By contributing writer DX Traeger

Sifting through the wreckage of a relationship shares many parallels to the destruction of war and the 2006-2007 Philadelphia Flyers season. Most people are fortunate enough to have the crucial elements of a support foundation (friends, therapist, chocolate, strip clubs, Jose Cuervo, etc.) in place, and can thus plow through the difficult days, weeks and months that follow.

Those without this safety net can fall into major depression, experience fits of self-loathing, and may even begin to watch reruns of (gasp!) Boy Meets


Fortunately, I have developed—in conjunction with a number of soul-less, wretched and despicable women—a battle-tested method of consolidating the pain and grief into a singular article: a Declaration of Self-Independence. Taken daily with four tablespoons of 151, this invaluable relationship utility will have both men and women on the road to personal salvation… and alcoholism.

Merely read and internalize the following read-bytes of information, and apply the provided insights to your pitiful, meaningless existence.

Step One: Don't See a Therapist

Relationships are like a box of hot chocolates: you know they're all gonna dissolve eventually.

Therapists play a crucial role in identifying “errors in logic,” little snippets of internalized dialogue that make us feel something we shouldn't. For example, Jill may think of her ex, Billy-Bob, and may find herself only able to remember the stuffed teddy bear he won for her at the fair, and the many times he said “I love you.” At the same time, Jill is forgetting that she shelled out $75 for Billy-Bob to finally beat the 8-year-old next to him at the watergun game, and that most of Billy-Bob's declarations of love were directed to the can of Milwaukee's Best in his hand. The therapist may also say things like, “Jill, you should not directly associate your self-worth to your relationship with Billy-Bob,” or “For fuck's sake, his name is BILLY-BOB!” in an attempt to jar Jill from her pattern of self-defeating thinking and behavior.

In short, don't allow a therapist to anally violate you for $70 an hour while your friends disperse the exact same advice for free.

Step Two: Crash the Boards

Men and women have distinctly different takes on “The Rebound.” On the whole, women tend to stay away from a guy when they think he may be in search of a rebound. Men, quite frankly, don't give a shit. When males encounter a woman suffering the slings and arrows of rejection, he can raise his Sword of Omens and call upon the power of, “How could he not see how wonderfully unique you are?”

Don't believe any of the rubbish you hear about how “rebounds never work,” and “they don't help with moving on.” Anybody who says that has never had a Friday night's worth of good “Uh, who are you?” sex.

Step Three: Drink…a Lot

It's a well known scientific fact (and by “scientific” I mean “big” and by “fact” I mean “joke”) that alcohol is a stimulant that aids in burning carbs. Used in careful conjunction with other psychotropic drugs, alcohol can bring about an altered state of consciousness that helps you forget that your boyfriend dumped your ass for the younger, skinnier, and probably more flexible version of you.

Think of Step Three this way: if you can't remember your own name, it stands to reason that you won't be able to remember his or her name, either. Applying this same logic also means you won't know a urinal from a vending machine, so do exercise some caution.

Step Four: Hit the Grocery Store, then Drink, and then Eat Chocolate

Scientists have proven that “low fat” chocolate tastes like low fat shit. To counter this unfortunate reality, drink plenty of “low carb, low taste” beer until your taste buds become numb. Then gorge yourself on low fat Oreos, Ben & Jerry's “Carmel Sutra Ice Cream” and Splenda until Rosie O'Donnell herself says, “Whoa there, buddy.”

Eating constantly after a breakup is the easiest way for a guy to show the world that he's the bigger man. Eating constantly after a breakup is the easiest way for a girl to NEVER BE HOT AGAIN.

Step Five: Listen to Ben Folds Five's “Song for the Dumped,” Ani DiFranco's “Untouchable,” Ugly Kid Joe's “I Hate Everything About You,” Eminem's “Puke,” and Cake's “I Will Survive” (the original does not cut it)

The “fuck you” genre of music has long been ignored by songwriters, but the above songs nailed it. Music can definitely set the right mood, whether you're inspiring yourself to attempt Step Two, grabbing your hefty bags and putting on your astronaut diapers, or merely filling your chainsaw with gasoline.

Please note the selection of Cake over She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named. Cake's version should ALWAYS be played in lieu of hers. This is Man Law.

Step Six: The Fear Factor (or, the Final Word)

Steps 1 through 5 should have cured you of Post-Relationship Syndrome. However, no therapy is 100% effective.

If my program does not work for you, and thoughts of revenge dominate your mind, swallow your pride and call your now insignificant other and say the magic words:

“I just thought I should tell you. I just went to the doctor: you've got the herp.”

And then hang up.