After the relationship ends, how can you behave in a way that says you respect yourself? It's hard because being dumped or just ending a relationship can make you feel you've failed somehow. Still, it's important that you respect yourself as a person and carry on. Let's assume you are a young woman whose boyfriend has just told you he wants to break up with you and see other women.
1. Don't beg. He broke up with you. He's already made up his mind. No matter how shocked, panicked, and in pain you are, don't beg him for another chance. It's very hard to do, but to let this end leaving you with some shred of dignity, try hard not to cry too much - of course, it may be impossible not to cry. But crying a little, then saying, "I'm so sad about this, but if that's your decision, I have no choice but to accept it," is much more dignified than screaming, "No, don't leave me! I'll do anything you want me to!!" Let him leave and then pitch your hysterical fit.
2. Gather your supporters. Now is the time you need your friends and family, more than ever. Call them and tell them you've broken up with your true love. They will hopefully come flying to your side to comfort and keep you company while you nurse your broken heart back to health. Don't try to go it alone
3. Recognize when it's no use trying to talk to him any more. He may keep calling you, trying to let you down easy, saying he still cares about you, or many other things. But he still won't commit himself fully to you, doesn't really want to be your boyfriend any more, etc. Let him go, girl. It's no use. His attempts to communicate with you after the fact are not about lingering feelings he has for you - it's all about him. He's trying to not be seen as a bad guy, but the reality is, he's done with your relationship and moving on. It's time for you to try your hardest to do the same thing.
4. Don't let him string you along after the fact. He's told you he plans to date other girls, and maybe he's even said he will "keep you in mind, just in case things don't work out." Even though you still love him, this is a losing proposition for you. This man wants to have his cake and eat it too - he wants to keep you in his pocket as a consolation prize, in case his plan to find a Playboy Bunny fails. You are the backup plan. What a jerk! No matter how much you love him, tell him this will not work for you, and let him know that it's over. Period.
5. Review the relationship. There's a good chance that now that he's gone, you can look back and realize there may have been warning signs about this guy. Reviewing the relationship and recognizing where the problems began can be valuable in later relationships - they can clue you in to danger signals in new men, or let you have a chance to adjust your own behaviors, if you really believe you had some fault.
6. Never let him see you sweat. Once the big breakup is over with, don't keep on letting him get to you. Even if you don't feel like it, go get dressed up and go out with your friends. You don't have to get drunk, or try to pick up guys (like they may be doing), but just to go and hang with pals is a good thing. Try to avoid going to places where you will be likely to run into him. If you do see him while you're out, just smile and nod. If you feel like you might cry, excuse yourself and walk to the restroom. Do your crying in there, and don't come out till you look strong again (even if you feel shaky inside, you must try your best to look like you're okay).
7. Listen to breakup songs and stories. It helps fill you with a positive feeling of power to hear songs like "I Will Survive," and "You Oughtta Know." It can help to hear your friends tell their breakup stories, too. Just knowing that others have gone through similar heartaches can help you feel less alone. Crank up your stereo and rock out - it'll help, too, knowing that someone wrote a song you can relate to now. You go, girl!
8. Let done be done. A lot of guys break up with girls, then want them back later. This may or may not be a good idea. If you do decide to try again, try one more time - don't try again after that. Going back together time after time may be a bad idea for a number of reasons:
- It may let him know you can accept being treated badly and still let him come back, so he's more likely to treat you badly again (assuming, of course, he treated you badly in the first place).
- It may make you seem weak in his eyes - that's not good if he's controlling or dominating to begin with or if you know your confidence and self-esteem are not as high as you would like.
- It lends an aura of inevitability to the relationship - in other words, you can start to feel like this is your destiny and your doom, that no matter how you try to break away, you will always end up with him, again, if your confidence and esteem levels are low.
- If he was disrespectful to you, it desensitizes you to his disrespect of you.
9. Realize that you have just eliminated a Mr. or Ms. Wrong. That puts you one step closer to Mr. or Ms. Right. And whatever you do, never settle for Mr. or Ms. You'll Do.
10. Recognize that few people will respect you unless you insist. If you don't respect yourself, you're giving others the go-ahead to treat you like dirt. Don't you dare do that to yourself! Stand up and insist that you be treated with dignity, the way all human beings should be treated. Allowing a guy to walk all over you is the worst disrespect in the world.