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 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: