Breakup: One-Year Anniversary Lessons

Sex and the City popularized Post-it breakups.

But IM splits? Had to happen to me to believe!

Making pizza. Via GChat. He 9/11-ed me.

They met and fell in love over a weekend. He asked that I cross my fingers for them. Before severing all ties.

A year later, learning my lessons, my recovery lingers.

Compiled below are my 007 dating dont's.

1. Don't ignore red flags

Nobody's perfect. But we all have deal breakers.

If you spot and overlook the following red flags, red will be your tears' color.

  • Chip on His shoulder If the guy is brooding, argumentative or resentful, flee. Walking on eggshells or using humor won't improve his mood. He needs a therapist; you're not one.

  • Alcoholism Alcohol unveils hidden desires. But it blurs reality. So, don't believe love declarations by a guy with a bloated liver!

  • Suicide If he often mentions wanting to end his life, your love can't dissuade him. You dream of a future he wants to abort. It's heartbreaking. But you need a romantic kindred spirit.

Now, don't cross him out just because he picked his nose. *wink*

2. Don't go all TLI (Too Little Info)

Do you live in a third-world country and are getting to know a foreigner?

Explain Internet cuts can last days. Or he'll think irregular contact avoidance.

If you gradually gain access to more sites, abstain from logging onto the site where you met. If he sees you visited, he'll accuse you of cruising.

3. Don't build castles alone

Both birds must want to build a love nest.

If one bird dreams up plans alone, the other will feel neglected.

By the time that bird had mentally schemed the love itinerary, the other will have flown away. So, keep the other in-the-know before it's too late.

4. Your blog is a secret garden

A personal blog is the psyche's vomit.

Its content can be sarcastic, impulsive or offensive. Inviting a suitor to become a reader limits your freedom of expression and you may unintentionally hurt him. Especially if he thinks the world's out to get him.

If he finds it on his own, it'll be a sure-fire test of his character.

5. Be solid friends first

Friendship is a healthy point to start from and regress to.

A relationship with no prior friendship is like cordless bungee jumping.

If romantic compatibility lacks, you may lose both friend and boyfriend.

6. Beware Type Casting

If he exclusively likes hairy and stocky guys, don't get cancer!

Chemotherapy emaciates and causes hair loss. He wouldn't like it.

Falling for the same type reduces to ashes any unique trait you, God forbid, might possess. Earth counts seven billion dwellers. Variety's good.

7. Learn

Making mistakes in love is not the end of the world. So, learn to learn from the opportunities at trial and error that life throws your way.

Without trial and error, all your knowledge about love will be passive. And passive learning has been proven to be beneficial only in the short run.

Learn to fish or wait to be fed fish?

The guy you dumped will get over you by dumping another. You'll get over the guy who dumped you by dumping another. And so on.

It's the learning from each guy that matters.

And one day, you'll meet prince charming. And both of you will have learned from your mistakes. And both will remember not to repeat them.

Just remember to invite me to the wedding, OK?


  1. I sometimes find myself dreaming along about the possible Happily Ever After...but recently I've started including him in too so that we both know what we can have and what we can't!
    Constant keeping in touch is like a bare necessity...loss of words maybe misinterpreted as loss of interest! However i did find it odd that your genuine concern was taken wrongly....u were treated unfairly!
    Rushing thing ain't good at all....things are meant to be taken slow and easy...rushing does not only lead to trouble but ppl may jump-over possible moments that could have become special to them!
    N Suicidal tendencies are an ever-growing really don't know how to handle it..nobody does! Lending a listening ear is quite possibly the best anybody can do unless they've once stood in the same shoes!
    Hope life is treating you well these days! :)

  2. @ Phunk Factor: It's wise of you to make part of your dreams to your guy. Misunderstanding start, and snowballs, because of miscommunication, or lack of communication altogether.
    I guess the guy and I had been equally unfair to one another.No wonder things didn't last, while they had every chance to. In fact, he was the first guy whose presence soothed me. I understood his need to rush things and why he mentioned suicide on more than one occasion; I just wanted some time to make sure I was in it for the long run. Oh well, I never succeeded to hate his smart and humble self.
    I did meet Mr. Perfect but I didn't keep him. It happens.
    Thanks, doll. I hope your summer has been soothing.

  3. Greetings Dearest Wilmy,
    I just popped in to say hello and to see if you were doing well.
    I can see you have continued to grow upwardly from your life experiences and are the better for it.
    Any man worth his salt would be blessed to have you. You live and learn my dear friend, and you are definitely graduating the school of life..a little at a time!
    I hope your days and nights are lovely ones, cheers!

  4. One year later it sounds like you have a really good grasp of the situation. Breakups sucks, some more than others, but it sounds like you learned a lot. I'm glad you're doing better.


  5. Salutations Dearest Kimmy,
    It took a year to let go of the grudge and the pain.
    While it may sound too long to get over a guy, he isn't one to easily get over. And I'm getting better at it; once, I waited 9 years for a guy. It feels good to set oneself, and the other, free. Always a pleasure to see you around.
    I hope you're enjoying the remainder of the summer!

  6. @ Delilah:
    A good grasp? No idea. A better grasp? For sure!
    One wishes to learn about life while holding the hand of the guy one loves, but if it has to happen without that, be it.
    All I know is that he, of all the guys I knew, is the only one I'd still be friends with. To know him is to love him, truly.
    And no more Facebook stalking. Ring a bell? ,-)

  7. Hi dearest!

    I think it's inevitable that we think what went wrong in a relationship, specially one that was so meaningful...

    but over time I realized it's not about "the right person" and it really doesn't matter what u did wrong or right, because u can be perfect and he can be perfect too... and things might not work out... but timing... if it's the right time, then he can be the oddest person u'd ever imagine and u can both be so perfectly imperfect... but it will work! timing is essential!

  8. @ Lilize:
    Hi, doll. This is like old times again.
    Timing is right. So is lack of assertiveness.
    I should have limited things to friendship, 2 months after we started talking, instead of going on a "giving him second chances" spree. He was the smarter one; he fell in love with a guy in a weekend's time, once he flew back home.
    I'm still ambivalent about it.

  9. Who would want to break-up with you? Continuing to 're-live' the relationship, even from memory, is not good either (I too, am guilty of this). The benefits to knowing what went wrong in a relationship a year later is redeeming in a way. You are clearly better at realizing this than I am.

    Good thing, too. You could be like me, washing out a dish or driving, etc and have a 'flashback' to something this person had did or had said and be like 'that mother-f***er!

  10. Hopefully you can take the lessons you learned and bring them to the next relationship. I know it is trite, but you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.

  11. @ AIDY:
    We were considering dating, but he chose someone else.
    So, it isn't technically a breakup.
    I think the absence of explanation from both parties is what makes the memory drag on. Once differences are settled, moving on will be easier. I recall asking the guy to help me move forward but he refused, and anybody who refuses to help when they can is dead in my book. Flashbacks will always be there, especially moments where he made you smile or laugh. I, for one, will never forget how he affectionately used to look at me; worse, I even have photos of him with that look. I don't hate him but am disappointed in his leaving so abruptly.

  12. @ Anne: Why settle for the price when there is a king? ,-)
    Having deal breakers has never been a priority for me, but after this, I am really reconsidering. One's gut feeling usually never misses, so I'll go ahead trusting that will make me show myself the door when my danger radar goes off. Oddly, I've kissed a few princes that turned out to be frogs.

  13. I agree with the kissing frogs comment - and, ewwww - however is true. I made lots of missteps before meeting and marrying the right guy.

    And he does read my blog, and sometimes that is a positive, and sometimes it is awkward and tough, however we have agreed that truth is best, and we will do better to discuss rather than to avoid. Have learned that one the hard way!

  14. @ Brahm: You, guys, got married? Congratulations! :)

    A significant other needs to be trusting of and confident in his love for his blogging partner. Otherwise, fireworks of the unpleasant kind might burn the relationship. Blogs are but inner monologues; ruminations that can include our changing views on romance.

  15. Trust..such a huge word for one with so few letters. Without trust we have no safety net to catch us when we fall off of the foundation so needed to keep us standing on our own ground. Enough of those falls begin to crack away at the stronghold of what once was a true belief.
    Hence the downfall of a relationship begins.

    Yours had its reasons and do all relationships that do not stay the course.
    The debris let behind seems to have stumbled your past fortunately seem to be managing to step over and around with enough light to guide you back.

    People are jst people..ordinary and for so many so not equipped to deal with emotions of their own or any other.

    Looking at the positive side of any breakup is almost like murder or conceding to failure at times..It is like if you do are killing what might have a glimpse of hope in resuscitating a life that you once looked forward to.

    Life has its reasons...mysterious to us in so many forms that we have no other choice but to accept and move on~

    This is the fuel that keeps our flame of life burning~

  16. Whoooo.... sounds like one took you on a journey up the mountain and back! But the good thing is, you learned a lot, right? It's not often that one can come away from the love journey with such clarity of introspection. The thing is, will you repeat the same habits again or will you be stronger next time? The brain always say 'no', but the emotions....those damn things! SO unpredictable!! ;)

  17. Very true, Dorothy.

    What was unfortunate is the way he mistook my typical, thorough Libra decision-making process for instability and disinterest. I who quit my job to fly meet him and, probably, spend the rest of my life by his side.

    He always said he had mixed feelings for me; he used to say he felt both friendship and romance and couldn't decide on one. Now we know he opted for neither. ,-)

    A year later, I think he still has the wrong impression of who I am. It's too bad because he could never dig below the sarcastic surface.

  18. @ The Fitness Diva:

    Girl, you know I've been to the mountain top ... I just wish I wasn't pushed into the air without safety gear.

    Lessons, I did accumulate. Will I repeat the same errors? No way! My crystal ball shows no man for me until 3015. ,)

    So, I am setting up a gay monastery, where pink martinis and brie cheese are served to curious visitors. And the monastery's gym would, probably, need a fierce Diva to run it, too. ,)

  19. that's really hard. i had experienced something like breaking up on sms. but well, since the technology is evolving, ims are more likely to happen. :(

  20. @ Jenny: Breaking up without a face-to-face explanation is just cowardly, in my opinion. SMS? OMG! Did the guy live in the same country as you?

  21. Pink martinis after the workouts? I am SO there! Sounds like a plan! ;)

    By the way, love your new Entrecard!

  22. @ The Fitness Diva: We need fierceness.
    So, you are more than welcome to join. :)
    Thank you - I am in redesign mode. ;)

  23. Hey Will, your posts are sooooooo out there - catching me close to the extremities of my thoughts and emotions. How do you do it?

    I often wonder, does he think like that (or just write like that)? Does he feel with such intensity (or is it a writing style he's adopted)? What would life be like to be lying on such a bed of sizzling emotions? (I rather think I'd burn out!) How seriously should I take all this?

    I know you won't misunderstand (though some of your readers might). I am not being critical or cynical. I am sincerely wondering what it must be like to be you! Like I said, I'd probably be way too much for me to handle :)

    Your posts are always provocative and intensely engaging. (I wish I could write with such intensity too). This comment is a reflection of how much your post has provoked me :)

    I rather think I'm too much of a coward to take the risks that you take - exploring the possibility of a relationship with someone who is considering suicide. That's big stuff.

    It was tough enough getting into a relationship with a guy whose wife had committed suicide, a relationship that started on the internet across a few oceans and which ended after his second visit to me. But that, thankfully was a long time ago :)

    Keep raking through these issues with your laser thoughts and searing emotions so we all get a chance to explore ourselves a bit more. You do a fantastic job!

  24. an im is still better than nothing at all. most people wait for the other person to make the move so as not to get themselves soiled(?!).
    an ending is the path to a new beginning as they say, difficulties notwithstanding.

    p.s. out of context quest, how did you put in the like button? loved it!!

  25. A breakup IM is better than learning it from an online profile, indeed.
    At the end of the day, if it didn't work, it's better that way. The universe is always there to protect us from ongoing heartache.

    The "I Like" button came with Disqus, the comment system.

  26. Good to hear from you again, dear TB.

    This post is hard to read if you start it by playing Jeff Buckley's song -- one that Goldilocks, ironically, introduced me to. That song would make a wedding feel like a funeral.

    I feel more passionately than I write. For only one reason. Delay of emotional translation and transcription. If I write things as they happen, the posts will be too intense.

    If anything, I am flattered you reckon with my anal retentive tendencies and thank you for using euphemisms to describe them.

    As for considering dating a suicidal person, I've often wanted to save someone through love, dedication and patience. But I've grown disinterested in losing myself halfway through.

    The world should put up with some selfishness from people like me.

    In what way did this post provoke you, dear one?

  27. It provoked me by evoking a range of intense emotions relating to past experiences - of trying too hard to 'love' (when in fact, true love requires no righteous effort from us!), to understand to accept, to make allowances and to make it 'right' for another. You know, all those things that we desperately and futilely attempt when we're caught in the tangles of craving and attachment :)

    I think I have an idea of how it would be too intense to write while you're feeling it all. It actually renders me numb, overwhelmed to the point of numbness!

  28. Your last post made me realize no love feels better than self-love. At least, with yourself, you have no "game", no need for smart flirtatious one-liners, no fear of rejection or abandonment, and no STD's.

    When you reach emotional self-sufficiency, this saint (often mistaken for a bitch) called life will send you packs of guys. Two or three will, usually, outshine the rest. Your fun starts in choosing one (or none).

    Me, me, me with an altruistic twist is all I'm gonna be about! ,-)

  29. Thanks for letting know. and ouch! your commenting system can track me too. naaaaice!! :)

    and cheer up, an ended relationship is not the end of the world. at least this is what i tell myself every time one of mine fails to make it to the forever I was hoping it would. :P

  30. Don't worry, you're safe with me. :-) I saw a pic of the guy, last night, and I laughed out loud! I wouldn't even look at him now. Vicious but honest. ;-)

    Happy New Year!

  31. Sairaman NagarajanMay 24, 2011, 4:14:00 PM

    What an extraordinarily well written blog. So many of your observations just hit home in a way I never imagined. 

    Your new fan from India

    xoxo Andy

  32. I needed your comment to regain confidence.

    Thank you, Andy.

    And welcome.

  33. Trying this out, before either keeping it or giving it the boot.

  34. I have just started using a different commenting system. So, you now can receive by email replies to your own comment, not the whole comments thread. Try it and let me know what you think. :-)

  35. Testing how a reply looks like, now that we don't need to use @ before a username.

  36. I agree that breaking up via text is cowardly and so impersonal. You have quite a list of what went wrong, and in the end, all we can really do is look at where we went wrong and learn from it for the future.

  37. It's because they very often has no valid excuse for leaving you that some people choose to hide behind impersonal text. It could also mean they are running away from their feelings for you, because if they face you, they may realize how big of a mistake they were about to make.

  38. I think it's time for a re-write here!

  39. I'm 48 and ashamed to admit that I often fail to see the red flags, even when they are whacking me on the head. But I have learned the hard way that if something makes me uncomfortable, or if a man's behaviour pattern leaves me feeling unsettled, or if I can't read his motives or intentions and have to ask a friend for their interpretation, then I need to bail. And quickly. Coz if you don't bail quickly, you may end up getting an email via Facebook from his ex wife who wants you to know that you are merely passing through, that's he is using you, and that there are many more like you being subjected to similar :-(

  40. Age has nothing to do with it, Peri. The older we grow, the more we're supposed to trust and listen. To that in-built GPS system: our intuition. A failed life is when we stubbornly insist on going against our gut feeling. I did it. And I paid the hefty price. Am I likely to relapse? I hope not. But I'll be watching my instincts closely. Oh my God! His ex-wife Facebooked you?