What To Do When Your Ex Gets Engaged

In September, my many exes ago ex told me he was engaged…and the wedding was a month away. Since I’m a big fan of How-To guides, here’s how to and how to not deal with this.

First things first, tell yourself that your behavior for the next four weeks, doesn’t really matter. You have a free pass until the wedding! Do you know how often those come around? You only have one first love and they (maybe?) only get married once. This is the real one that got away. Or whatever.

Day One: This is going to get really really ugly. You’re going to cycle through emotions like a Snapchat story and painfully grasp for closure – which you absolutely won’t get. He tells me at about 9:00p.m. on a Monday. So, immediately afterward, I drag my glorious roommate to our neighborhood bar and get black out drunk. I had so many questions, and obviously had to ask them all. And because I’m not not psycho, I started with these:

  1. Why so fast? Is she pregnant? You’re an adult, have you learned nothing?
  2. You know you’re going to get divorced, right?

Also, he had completely reasonable responses to all of these. Like “This isn’t fast. I just avoided telling you because I knew you’d get upset.” and “Of course I love you, you’ve been my best friend, but we’re growing up.” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Pro Tip: Make sure your drunk texts are extra pathetic. You won’t regret that at all later.

Day Two: Stalk his fiancée on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Insta, whatever you can get your hands on. Learn about her hometown, where she went to school, pictures of her with her ex boyfriends. Her food pictures suck and you’re obviously better at cooking and your IQ is probably way higher. Decide no grown woman who isn’t going through a major life crisis has bangs. Drink half a bottle of Grey Goose and show your dog pictures of her and laugh together about how she’ll have bangs in her wedding photos. HAH. STILL FUNNY.

Day Three: You fucked up and invited a friend from out of town to come visit, so you have to hold it together for three days because they’re staying with you. Solution? Continue this bender through the end of the week so you don’t have to deal with your feelings. Scare the hell out of said hometown friend with your coping mechanisms. You already had the time off work anyway and got a bunch of great photos.

Day Five: Go to a huge event with all of your friends. Remember you’re not a bad person and tons of people love you. You’ll run into people you haven’t seen in a while and see that your conversational skills aren’t just naturally repulsive because that’s totally what you’ve been thinking. Hey, strangers think you’re pretty! The world is okay!

Day Seven: You have to go back to work tomorrow. Have a Get Your Shit Together Sunday. Go to the gym, wash your laundry, respond to emails and get a jump start on the week. Then decide not to because it’s Harry Potter weekend and you already have wine. Remember what I said up there? You have a free pass. Tell your friends, strangers, your mom, whatever, and warn them of the storm to come.

Week Two: You’ve made it a whole week! That wasn’t so bad! Sure, you never actually dealt with anything other than a hangover, but that’s okay. Tell yourself you can heal slowly. Up next? Get ready to listen to A LOT of Tom Waits. I chose Ruby’s Arms and Kentucky Avenue. Speaking of music, post 500 snapchats of you singing I Really Don’t Care by Demi Lovato and Whatever Forever by The Mowgli’s because you know that little bitch is going watch every single one. Also, add All Your Favorite Bands by Dawes to every playlist you have. You are an adult and you wish him nothing but the best, after all. Maybe even drunk text him the lyrics to that. 

Week Three: After you go to Seattle for the weekend and spend the monthly income of a family of four on things you don’t really need because capitalism is great for dulling pain, get ready for a Mount St. Helens type breakdown. All those feelings you were avoiding are suddenly all popping up. And you are going to be ANGRY. Get on the phone with your mom for an hour and talk about how mad you are. Throw a light up ice cube at your roommate’s head because “HE DOESN’T DESERVE TO LIVE IN A WORLD WITH LIGHT UP ICE CUBES OR BATMAN.” Get mad at yourself for being a good friend when you should have walked away. Remember you haven’t actually eaten in two weeks. Unless you count that saltine cracker from two days ago. Cry to said roommate and she’ll make you lunch all week. Talk about him on the podcast. Dropkick a gingerbread house. Maybe cut back on the wine nights.

Week Four: After your breakdown/epiphany, you’re going to feel a lot better. Week Four goes alright, and you are actually capable of dealing with things now. Realize this hurts, and hurt for a while. It’s going to be incredibly tough, but sometime it’s going to stop. As personal as this feels, it’s not really about you, which sucks in itself. Someone you held out hope for, isn’t thinking about you because they love someone else now. But you’ll move on too, because that’s life and that’s what we do.

Also, under NO circumstances should you text him all of the lyrics to “I Will Always Love You” when you’re drunk. You should also absolutely not call him and leave it on his voicemail. You should also listen to this playlist I made. 

Your Definitive Guide to Crying at Work in 10 Easy Steps

Over and over, I hear most of the professional women I know tell me how they cry at or on the way into work, at least once a week. We work hard, in high stress jobs and are constantly striving to live up to #GIRLBOSS favorites. Because it’s Portland, we’re mostly in advertising or tech. No one likes feeling like they failed and on top of that, every article ever says avoid crying at work like the plague. So, consider this a guide to doing something natural that society hates, in a low-key way.

Here are 10 easy steps to convincing your coworkers you’re functional.

Step One: Can you cry on the inside, like a winner? 
Then do it. Hold it in and take it out on someone you care about tonight. They’ll forgive you later.

Step Two: You need to preplan for this.
You graduated college and are an adult.  If you’re feeling especially emotional, you may not want to wear eyeliner. The #1 Rule is bring touch up make-up to work. I’m a lucky crier. Water just basically falls out of my eyes and my nose gets a little red. To make sure no one knows what just went down, I carry mascara, eyeliner, and power foundation. It works like a charm. If you get Kim Kardashian cry face, you’re going to need a full-on war paint kit.

Step Three: Decide how much you are going to cry.
Will it be longer than your standard trip to the bathroom? If so, say you need to get coffee. That way, you can have your breakdown in the Starbucks bathroom, and come back with coffee.  Pro tip? If it’s cold or windy outside and you forgot your cry kit, go get coffee anyway. People will think the weather is why you look slightly disheveled.

Step Four: If you’re still reading, you are probably absolutely 100% committed
to turning on the waterworks, and you’ve decided to go with the bathroom, not Starbs. Get there now. Unless someone is talking to you, or worse, yelling at you, focus on a weird mole or something like the one I have on my cheek. You can’t control how people react, so just focus on that mole until you can get to a bathroom.

Step Five: Congratulations! You have made it to the bathroom.
Your next steps are probably going to depend on the type of office building you have. If it’s small and people can hear you, cover your mouth and try not to make any sobbing sounds. This goes for a building with echo noises too. If it’s a larger one, feel free to make all of the noise you want. This will also shorten your total bathroom time because it’s more cathartic.

Step Six: Time Check
You guys, I keep emphasizing this. The key to crying at work is to not let anyone know you did. If you’ve been in there longer than five minutes, you are finished. It’s time to go. If you went with the coffee shop route, you have some more slack, but if you are 50 ft away from your coworkers, I highly recommend closely monitoring the clock.

Step Seven: Make Sure You’re Really Done
If you need to go to the bathroom immediately after going to the bathroom, you look shady. If you don’t think you can hold it in for the rest of the day, decide you’re using a sick day, then run right back to the bathroom. Damn that taco truck. If not, something like “There is something in my eye” and “Ugh, I think I’m getting sick” are excellent when necessary. But don’t overuse those – only so many things can just randomly jump in your eye.

Step Eight: Clean up this shit show.
Take your kit from Step Two, and use it. You might feel like you want to splash some cold water on your face, but don’t do it. This will extend your time in the bathroom and someone most likely already noticed you’ve been in there awhile.

Step Nine: Plan your next 15 minutes.
If you have a detailed plan of what to do, it will easier to be focused and forget what just happened. Whatever you do, don’t keep thinking about why you were crying. If you have a report to type, or something you can really concentrate on, it’s going to make it easier. Listen to my playlist and maybe even yell at someone.

Step Ten: This, and you, are normal.

Remember, there are probably dozens of women crying in their cars, coffee shop or work bathrooms across your city at any given moment. You are not alone, and one of them will probably go to happy hour with you later. If you’re calm, you can now go back to work and kick ass.

Track Bonus: Here’s a playlist to put a pep in your step for the hour after you’ve totally lost it.