Canada
4 min

Ten steps to getting over the ex who just walked out on you

Uncle Ivan's Broken Hearts Club Plan

Years ago I decided to do myself a favour and quit trying to figure out what she sees in him.
 
You know her, too. You probably know several hers. The beautiful, talented, productive woman with all her shit together, except for the lump on the couch she calls a boyfriend.
 
She somehow manages to get both kids dressed and fed and off to school with their lunches packed just in time to wake him up for the third time before she leaves for work so he doesn’t sleep in and miss his job interview that her friend lined up for him.
 
You know and love some version of her. You’ve met and tolerated at least one or two variations on him.
 
For some reason, over the last two months or so, I know of at least three cases where he, for some unfathomable reason, dumped her. And here is the real mystery for me: she is left brokenhearted. Devastated even.
 
I am not even going to get into a feminist analysis of why she still believes that she deserves no better than him, or why she feels undesirable unless he says otherwise, or why she has been socialized to take care of things that he should be man enough to do himself, because that has all been done.
 
What I am going to do is write down the steps to heart recovery that she (and she, and her) and I came up with on the road to repair.
 
Step One: Get up. Do it now. There you go. I know he is a prick who called you from the airport to tell you he wasn’t coming home because he decided to take the Greyhound south with the singer who hired him to do the guitar tracks on her new record and now you have a matching tattoo with no match, but get up. You have important things to do.
 
Step Two: Go out and buy yourself the nicest matching bra and panties set you can afford. Yes, they must be matching. Yes, they must be sexy. You are going to see them, that’s who. And if that isn’t good enough, please refer to Step Five.
 
Step Three: You need new sheets. Yes, you do. Brand new sheets that have no memories in them. Again, get the best that you can reasonably afford.
 
My friend Mary highly recommends the bamboo sheets. Though pricey, she maintains that “they give you the silkiness of satin without all that slip sliding of pillows, and the bunching and wrinkling.”
 
Lucky for you, the sales bins at the Bay are full of sheets on sale after the holidays. I just saw a real cute set of flannel sheets with a vintage flower pattern for $20.
 
Why? Because if you are going to lay in bed soaking your pillow with tears (also a part of this process, though not listed here as a step) then it should be in no less than 450 threads per inch.
 
Step Four: Get some exercise. Ever wondered why the words exercise and exorcise are only a vowel apart? Think about it.
 
Not only will this make you feel better physically and help stave off depression, but in six to eight weeks when you accidentally run into him while he is coming out of the liquor store and you are returning with fresh kale from the organic foods market, you will be glad you did.
 
Because when you turn on your patent heel and walk away he is going to feel sorry for himself because he is no longer tapping that beautiful ass.
 
I know he broke up with you so he could pursue his spiritual path, which turned out to be code for fucking his 23-year-old yoga student, but believe you me, six weeks is more than enough time for him to figure out that it doesn’t matter that she can put both legs behind her ears when she still keeps her stuffed animal collection on her futon and is leaving him for a girl in her second year women’s studies class anyway.
 
But guess what? It is too late. You look fabulous and you are going to take that beautiful ass and sashay away with it, all the way back to your apartment, where you finally got the smell of skunkweed out of the drapes.
 
Step Five: Get some beautiful new cock up in you. Preferably one attached to someone who is leaving town tomorrow. Do not date this cock. Do not give this cock your cell number. Do not get to know this cock’s hopes and dreams. Ideally, this cock and you do not even speak the same language.
 
In a perfect world, whoever owns this cock has to be on a plane within 24 hours to a place you have no interest in visiting. Good. Now only remember this cock when you are practising to become a professional masturbator. In your brand new sheets, of course.
 
Step Six: Do that one home renovation that you have been meaning to get around to for years. Paint that bathroom or clean out that closet. Transform at least one thing in your living space. Do it alone.
 
Step Seven: Go to the hairdresser. Then have a manicure, pedicure, facial. I have never done this last bit myself, but I have it on good authority that this is a crucial step. This can be done alone or with up to 12 girlfriends. Libations to follow.
 
Step Eight: Take up a new hobby. Yes, in addition to masturbation. This is a great time to take that quilting class or motorcycle maintenance course. Buy art supplies. Use them. Learn how to play again. 
 
Step Nine: Call up all your old friends. Especially the ones you quit hanging out with because he didn’t like them. See them. Let them remind you how awesome you really are. Laugh about some stupid shit you did in high school until you snort bubble tea out your nose by accident and you almost pee a little.
 
Step 10: Be sexy. Whenever and wherever you want. For you, this time.

>> Read more of Ivan E Coyote’s writing on Xtra.ca