Miles From Fenway

Post Break-Up Code of Conduct
May 8, 2007, 2:47 pm
Filed under: dating

We all know those unwritten rules of how to conduct yourself a break up. We each have our own, and of course they’re all taken from personal experiences, but nevertheless, they’re there. One of my unwritten break up rules was broken by The Twin a few weekends ago, which begged the question; what IS the code of conduct after you end a relationship? This is my attempt at answering that question.

Rule Number 1: The Division of Friends All friends will revert back to their original relationships. No calls or emails will be made to the former-significant-other’s friends. This rule can be weakened if the ending of the relationship is amicable.
Personal Example The first time The Twin and I broke up, he and the Welshman remained on speaking terms, at least when they ran into each other at the bar. The second time? He has tried to start conversations with him multiple times, to no avail. ‘Cause one of my best friends is really going to want to talk to a guy who broke his friend’s heart not once, but twice. Yeah, that makes sense. But when Barnard Boy and I split, and have since remained friends, the mutual ties remained unaffected.

Rule Number 2: Childish Acts of Anger Directly After the Breakup CAN Be Forgiven Depending on the severity of said break up, the dumper shall excuse the dumpee for a myriad of harmless acts that are founded on deeply hurt feelings.
Personal Example When The Ex moved out, for about two months after any guy who asked for my number, I gave his cell phone to. Now I am sure that most of them didn’t actually call (they never do) but it gave me a tiny little laugh that guys could be calling him and asking for me. Childish, yes, but after the extreme severity of the case? Well deserved, and in the end, completely harmless.

Rule Number 3: Any Personal Possessions Left Behind By the Dumper Immediately Become Property of the Dumpee … and can be disposed of in any way the dumpee deems fit. This includes CDs, t-shirts, DVDs, etc. The dumpee should try to avoid at all costs, wallowing in his or her sorrow by wearing said t-shirts, listening to said cds, or watching said dvds.
Personal Example When The Twin and I broke it off the first time, I didn’t get rid of any of his stuff. Instead, I hid the Wakefield Warriors t-shirt I had taken to wearing to bed in a drawer, figuring one day it wasn’t going to hurt so much. The second time? That t-shirt met with some scissors.

Rule Number 4: All Requests Regarding Communication MUST Be Honored If either one of the two parties does not want to continue a friendly relationship, the other must adhere to the request. If broken by the dumper, they just look like an insensitive prick. If broken by the dumpee they just look pathetic.
Personal Example The Ex and I were not able to speak until years after our break up, and even then, I had to let it taper off, I was still too mad. When The Twin and I broke it off the first time, I was ok with being friends. The second time I explicitly told him never to contact me again.

Rule Number 5: The Division of Hang Outs Much like Rule Number 1, all bars that had distinct lines of “ownership” to either party revert back to said party as soon as the breakup occurs.
Personal Experience We all have these. Those places that are just yours. For me, it’s Professor Thom’s. The owners have become more than just the guys that serve me beer, but friends. The regulars have as well. I’m there all the time, I love this place. Well, after a 6 month absence, The Twin decided it was ok to come back to watch the Sox. And not only that, but to bring his new girlfriend, whom he started dating suspiciously soon after we split, along with him. And while we didn’t even make eye contact that night, I swear to God if I hadn’t been so focused on making sure he didn’t think I gave a shit, I could have punched him.

In Conclusion: Just Be Considerate Break ups, especially the bad ones, always involve some level of hurt feelings. Be considerate of one another. Ostensibly, if you’ve been together for any real length of time, you should know your former flame well enough to know what is going to hurt them. And if you cared about them enough to date them in the first place, shouldn’t you care about them enough to respect their feelings?

All of this seems like common sense to me. But then again, I could be wrong. What are your break up rules?


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I think one major rule has little to do with the ex…well…maybe a little to do with him/her.

Do not date any of your ex’s friends nor should any of your friends even THINK about dating your ex. It breaks girl rules….

Comment by Amy

If it were only that easy…

Comment by TomO

Rules one and five are the keys, although, honestly, most of the time when I was dating, I didn’t give a shit if she stayed friends with my friends, but I reallly didn’t want her in “my” bars. That was even more important to me than the friend thing. Friends come and go, but a perfect pint, a great jukebox and a generous comp check? Now that’s hard to find…

Comment by MattySox

I didn’t know you did number 2! Ha ha. A rule for me is that if you are in the same group of friends, and are often in the same place, you MUST acknowledge the other’s existence. You don’t have to be friends, but pretending like the other doesn’t exist just makes things worse.

Comment by Esther

Amen! And Professor Thom’s is YOUR bar, damn it! How dare he set foot in there?????

Comment by Anonymous

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