Sleeping Around: Winning the Breakup

By Stacey Lace


“In every breakup, there are winners and losers.” –Marshall Eriksen, “How I Met Your Mother”

While this seems awful, we should all realize that Marshall isn’t so far off.  On television and in real life, winning the breakup is never something to joke about.  It’s a serious competition, and only the strong survive.

According to, winning the breakup means “meeting your ex after some time has passed and comparing details about your current lives–-there is always a winner and a loser in a breakup.  If your life is going significantly better than your ex’s, then you win the breakup.”

From this definition, you can realize how paramount it is to be the winner rather than the loser.  While you know you’re the hotter commodity, you need to prove it.

Let’s examine some battle tactics used in these breakup wars:

– Facebook relationship statuses:  It’s great being able to creep all over your ex’s page, but maybe obsessing about the fact that he or she still hasn’t removed the “in a relationship” isn’t worth your time.

– Facebook photos:  You and I both know that constantly going through old photos of the two of you isn’t healthy.  It’s also probably not healthy to see a picture of your ex with someone new (untagged), and then spend hours with your friends trying to identify said untagged person.

– Costumes:  Whether it be Halloween or a themed register, it’s very important in the breakup battle that anytime you dress up, you take a high number of photos of you looking great and having a great time.

– Campus sightings:  To win a breakup, you have to be on your A-game all the time, including when you eat or even check your mail.  You have to make sure that if spotted, you’re the one who couldn’t possibly tear yourself away from your friends because you’re all laughing too hard from your witty comments.  This is the only face time you have to unequivocally prove that you are better off.

My question is whether this competition is even worth it.  Once you’ve won a few battles and maybe even the war, do you feel better?  I don’t think it helps us to move on, but rather creates an unhealthy obsession with the past.  It seems that the effort we put into the contest is really just a distraction from moving on with the rest of our lives.

Have ideas for Sleeping Around topics?  We invite you to send in things you want to read about as well as personal anecdotes.  Email [email protected] All submissions are for the columnist’s eyes only.

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