My name is J., and I’m known more by my nom de plume ‘The Mansplainer’. Usually, I would start off with my patter about putting myself in your shoes and Mansplaining my way out of your manly woes, whatever they may be. But today, I am doing something a little different because:

  1. No one wrote in, so I assume life has been fine and dandy for men-kind this week;
  2. I recently learned over coffee with a personal friend that he is fresh off a breakup. He was coping unusually well. Immediately, two things came to mind: he might be in the denial phase, and that there is no harm turning his sob story into an inspiration for my top story.   

Short of drinking yourself into a morning-after headache to go with your heartache, there are really less self-effacing ways to confront the end of a relationship. I don’t care if you are the breakup-er or the breakupee; it sucks profoundly having to deal with an emotional black hole that feels like your shattered soul is being consumed from within.

In case you tag me as a melodramatic man, I would have you know that there exist academic journals written to examine the effectiveness of the human coping mechanism during breakups – is it sufficient to help us regain some semblance of sanity faster than the ‘time heals all’ approach?

But matters of the heart cannot be resolved by a 28-page PDF document. The heart of the matter is that we need practical physio for the heart to make the road to recovery bearable. The operational word here is bearable, because there are no quick fixes to get over a breakup. You will need to brace yourself for these five stages of grief  (Kübler-Ross model):

Denial – The ‘honeymoon’ period

Frustration – The angry phase

Bargaining – The nights of self-doubt (self-pleasuring, sometimes)

Depression – The embarrassing decline

Acceptance – The new You

These five phases may not have distinct boundaries. You could be experiencing multiple phases simultaneously. The question is, how exactly should you be forwarding yourself through these stages while mending a broken heart?

Surround yourself with your support network.

Friends are useful for distracting you from bittersweet replays of your ex and are often a source of advice so bad, they might make you smile a little.

Hit the gym. Pick up a martial art.

Working out is not only good for your body, it does wonders for that shattered soul. If gym-ing, do not put on your in-ear workout headphones just to play couple jams you guys used to listen to.

Newness is goodness.

Pick up a new man skill. Go shopping, buy another pair of S$200 sneakers you don’t need. Travel solo.  Doing something radical will cognitively help you along to ‘Acceptance – The New You’.  

Cut off all contact.

Unfollow her on all social media accounts. This should be a no-brainer. You need a clean break – even digital ones – to move on and eliminate cyber-stalking temptations. And no, we don’t think it is possible to be ‘just friends’ with your ex.

Getting back to your hobbies.

Being single again gives you the time and opportunity to re-engage with activities you once loved. Like swiping.

Tinder, Zouk, Bars.

I’m all for transparent, consenting flings. You’re both adults with booties. But keep it at that. It’s a slippery slope to rebound zone, and no one likes being used as the rebound person. Making your breakup less sucky doesn’t have to cause five stages of grief onto other people.