When the time comes and your relationship with your “soul mate” tanks, you need to assess the damage and then act wisely to avoid becoming bitter, vengeful or stalker-ish.

The following is a list of things you should do and things you should avoid in this eventuality.

THE DON’T LIST

  1. Do not put your ex’s phone number on speed dial and phone relentlessly leaving sobbing messages that start in anger like: “I hate you!” and “You ruined my life!” and then eventually slide into “I love you!” and “I can’t live without you!”
  2. Do not start driving by their house at all hours to see who is visiting because eventually it escalates to the point that you end up being hauled out of that big old tree next to their house by the police — embarrassing!
  3. Do not phone Revenue Canada in the hopes of getting them audited.
  4. Do not phone all of your mutual friends and tell them how bad your ex was in bed.
  5. Do not flatten their tires, key their car or any other destructive act, it really won’t make you feel better.
  6. Do not throw Bridget Jones-inspired pity parties for yourself with too much wine and that aforementioned speed dial phone nearby. You will regret it in the morning. Maybe.
  7. Avoid that rebound relationship with the first unsuspecting victim that crosses your path.
  8. Do not eat tubs of icing washed down with cheap wine or vodka.
  9. Do not involve your mutual friends in your break up drama because they will be forced to take sides … and it may not be yours.

THE DO LIST

1. Dust off that bucket list of things you have always wanted to do and start doing them instead of wallowing in a fog of self-pity and too much wine.

2. Join the gym and get fit, get that new haircut and new clothes and go to the next social event, that you know your ex will be at, looking even better than when they first met you. Act nonchalant as if you do not have a care in the world.

3. Have a fling, maybe two. Keep it casual and fun.

4. Think about your relationship and all of the things you learned from it. Don’t dwell on the negative but view it as a learning experience so you don’t pick the exact same person again.

5. Get a dog or a cat as a companion, they will always love you regardless of how crabby you are in the morning or how awful you look.

6. Try (eventually) to be friends with your ex, after all you did love them once.