Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Letter to a Friend

Just recently, one of my friends in New York City was dumped by his girlfriend (who is also a friend of mine), in that painful, bewildering time following a breakup, when men feel the gamut of emotions from elation, betrayal, anger, rage, intense love, regret and much more, he asked me for help. I've been there before (many, many times, it seems) and wanted to offer him the kind of tough love I wish I had been given years ago.  Thought I would share that letter with everyone here.

Brother, let's be honest. The only reason you want to go on a date with that girl is because you think it will help you win your ex back. It won't. It only makes you look stupid. Don't be pathetic.

I know you're in pain over the breakup. As guys, we want to win. At all costs. If a girl dumps us, we want to show her that she's losing out on the prize. Truth is, the more you play up to the ex, the more you look the chump and she stays the prize. What you want is to turn that around and that requires discipline.

As men, we want to conquer and be masculine. We want the women to fawn over us. We want them to think we're gods. When they break up with us, we want them to feel pain too. More importantly, we want to strike back in a way that demonstrates that they've lost out on the greatest thing that's ever happened to them.

Well, the more you try to tell your ex that message, you just confirm her decision to leave you.

What you need to be is strategic. Walk away. Don't call her. Don't text her. Don't be available for her. Women love attention. They want us fawning over them - even if they don't have intentions to take it further. That lavishing of attention confirms that they are the prize. You want to strike back? Demonstrate that she no longer is the prize and you've moved on (presumably to someone hotter, sexier and nicer).

The only way to achieve this is to walk away. Cold Turkey. Hard science. No lingering around, or phone calls to see how you're doing. Nothing. This of course doesn't mean that you act like a jerk to her. That only makes you look like an asshole and confirms that she's the prize and you're the lout she (correctly) dumped. Be nice. Be pleasant. Be respectful. But don't extend or accept an invitation. For anything.

And, God forbid, don't start trying to date someone that she knows because everyone knows that's just you trying to get back at her - and that makes you look pathetic.

Maybe your end game is to get her back. This is the way to do it. Demonstrate to her that your life continues on. You live a magical life that she removed herself from. She'll wonder about you. She might even call you. But the moment you lose it and act like a lout, you've confirmed her decision to leave you. The more brilliant your live is after her, the more she will question her decision - and if you want to get her back in the future, this is exactly the question you want forming in her head.

So, get out there and live. Do the things you want to do. Do the girls you want to do. The hunt is on and the world is your oyster. Date hot girls. Date nice girls. Date bad girls. But never tell her directly - even if she asks. And she will, because every girl desires to be (or to have been) the brightest star in your horizon - and if she isn't, and you're surrounded by girls who are perceived hotter than her, she'll regret it.

But the truth is, soon you'll find yourself doing amazing without her. You'll meet another girl who is more in sync and in tune with what you want in life. In time, this ex will be a fond memory in your life. A component of your life that's part of the whole that makes you. Chances are, you won't think of going back.

On the other hand, maybe the time will come when time has passed, you've lived your life, she's lived hers and then you find each other again. It will be better. It always is better.