We've all been there. Things were going great and then he changed his mind. Or he met someone else. Or he cheated. Whatever led to this point, the fact is that you're no longer part of a couple that you thought was perfect. And. It. Hurts. Like. Hell.
Break-ups cause emotional pain and anxiety about the new single situation. We fear these changes and challenges and as a general rule, fear can drive us to develop coping strategies.
But before you down a concoction of brightly coloured drinks in pretty glasses with umbrellas on the side and hit his number on your speed dial (over and over), find out which of the following is your break-up style — and whether it's doing you more damage than good in the 'get over him' stakes.
The Revenge Dater
Style traits: No sooner have you broken up with your guy, then you're uploading pics of yourself and a new hottie to Facebook with taglines like, "Had such a hot date tonight. The best ever!"
Why you do it: There are a couple of reasons revenge daters do what they do. The most obvious is to get back at your ex, to show him you've replaced him with a better model. The other reason for revenge dating is to try to quickly fix our damaged pride at being dumped.
The verdict: Unless you've given yourself a chance to breathe and recover, rebound guys will only ever be that — flash-in-the-pan relationships. Unless you've given yourself a chance to grieve your old relationship, you cannot really commit to someone new.
Style rating: 3/10
The Dignified, Silent Type
Style traits: You'll confide in a few very close friends about the split, but your private life is off-limits to work colleagues and more general, casual acquaintances.
Why you do it: You believe that your emotions are private to you, and you want to deal with them in your own time, without fear of judgment or ridicule from others. But you also trust in your BFFs' opinions enough to take their advice.
The verdict: This is a fairly positive response that acknowledges your emotions, without acting on them on a whim. It also preserves your self-esteem, as self-esteem comes in part from our understanding of how others see us.
Style rating: 7/10
The Nothing is Wrong Approach
Style traits: Break-up? What break-up? You go about your daily life as if the break-up never ever happened.
Why you do it: You want to prove to the world that no man will ever be worth your tears. You need to be quite strong to maintain a cool veneer, to appear to be breezing through without care.
The verdict: The problem with putting on the “check out how damn well I’m doing” face is that you don’t give people a chance to help or be there and when you do finally decide you need to vent, those people will be over asking you how you’re doing.
Style rating: 4/10
The “Please Take Me Back” Approach
Style traits: You figure that so long as you’re in touch, and therefore on his mind, there’s a chance he’ll do a 180, and come back.
Why you do it: Put blatantly, out of desperation. Part of our survival instinct is to do anything to avoid a death, this time the death of the relationship. That is, you see it as a way of keeping the relationship going, even if he doesn't respond to your communication attempts.
The verdict: Little good will ever come out of this break-up style. Once someone has made up their mind there is generally little we can do to change it, and calling him at 3am is even less likely to have the result you're after.
Style rating: 2/10
The Onwards and Upwards Type
Style traits: Post break-up, you decide to focus on other areas of your life such as your career, your friends and maybe even travel.
Why you do it: Working toward success in other areas will provide a buffer against negativity that can come with a break-up. That is, scoring that promotion or planning a trip reminds you that there’s more to life than your broken relationship.
The verdict: Thumbs up. It’s important to find new goals and redefine your priorities following a relationship.
Style rating: 9/10