Myth #1: "It takes half as long as you went out with someone to get over them."
Did you know that the "sell-by" dates on food actually have nothing to do with safety at all, and we toss out perfectly decent cans of sustenance just because a number tells us to? That’s because our weird human brains need concrete deadlines on everything—especially when we’ve just been dumped and we feel like ass. But there’s no deadline for crawling out of the shit-pit of heartbreak. It could be quicker than you imagined, or it could be years, or (sorry) it could be never.
Myth #2: "If you were never officially going out, you shouldn’t be as sad as you’d be if you were official."
Woman A has a boyfriend for two months and then he dumps her. Woman B hooks up with someone she really likes, on and off, for years, and then he ends it. Which woman is allowed to get day-drunk and throw things? Trick question: Both of them. Preferably sharing a bottle.
Myth #3: "Find a rebound ASAP."
Before single men twisted the phrase into "The fastest way to get over someone is to get under someone else," (I'm convinced it was them) it was "The fastest way to get over someone is not to get shitfaced and burst into tears in some spiky-haired stranger’s bed while he is trying to find your clit." While random sex can be fantastic when it’s your own independent choice, having random sex as the result of another guy dumping you can actually make you feel even worse—and ultimately, you’re still living in the shadow of the breakup.
Myth #4: "The only real way to get over a breakup is to eat a cruise ship-sized amount of ice cream and drink a lot."
Like we needed more proof that what we see on television gets absorbed into our bloodstream. The post-breakup pinot-and-Ben-and-Jerry’s is such a rehashed rom com trope that we think it’s required. But like the random sex myth above, ice cream and booze are way more fun when you’re not using them to take the pain away. I mean, I am a red-blooded homo sapien and therefore will readily admit that ice cream is delicious. But it's not a cure-all, or the only way to get over a breakup.
Myth #5: "If he’s going to be at a party, show up looking amazing and don’t give him the time of day."
I am 100 percent convinced that the patriarchy is secretly behind these breakup myths. While this is framed like it's for your benefit, this is completely what would make him the most comfortable—to be able to stay in your life, know that he hasn't hurt you, know that you are cool with everything and be relieved you're not gonna make a scene.
Oh hey, I didn't see you there. I'm too busy being completely preoccupied about seeming like I don't give a shit.
Now we are getting into the most important area of breakup myths—specifically, the part where we've been taught to push our own feelings aside just to prove to him that you’re over it. You might feel like you’ll "win" by showing up and put in a good appearance... but that moment you see him flirting with an Unidentified Small Girl (USG) and feel like puking on your own heart, you and I both know you are losing, even if he doesn't know it. Nine out of 10 times, this kind of night ends badly, and completely without that empty "You go, girl! Show him how happy you are!!" vibe that we are encouraged to chase after breakups, at our own peril.
Putting yourself anywhere near this guy while you’re still getting over him, even if you’re determined to show up with a blowout and a big smile on your perfectly-glossy mouth, is a self-destructive impulse that puts him first. You’re making it all about him—what he’ll think of you if you show up and look great, what he’ll think of you if you blow off the party—and not about your own healing. Don’t give yourself a tumor by repressing your feelings just to come off cool and indifferent to him.
Myth #6: "If the breakupee is persistent, the breakupper will eventually relent."
This hopefully goes without saying, but in real life, romantic persistence is not rewarded. That’s because a synonym “romantic persistence” is “stalking,” obsessive one-sided texting is annoying and scary, and standing outside someone’s window in the rain is just dumb. And cold. And ruins your shoes!
Myth #7: "You should stay social media friends with him because that shows him how ~*~*cHiLL~*~*~ you are."
See Myth #5. Staying Facebook friends with him is like picking at a scab. It’s not ~*~*chill~~**~*~ to have an anxiety attack when you see an album full of photos of him doing tequila shots with a beaming USG who is clinging to his arm like a barnacle. If you unfriend him, he probably won’t even notice. You have written 3,000 word essays in your mind over things about your relationship that he has never thought about once.
Myth #8: “Expect closure at some point.”
It’s just not going to happen, and don’t keep talking to him because you expect some beautiful metaphorical dovetail. Let your last Whatsapp chat be about socks, or whatever the fuck it was about. Just get out.
Myth #9: “Talking about it will make you feel better.”
Not at first, but at some point, doing instant replays of the same old stuff over and over eventually winds up rehashing old bad feelings instead of healing them. Not to mention you’re boring your friends to tears.
Myth #10: “If you dump him now, the next girl will get the better version of him.”
You and I both know he’s not going to change anytime soon. The next girl isn’t getting this:
She's getting this:
Godspeed to her.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.