The New Way To Break Up: Be Kind

happy couple eating watermelon smiling
Love, Heartbreak

The breakup has grown up! 4 signs being kind pays in breakups today.

Landon Donovan doesn't only score points in World Cup soccer games, but in the world of relationships, as well. Although he's no longer married to actress Bianca Kajlich, People reported that—during his post-game interview—Donovan gave his ex-wife a shout-out and blew her a kiss.


"I wouldn't be where I was on that day without her. I wanted to share that moment with her, which was really special," said Donovan.

Does he know something we don't? Because typically, when it comes to exes, we don't do shout-outs; we block them on Facebook, and we don't serve our exes with good news but with lawsuits. It's crazy—nay, impossible—to stay friends with an ex once the relationship has ended. Right?

Wrong. Remaining friends post-breakup, even post-divorce, is doable. Breakups aren't always the three-headed beasts they once were. In today's society, we have a tendency to date longer and later into life. A breakup at age 35 has the potential to be more amicable than those we experienced at age 20. Why? For starters, the chances are that we've lived through one (or five) before. Plus, we are increasingly more comfortable with the idea that one person forever might not be our future. We'd like that, for the most part, but we've seen enough couples part ways only to become happier post-split to know that sometimes a breakup is, indeed, for the best. It seems society is catching onto the idea that a breakup doesn't have to be filled with screaming matches, hate and unbridled anger. Still don't believe us? Read on.

1. Breakup gifts. Students at a Taiwanese university recently created breakup gifts, meant to be exchanged when parting ways in order to ease the pain and anger that often follow splits.

2. Deliberate, gentle breakups are en vogue. Our friends at Lemondrop crafted as a breakup plan that aims to "lay the groundwork for a smooth breakup." There's a better chance of staying close to an ex if you're, well, nice while breaking up.

3. Taking the dirty out of divorce. Just last month, we published an essay from a young divorcee who celebrates her first marriage and its demise because, as she puts it, "Divorce shouldn't make you depressed; it's being unhappily married that does that." In Defense Of Starter Marriage

4. Fewer legal hurdles to divorce. New York recently approved no-fault divorces, as had 49 other states before it. Gone are the days where only one of you has to shoulder the blame for a failed nuptial. While it doesn't erase the pain of a split, it definitely eases it. Pointing accusatory fingers doesn't exactly make for an easy friendship to follow and, as the Buffalo News reported, putting "two people who have already gone separate ways through the financial and emotional gauntlet is tiresome and eventually wears the parties and their families down. The end result can often be emotionally scarred children and embittered adults." Can You Stay Friends With An Exes' Mom?

Ultimately, who wants to be bitter? You've just ended a relationship with someone you were sharing your life with, someone who knew just how you liked your morning coffee or to TiVo episodes of Glee when you were working late. They've become more than a boyfriend or husband, but a best friend, and losing that special connection hurts. We can love our exes without being in love with them. It doesn't mean we're still attached—it means we're mature. 

No matter what advice or trend you follow, the two of you are unlikely to go from coupled to best friends overnight. Be patient. Allow yourselves time to heal. Get used to not being romantically connected, so that you can eventually forge a new, platonic relationship. Why You Should Remain Facebook Friends With An Ex

Readers, are you close with your exes? What are some ways to make that possible?