Thursday, December 3, 2009

Breakup Babble: Deleting His Number

Breakups always hurt.

While newly single women are almost always looking to do anything to ease the pain, they don’t always go about it in the right way.

We’re not saying you should ditch the chocolate (in fact, we firmly believe that calories don’t count when you’re readjusting to the single life), but there are a few other important steps in the healing process that most girls overlook.

The first rule applies to guys with weak thumbs (i.e., the ones who don’t text back).

These are the guys you kinda, sorta date for a few weeks, but they’re never really that responsive. They say they’re going to call, then forget. Or you send them a text, and you don’t hear back for a few days. They only contact you in the middle of the night, and they rarely (if ever) invite you to do anything that involves leaving one of your apartments.

While it is sometimes possible to tame these guys (we’ll talk more about that in a later post), it’s not always worth it. No matter how much you crank up the game, it’s hard to transition from backup to first string. And, at the end of the day, is a guy who blew you off for three months ever really going to feel like he’s worth it?

When you decide you’re ready to cut your losses, you need to stick to your guns. Like we’ve talked about before, the more you ignore someone, the more they might try to win you back.

Sometimes the guys with weak thumbs are looking for validation. They love the power trip that comes with ignoring a perfectly tempting text from a cute girl. Other times they’re just lazy. In any case, if they really didn’t like the attention, they’d flat-out tell you to leave them alone (except they’d say something like, “You seem like a really awesome girl, but there’s this girl back in New York…”).

So as you as they stop hearing from you, they’re gonna throw a little attention your way to try and get you back into the habit of sending the 8 p.m. “What are you up to?”

When a guy’s been flaky and unresponsive ever since the first night you hooked up, it’s easy to get excited when he texts you out of the blue. But you need to take his advances out of context.

If you weren’t so attracted to the way he blows you off him, would his behavior seem that remarkable? Put another way, if you two had been dating six months, would whatever he’s doing seem worthy of your time and energy?

If he sends you a heartfelt letter (along with a dozen roses) that does more than dish up some lame excuse for why he couldn’t be bothered (e.g., “I don’t have unlimited texting!”), you might want to listen to what he has to say. If he texts you at 6 p.m. and invites you to go to the movies, ignore him. If you take him back that easily, you’ll be back to the abysmal response rate two weeks later.

But don’t tell him that you’re blowing him off. Don’t send him one final text explaining that you’ve had it with him, and it’s his loss, and you were always too good for him anyway.

These hypothetical texts (or phone calls) might feel like they’d be cathartic or empowering, but they won’t be.

Best case scenario: he won’t respond. And then you’ll feel like an idiot, because you showed him how much you cared, and he was so nonplussed that he wasn’t even stirred to respond.

Worst case scenario: he’ll throw back some insults that’ll take your best friends weeks of round-the-clock therapy to undo.

The hardest part of parting ways with a weak-thumbed man is forcing yourself not to communicate with him at all. While your intentions and willpower might be unbreakable after an afternoon bolt-of-lighting realization, it’s easy to second guess yourself after your third beer at happy hour. It’s easy to convince yourself that it’d be a good idea to send one more text—just to see what happens.

And, like we said before, he might respond. And you might be more likely to give that response more weight than it deserves.

Or he might ignore you. And then you’ll have to add one more point to his score, and take one step back on the path to getting over him.

So how can you avoid all of these pitfalls?

Delete his number.

That’s right: remove any trace of his existence from your phone. Delete old texts, e-mails, and any other traces of his contact info that might tempt you to get back in touch with him.

If you don’t have his number, you can’t drunk dial him.

And if he tries to contact you, the few minutes it takes you to figure out who that number belongs to will remind you why you deleted his number. And it’ll be easier to take everything he says with a grain of salt.

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