To anyone who’s going through a breakup or is about to get sideswiped by one because it’s engagement season and you misread some important cues from your partner, listen the fuck up and listen good, because I’m about to tell you something that you’re going to initially want to ignore but wish you hadn’t in a few days, weeks, months, or maybe even years.
You know that man or woman who has always been there for you? When things went bad in your relationship, maybe he or she was the person you ran to for advice, comfort, and support. Perhaps this person bolstered your confidence just because you knew he or she was attracted to you. Maybe you were even attracted to him or her. Things with you and your boo are over, and your first instinct is to run to this person and have him or her hold and console you and tell you everything’s going to be okay, possibly with #mouthstuff. You know that person? You know that person.
STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM THAT PERSON.
I get it. This is going to take fighting every instinct you have. You want to feel close to someone. You feel alone and lost and scared and like nobody is there for you. Nobody gets what you’re going through, and you want to jump into that person’s arms and have him or her make you feel better.
In basketball, you want to throw your fucking remote through the TV when one of your players doesn’t chase down a rebound. Rookies in the NBA are in danger of getting punched in the face by Carmelo or Kobe when they tell them to go for the rebound. Not going for the rebound seems almost counterintuitive.
But I swear to God, Batman, Jerry Garcia, and the Lizard Pope from “Futurama,” do not chase the rebound. Just don’t do it.
Why? First of all, it’s pointless. Your rebound will eventually come to you. We live in the Golden Age of hooking up, where you don’t even need to leave your couch to meet people. Tinder, Hinge, JSwipe, creeping on a girl’s bikini pictures on Instagram: the possibilities are endless. You’re a strategically-placed Facebook message away from laying pipe, so why put in effort? Strap in and enjoy the ride.
Secondly, if you really do think this person is the right one for you, you’re putting a lot of undue stress and responsibility on him or her to keep you sane. That’s not this person’s job. This person is someone with feelings and thoughts, too. In fact, your breakup has probably raised a lot of questions for this person that even he or she hasn’t answered yet. “Am I ready?” or “Is this really what I want?” or “Can I convert him to Christianity to avoid my parents being pissed off at me and eternal damnation?” are just a few of them. Maybe this person doesn’t want your bullshit right now because he or she has enough of it going on already. If you want a future with this person, back the fuck off. If you’ve already started pursuing him or her, back the fuck off. Hell, if you’ve even done some regrettable things with this person or you said some things you think you can’t take back, back the fuck off. This person will come to you. Trust me.
You’re also missing a fundamental fact of the universe that you may have neglected — do you think this person wants to be your rebound? I don’t mean that as “your” rebound, you ugly fucking chud. I mean, you have to ask yourself if this person wants to be a rebound in general. That’s a tough position to be in. It makes people feel not special, even though it really is a meaningless title that doesn’t make a lick of sense. The universe doesn’t make a lick of sense. Like, have you thought about gravity? Like, really thought about gravity? Just go with it.
Finally, if this person is close to you, he or she is most likely close to your freshly-minted ex. Even if this person isn’t, your ex knows who this person is, and your ex will find out one way or another. It will sting. It’ll sting worse than that time you ran out of lube. You know which time I mean, you sick bastard, you.
Something I learned that I used to just straight-up not give a shit about is that other people have feelings, too — including exes. Your ex doesn’t have to be your enemy for the sake of having an enemy. As long as he or she didn’t do something horrible, like cheat on you or stab your sister on Christmas, there’s honestly no reason to hate him or her. Your ex is someone you used to care about, and you probably still do, but it just didn’t work out. You can still be friends with that person. You could maybe even still get some #mouthstuff out of it. But if you dangle hooking up with, chasing, courting, or even dating someone your ex knows in his or her face, that might piss your ex off. Well, unless he or she is into that sort of thing, but that’s something for another column.
You’re not going to take my advice. You and I both know that. I wouldn’t take my advice, either. Sorrow is a really, really powerful force. It can keep you in bed, in the dark, for days, cut off from the outside world, watching Netflix in an attempt to find something that’ll make you feel anything other than sadness. Wait, that’s how most of us spend our weekends after college anyway. Scratch that.
Do yourself a favor and love the people who are close to you more than that. More importantly, love yourself more than that. You don’t need anyone to validate your existence. Talk to someone. Talk to a friend, a coworker, your parents, your awesome cousin, a teacher, a police officer, or an adult you trust. Shit, you can even talk to me. I’ve got a Twitter handle and a PGP email.
But don’t chase down your rebounds. Don’t put your heart and head through that needless struggle. Don’t put strains on important friendships that could be so much more down the road. If you have to distance yourself from those people, do it. They’ll still be waiting when you come back. They’ll understand.
And if they don’t understand, fuck ’em..