How To Navigate The Break Up As The Dumper

Whether the break up was serious or from a situationship, it can still be awkward. Long-term, it is better to be classy and be respectful of who you dumped. Even if he cheated or was awful, it is better to take the high road. It is sort of like being asked in an interview about why you left. It would be silly to drag down the former boss or employees. It only makes you look bad. I give the “lay low” advice a lot in situations, and this is another time where you should be discreet. Here’s how….

Never post on socials…..

Back in the olden times you would be “Facebook official” and then… (dramatic music)… you would be single! It was very juicy for others. Nowadays, most couples aren’t too entangled through social media. However, if you are dumping him out of anger, it is tempting to air your dirty laundry online. Resist that urge! 

Make sure the door is closed….

This could be a situation where he is blindsided. He might be shocked you want to end it. You have to be gentle, yet firm and not give false hope. He needs to understand this is a break up, not you being wishy-washy. Of course, do this where he has proven that he can not change, etc. 

 Don’t send an “I miss you” text….

In fact, you should delete his number. Maybe keep some line of communication open, like muting on Instagram just in case something dramatic happens. Having access to a phone number can be tempting after a lonely night with some wine. It will only confuse him, and you only felt it for a second that you missed having a boyfriend, not him. 

Keep everything discreet and private….

Any new dates, or you having fun, should be under the radar.  Try your best to be kind and avoid your former date spots with him. Give him the space to go there. It is best not to run into him, especially with a new date. 

Try not to spread rumors….

It is tempting to complain to your bar friends about your ex. As long as they have no idea who he is, then it can be ok. Either way, it is best to not talk sh*t about him around town. It could get back to him, or make you look like you aren’t over it.

Have a time limit to talk about him with others…..

You can process the breakup in different ways. It is best to not involve your friends or therapist too much. You will become a broken record and start to annoy people. If you need to get it out of your system, try to journal about it. This will be easier if he is out of sight, out of mind.

If you see him, act accordingly…..

A dirty rotten cheater should be treated slightly different than a mutual breakup. The bad guy should be ignored and brushed aside. He needs to know that what he did was wrong. A guy who was nice, but not the right fit, can be treated more humanely. It is fine to wave hello and smile, but try to avoid being cornered and feeling awkward. 

Bottom Line….

Whether he was an awful person, or he just wasn’t the right fit, you should handle it basically the same. Overall, it is best to be discreet and classy. No need to slash tires or leave a psychotic note on his car. It is best long-term to take the high road. Make sure to set yourself up for success. It is better to mute him on Instagram and delete his number. Eliminate temptation in weak moments when you miss having a boyfriend, not him. Make sure there are no loose ends or the door cracked for him to come back if you are firm in your decision. There should be no confusion on how you feel and it is cruel to mess with his emotions. 

Trusting Yourself in Early Communication

Every girl has a ghostwriter. She will take a screenshot of an app conversation and poll the group chat to chime in. I used to do this all the time, out of insecurity. I didn’t trust that I was witty or had flirting skills. The problem with it is that I wasn’t being my authentic self. There is a lot of pressure to be engaging, so it makes total sense to want a room full of writers for every text exchange. How do we trust that what we are saying is good?

It takes practice, no matter what…

If you are outsourcing your conversations to other people, you aren’t practicing how to flirt yourself. And it’s false advertising. It will be hit or miss until you figure out a good rhythm.

Remember that you don’t have to do all the work…

You have to have the mindset of thinking that you are the receiver, not the pursuer. So, you shouldn’t have a legal pad full of jokes and limericks to impress him. You aren’t the hired entertainment. Yes, there should be witty banter, but you aren’t the birthday clown.

Yes and…

In improv, “yes and…” is a well-known technique. This means that you keep the conversation from hitting a wall. No conversation enders or one-word answers. Ask leading questions and let him talk more.

Keep it positive…

Misery loves company. It’s so easy to hate on things together. The problem with it is that it doesn’t move you forward. People claim they want someone who they can complain to, but it opens up a toxic dynamic. This works fine for friendships, but most people want relationships to be uplifting.

Sarcasm doesn’t come across well though text…

Most of the time it could be misunderstood. In text, a lot of jokes don’t land because it’s read as something literal. It is important to say you are joking or to use emojis.

Steer clear of trauma bonding….

Again keep it positive. There is no need to volunteer bad information about yourself. Self-deprecating humor works better in person and should be used sparingly.

Space out your replies….

It’s never a great idea to be responding in nano-seconds. Space out your response times a bit. Go by what he is giving you. If he is playing the three-day rule, wait half-a-day to respond back.

Bottom Line…

There is a ton of pressure to be witty, sexy, and cool all wrapped up into one person. Some personalities translate better in person. The problem is you won’t get to the date if your personality doesn’t shine though text. When you ask other people to write the text for you, it reinforces that you don’t know what you are doing. You use it as a crutch. You can’t take a friend on your date. It’s best to be authentic from the start with the positive sides of your personality. Trust that you can do it and if it fails, you are learning and getting better with practice.

The Half-Way Guy: Aka the Timewaster

“The Half-Way Guy” wants everything to be easy for him. The tell-tale signs are convincing you to travel to his part of town and wanting to split the check. You will most likely find this dude on Bumble because he can sit back and let the girl do everything. Dates are always on his time. He will dip his toe and have the other foot out. In the book, “The Rules,” it talks about this type of guy. He is in the category of the “time-waster”. You never really understand why he says yes to a date at all. Most of his behavior cannot be explained other than he probably is bored or uses dating as a hobby…..

What are some signs you are on a date with a half-way guy?….

  1. He didn’t make the first move – He might not even have the energy to send the first message.
  2. He will blow you off, then suddenly demand to see you – If you suggest a time or place, he will turn you down. Then, suddenly, at the last minute he will beg to meet up.
  3. He will not buy you a drink or a coffee – You will stand awkwardly at the coffee counter and have to pull out your wallet.
  4. He asks you to come meet him half-way or in his part of town – He will not want to go out of his way.
  5. If he does travel for you, he insists you come to him next time – You can tell he really wanted to just sit on his couch and have you come to him. Yet he begrudgingly came anyway.
  6. He gives you zero compliments – You just spent an hour finding an outfit and you might as well have shown up in sweats and no makeup.
  7. He doesn’t ask you questions – You will notice that you are only talking about him.

Why is this type of guy a problem?….

First of all, this date will not be fun to go on. There won’t be an effort on his end. You might start to feel insecure and take his lack of interest personally. I went on a date back in the OK Cupid days. I showed up at a Gyro spot in town. I realized I had forgotten to put my wallet in my purse before I left the house. He ended up rolling his eyes, ripping out a coupon from his wallet, and shaming me in front of the cashier, making a huge production about having to pay for me. After we went to a picnic table nearby, he saw an old friend. I waited while eating my cold gyro. He never came back to the table and I was left alone.

Should you even go on the date in the first place?….

In my experience, if a guy ignores you or cancels dates and then suddenly begs you to come out, it’s for selfish reasons. It’s not because he wants to actually meet you. It’s probably that he doesn’t want to eat lunch alone or is bored. You will show up and be inconvenienced and then he will act bored when you get there. Don’t go out of your way to meet this guy. He is not worth leaving the house for, trust me.

What if you do go anyway?…

Be prepared to be underwhelmed. He will make no effort to make you feel special. Again, he won’t even offer you a drink or buy your coffee. This sets up an awkward tone and vibe. Keep the date super-short. Just buy yourself another drink, then head out. Unmatch him right after. Do not give him another chance. This is infuriating because you spent the time to get ready, picked out an outfit, and put makeup on while he completely disrespects your time and effort.

“Was it my fault he wasn’t making an effort”?…..

If you are the one reaching out first, or striking up a conversation in the real world, it attracts this type of guy. Some guys like it easy and lean back to let the woman do all the work. He was hoping that you were going to be ok with going dutch and driving to his part of town. He might be exhausted by chasing down the girls he actually wants to date. He just wants a night to not make an effort.

Unmatch, remove friend, move on….

This type of guy is a good lesson and makes you appreciate a guy who really wants to impress you. Once you recognize this type of man he is easy to avoid. There is something to be said about planning a date in advance. He needs to look forward to it and keep up with you. Anything last minute is a bad sign. After the date, you will feel like he stole an hour from your life, especially if you don’t even get a free drink or a cheap cup of coffee!

Bottom Line….

The date will feel like you are on a boring job interview. He has little interest in your life or how you look. His motivation is just him having a human to talk to because he was bored. The worst part is you will get nothing out of the date. When I left the date with the Gyro guy I was super-embarrassed and felt stupid for showing up at all. Avoid an awkward date by observing his behavior from the start. See how much effort he actually is making. Try to avoid making the first move and the second move….and so on. Don’t accept dates that are only on his schedule and part of town.

Pre-Date Rituals

Last year, I went on pretty much every date that I was invited to. I just wanted to get my feet wet and master the perfect first date. I was mainly collecting data on what works and what doesn’t. I have found the most important part of the date is the “pre-date.” The pre-date rituals are very important in how smoothly the actual date will go. It’s a good idea to be in a right frame of mind. Your energy and vibe are probably the most important thing for a first date; when you are in a good mood, it shows. It also opens you up for a good conversation and connection. If you are feeling rushed and frazzled, it will be a wasted opportunity…..

What is the routine?….

  1. Make sure you are shower fresh – A nice perfume is the cherry-on-top.
  2. If you need to wash your hair, give it plenty of time to style – Men usually like hair to be down. If it’s a 100 degrees outside, I just don’t care and have to style my hair up, but I try to make it look intentional by wearing large earrings.
  3. Give yourself plenty of time to apply makeup – Try to go more glam. I know it can be scary for you if you lean more toward natural. Go bold, wear a lipstick. This is the time to do it.
  4. It may take a few times to get an outfit to work – You might not get it right on the first try. My favorite type of outfit is something casual with a fancy edge. I don’t recommend a tight, short dress with 5-inch heels. Although speaking of shoes, a nice feminine boot or maybe something with a block heel works well. Always be prepared to walk, you never know if a spontaneous romantic stroll will happen.

Get into the right mood….

Being in the right mood is everything. You have to get into the zone. First impressions will make or break a date, and it will show if you are annoyed or in a sour mood. Before you leave the house or even when parked in your car, listen to a meditation on your phone, call a super-positive friend, watch a funny YouTube video, etc.

Why a “pre-date” is a good idea….

Once you are dressed and ready, give yourself a 45-minute grace period to get to a bar or coffee shop near your date location. Use this time to settle in, get a drink, and answer any texts or emails. During the date, your phone should remain in your purse on silent.

Be a little late…

During this grace period, it’s a good idea to go to the bathroom, reapply perfume, and freshen your breath. Then wait on the text from your date saying he is there. It’s a good idea to be a few minutes late, which is why it’s best to be nearby and walk over to the date location. It shows you are busy and makes you look less eager. At this point, you should be relaxed and ready for the date.

Bottom Line…

It’s normal to feel nervous before a date. I used to have legit panic attacks in the car on the way there. Having a routine really helps you feel in control of the situation and gives yourself time to get into the right frame of mind. The getting-ready process at home is a part of the date; sometimes it’s the best part! Have fun, listen to music, laugh. Another way to get centered before a date is to meditate and do yoga. It can really help balance out nervous energy.

Scarcity Mindset

Our mind is a powerful thing. I am a believer in manifesting and the importance of a positive perspective. It goes back to the bike theory: If you tell yourself you need to buy a new bike then the next day you will notice all these bike shops you had not noticed before. Your brain loves to be proven right. This can be positive if you are thinking positive. However, if you have negative view point your brain still doesn’t want to be wrong and will present you with negative situations. This happens a lot with dating when women complain, “there are no good men left!”. Or “my town sucks for dating!” Saying negative statements like this out loud will only make them a reality….

“But, seriously, my town does suck for dating”….

Literally everyone has said this. I have heard this from women who live in New York City, to LA, to Portland. I live in a college town so I know about dating in a bad town. There is always an excuse. It puts the problem on others and not yourself. You need to think about how many people live in your town. (Maybe even look it up.) Think about how many people you haven’t met and who just moved to the town.

“But should I move”?…

Honestly, I think it’s more about attitude than just running away. You can make it work in every city if you remain positive. There are lists for “the best cities for singles” out there that change every single year. The important thing about a city for singles is: Is it affordable? Are there things to do? Is it walkable? And how many bars and restaurants are there? A lot of the cities that get on the lists are huge cities such as LA. In my opinion, a huge city has a ton of competition and you will be stuck in traffic. A “long distance relationship” might be ten miles away, but takes an hour to get to each other.

Stop saying negative phrases out loud….

Saying things like, “men are trash,” “all the good ones are taken,” and “I will never find the one” are very bad things to say to yourself. Again, your mind wants to be correct so you will end up manifesting toxic men in your life.

Have a dating mantra…

A good mantra to say is, “there are great men everywhere.” Think with an abundant mindset. Also, the saying is sort of true that when you aren’t looking then it will fall into your lap.

Go beyond the apps…

Even just going for a walk in a different part of town or grabbing a to-go coffee that changes your routine can help. Obviously, it is more difficult to meet someone in person these days. The important thing right now is to try to flip your negative thinking into positive. This could apply to finding a new job or achieving small goals. Once you practice the abundant mindset it will get easier to use it for dating.

Bottom Line…

It’s easy to blame your city for why you haven’t been on good dates. The reality is that most of your dates will be neutral no matter where you live. Practice abundance in your daily life. Put positive intentions out to the universe and see what happens. If you really want to move to a new city, consider your options carefully. Moving to a large city might make your life harder, not easier. Think about how your life will be and if you can navigate it on a daily basis. However, sometimes taking a big risk can really pay off and change the course of your life. If you choose to stay, then change up your routine and expand your social circle.

The Mary Poppins Of Dating: How To Recognize Codependency

Mary Poppins appeared in people’s lives, fixed everything, and left. In the past, I felt that was my role. I would date a guy and then make him better—for the next girl. It felt like I was fostering a child to pass on to a permanent home. Through my journey in therapy, I have come to find out that most of my relationships formed because of my codependency. I would pick “the wounded bird” and help him along. I thought I was the victim, yet it turns out I was the manipulative one because I expected him to owe me for my kindness.

Are you codependent?….

According to Webster’s dictionary, codependency is “a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person manifesting low self-esteem and a strong desire for approval has an unhealthy attachment to another person and places the needs of that person before his or her own.” You purposefully date men who are in a rough patch to seem like the hero in his life. You might think if you help him though life and make him better, he will keep you around. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. There is no prize at the end for fixing a guy’s life.

Are you investing too much?…

You have to remember you are not his mom or his personal maid. Even women in casual relationships will clean a guy’s apartment and give him gifts.

Are you paying to keep him around?….

Are you always picking up the tab, driving him around, and holding the relationship together? Are you scared if you stop paying and being helpful then he will leave you?

While you are doing errands and paying he is saving….

So, if you are paying for his food here and maybe a bill or two there, he gets to save his money—which makes him a richer, more desirable man for the next relationship.

Check your emotions at the door….

It’s easy to be taken advantage of if you are “thinking” with your emotions. You might feel bad when he tells you he can’t afford to buy groceries. So then you decide to make a trip to the store and buy him his favorite things.

You always expect a reward….

It’s one thing to be kind just for the sake of bringing more positivity into the world. But… deep down, the real reason you are playing the martyr is because you want a gold star at the end. You expect that he will mirror your behavior and be kind back. Yet, it never happens. He will just keep asking for more.

Bottom Line…

Don’t let him save up his money to be richer for the next girl. He is just letting you help him until he gets on his feet again. This is why I stress to beware of a man in transition. If he is in a rough place, there will always be an excuse to not be able to commit or not being able to treat you well. This pattern goes deeper than you expect. You might be treating all your relationships this way. Trying to be the savior in your relationships will never serve you. Talk this behavior out in therapy. You might get a lot of insight on why you repeat these patterns and gain more self-worth.

On The Hook

There is a great episode of the show “How I Met Your Mother” ( “Hooked” Season 5, Episode 16) in which they discuss what the term “on the hook” means. I highly recommend that you watch it because it’s a really great episode. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of getting used by a person. Being on the hook mainly happens to a co – dependent person who believes she will be rewarded for going the extra mile. Let’s break down if you have been “on the hook” and how to prevent it for the future…..

“I can’t be in a relationship….right now….”

This is a common phrase used to keep a person on the hook. It gives a sense of hope and is vague about a timeline of when he will be ready. The reality is he usually has no intention of making a commitment and just loves the attention.

How do you know you are “on the hook”?….

Beware if he just got out of a long-term relationship. He might have a void of someone who took care of him. If you are being helpful or useful to him, he will want to keep you around.

Is “on the hook” the same thing as a rebound?…

Not really. Being on the hook is about emotional support and attention, and a rebound can be more sexually based. Also in a rebound it’s a lot more transparent as to what the intentions are. He is more afraid to lose an on-the-hook woman since it serves him in a more useful ways than just sex.

Is there ever a bad time to get into a new relationship?….

Technically yes, but people will get into one anyway if they are head-over-heels with a person. The term “it’s just not the right time…” is usually a lie and a sign that the person does not want to commit to you in general. A bad time to get exclusive would be after rehab or a huge breakup, but I have seen it happen.

Don’t do a favor for him and then see how he reacts…..

This is a great test. Is he always asking for favor after favor? Pretend you are unavailable to take his cat to the vet. See how he reacts. Is he super-pissed and does he throw a fit? This is a sign he is using you as his assistant and not a future romantic partner.

Who is a target for being on the hook?…

People pleasers and co – dependents. Sometimes the person who also wants love and attention as well. They are happy to do favors and go out of their way because it makes them feel needed.

“You’re so good to me…”

This is another on-the-hook phrase. It is acknowledging that you have been going out of your way a lot. He might be feeling a little shocked that you are going through with every request. This is a tricky phrase to receive because it sounds like what you are doing is working, so you continue to do favors.

What can we do to avoid being on the hook?….

Stay away from people who are in transition. If he just ended a marriage or is currently in AA, avoid him. You will be in an uphill battle and not receive the love you want. These people need to be single and in therapy.

Bottom Line….

There is so much using in dating. It can be frustrating to be a nice person who wants to be helpful. It’s very disheartening to be used when you are simply a kind and empathetic person. I am not saying you have to be a stone-cold bitch to everyone, but you just have to be very careful with your kindness. Be nice and helpful to those who truly deserve it, like your family and very close friends. People need to earn it from you. If you are on the hook you are probably in a bad place, too, and like feeling needed. Really check in with yourself. Are you going to the grocery store for the fourth time this week because he is too sad to buy tuna? If you are going out of your way you are doing too much.

Burn Out

In the fast-App world, dating burnout happens all the time to me. The standard advice is to take a breather and limit the dates you went on. But how do we prevent ourselves from running into the ground and “over-dating”?…..

So what can we do instead?…

After having a period of matching with a ton of guys and really changing things up, you need to limit yourself. I think to prevent burnout and throwing your phone in the woods you need to pace yourself. Log out of the apps during the day, give yourself maybe two hours in the evening to message, then log out again.

Only let the guys you actually like have your phone number or Snapchat….

Most guys will immediately want your snapchat to see pics of your boobs. Don’t give that info to that type of guy. His motives will be known immediately. Some men do use the sneak attack method and ask about your family, then boom! Start asking you sexual questions. Try to hold off on giving the contact info until you have built a trust.

Most men will claim you are boring or wasting their time…

“Why are you on Tinder anyway?” Yea… these guys suck so much. Tinder isn’t “Girls Gone Wild” and it’s not written in the terms of agreement that you have to send nudes.

If you need to take a full break then do it…

I wouldn’t go so far as deleting the apps, but you totally can. I think it’s totally fine to at least be logged out for a few days.

Limit yourself to one app at a time….

To prevent being completely overwhelmed, just stick to one App. I advise using Hinge instead of Tinder since there are less thirsty men.

Bottom Line…

It may seem silly to put a limit on messaging people back, but it does take a lot out of you. Mainly, it’s about respectful communication. Protect your energy, especially mental energy.

The Casual Breakup

These types of breakups can be extremely draining and hard to express how you really feel about it. You are supposed to not care about this guy, yet you still feel hurt. What can you do to heal from a causal breakup?….

Remind yourself it’s not personal…

People are focusing on the core people in their life……

Talk it out….

Even just saying how you feel out loud can start the healing process. I actually like talking in my car while driving. A journal is totally fine to use as well.

You still should go no contact….

It’s just a better idea to delete his number (unfriend on Snapchat) and unfollow on social media. You don’t need to see his Instagram stories or his Instagram Live of him trying stand-up comedy for the first time.

You can say your piece….

If you get the opportunity to confront and to express that you are upset then do it. You get one situation (not seven) to tell him how you feel. Mainly just to make him aware of his behavior or confirm it’s over.

Let it go….

These types of arrangements are only meant to last a few months anyway. Keep it mind that it’s just time to let go. It’s totally normal to take a beat and just reflect or take a step back. Just don’t do this for months.

Re-download Tinder….

Take some new selfies and write a new bio. Swipe away. Even though you aren’t meeting in person it still feels good to talk to new guys.

Talk to your friends but, not endlessly….

It’s harmless to mention it once or twice and move forward, but don’t hold your friends captive all day everyday.

Put your energy into more important things….

It will feel so much more rewarding to complete tasks you put off, or would never do in the first place.

You might not get all the answers….

Stop analyzing what went wrong or why things ended. Relationships that are “one note” have no room to grow. They are mainly placeholder relationships. It’s not worth the headache to have him explain what changed, etc. Timing to men is everything, usually he is looking for the exit sign anyway.

Bottom Line…..

The casual relationship is meant to be a simple arrangement, yet eventually it just needs to end. It can end in a dramatic way or just a quiet fade out. Don’t beat yourself up for not keeping the fire alive; you are meant to move forward. Decide if this type of relationship can work for you in the future. Be kind to yourself; its still a break up. There can be hard feelings or confusion the day after the break up. This is totally normal. Allow some healing time.

The Art of the Selfie

Even professional models learn what angles work best and spend hours practicing in the mirror. You don’t need a fancy phone camera, it’s mainly about the lighting. Practice makes perfect, be prepared to delete 90 percent. Don’t get discouraged if it’s not working, you can switch up the location or angle. Below are some time saving tips to get a great shot…..

What is the best angle for a head shot?…

I have found that lying down gives the best angle. For whatever reason if you are upright it either gives you an alien head or a double chin. This is easy to do if you are in bed or a couch.

What about lighting?…

Natural light is always the best light! Bright light can wash away dark circles and light acne; it’s a natural FaceTune. Taking photos at night with a soft lamp can look really nice, too.

What about settings?…

Most people don’t know how many settings their phone camera has. With a new iPhone it’s best to use portrait mode. Have fun playing around with the types of light settings available. You can always tweak lighting and contrast in photo editing. Keep it subtle though. Some editing will give the sepia tone or it just looks over-processed. You need to make it look like you took it on a whim.

What about a mirror selfie?…

For a full body shot you need a full length mirror. You probably won’t get it on the first try, just be patient and find your best angles.

“What type of makeup should I wear”?…

Wear as little or as much as you want. Makeup junkies who wear it everyday should show off your skills. Natural girls, should try to capture that. It’s also fun to have a mix of natural and dramatic makeup. I like to do bare face selfies and then show up on the date with makeup on. I think it’s better to do it that way rather than have all your photos with heavy makeup and then show up without makeup.

Bottom Line….

It will take a lot longer than expected to get the perfect shot. I like to have a folder on my phone where I keep all my dating app pictures. It just speeds up the process when I re-download an app. Have fun with it! I get excited when I come across a really cool location with a full length mirror. I would avoid car selfies. It’s just super boring. Try to have shots of you from different angles. This is hard for me sometimes because I feel I have a good and bad side. Do a straight on shot and then maybe a half-side view. Every shot should not look the same. Every selfie has an expiration date after 2 years. You can’t be using your pics from five to ten years ago, no matter how amazing you looked.