What To Do When She Leaves You

broken_heart_on valentine's day

If you haven’t heard, today is Valentine’s Day, the worst holiday known to mankind except for maybe Father’s Day, which is 100% commercial and has no historical backdrop.

Valentine’s Day has some history although not really. It’s named after a St. Valentine, although we don’t know which one (there were three) and we don’t know anything about them (one or two of them were killed while defending Christianity but that’s it), and we don’t know why there is romantic connotation to them (Chaucer mentioned the Valentines in his infinitely boring poetry we are force-fed by our English teachers who try to read us the poems in the original English, rendering them not only boring but potentially lethal. I was almost martyred on one such day).

Not to mention Chaucer’s rendition is probably referring to some day in May but we’ve already listed enough reasons to ignore this day. Oh, one more, Pope Paul the whatever, (I easily forget numbers and refuse to research while writing) in the 1960s actually did  away with this holiday, admitting, once and for all, “we have no clue who St. Valentine is other than where he was buried.”

That said, three emotions do come up, because of history, on this day. Loneliness (if you have no Valentine), Romance (if you do), and Guilt (if you do, but you forgot to do anything about it). I fall under the latter category but I also like to think of every day as Valentine’s Day. Why should only one day per year be relegated as the day you respect, honor, cherish, your loved one?

But, recently, perhaps in anticipation of this sacred holiday named after a holy saint, many people have written me, “my husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend has left me. What do I do to get off the floor? I can’t get  myself motivated.”

(supposedly the real St. Valentine. As you can see, a romantic, dashing figure).

I can relate to this. I’ve done stupid, stupid things on such occasions. So here’s ways to avoid being stupid whether you are a guy or a girl, whether your ex is a “he” or a “she”:

A)     You need to make a change. TODAY. Keeping yourself busy is no good. Your mind is not where it should be. You are constantly thinking about her so you are probably at about 10% capacity. The key is to treat yourself. Take yourself out on a date. Take a day or two off from work, go to a museum, a movie, go out with friends. Treat yourself and put yourself in a completely different environment. Leave town if you can. Stay in a bed and breakfast where you never stayed before. But you have to totally change your environment for at least a day. For the sake of all people everywhere, please help me out here and list things below, in the comments,  you can do to take yourself out on a date.

B)      Sleep at least eight hours. I would say ten hours but many people can’t do that (I’m a professional at sleeping ten hours). If you have trouble sleeping that many hours because you are anxious about the situation then go to your doctor, explain the situation, and get medication. When I’ve been broken up with I was not able to sleep without the help of medication. Kolonopin + Amitriptylin worked for me. But it’s still important to sleep at least eight hours, even if medicated. Then get off the medication as quickly as possible (the above are addictive).

C)      Don’t eat after 5pm. Don’t drink. When you eat late you have trouble digesting, making it harder to sleep. When you drink, two things happen: alchohol is a depressant and you are already depressed so it’s common sense not to drink. Plus the sugar from the alcohol will have you waking up at 2 or 3 in the morning. Plus you’ll gain extra mindless calories. You need to be in top shape to meet the next person.

D)     Don’t watch TV. Not even “Mad Men”. Not even the news. How come? Because on every TV show, including the news, people are either killing each other, cheating on each other, or (in the case of the news) trying to ruin your financial life. You have enough troubles, you don’t need Don Draper’s troubles as well. This is not forever. Just until you are better. You might think, “this will keep my mind off of X”. But it won’t. It will just remind you of the  most painful parts of your relationship wth X. When I was getting separated from my X the worst thing I did was watch “Mad Men”. I couldn’t help myself. I’m a Mad Men addict

E)      Don’t Spy. Which probably also means: no facebook, twitter, and limit all websurfing. How come? The news is already bad. She or he left. She’s gone. Any information you find out now is for what point? To win her back? To prove her wrong? To prove you right or justified in yelling at her? What good will that do you? It’s over. So you have to avoid outside stimulus that is going to make you feel bad and just move forward. But why not websurfing? Because you know you are going to check her facebook page. Or her blog. Or her tweet stream. And it will just make you angry. You have to follow the advice in “How to Deal with Crappy People” only this time, the crappy person is your ex. You don’t want to become a crappy person also.

F)      Forgive yourself. So you did spy after all. So you threw a book in anger. So you were a complete jerk and now he left and is with another woman. So you got angry and cried and tried to argue with him or her not to go. So the police came and picked you up. So you wrote those angry letters about what you were going to do. Ok, you were bad. But you’re not  a bad person. You just were abandoned. It brought back memories of every other time you were abandoned. The faster you forgive yourself, the less likely this type of thing will happen in the future. Maybe you deserve to have been left. But there’s seven billion people on the planet. About half of them or of the opposite sex from you. You’ll find another one who is even better. It’s a law of the universe. If you use this event as an event that will inspire personal improvement then it’s a guarantee you will meet someone better.

Also, lets say she said she’s leaving you because you did “Z”. Sure, you can blame yourself for doing Z. But there’s two possibilities.

  1. Z is not the real reason. It’s just a good reason she thought of that makes sense to you. You might not ever know the real reason and there’s no point in trying to figure it out.
  2. Let’s say Z is the real reason. Deep down you have to ask yourself, “Why did I do Z?” You knew that Z would have consequences. Maybe you weren’t ready for the person you were with so you did Z. Don’t blame yourself. But use this as a crucial point of introspection. Maybe you are, right now, afraid of real commitment. Maybe you want to be financially settled. Maybe you self-sabotage yourself when a good thing comes along (I don’t say this to make you feel worse. Once you stop self-sabotaging yourself, you’ll go out and meet someone just as good).

G)     Be grateful. List five things you are grateful for today. Write down why you are grateful for them. Then tomorrow, add five more things to the list. Then the next day. Who knows. Maybe someone on that list is the next Mrs. X. But maybe not. Maybe you have to meet someone completely new. Or maybe you are not ready yet. It doesn’t matter. When you list the people you are grateful for it triggers the exact opposite emotions of the feelings of rejection you are currently feeling. This is a good thing. Let’s say each of us has a fixed number of breaths we have to live on this planet. Isn’t it better to change some of those breaths from ones of remorse to ones of gratitude?

H)     Exercise. Let’s get brutal here. When you eat something bad your body has two methods for expelling the bad stuff. Vomiting, or some sort of diarrhea. When you get germs your body coughs and sneezes. In other words, when bad stuff goes in your body, your body usually reacts in some violent way to get the bad stuff out. Well, bad stuff just went in your body but it might be deeper. You don’t know where the bad stuff is. Its not so easy to get it out then. Sweating all of your body cleanses you. It gets the bad toxins out. Make sure you exercise until you sweat. Exercise is never more important than after a break-up.

I)        Stop arguing. Even in your mind. The imaginary arguments. Why did you do this? Why did she do that? Why did he do X? What kind of ethics does X have in order to do this? Forget it. It takes two to play. Whatever happened, it’s a situation you share equally in, even if the roots of that  equality go way back. So stop arguing. Focus on yourself today. And tomorrow. And maybe even the next day.

Also, it’s important to realize that arguing won’t win the person back. It’s not like he or she is going to suddenly say, “Ahh, that’s it. You’re right. I’m coming back now.” That NEVER happens. And if it does, then a week later you’ll be having the same argument. Guaranteed.

J)       Feel the pain. My 12 year old just got braces. There’s nothing I can do to stop her pain. Maybe some advil but that barely works. The braces make all of her teeth move. Every nerve in her mouth is screaming out to the brain, “Why the hell did you just do this to me!!?” No matter what she eats, she’s going to scream in pain. At least on the first bite. And then it gets easier. And within two or three days, or a week, the teeth will get used to it. Then in a month her braces will get adjusted and she’ll feel pain again.

You’re going to feel pain. Something bad just happened to you. Your brain is not happy about it. It’s nobody’s fault. You have to get through it in order to feel better, look better, move on. Get your teeth straight. But it’s ok to feel the pain right now. Don’t try to prevent it by drinking or doing something worse to escape from it.

K)      Lock the doors. You guys are no longer together. It’s time to protect yourself. Lock all the doors. Change the locks. Change jobs if you have to. Don’t see the same friends. You don’t want to intersect with her or him at all. Don’t pick up the phone. Make her emails go to the spam folder. Sometimes you can’t do all of these things right away. But do as much as you can and don’t make excuses. Make sure whatever you think in your head is not just an excuse. Making strong boundaries will help you rebound that much faster

Finally, let’s say she hasn’t left you, it’s Valentine’s Day, she’s expecting something and you don’t know what to get her. Maybe you even forgot.

Do this: Make a brand new blog on blogger or wordpress. Call it “Twenty things I love about X”. Make 20 posts. On each post find one image on google images to put in that post. Have fun with it. Then title each post something funny that’s related to what she does that’s unique to you and why you love her.

Try it. It’s corny. It’s easy. But I know this works.

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  • Anthony

     Altucher –


    A couple of things:


    1. Great post as always.


    2. You always make reference to not
    drinking, it seems there is a least one great post there, when you going to
    write it!


    3. People who say things like “I also
    like to think of every day as Valentine’s Day” are usually the type of guys who
    buy their wives a mop for her birthday.


    4. I would love to get your thoughts and
    anyone else who wants to chip in on this:







  • Anonymous

    Re: Exercise. The expectation of sweating a bucket is a too high of a barrier for lots of people. We don’t need more barriers. I think what’s important is to exercise with *intensity,* which means to work out in such a manner that one’s metabolism and physiology undergoes a significant and lasting change that in turn induces a positive mental state. Believe it or not, there are methods of achieving intensity w/o the sweat and w/o large chunks of time at the gym. I practice a method (a technology, really) called High-Intensity/Super Slow (HTSS) that has been developed by an ER doctor named Doug McGuff, among others. The practice is machine-based (eg., Nautilus) but can be adapted to free weights as well. The key is to bring the muscles to failure by moving very slowly (super slow!) through the range of motion of the machine’s movement arm and to do so w/o stopping at the top or the bottom of the movement. For most people under an appropriate amount of weight, muscle failure under HTSS occurs in less than 90 seconds. So if one uses five different machines at about 90 seconds each, and taking into account time for machine adjustment, it’s feasible to finish an entire workout in less than 12 minutes. And if you’ve done it correctly, you won’t be able to do anything else beyond 12 min. Your butt is whipped. Go home and revel in the feeling you get from the workout. And it gets better: once a week is sufficient for most folks because muscle recovery takes at least that long. I never even break a sweat either. I don’t know exactly why you don’t sweat but it’s amazing in any case.
    I mention all this because HTSS has helped me get through a very painful breakup that happened last June and still haunts me. It was so bad that I completely stopped all physical exercise, including HTSS, and became a lump of goo on the sofa. But I finally said enough and got back into the gym 8 weeks ago and the change has been better than I had expected. I am not knocking a sweat-inducing workout. If that’s what a body needs, then go for it. I’m just pointing out that sweating is not necessary in order to achieve life-changing physical and mental fitness. If you’re interested in learning more about HTSS, I recommend Dr. McGuff’s blog:http://www.bodybyscience.net/home.html/ Thank you, James. 

    • http://twitter.com/jaltucher jaltucher

      HTSS actually reminds me of Ashtanga Yoga the way you describe it.

  • http://twitter.com/BarrieAbalard BarrieAbalard

    I suggest masturbation, lots of it, after a breakup. The floods of oxytocin are way better than alcohol. Do it because you should love yourself.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Price/1419232674 Paul Price

      At least with masturbation … it’s sex with someone you love.

  • http://twitter.com/fzeng96 Feng

    It depends on the kind of breakup. There is the phew-thank-god-i-am-finally-free kind, and there is the belly-up-on-the-floor kind.

    But if you do end up on the floor like I did in 2011, you really have to tell yourself that it’s going to take TIME to recover. It may take a 6 month or a year or even 2 years. That’s very hard to see clearly when you are in the middle of relationship disaster. So my only advice is this.


    Use the time to find the part of you that has been lost, that has been covered in mud and dirt. Try to find that diamond in you again. Make it shine. You will shine again.

    If she still with you? Well, it’s a perfect time to screw each other brains out. Actually everyday is a perfect day for that.

    • http://twitter.com/jaltucher jaltucher

      I agree with that. If you can look in the mirror and love yourself (not so easy!) then it’s time to love others. And yes, i agree with the other parts of your comment as well.

  • Jaffery81

    Simply Brilliant !

  • Anonymous

    James, great post as always! 
    Have you seen google logo for this Valentine? The boy falls in love with the girl, loads her with gifts in purely bad move to win her attention and the girl just ignores him. After that the boy seems lost and desperate with clearly suicidal thought on his mind walks to the girl without any presents… And SUDDENLY the girl hugs the crying guy and their hanging out happily. Is it only me who know what exactly the girl said to the boy? She said “let’s just be friends!” And she really did mean that! She will never let the boy even kiss her! Never! NEVER! You know the rest… Destroyed selfesteem and monthslong depression is what the boy from the cartoon is going to get.

    This video is pure example of human’s hypocrisy in everything they call romance! I hate this. The life is different, the love is different.

    James, the only thing I can’t agree with you is the statement “You’ll find another one who is even better. It’s a law of the universe.”

    There’s no such law!!!! The truth is that you have to change to find her. Especially if you’ve been denied for two or three times. The girls (the right ones) just don’t want you! Simple! It’s not that you haven’t find the right one yet. It’s not THAT hard and probably you were very close at some point! But for some reason she was able to offer you only a freaking frienship then.

    If you want romance and love, you have to change. Period. Become enormously rich, get six pack abs, win oscar…. Do anything that will give you confidence! Girls only love confident man. Seduction books and PUA courses are also the step in right direction (not very big step indeed)… And get ready for litteraly years of hard work. 

    Success is a hard fight. Either in bussiness or love. And the most important one. Don’t take it too personally. It’s ALL about you. When you sad, tired or depressed – relax  take a short break. But remeber that your ultimate goal is to transform yourself and become man full of happiness, energy and confidence. And Mrs Right won’t be far away then.

    Happy St. Valentine everyone :)

  • http://planetoplano.blogspot.com/ Leonardo

    poor Valentine. He was actually a Roman aristocrat converted to Christianity, and became a Bishop. He was executed on February 14, 273 (at the age of 97!) for having tried to convert the previous emperor, (who wasn’t as mean as his successor). That’s why he’s a Saint. He supposedly reconciled two lovers, giving them a rose; and celebrated the marriage of a Roman centurion and a very sick Christian girl, (after convincing her parents, who were adamantly opposed). Actually, he’s a symbol of the fight of Christian love against the state, (down with the state!) which tortured and decapitated him, (I guess all the good you do comes back to you, sometimes “fra capo e collo”, between your neck and your head, as we say in Italy. How’s that for cynicism, on this day). But cynicism is bad and today shouldn’t be the day for it. Even if you have only one reason to love somebody, build on that. My best wishes to all the lovers out there!

    • http://twitter.com/jaltucher jaltucher

      Leonardo, thanks for the education!

      • http://planetoplano.blogspot.com/ Leonardo

        You’re welcome. (Down with the state!) Love.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=732244537 Priscilla Paredes Wood

    Go to your local library. No overpriced Starbucks, no need to buy anything but just the library, sit there get a book or just watch people go by or both. It will completely take your mind out of your situation. Watching people -especially seniors- will put things in perspective and chances are you may be able to strike a conversation with someone. The most interesting people I’ve met have been seniors at the library and seeing them smile while telling their stories is priceless.

    • http://twitter.com/jaltucher jaltucher

      Yes, that is a perfect idea.

      • Ykir

        Weird that you’ve liked your local library so much.  After many years of avoiding gov’t libraries, I went to mine and got a little bit creeped out.  The feeling of government was there, though it was nice to see a new place.

  • http://www.kararane.com/ kara rane

    please no pharms for sleep,, try melatonin if absolutely necessary.  Also it is all about Valentina–> http://www.lucky2bu.com/2012/02/saints-of-valentina.html forget about ugly old martyrs and just be happy Now.

  • http://www.joepfeiff.com/ Joe Pfeiff

    Great post, allow me to add my words of wisdom to the conversation:

    The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.

    I’m reminded of the story of the man who stood on a street corner and casually, asked each woman who passed if she would have sex with him. Most of the women would ignore his question and keep walking as if they had not heard him. One day he asked a woman who happened to pass by him on her way to work, who became so incensed with the insinuation that she would ever do such a thing that she stopped to give him a piece of her mind, “What makes you think I would stoop to such a level? How could you think that women would actually fall for something like that?” she scolded him.

    To which the man smiled slyly, and said “You may not think it happens, and it probably won’t ever happen to me and you, but you wouldn’t believe how many women have said ‘yes.'”

    It’s a simple lesson in the power of large numbers, eventually if you ask enough times, you will get anything, but those who never ask, never get. The lesson is to not be afraid of rejection and ignore success and failure equally because neither is any indication of being right or wrong.

  • http://www.carolinegerardo.blogspot.com/ Caroline Gerardo

    My exhusband got me a chain saw once for Valentines Day, he really believed I would be happy because I think gardening is heavenly. ( note the exx part lol) thanks for great healthy thoughts

  • James Ford

    Yep. 4 types of exes: 

    1. Hope she gets hit by a truck.
    2. Hope you two get back together.
    3. Honestly hope she’s doing well.
    4. You don’t have an ex (weird).

    Number 3 is the only good one. http://bit.ly/zVFiYk

    James: Your basic rules on being healthier have allowed me to increase my productivity in all aspects of my life. Sleep, eat, exercise. Works every day.

  • Thomas Rippel

    Look into Invisalign braces.

  • Anonymous

    You rock Altucher

  • http://twitter.com/CallMeJen27 Jennifer Austin

    This year (after a rotten Valentine’s Day last year with my boyfriend), I’m going to do exactly what I wanted last year that he said “no” to:

    I’m going to grill, grab a redbox movie and stay home!

  • Sebastien Latapie

    A good pst as usual! I don’t know if any of you have seen this TED talk by Shawn Achor : http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work.html

    Essentially it says that in order to be more productive, you have to increase your happiness. And the techniques described to increase your happiness closely relate to what is routinely posted on this blog, and the daily practice. Although the TED talk is referring to productivity, it definitely applies to the above post.

    By training our mind to seek out the positive we can avoid getting stuck in a negative rut.

  • charity

    For the women in the crowd the best way to get over a guy, get a pitcher of non-alcoholic (tee-hee) strawberry or lime margarita together, pour into your favorite martini glass and read Hemingways Moveable Feast.  This will help you remember exactly why you are not with the guy in the first place. 

     Book the first massage appointment with the most hunky masseuse you know and enjoy an hour long massage.  This takes the edge off for a couple of days.  Change something, anything in your house to something you love or is totally out of character for you, however even the out of character thing needs to be something you love, it is essential. 

    Then read “Dish” again and get out the fur coats.  Then and only then you will be ready for a museum.  Oh and for sure block the guy immediatley from everything and everywhere.  AND if you haven’t ever snow boarded now is the time to find snow somewhere, anywhere and take up the sport, even for a day.  It allows for real pain and chill and that is exactly what your body needs at a time like this.  Viola, back to earth good as new with real bruises instead of the ones pent up inside.  And it give you something massive to talk with to everyone you meet.  “You should have seen the fall I took…..   

  • http://jlcollinsnh.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/why-you-need-f-you-money/ Jlcollinsnh

    Nope.  Father’s Day must stay.  I got a hot fudge sundae last father’s day….


  • http://www.facebook.com/ari.m.eden Ari M. Eden

    Thoughtful advice as always, James.  Main point is that it does get better eventually I think.

  • LK

    If your heart is really broken then do this: remember all the things he liked about you and write them down immediately before you forget, then do the same with the negative things. Then add a third list for your own hypotheses. Then accentuate the good and eliminate the bad. This will take a few years. When the wound is still fresh pick an instrumental song and listen to it on repeat for a few weeks. Burry your sadness in the song – only allow yourself to cry when the song is playing and you are alone – in front of others be happy. When you are able to not cry unstoppably anymore then lock away the song – treat it as a medicine you only use when you are sick – otherwise keep it on the shelf. Travel around the world and do the things he wanted to do but couldn’t – eat fugu in Japan, dive in Belize, ski in Dubai, etc. Then eventually move to the opposite coast as him. Finally make him want you (it will happen when you stop wanting him) and then get the true perspective on how shallow and unworthy he is when he tries cheap schemes to get you back. Then take a little break from him. And about 6 months later offer to be mature about it, stay friendly, but at an aquaintance level. Also, change your name and start a new group of friends, leave your job for your true passion and make more money than him, try to be graceful about it though. Then just focus more and more on being happy and successful according to your goals and the emphasis will slowly shift away from him onto you. If you miss him, focus that energy on Rosetta Stone learning his first language (if it’s not English) because it’s hard to learn a language and it takes just the kind of motivation a break up like this gives you. Above all remember Kanye West says this will make you STRONGER! (:
    Also, start therapy early and keep doing it even if you feel better. Excercise, socialize, and journal – even when you dont feel like it. It’s okay to acknowledge others who like you even if you don’t like them, just go on a date with them – confidence boosters. Also, be honest with at least and not more than 3 friends about how you really feel. Make them go to the gym with you. Lastly, just keep taking one day at a time because it gets better eventually! Make sure your immediate public rebound is better looking, and better pedigreed than him, but make sure your next real relationship is someone who genuinely makes you happy – and don’t publicize that one because at that point it won’t matter to anyone else but you. Okay last thing, take this as an experience and appreciate it for whatever it was. And last thing that might really help, buy something for your sister or mother or whomever was there supporting you – something really nice. It’s not the easiest thing to do so it’s nice to show appreciation but it also feels really good to think of someone else, when thinking of yourself can make you really sad. Seeing someone you love happy can make you happy too! ((:

  • Dave

    For “F'” you need a #3..  Maybe Z is the real reason, but maybe you did Z because that is who you are, you do Z, its part of you.  Maybe Z isn’t all that bad, its just something she didn’t like,  couldn’t accept about you and thought she could fix.  When she couldn’t fix Z she got mad at you and left.  Maybe you knew she couldn’t deal with Z and you tried to change that about yourself, for her, and only ended up making yourself miserable while failing to make her happy.  Now is the time to forgive yourself and realize that the very thing, Z that annoyed her is the very thing that someone else is going to love about you.  

  • LK

    I would like to take back my previous comment but I don’t know how, James, help!

  • Damnedchou

    but how you destroy your self-sabotage? since lately i’ve been noticing many many people having this problem.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       That is probably worth of a post. I have been guilty of self-sabotage so many times I can’t even count. I think the key is to figure out why you consistently self-sabotage but that is easier said than done.

      • Alexis

        I need you to write this post! I’m a self-sabotage addict.

  • Won.Ton.

    Is this advice suitable for someone who has been “out” for about 3,5 months but still feels like he’s fresh broken up with? Or does that qualifies for a mental health specialist? I seriously wonder sometimes… Cheers.

    • Candy Cat

       3.5 months?  That’s all?  How long were you together?  Just to gauge: mine was 8.5 years, took me 3 years to completely get over it.  At 3.5 months I was still numb.  Give yourself time.

      • Won.Ton.

        Thanks to you both. I’ve been quite bothered because A LOT of people keep telling me I’m “taking a too long time after this and maybe I should go see someone”. Then the same people, when pressed with questions, confess to taking WAY more time after their break-ups. It was my first relationship ever and we were together a little over a year.

    • Leksi K

      Time is not the only factor (re: candy cat). If they were your first love, or if you don’t meet a lot of people it might take longer (speaking from experience). I suggest you treat it like food: if you’ve eaten garlic you will need 1) time and 2) a new stronger taste to wash away the old flavor! If you’ve eaten ice cream instead of garlic, then obviously the requirement to overcome the flavor is different. Whatever it takes, you can do it – and make sure the next flavor is something good (;

  • Mary

    “the worst holiday known to mankind except for maybe Father’s Day, which is 100% commercial and has no historical backdrop”
    It’s very weird for me to hear something like this :) Father’s Day in catholic countries is celebrated the 19th of march, the day of Saint Joseph, to commemorate him being Jesus “father”. That’s why is weird for me, as i consider this day more important than Valentine’s or similar (which really is more about buying stuff).

    *sorry for my language mistakes, non-native :)

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       Interesting, Mary, I did not know that.

  • boo

    These are also outstanding tips for when you get fired (I suppose getting fired is a breakup of sorts!).

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       yeah, I agree with that. I haven’t looked at them that way but you’re right.

  • bill

    James, great advice as always.  I have a question: Although people have and never will be perfect, do you think that our modern culture and educational system have rendered men and women  increasingly incapable of compromise? I am full of faults, yet my last girlfriend (32 at the time with 2 kids) behaved in ways befitting a high school kid rather than a grown/complete human being ( I use the term “complete” in the way that John Taylor Gatto meant).  Certainly, we can’t agree on everything, but loyalty means so much in a ME-centered/STATE-centered world.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       I think you are right. The current environment has made people less able to compromise. For both good and bad reasons. The world is more interconnected so less reasons to compromise. But, at the same time, all the more reason you have to be very selective who you decide to spend the next 40 years with.

  • Amira

    Great tips for breakups with boyfriends, jobs, parents, even close friends, all of the above… :) By the way, the very last bit about writing all the positive things about a person in a love letter is totally buddhist was recommended to me to reconnect with certain people in my life by Sister Chan Khong in Plum Village! :) By the way, she’s incredibly awesome, I just finished reading her book “Learning true love: practicing buddhism in a time of war” http://www.parallax.org/cgi-bin/shopper.cgi?preadd=action&key=BOOKLTL 
    I *highly highly* recommend it, she embodies “True Love”. :))) 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Amira, thanks for that suggestion. I’ll read the book. I have not heard of her before. 

  • Al

    What of those of us who might just enjoy being single?  After 30 years of marriage and a number of relationships before that, I have [re] discovered that I much enjoy the single life style and my own company. I have been “taught” all my life that we need to seek out a partner, establish a relationship, family, etc. I’m not at all sure that that’s for everyone – I don’t think it was for me.

    • Amira

      Have you read this? http://www.bostonmagazine.com/articles/single_by_choice_why_more_of_us_than_ever_before_are_happy_to_never_get_married/page1

      I’m also single by choice, I’m just “unwilling to compromise my moral standards for the sake of a relationship”.
      Favorite quote: [Research shows that] “There’s nothing more lonely than being in the wrong relationship.”
      And a very good proverb in French is “Mieux vaut etre seule que mal accompagnee” which translates to “Better be alone than in bad company” :)

    • Joefromjerze

       Im only 26, I was with the same girl for almost 8 years altogether (we broke up when I enlisted but got back together shortly thereafter), and a few months short of our wedding date, everything fell apart. Now while I certainly don’t have the experience of 30 years of marriage, I would say do all of these regardless of whether you are seeking a new relationship or not. I just read this blog post (thanks LewRockwell.com) but I’ve already implemented most of the things already in my life (sans the drinking :-P) and I am not looking for a new relationship, just enjoying being single. Im in the best shape I’ve been in since I left the Marines. Im not scouring social media trying to see what she’s up to. Im learning to just do things on my own and have fun on my own. I moved into a new place in a new city with new faces and new surrounding. Im telling you brother I have never been happier. So I guess what Im trying to say is that these work whether you’re trying to find someone new, or just enjoying the freedom.

  • http://twitter.com/THEBULLFOREVER Jeff

    OK, I’m gonna have to start remembering this guys name.  I always get tricked into reading his articles and about half way through the lewrockwell page he starts his crazyness and I realize I’ve been had by reading him all over again.  Then I have to click the link at the bottom just to be sure.  Its like getting rick rolled without realizing it for a few minutes.

  • PJ

    Oppositely, I was celebrating V-Day as a quintessential celebration of religious freedom: 


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Connor/100000284561197 Peter Connor

    Thanks James–if you didn’t exist, someone would have to invent you.  I would add one more commandment to your list–Don’t listen to any depressing music.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

       Yeah, thats a very good suggestion. One time I kept listening over and over to the final song in the movie “Juno”. Bad idea.

      • http://manlyvirtues.blogspot.com/ Brandon Harnish

         I would just stay away from hipster movies altogether. Or love movies for that matter. Don’t watch Phantom of the Opera.

    • Guthries Machine

      Yeah, but then when you do that the depressing music comes after you in your dreams and finds you. I dumped him a week ago and last night had a guilty dream of hearing “Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone” by Diana Ross & The Supremes while dancing barefoot in a cold clear pond. Explain THAT, professor! Lol

  • Guest

    Hookers. Two at a time. Live a fantasy.

    I haven’t had a break-up in over 20 years, but if it were to happen, I’d head to Vegas…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Francis-Wagner/724136328 James Francis Wagner

    Genius.  As usual.  I wish I had a big brother like you.

    Makes me think of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lesRVU1RgNg

  • Henry

    what the hell is so bad about father’s day? Weirdo..

  • Ykir

    Visit a larger city; buy something besides necessities; take a walk outside; sing a song, goofy or simply beautiful; cardio, strength, stretching, and endurance exercises;

  • Sameera

    I almost always sit down and have my fav cup of coffee with a book in a remote corner of the world with the old old world music playing in the background in the cafe (There is something abt not bothering with the dish washing etc etc). That IS a date. Other crazy things I did: Watched flop films in theatres  by myself (Dont ask me how it helps, it does and if you can figure out how, pls explain it to me too), Shopped for trinkets (No, no designer shopping and losing money and feeling even worse), bought icecream ( I dint say ‘had’), visited the tailor and got those custom clothes projects completed(this just always works for me!), sat in the balcony and simply put my feet up (bliss!)…. 

  • Samuel Bolaya

    indeed the most powerful spell caster have ever experienced in life. Am Posting this to the Forum in case there is anyone who has similar problem and still looking for a way out.

    1. To care HIV/AID or related illness

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    Dr. Sambola