How to get over a break up.

by mssinglemama on August 22, 2008

Jane Wonder, the author of Confessions of a One Date Wonder (a personal favorite of mine) isn’t a single mom but she is a dating expert. I love her blog because she’s brutally honest about her emotions including the ups and downs of falling in love and breaking up. She’s also hilarious and writes about EVERYTHING. Here’s her take on how best to recover from a break up.

Dead Men Walking

By Jane Wonder

Unfortunately when it comes to breaking up, there is no magic bullet.

No one sure fire way to erase the pain and move on. No path to avoid longing, or pain, or heart break. And no way to erase memories. It’s going to hurt. And anyone who tells you otherwise is a filthy liar. The only thing you can do is to develop a way to survive through the time it will take for your heart to mend again. And that’s what I’ve been invited here to talk about with you today. Because, of course, I have an opinion on this.

My breakup philosophy is pure and simple like the freshly fallen snow, and it is called Dead To Me (DTM). DTM is a straightforward philosophy both simple in name and premise. Practice is deceptively difficult. In short, your new ex is now dead to you. No longer exists. *poof*

First you must explain DTM to all of your friends. Surely they have all been there, all love you, and all believe that ex was never good enough for you anyway. They will help to distract you, keep from talking endlessly about him, and definitely keep you from contacting him.

Regarding contact, here is the thing: Your ex is dead (to you).

We do not call the dead on the telephone. We do not send the dead emails. We do not text the dead when we are drunk. The dead are beyond these means of communication. So when fully practicing DTM, all of these are automatically prohibited. As part of the DTM philosophy all of those means of contact must be erased. (Ladies seriously, in your cell phones? This includes saved voicemails, your contact list, text message history, and your recent and missed calls. I know all your tricks. Stop holding on over there.) Please also add any other means of online, telephone, cell phone, or other communication you can think of. Simple so far, right?

Unfortunately, sometimes the dead refuse to stay that way.

These zombies of exes will pop up. They will want to just say hi, or be friends, or possibly have a booty call. Now listen carefully… have you ever seen those old horror flicks? The black and white ones, with the zombies? Seriously, would you go to bed with that? Hell no! Those are to be attacked with axes or burning stakes or something. Not welcomed back into your cell phone, or your MySpace, or your bed. Zombie sex…. just ick. Plus I’m sure that kissing a zombie results in you becoming undead yourself. And really, who wants that? Remember, if your pesky ex reappears, he is a zombie and is to be ignored.

On a more serious note, the last step is unfortunately the hardest.

Even if you manage to stop contacting him and even if you manage not to let him wheedle his way back in, the part that no one can really help you with is making your heart forget. The purpose of DTM is to give you the room to let go. It is easy to imagine maybe things weren’t that bad and to get caught up in missing him. But for the most part, whatever did you in the first time will do you in again. That is usually the way way of things. So it is best to hold on to DTM instead of holding on to him. Hold on to your friends, not your zombie.

I will not lie… it won’t be easy. But eventually, you will heal.

If you liked this post you might like one I wrote a while ago on the Fine Art of Dumping, on how most of us choose to break up with our significant others – a true test, in my opinion, of a person’s true character.

Related posts:

  1. Single Mom S.O.S. – Explaining a Break Up
  2. The Best Break-up Song Ever
  3. Online Dating Etiquette: How to break up…virtually.
  4. A bond no man can break. Sorry guys.
  5. Why everyone should hire a single mom.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Jim Everson August 22, 2008 at 11:39 am

This is an excellent article and I agree whole heartedly with the DTM philosophy. I wonder if some of us (ahem) wouldn’t also benefit from a zombie management course, for those of us who have exes (what is the plural of ex?) with children. In this case, the law prevents us from following the DTM approach, attractive though it is.


Aprille August 22, 2008 at 4:17 pm

This post was written just for me. I am haying the worst time letting go of my ex boyfriend. Ex husband? Nooo problems there. My favorite is the “just friends” situation, we can’t do it. We’ve tried. I think I am going to finish it by trying the DTM system……. ergh.


Single Mom Seeking August 22, 2008 at 6:51 pm

This post cracked me up. But as it was pointed out, it doesn’t really apply to single parents. Sure, I can consider my ex-boyfriend dead… ah, how easy — but my kid had a relationship with him, too. What then?


mssinglemama August 23, 2008 at 3:22 am


You tell us! Have you written a post about it? Leave the link.

In regards to this post… I think this is a way to break up with someone you just had a passionate fling with… if there are kids involved and it’s a long-term relationship ending the DTM theory may not apply.

Good luck Aprille!


mssinglemama August 23, 2008 at 4:51 am

Actually SMS – here’s a post I wrote in January on explaining a break up to the kids. It’s from when my best friend Abby’s daughter came to us heart broken – asking about her ex-boyfriend. We didn’t even know what to say! Talk about real heart ache. Anyway, here it is:

… there are a lot of helpful comments


Jane Wonder August 23, 2008 at 10:32 am

Hey, thanks for letting me help you while you’re out of town!

Just wanted to drop in to say that of course thi isn’t meant as a philosophy for an ex with whom you have children. But I would imagine that doesn’t describe every ex you have, so I think it’s still useful advice for all of us. ;)


J-fo August 23, 2008 at 1:03 pm

this is perfection! My most recent ex is hating my employment of the DTM strategy, but I’m standing ground adamently with the faith that it’s the only way I’m going to get out of that frying pan and move along! Loved this!


jonb August 24, 2008 at 12:15 pm

Well I hate to say it but my girl and i broke up this weekend. unfortuantely we just have not been able to make it work. DTM may be the ideal way to handle things, but I really can’t imagine being that cold to someone I love. It also hurts because Slim is so young that he won’t understand things. I hope he doesn’t come to feel abandoned. i hurt for him because there was a part of me that really wanted to be his father. it hurts really bad yall, losing them both.


LTP August 28, 2008 at 8:38 pm

God, I sooooo needed to read this tonight! I am wrestling with breaking-up w/ my bf of nearly 2 years. I know I need to….I know, I know, I know….but it is sooo hard!!!! DTM is the way to go….and I have to be strong. I am going to print out this post and read it every day–DTM, DTM!!! Thanks!!


LTP September 17, 2008 at 9:12 am

We did, in fact, break-up. Some days I’m good–not tempted to call, email, or text….but other days, not so strong. It’s so hard even if I know on every level he is not the person for me. But I have tried to live by your mantra of DTM….still trying. : )


tk December 3, 2008 at 3:05 pm

I wish. It’s been 4.5 years, we about to get engaged (the ring had already been paid for) and he realized he doesn’t want to get married. Not to me, not to anyone. Did I mention we already live together and neither of us can afford to move out?


Amira January 1, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Helpful–and funny!–to read. Now, if I can just apply it to “The Friend”…


Brooke January 17, 2009 at 5:58 pm

Hi. This is so true. You have to realize that the person you loved so dear is dead to you. In any case, it’s like a death. It’s like seeing the person you love still walking around and talking to people. It’s hard, but in time you do heal. You can’t rush it. Also, you can’t feel bad for missing that person. It’s only human. But I totally agree with DTM! I just want to learn how totally let go, because I feel like I’m still hanging on to false hope.


Jorjussss January 28, 2009 at 4:07 am

agree wholeheartedly wit brooke.. re: hanging on to false hope. im there right now.. and have been here for about a month. never felt like this before with previous ones.. feel as though i can’t get out of this rut.. and yet, i KNOW what i should do/shouldn’t do.

Tried DTM the last time we ”broke up” and we got bk together.. now i feel like im the dead one.?

Will try again………….. x


NotADad April 18, 2009 at 3:43 pm

I don't know about Dead To Me. It can be argued that truly letting go means being able to have a different type of relationship with that person and be grateful for what good times you had, fully realizing that things have completely changed. Accepting responsibility where it lies with you, forgiving yourself and them, but not forgetting. Moving on into separate lives, but perhaps being able to stay in touch, or not, without feeling bad either way. Learning so the next person gets a better deal. Two separate people again, perhaps even appreciating each other differently. That's the theory anyway.

I have managed this with a few short term albeit quite sexual relationships, and had some really good woman friends as a result, mainly free of any overtones. Pretty positive and all very mature.

But with my long term de facto (= married) relationship of long ago, there was just too much shock and bitterness when she king hit me and suddenly walked out after 7 years. I was not geared to handle it at all well. I was co-dependent – rather, just outright dependent. It fucked me right up. Any contact we had then ended in mutual tears and terrible scenes, me a wreck on the floor, her cold and detached like a stone. Love and hate all at once, resentment, begging, pleading, her saying terrible, totally unnecessary, hateful, vengeful things. Lots of platitudes because what else can you say when there is nothing left to say? . Me trying to defend, trying to get her back, writing and leaving her a heartfelt love poem in the style of EE Cummings on her doorstep. Anything. Totally nuts, totally lost, a total loser. Even if she wanted to come back (I don't think she ever did), I was such a wreck from the abrupt breakup that there was no-one to come back to. Who? I wasn't there anymore, just this emotional mess.

So, she said one pitiful phone call: "I don't think we should have any contact anymore for a while". Me: "How long?". She: "I don't know." Me: "I love you". She: nothing.

We never have had any contact of any sort since. That was nearly 20 years ago. For 6 months I was a complete wreck. I won't bore you with the details, but suffice to say I had a quite serious break with reality, stayed out of being institutionalized, meditated, and somehow went back to school and did a postgraduate course, crazily in a high status course. I needed a focus, it was writing related and I could handle that. With great difficulty. Waking up at night and thinking she was there, then realizing she wasn't. Boring isn't it, reading about other people's breakup stories? Like banal traffic accidents, we valorise these ordinary struggles and wear them like war wounds or the aftermath of heroic surgey. Quite few people were moved, some were even hostile: "Get on with your life". That's what she said too.

I left the city and that damned house as soon as I could after finishing my 1 year postgrad. I moved back to my home town, cold called until I got a good job. Did ok. Eventually moved again into another town and another ok job. Built a sort of career. Recovery was very slow, at least 2 years to get things really straight. I'm still recovering.

Dead to me? Yes, I said that to myself many times. Still do. But I often think I would have recovered much faster if we could have parted more serenely, with more clear discussion, and with at least a few conscious attempts to make it work. I said so at the time. We did none of that. She didn't really leave that option open. With a better parting, we could have stayed in touch I think, and I would not have hated and pined for her so much at the same time.


Vanessa Maldonado January 30, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Thank you! This post had help me a lot. Thanks!


Ellie April 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I am currently going through a break up and yes I have deleted some stuff but other stuff I have moved around and saved just so that I can read later. I am 46 years old and have never loved the way I loved this man and he was just a boyfriend. This article is just what I needed. He wants to be a friend but I don’t think so.


London mum August 19, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Ladies these are the best:
Helen reddy- I am woman
Queen – I want to break free and Don’t stop me now!
Spandu ballet – Gold

These should cheer you up! It won’t cheer him up though if you have just broken up and live together. My ex went mad! He gave me a “notice” and is annoyed that I am trying to cheer up. Inside though I am heartbroken single mum scared because I have to move abroad to start again… But life is not at the end so Don’t Stop You Now!


Miller March 7, 2014 at 6:49 pm

My wife has accused me of a lot of things in our years of marriage some of those accusation were true and i admitted to doing them but am to much in love with her to give her an s.t.d. She was down to end our marriage cos she believed i gave an s.t.d. She had a good reason to believe that cos of late i haven’t been the best husband. Thank God that s@@t was clarified in the Trisha show that i was not responsible for the s.t.d. She was in love with me as i was in love with her. Yes i will admit to the fact that i f$$ked up so many times but we always got around our problem i don’t mean avoid it i mean we fixed our problem like real adults but my stepson always thought i was not good enough for his mother. We never really got along. I never hated him, but he just didn’t like me and i wasn’t gonna suck up to him.He just wanted me out of their life and our problem just made it possible for him to see that happen cos he also accused me of giving my wife, his mother s.t.d. I agreed to do the Trisha show thinking maybe it will help fix our marriage but it made it even worse. After the show she was more down to leave me. She asked that i move out of the house filed for a divorce and all. I thought she will come to her sense and see that though she had s.t.d i still wanted to be with her. I thought if i should give her time the anger and bitterness will die but it didn’t even after a whole month after everything.She had the divorce papers delivered to me. I could not let her go just like that.I got desperate and i started panicking so i used a spell to get her back i know most people don’t believe and you may call me crazy but it worked for me. I found a comment on the Internet about this spell caster Metodo Ell. The comment said he doesn’t do spell for those who are not meant to be together. I mean i believe with all my heart that she is the one thing i needed in my life and i also know she needs me too so i thought he could help me get her back.He agreed to help me cos he also said we are soul mate.All i needed for the spell were materials to get the spell done. I could not get them so i paid him to get them for me since he is the expert in this stuff.After three days, he sent me a substance with instructions on how to make the spell effective and i did as he directed but honestly it took seven days to work i guess good things don’t work like zap. As far as i can tell that s$$t worked cos all my marriage problem just fell off my shoulder AFTER THE SPELL WAS CAST.My wife didn’t go through with the divorce and stepson is cool with me now. If you want to get him to cast a spell for you contact him here with this email address metodoacamufortress@yahoo. com he could also do a direct spell maybe it meant cost a little more than mine i don’t know him only can tell you that..


name me April 19, 2014 at 8:31 pm

My name is really not important here cos all i can say is that if you need a spell caster to help you with your problem then the best one is MUTTON OSUN. He is the only reliable spell caster i know.This is not just cos he helped me i mean if you are reading this comment on the internet, you will definitely see other comment about how he has saved relationship with his spell,helped people win lottery and i read one a man named Sandburg don’t know if its his real name said MUTTON OSUN help with a spell to secure a job and bring back wife who left him.I am composing this comment to pin the fact that MUTTON OSUN has also helped me.After six years of marriage it hard to really understand when your wife is see another man and asking for a divorce just so see can be with him.It so hard for me cos i thought we were doing fine.Maybe i was too blind that i didn’t know something was wrong with us or i wasn’t giving her the attention she needed.Which ever which way there was something that i knew,she was breaking my heart and i still loved her with my life.I know people may probably say it unlike a man but i lost my virginity to her and sine then there have been no other in my life but her.I gave up everything for her My family, and everything and everyone that wanted us not to be.I could not imagine how she could be so heartless and so unfaithful i mean i gave her my life!.I was ready to let her go i left our house and her new painter boyfriend moved in.They turned my private store room to his art studio and started sharing my bed with my wife.He was practically living my life for me cos everything i had in our house was converted to his.With every day that passed grew mad at the painter cos i was still in love with my wife she is the only family i have left and in my head i thought i just lost her to another man after all the sacrifice i have made to see us together.Before i even thought of spell casting i tried the memory lane method but she was not even willing to talk to me for more than a minute or even have a bit with me it was almost like she was allergic to me after five years of marriage.The thought of another man making love to my wife consumed me i lost focus and was totally confused on what to do.I remember drowning myself with bottles of vodka to kill the pain and try to forget her but i pass out and wake up thinking about her.Just when i thought i needed to get rid of of my cheating wife with the help on the internet, i came across a lot of comment on how MTTON OSUN has helped to get exes back so at that moment i was no longer thinking of how to get rid of her instead i was thinking and willing to do anything just to have my wife back.When i contacted the spell caster that is MUTTON OSUN with the email i saw on the comment he called me, after i made him understand my problem.He told me he was sad for me cos i left my whole world and family for her.He asked that i get some materials i can disclose but it nothing to worry about cos they are totally harmless.I felt it was gonna be hard to send them down to him so i gave him the money for the materials.After two days he sent me a package containing my spell.He instructed me on how to make it effective and i swear on my dead sister grave the spell made my wife mine again,Its was so supernatural how it happened i can’t just explain from how she left the painter and everything beats my imagination all i know is that MUTTON OSUN spell is was powerful enough to get me my wife back.Contact him here for solution to your own problem godsofosunx @ rocketmail. com


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