This isn’t Hollywood where all decisions to break-up are “mutual” and every separation is “amicable.” This is the digital age, and break-ups are a bitch. A break-up is like the checkered-flag at a NASCAR race that cues the start of an unacknowledged race to be the most “over it.” How is the winner determined? Well, typically the victor is either the first person to achieve the coveted “in a relationship” status on Facebook , or the first person to be propositioned by the other and rebuff it. However, often these competitions become somewhat like the Hunger Games, where it’s a ruthless fight to the death and only one person can survive. There are a number of commonly used tactics which nearly any spurned ex-lover has as ammo in their arsenal:
- The “accidental dial”: Your ex somehow manages to call your number totally without meaning to while hooking up with some chick who is too drunk to notice that he is playing with his phone while they’re getting it on…what ARE the odds?
- The OMG look how many guys/girls want to do me!!!” Photos: After the crying has stopped and the waterproof mascara has taken hold, it’s time to go out, get hammered and show the world how totally okay you are. Since only a small segment of the population will actually see you out getting sloppy drunk and dancing like a stripper, it’s often necessary to go the extra mile and document the entire experience. The 46 photos of you drunkenly clinging to every guy that didn’t shove you off as well as a handful of self-taken photos which feature approximately 10% face and 90% boobs will then be uploaded to Facebook in albums entitled “If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it!!” “BEST NIGHT EVERRRRR” and/or “Girls just wanna have fun!” How will your ex respond? Likely by doing exactly the same thing. He’s been locked down in a relationship for too long. It’s time to go out with the boys and do all the things he’s been missing out on (and of course, document the entire experience). Cue pictures of him clinging to a bottle of Greygoose while surrounded by morally questionable women, smoking cigars, and taking tequila shots out of a barely-legal girl’s navel. Check-mate.
- Mind Games: You know that girl that you always had a bad feeling about? The one that your ex swore he was just friends with but agreed to stop talking to nonetheless? Well, that bitch is back, and she’s ALL up on his Twitter. Don’t sweat it though, because this is about the time that you will decide to publicly re-initiate contact with your long-lost ex’s and guy friends. It doesn’t matter that half of your guy friends are gay: what he doesn’t know…might still hurt him. Game, serve, match.
- Rumor has it: After a break-up it can be healthy to discuss the relationship with your close friends to get a better idea of what you will do differently in the future, however it is NOT healthy to start bad-mouthing your ex to anyone and everyone who will listen. I have found that post-break-up, people often develop a sort of compulsion to demonize their ex to the general public. Don’t be the girl telling people that you barely know about your ex’s..ahem…shortcomings. So déclassé. It is not your job to render your ex undateable. If he is really as bad as you say he is, he will take care of that all on his own. When you go off on a tangent about your “crazy” ex, all anyone is going to hear is “HOT MESS: EXPLOSIVE: HANDLE WITH EXTREME CAUTION.” Anyone can call someone else crazy. It’s much more impressive to actually be sane.
- Out for blood: These are revenge-seeking tactics which are generally reserved for only the most atrocious of betrayals. Some of the most commonly implemented ones involve hacking into every account of your ex’s that you have access to: selling their WoW swords on ebay, unregistering them from next semester’s classes, signing them up for a ton of junk e-mail from sites selling penile implants and male enhancement drugs/weight-loss supplements, etc.
These silly games are largely self-destructive and make a break-up even more painful than it has to be. The person who wins post-break-up is the one who is happy and feels confident that ending the relationship was ultimately the right decision (regardless of who made it initially). People say that happiness is the best revenge, but in my mind that’s like saying that unicorns are great for stabbing people. Happiness is a beautiful thing, not a weapon. If you are going through a break-up, your focus needs to be on finding yourself and your happiness as an individual. If your ex wants to play games, let them. At the end of the day, they will be hung-over, and you will be taking proactive steps towards a better life for yourself.