Lawrence Love Column

Zach Patrick-Riley

Lately, thoughts of relapsing have been on my mind. Relapsing — in the context of dating — means to get back together with an ex-partner. Most of us have done it, or at least thought about it at one time or another. I, to be honest, have relapsed a few times, but for those who haven’t fallen to temptation, or are looking to wipe the slate totally clean, allow me to offer some strategies to avoid the poor life choice known as the “Back Together Relapse”.
First, avoid listening to songs that you used to listen to or remind you of your ex. Music has a way of bringing out the most sensitive feelings. Staying in your dorm room on a Friday night because you’re listening to “Oh Mandy,” replacing “Mandy” with your last girlfriend’s name, is kinda cute — but definitely not a good idea.
Drunk dialing is another mistake. Don’t let a few beers convince you to call an old flame. Alcohol tends to be a catalyst for saying many things you probably shouldn’t say. It can also easily cause people to feel more lonely and sad, leading to memories of better times, which eventually leads to picking up that phone. Don’t do it.
My last piece of advice is to focus on your friendships when you are feeling lonely. This applies especially to gentlemen because we don’t like being thought of as weak or vulnerable. Grow up and “man up,” and tell your friends that you’re having a hard time with this breakup. Speak from your heart. They’ll relate, and it will bring you guys closer and make you feel better about the whole situation. Also, if you let them know that you still have feelings but don’t want to relapse, your friends will be able to stand by you on those lonely Friday nights.
Keep in mind, breaking it off with someone you cared about deeply and were comfortable with (a best friend of sorts) doesn’t mean you can’t be close again. You may hate one another and have intense arguments about the relationship and say you never want to speak to each other again. Honestly, some anger is expected; it means you cared. But give it time, and — believe it or not — you can be friends, potentially even close friends, without relapsing.
Breakups are tough, but do your best to be strong. Realize that you broke up for a reason. And remember that there are definitely other fish in the sea.