Breaking Up is Hard to Do

But You Can Get Through It

Breakups happen. When we’re lucky we experience clean breaks where both partners agree that things aren’t working and part ways amicably. Unfortunately, clean breaks don’t happen as often as we’d like and someone is left devastated by the loss of what they thought was true love.

Being dumped is difficult. We experience a range of emotions from sadness to anger and perhaps a little desperation as we hope our partner will change their mind and come running back to us. Getting back on our feet takes time of course but following the advice of relationship experts might just speed up the process so that we can get on with our lives and be happy again.

Grieve and Process but don’t Dwell

It’s perfectly natural to mourn the death of a relationship. You’ve invested your time and emotions into developing an attachment to another person. You’ve bared your soul and shared your most intimate parts with them. The world sees you as a couple and now you have to face that world alone. Let the tears flow as you reminisce about the good times and process the fact that it’s over but once you’ve had that good cry find something productive to do. Get up, get out and have a day where you don’t mention your ex to anyone. The quicker you begin developing new routines, the easier things will get.

Don’t Look for Excuses to Reach Out to Your Ex

If they’ve left something behind, mail it to them. If they took something of yours, shoot them an email requesting that they ship it back or give it to a friend. There is no reason to initiate direct contact. If you have children together or mutual property to deal with, it’s best to wait until you’re emotionally calm and in a good frame of mind.

Take Better Care of Yourself

Get your hair done or have a spa day. Develop a workout routine and get active. Improve your diet and get more sleep. Even something as simple as changing your makeup or updating your wardrobe might add a boost of confidence and help you to get back on your feet.

Tell Your Friends and Family

It’s okay to rely on your support system. It’s even better If you have someone to call when the urge strikes you to reach out to your ex. Let them know that your relationship has ended and put your feelings on the table but also ask them to help you by telling you to look forward and not back when you need reminding.

Try Something New

Step away from your old routine and take on a new challenge. There’s nothing better for the healing process than coming out of your comfort zone and finding new things to get excited about.

Take a Step Away From Social Media

There’s no pill more bitter after a breakup than seeing happy couples on your timeline. Stepping away will also prevent you from becoming consumed with stalking your ex to see if they’ve moved on. When you’re ready to return, purge your pictures and quietly change your relationship status. For those who are deeply invested in social media, this step feels like closure.

Change Your Future Plan

You likely thought your relationship would last and changed your future plans to include your ex. It’s time to modify those plans and set goals for yourself, alone. You no longer have to compromise. The sky is the limit. Get excited about the next phase of your journey!

Start Dating

When you’re ready, consider what you want in your next relationship and begin dating again. Join an online dating site and take time to seek out the type of man or woman that you’re looking for. It may not be the best time to commit to something serious but seeing what’s out there can be just as fun and exciting.

The Red Flags of Social Media

Social media red flags span the gamut from huge to almost trivial and likely depend a lot on your partners age. The younger the man, the larger the role social media plays in his life. The red flags are different at different stages in the relationship as well. A little predate spying may uncover red flags that cause you to call of your first meeting while a change in social media behavior during a committed relationship may be a sign that your partner is unfaithful. Whatever the case, you have boundaries for the way your partner behaves in public. The same should be true for how he behaves on social media..

He values his single status more than he values you

If you are in a committed relationship with a man, he should want the world to know about it. Heck, he should love you so much that he wants to brag about it because he feels lucky to have you. If he drags his feet about changing his relationship status on social media or comes up with excuses why he won’t do it, he is probably trying to keep his side chicks or potentials from knowing about you. If he changes his status to “In a relationship” but doesn’t tag you, he doesn’t want people to know who you are. This may be because he feels like he could do better than you or because he fears that women that he has wronged will reach out to you. Either way, red flag!

The same is true if he never posts about you or pictures of you. You tag him in a photo of you together and sometime later he removes the tag or archives the post.. He’s not that private, he’s hiding something.

He’s never deleted the public pictures of himself with his exes

These photos are his bragging rights. He’s saying, scroll through my photos and see what I can bag. If these were simply fond memories, he’d keep them on his phone or on a hard drive. He’s keeping them public so other people see them and that’s disrespectful. As women, we know that when we break up with a guy, we delete their photos from our social media. Normal men do, too.

He picks fights on social media or flaunts his good deeds all the time

You know the guy who is always up in someone’s comments flexing his imaginary muscles? This guy either has anger issues or an intense need for social acceptance. Both of these traits are toxic.

Is he a good guy because it’s his nature or does he do good things for social status points? If he has to pose for a selfie with the homeless man before he gives him his spare change, he has issues.

He wants you to text via Snapchat

There are two possible reasons he wants to only communicate on Snapchat. One is the lack of permanence allows for fewer inhibitions. You may be more likely to sext or send nudes if you know they’ll disappear in 24 hours. The other possibility is that he’s seeing someone else and worries that they’ll check his phone. Snaps disappear within seconds so his other significant other is less likely to catch him in the act.

He’s always online

When a man, or woman, is always online, they aren’t present in the real world. Social media addiction is real and those who suffer from it rarely have real hobbies or interests. Who wants to date someone like that?

He follows a lot of sexually explicit accounts

You may be thinking, “Hey, he was single when he added those.”, but is he still liking the photos or commenting on the posts?

The same girls keep liking and commenting on his pictures and posts

Huge red flag! While he can’t control who interacts with his social media, if he isn’t reciprocating in some way, most women will simply stop and move on. If they keep coming back, you can be sure that he’s throwing them a bone!

Another woman is commenting intimately on his posts

Perhaps she eludes to the fact that she may have been the one who took that picture he posted of himself in the bar, or worse, in his bed. In my case, a girl used language like, “I’m proud of you,” and “I love you.” When I questioned it, he replied, “I don’t know why she’s like that” Later, I stumbled upon the nudes that they were sending each other on his phone.

He’s reacting to other girls’ pictures

This one is huge! If he’s heart reacting a female friends graduation photo or birthday celebration or leaving a cry emoji when her dog dies, that is probably acceptable. If he’s doing the same to her selfies, particularly the scantily clad selfies, he’s a dog. Let him go.

More red flags

He goes dark to hide when he’s online from you. He has to approve anything you post on his timeline before it becomes public. The number of likes on his posts don’t match the number of profiles you see when you click to see who is liking his stuff. When this happens, someone has intentionally blocked you from seeing their activity. He was big on Facebook when you met but now he only uses Snapchat so you can’t see his interactions. You can see that he’s online but he doesn’t read your messages. He shields his phone from you when he’s reading his messages or looking at timelines on apps like Instagram where only he can see posts from those he follows. He has reconnected with an ex as “friends”. He has thousands of friends and the majority of them are female. And, finally, he paused but didn’t delete his Tinder account.

Tune in tomorrow for “How to Translate Fuckboy” and let me know if you like this red flag series.

Tomi

Red Flags

Relationship Warning Signs for Modern Dating

Is that a Cape or a Giant Red Flag?

What is a red flag? According to dating psychologist Madeleine Mason Roantree, a red flag can be defined as “something your partner does that indicates a lack of respect, integrity or interest towards the relationship”. Over time, we’ve broadened the definition to include personality traits and behaviors that indicate that someone would not make a good partner, like, lack of drive, addictive qualities, and a history of commitment issues.

By now, we’re all pretty familiar with the existence of red flags. But, sadly, we’re also adept at overlooking or ignoring them.

As a romance author, I have researched and written about all kinds of relationships and one thing that stands out to me is that, no matter the decade, romance books about bad boys are always on the best seller lists. What is it about the bad boy that we find so irresistible? We claim to want loving, loyal, responsible men, but our knees get weak when we fantasize about the rude, crude loner who treats women like toys.

Whatever the draw of the bad boy, it could be our desire to change him that causes us to dismiss so many red flags when we see them.

What about the guy who seems perfect in the beginning? You’ve used your natural gifts as a woman to stalk him better than an NSA agent. His apartment is tidy, his dog is fed, there is an actual bed frame under his mattress and the food in his refrigerator did not expire last year. Do we become complacent in his perfection and blind to the red flags when they appear? Maybe, or maybe because women invest emotionally so quickly, we make ourselves believe that we can love the red flags right out of him because we don’t want to admit that our time and investment were wasted.   

Now, I don’t want to come off as man shaming. As women, we have some red flags, too. Some of us are too needy, some of us have trust issues, some of us are narcissistic; the list goes on. Because we are all imperfect creatures, it is important to know when red flags are real and when we invent them as excuses to disconnect from someone. Sometimes, it’s our red flags that do us in. Our own insecurities and tendency to overthink can have us accusing men of all sorts of horrid things when in actuality, they really did just fall asleep on the couch or get too busy at work to answer your text.

The world can be crazy and, believe me, as a single “cougar” aged woman, I know there’s a lot of pee in the dating pool.

I’ve asked a question to myself, and my girlfriends, more than a handful of times; “Is this a problem, or am I overreacting?” I believe most of us have. If you’ve ever had to question your own sanity because of his audacity, this journey is for you!

I’ll be back with part one of my Red Flag Ramblings soon! Stay tuned!

Tomi