Home Featured From Her, 6 Post-Breakup Behaviors to Avoid

From Her, 6 Post-Breakup Behaviors to Avoid



I’m going through a break up, SBM fam, and  as I grieve over what could’ve been but never was, I’ve compiled a list of things for women (or men) on what not to do after breaking up with someone.

Learn from my mistakes:

1. Drastic changes to your appearance:
A few months ago, cuddled in bed, I showed dude a picture of 90’s style box braids.
Should I get these? I asked.
Hell no, he replied without thinking.
Fast forward, I am currently sitting around with a head full of itchy and heavy synthetic hair. I look crazy. I feel crazy, and I am not in the emotional head space to have made such a drastic change. I’m all for a spa day or a new look, but if you are feeling a little low in the self-esteem area, drastically changing your appearance might make things worse.

2. Facebook/Twitter/Instagram Stalking:
We’ve all done it — dissected our ex’s pictures and tried to figure out what they mean. I had to delete my instagram app after stalking my ex’s homegirl and speculating that her pictures of mediocre chicken parm dishes were being prepared with my ex. It wasn’t my proudest moment, so do yourself a favor; take a social media hiatus.

3. Return his/her shit in dramatic fashion:
One time, I went to my parent’s house and found a huge box waiting for me in my old room. My ex had shipped everything I’d ever given him to my parent’s house: a deck of cards, board games, DVD’s, books…any memory of me was shoved back on my face. It was hurtful, but also kind of pathetic. The gesture of returning EVERYTHING doesn’t communicate that you’re over it; it communicates that you were hurt enough to go thru your entire house with fine-toothed comb, pack everything up (probably in tears while listening to R&B), and pay for shipping. Do everyone involved a favor, throw everything out and move on.

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4. Calling your ratchet friends:
I’m a pretty mellow and meditative person, BUT, after talking to my ratchet friend, I’ve just booked a vacation to Miami. Actually, that’s a good thing…but, as a general rule of thumb, don’t call your ratchet friends if telling them  about your breakup will result in you keying a car, throwing bricks, or rolling up on another women looking for a fight. Keep your heartache yourself, or only share it with people who can support you from a mature and insightful place.

5. Send the angry, “I need the last word” text or email message: 
When you’ve been broken up with, your ego is bruised and you just want to maintain some semblance of dignity. Often, in your grief-ridden mind, maintaining dignity involves sending mean and hurtful texts to your former lover. Before you send that text attacking your boo’s lovemaking skills or sense of style, remember: you weren’t complaining before y’all broke up. Anything you say now is pointless.

6. Slandering your ex to mutual friends:
This one is pretty self explanatory. Just because you hate your ex, doesn’t mean everyone else does. Plus, this becomes even more awkward if you two ever reconcile. No one needs to know that he likes his ass played with. That’s the kind of information that you can’t unshare.

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So I turn it over to you, what are some post-breakup behaviors you try to avoid? 

Patia Braithwaite is a Brooklyn-based relationship writer. Her work has been featured in The Coral Gables Gazette, Florida Inside Out Magazine, Yahoo Shine, and BounceBack.com. She’s currently working on a non-fiction book that explores the various ways men see God and how these views impact their romantic relationships. Check out her musings and more at: www.menmyselfandgod.com


  1. Great list.

    1)Post break-up don’t try to run into the arms of the first man or woman that pays you some attention. Take a break, be by yourself and handle some of those unresolved feelings. Getting up under someone else will only temporarily make you forget about your ex.
    2)Don’t rush to be “friends with your ex”. I know people don’t want to look bitter, so they try to act cool like their ready to be all buddy, buddy with their ex. If you still need time to yourself to process things, kindly tell your ex that you don’t mind being friends, but you still need some space.
    3)Don’t get on Facebook or Twitter bashing your ex or “airing them out” it only makes you look stupid. Pus, now hundreds of strangers know your business and you have become the butt of the Twitter timeline joke.
    4)For the men. Don’t leak your ex’s nudes. That’s low, we know your feelings are hurt but that’s some cold sheet.
    5)Don’t waste your time trying to make your ex jealous. Do positive things to make yourself good, just worry about you.

    1. Whoooo on #3! I’d add don’t let your friends do it, either. I never made a big fb announcement that I was single again until some friends started posting “he wasn’t nothing anyway”-type posts on my TL to make me feel better. I put up one status update that that talk would absolutely not be tolerated, and then I left my page for a month. I explained that you don’t have to diss him to make ME feel good, just give ME a compliment! Also, when you insult him you insult ME, as I picked him -and whether it worked out or not I’d at least like to think I can still pick decent menzes!

  2. I would probably say my #7 is don’t romanticize, demonize or focus on shifting blame when reflecting on your relationship in the moving on process. If it was great, fine-accept that great relationships end, too. Count your blessings that you have good memories and be thankful you aren’t traumatized. Just because it’s over doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth it. You don’t have to downplay or block out those memories if they are good, just accept that all they are…are memories (I think this is one of the hardest pills to swallow, btw). At the same time, if it wasn’t great, accept the lesson and move on,, too. Don’t try to sugar-coat it because some poor decisions were made. This lesson WILL help you. And, finally..really sit and consider what positives can come out of only focusing on the mistakes your partner made. YOU are the only thing you can improve or change, so quit thinking about them cheating and fix what you didn’t like about YOURSELF while you were with him or her. That’s all I got!

    1. Goodness knows this is the truth! This is my hardcore # 1 in moving on. It's the hardest but it's always worth it because it builds your self-esteem as you work through it – and provides its own closure without doing something both forgettable and regrettable.

  3. Right there with you, girl, lol. I am STILL trying to avoid #1!!!! I want to cut my hair off SOOO BAD! Mind you, my hair hangs down just above my butt…so a chop would be major. I know its about wanting something else…being somewhere else…and attracting something else. So, I'm trying to let the moment pass…but its hard, lol.

    #2 is different for me. I love the freedom of not caring. So I have not stalked my most recent ex…at all. I love that it doesn't matter to my life what he's doing. I love it. I feel so peaceful.

    #3 has happened to me with pictures. Why do you think I want these pictures? Burn 'em. Shread them. Throw them away. What am I gonna do with them??? Don't get that at all…

    Deleting them. That's the biggest thing I have to avoid is cutting the person out of my life. I'm quick to burn bridges and I will treat a person like vapor (you don't exist to me). I'm trying very hard to remain cordial and polite. So far, so good…

      1. Yeah, but we're done. And we weren't just friends, lol. We weren't friends first (in the pure sense of the word). Like, there really is no more use for you in my life. I have actual friends…you know, ones minus any awkwardness. I'm not hanging out with you. Its just hard for me to see the point of keeping in touch. For what? I won't be open with you like that…the convo would be so surface it'd practically be silly…so why bother? It wasn't ugly…it was mutual. But still…

        *shrugs* All I have to give is cordial and polite in passing. Sorry. Lol…

        1. "Its just hard for me to see the point of keeping in touch. For what? I won't be open with you like that…the convo would be so surface it'd practically be silly."…… As a younger person I never thought id have this mentality but with age and experience it's gotten a lot easier to just keep it moving..

        2. "cordial and polite in passing" that's how i do too, and i don't feel bad!!!

          ps: GIRL DON'T CUT THAT HAIR!!!!

  4. guess ill speak from the side of the fence…

    1. i had exes randomly go natural after me, not like i said i didnt like it i just liked them as they were. I remember i grew my hair for one girl, like right after the breakup i walked it out all the way to the barbershop, it wasnt all about her i just hated it

    2. im guilty of it even tho the lack of accountability irks me. Like you subtweeting and screenshotting pandora songs like sh t aint ur fault. Never tripped over other dudes or anything like that, ninjas gon thirst

    3. Anything at yo crib i charge to the game, best believe anything i want back, i would steal back while we was still together. Returning things i bought you is tacky, u not hurting my feelings, give it to goodwill thats what ima do anyway

    4. Like #2, i wanna call up homegirl and tell my side then i realize it doesnt matter what she thinks of me, ill be whatever, but deep down she knows wassup

    5. i hate these, wish women would learn getting in parting shots isnt closure. ill turn around and respond as sweet as possible, just to make u look silly u angry at nothing

    6. MY NAME IS MY NAME *marlo voice* its beyond petty and makes u look bitter, again the best comeback is the high road, leaking pics only justfies her foolishness
    My recent post Today’s Word is… EXCLUSIVE

  5. LOL LOL #1 is sooo me…like after every big breakup I get a haircut, or a dye, or perm it if i was natural or something! It honestly makes me feel better. Luckily (knock on wood) it hasn't backfired on my yet where I ended up hating a look. A new look, some new clothes, a new purse and pair of shoes and I am ready to walk away for good – looking brand new! LOL

    The remainder of the list I agree with 100%. I went twitter stalking an ex and his new boo just yesterday. Needless to say I ended up at work this morning w/ the hangover from hell and sent him some sappy a$$ text in my drunken state last night – EPIC FAIL FOR ME!

  6. A guy who I had just broken it off with recently has been reaching out via texts and emails, after I had told him he should loose my number. I am not one to burn bridges but what happened was humiliating and shell shocking to me. He says he still wants to be friends. well I am not looking for friends. I have enough friends.and there is no way I could ever trust him even on a platonic level.
    He was the emotionally unavailable guy while were dating. constantly going back and forth.and I stupidly entertained it. still cant forgive myself. Within a week of our last meet-up that went wrong, he added salt to injury by all of a sudden being in a relationship on Facebook. According to him he just met this girl and he fell for her. It wasnt planned blah blah blah and how he didn't feel we connected anymore. and the way I find out is by you being in a relationship? I was here waiting for an apology for how you acted on our last date and then you are in relationship in a week? lmaao. shame on me though.

    I feel bad for putting my footdown in this manner and cutting off communication. But it had to be done because the reason for all this hurt is due to my lack of setting boundaries and enforcing it in the first place . He feels guilty and he wants to feel like less of a bad person by reaching out and asking "have you forgiven me yet?". Like really is that how people forgive and move-on. Its not even been a month and you are asking me t stupid questions: "are you alright? hope all is well? I dont want this to make you feel bad about yourself or the next guy you date. you are smart and beautiful, I still want to be friends" ni**a please. pretend I don't exist

    Its obviously about him in his typical selfish and self centered mode of operation. Leave me alone be friends with your three week old girlfriend who you are madly inlove with. I wasnt special to you, whatever we had meant nothing to you hence the stunt you pulled.

  7. Yeah, friendship with an ex assumes they treated you with a certain care and respect. If not, I say no contact is the best way to go.

  8. I've honestly never done any of this so I'll add a few tidbits from my experiences…

    – Refrain from cutting off all the friends you made through the ex. I met some amazing people through HiM, and we all still have mad love for one another. That said, I'd hate to lose all ties to the ex's friends just because we couldn't make it work. If, however, his folk decide to take a side, there's no sense in trying to salvage the friendships. They were his first, move on and take the 'L'.

    – Hold off on the fake "I'm so happy I could burst" statuses. They reek of desperation and attempted vengeance. If you're truly over it, you wouldn't purposefully devote time and characters to letting the world know that,,,you'd just live.

    – "The best way to get over an old man is to get under a new one." We all have a girlfriend who's tried to help out by lending these words of encouragement. In truth, we women rarely feel better after sleeping with a new warm body (it really doesn't help men either). Go to the gym, take a trip, hang out with friends, blow some money…all of those are better alternatives to slutting it out with a new person in the name of 'doin you boo'!

  9. For my last OFFICIAL ex (not counting FBs that broke it off when things got "complicated"), I DID send him all his things. We'd lived together for 3 months and then been long distance for ten, but when he moved for school, he left quite a few of his things at my place. It didn't seem classy to just throw them out. I shipped them to him in several boxes so that the jerk was no longer taking up more space in my apartment than I did. I did NOT, however ship back gifts he'd given me. My action was purely to avoid him having any reason to return, not a gesture of hurt and desperation.

  10. #7 Should be not to point the proverbial finger at your ex and say that its ALL his or her fault why the relationship ended a certain way. If you tolerated their poor behavior before its possible that they might have become comfortable with it and continued to do it. It's good to think about what hand you might have had in the demise of a relationship and use it to grow from and to NOT make the same mistake twice.

    #8 Silence is golden- sometimes talking to close others is great but only up to a certain point. Self-reflecting is good, personal, intimate and private and helps you to get a sense of clarity.

    #9 Dont result to the scorned men/women generalities of "ni**as and/or b*tches aint sh*t" mentality- its not good to generalize about the opposite sex from a bad relationship. It can cause you to bring that mindset and baggage to a new one and actually cause its downfall because you were expecting the worst in the person. Remember the saying "Tabula Rasa" which means "blank slate" and that each new relationship or encounter is NEW.

  11. #7: As crazy as it sounds, be grateful: My last ex was did a lot of damage to men in her past, personally, and professionally…He last ex (before me) landed in jail over her (long story…actually, not so long: She hit him, hit him again, and again…he defended himself, and you can deduce the rest….)…So, I counted myself as grateful that I got out of that relationship with nothing more than some temporary hurt feelings….

  12. Yes, I did key his car and no i'm not crazy. What's crazy to me is a guy that askes you to marry him within a month of knowing you, talks about having babies with you telling you that your his world, his happiness his everything. That he loves you, needs you and wants you more than anything and he would never leave you. Tells you that he has never had a love so intense or a girl that was so good to him and even insists on buying your wedding dress ( and there is so much more he told me ) and then breaking off the engagement 2months later only to start dating another girl and having her moving in with him. That to me is crazy and could drive anybody crazy trying to comprehend such actions. I have never shown any kind of hostility towards him while we were together and I am not a mean person but I am passionate and when I love someone its for real, not just words. I apologized to him and gave him money to fix it and been asking God for forgiveness ever since. I wonder if men ever take into considerstion what they do to a woman when they play with their emotions like this and that there has to be consequences for their actions. I'm not crazy I am a woman in love hopefully everything a man told her and that was my fault. People forgive loved one's for cheating everyday, how is keying someones car worse than cheating. I asked him to forgive and payed him for it, what more can I do?

    1. Dana, I know how you feel. I am there with you but I wouldn't dare key his car. I don't think men and women that play those games understand the devastation they cause when they adopt that love em and leave em attitude. They are a generation of folk who have become numb to the destruction they cause and man does it hurt. I have been empty, trying to pick up the pieces of what's left of my life since who I thought was my man abandoned me. He just gradually disappeared and swore to me that it was not another woman. Then I find out that not only is it another woman, he is in love with her. I am left feeling insecure, not good enough, and wondering what does she have that I don't. I don't want to be his friend, hell I can't even wish him the best right now. Why should he have happily ever after after tearing up my world.

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