1. Don’t Call.
Unless you want to apologize, reconcile, or lose every last shred of personal pride you have left, do not pick up that phone. When you break up with someone, make it as clean a break as possible. Calling will only make the wound fester and distract you from the new life that you have to build now without your ex. Use your energy for more productive things. Take the phone off the hook if need be. Remove your ex’s phone number from your call-back options on your cell. Until you’re completely over it, the phone is not your friend.2. Don’t Cut or Burn Your Photos.
Though it might be tempting to take a scissors and stab your ex through the head, don’t do it. First, it’s kinda nuts. Second, if you ever do get back together it’ll be hard to explain. And third, the pictures tell a story of your past and should be honored as such. If destruction seems like too much of a temptation, box up the memories and give them to a friend for safekeeping until you’ve cooled off.3. Don’t Mope.
Easier said than done-we all know how crushing break ups can be. And we also know that everyone needs a period of mourning. But set a time limit for yourself. Give yourself a few days to cry, brood, and curse wicked fate for your broken heart. Decide that you’re only going to eat so many pints of Ben & Jerry’s. Then get busy. Doing what? Anything. Stay occupied and try to be pleasant to be around even if you want to burst into tears every time “your song” comes on the radio.4. Don’t Rebound.
While it’s healthy and self-affirming to enjoy the company of someone new, be careful not to make commitments you can’t keep. Go out on dates, learn to see yourself through the eyes of new people, make new friends and even distract yourself with the appreciation of someone you’re attracted to. But don’t let the L word slip past your lips until you’re completely over your ex. Giving someone else false expectations about the potential for a relationship when you’re still nursing your wounds is a pretty lousy thing to do, and will only make you feel guiltier in the long run.5. Don’t try to Get Revenge.
A friend of mine once tried to get back at her homophobic ex by subscribing him to a gay magazine. When it arrived at his dorm, he assumed his gay neighbor had sent it to him, and started a fist-fight. This incident spiraled so far out of control that her boyfriend ended up hurting a fellow student, and being expelled from school. Not exactly the consequence she was looking for. As tempting as it may be to get even with someone who has hurt you, living well is often the best revenge. Nothing will get back at your ex so well as seeing you happy, healthy, and having completely moved on. So focus on you, not on the ex. (But feel free to fantasize about all the evil things you could do to get revenge if you want; thoughts are free.)