I am dreading New Year’s Eve. My girlfriend and I broke up two months ago and this is our first holiday apart in years. Our close circle of mutual friends typically throws a big party, for couples as well as singles, and I know she's going. Our breakup was amicable but it's too recent and raw to be around each other right now. So my choice is to be with all my friends and feel like a wreck inside because she's there, or home alone and possibly even more wrecked. Help!
He Said: This is why people leave San Francisco after a breakup: This city is too small for the two of you! Are you in touch with your ex? Since this scenario is likely to occur regularly, it makes sense to alert each other when you might possibly end up in the same room, causing distress for you both. Perhaps you could take turns at public gatherings.
As for spending New Year's Eve alone, this is a good time to work on yourself. It is nothing to fear. It is time to take stock, gather your strength, and move on. That will require a lot of high-quality alone time, something to rejoice upon in the new year. Make yourself a nice meal, open a good bottle of wine, and rent a favorite movie. You can't do better than that.
She Said: I think I concur on this one. Call up your ex and say that though you hope to be good friends in the future, right now the wound is too fresh to hang out, so you want to come up with a temporary plan to handle your shared social circle. Amicable breakups are both rare and precious, and neither of you want to do anything to screw this one up or slide into the “hateful ex” zone that’s so common and painful.
Since you already know she plans on going to the New Year’s party, tell her you’ll stay away—though perhaps you two could work something out where you show up for a “first shift” and she shows up later, after you leave, or vice-versa. If you want to keep it simple, though, a night alone eating, watching, and doing all of your favorite things—or perhaps with one other good friend who’s not in your common circle—is a great idea. If you’ve just got to get out of the house, take your pick from this long list of bar gatherings, fireworks, meditation sessions, potlucks and more.
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