Ending a high school romance can be tough on both involved, regardless of who gets dumped. In my school, it seems that with every couple that breaks up, drama about the relationship flies out at unhealthy rates, mostly (ironically) from the former couple themselves. However, once social networking or other rumors are involved, things can get complicated. Below are some tips on how to deal with different parts of a break-up in a mature manner.
The Dumping and Getting Dumped
This is probably the quickest, and in retrospect, the most painless part of getting out of a relationship. However, there are ways to break it off in a classy way.
If You’re Doing the Dumping
- Pick an appropriate time and place to break the news (I’ve learned this the hard way) and NEVER on a social networking site: face to face is best.
- Find a balance between being direct yet being kind. However, this could depend on the situation, as we girls know that we can fly off the handle if we find an issue to be serious. Nonetheless, maintain composure.
- Give a reason that is truly an issue, unless the offense is obvious (cheating, temper, etc.). Some girls I know can be very fickle and dump a guy over something as menial as hair or telling a weird joke. However, this can make a girl come off as callous. A good example is an issue that has been continuous and impacts the way you interact with others (ex: fighting with a sibling or a parent because of a boyfriend) can be a “legitimate” reason to end the relationship without coming off as petty.
- Apologize for such harsh news and make the offer to remain friends. If he accepts, great. If he declines, show understanding and leave him alone.
On the bad end of a break-up? There are also ways to handle the initial heartbreak.
When Getting Dumped
- When he breaks the news, initially accept it at face value, regardless of how shocked you may feel.
- Ask questions without being interrogative. Think of “literary discussion” or a “history debate”.
- It’s OKAY to express any upset feelings you have (crying, anger, shock) as long as you can keep them under control.
- Do not try to re-piece things if he doesn’t want to. If he doesn’t want to be friends, understand his terms.
The Aftermath: School and Friends
If I had to choose the worst part of a break-up, it would have to be the immediate wake of the end of the relationship. Rumors fly, the mud-slinging begins, it seems to never end. Yet most couples in my school, as well as in others schools, seem to make the same, immature mistakes. Here are some tips to avoid post-breakup drama in the halls:
- It is likely that after a break-up, you may want to vent to your lunch table of 12 girls over what happened. This isn’t good, as there is a chance that a girl could either fabricate, twist, or misconstrue what you’ve said, and repeat her interpretation to other people, leading to rumors. Instead, choose only a select few that you can definitely trust with some of the uglier details.
- Don’t be surprised if many people confront you or ask questions about your relationship, especially on social networking sites like Facebook, Tumblr, and especially Formspring. Regardless of the nature of the question, it is HIGHLY recommended that you don’t answer any questions that might get too personal. If a follow-up question is sent (usually along the lines of “y dont u answer any q’s u get?????”), simply state that you’d rather answer questions in person.
- Speaking of in person, only share what is typically appropriate to share (Who broke up with who, whether or not there will be a friendship, etc. are considered appropriate).
- If your ex-boyfriend begins sharing private information, do not retaliate and share back. Instead, try going into damage control, as you would with other rumors, and take the high road.
- Though it isn’t classy to take and send naked pictures in the first place, it has become a prevalent issue in high school relationships today. If you have pictures of your boyfriend, NEVER EVER send them out. Not only is it humiliating, it is illegal in most, if not all, states. If you know your ex has naked pictures of you, and you have a gut feeling that he will send them out, you have two options:
- Calmly discussing the issue with your ex and negotiate a compromise (while this is the more rational approach, teens typically do not handle personal issues professionally)
- Accepting any future consequences that may result, and keeping an eye out in the following weeks to see if people around school have them
The Aftermath: Keep “Doing You”
Of course, not only does a classy girl take care of her reputation and public image, she also takes care of herself emotionally and physically after a break-up.
- Try to maintain positivity and optimism, regardless of the situation. Sure, you can cry during the first few days after the end if it makes you feel better, yet it is much better to keep your head up and smile. It’s much easier to move on to bigger and better things if you are more secure and satisfied with yourself.
- If you want to get rid of relics (gifts, cards, letters), go ahead, but bonfires aren’t exactly the most practical way to do it.
- Keep any break-up rituals safe and healthy (ex: eating a little comfort food, and watching a non-romantic movie with a friend are great examples)
- Maintain a healthy body image, diet, and exercise regime. (Hello, endorphins!)
- Get him off your mind. Keeping up in schoolwork, extracurriculars, sports, and other activities can be a great way to clear your thoughts in a healthy manner, and can make moving on easier. In contrast, don’t become the “single” version of yourself. To put it in less Jersey Shore-ese terms, this simply means to not be too carefree (i.e. party, drink, take drugs, and casually hook up, especially right after the break-up)
All high school romances, like good things, must eventually come to an end. However, with the right tools, girls can now maneuver breaking up in a more mature, responsible fashion.