jerry's.
Happily, that did not stop her from consuming the entire
one night. Presently, the men in her life are a pack of three dogs
with whom she has never broken up.