1. Return apartment keys. At this point, you'll be emotionally raw and should avoid an in-person exchange at all costs. Put them in the mail or leave them with the roommate. Try not to think of the joy you had when you first exchanged them.
  2. Put those boots they never wore in a box and again, mail them or leave them with the room mate. If you are tempted to send a nonchalant text about this, tell your friends and let their judgment dissuade you.
  3. Cry in yoga class. Cry everywhere.
  4. Go out and flirt with other people, even though you feel like you're doing a bad revival of the play called "Your Life". Feel fantastic after a few drinks, then unintentionally get drunk and remember you're no longer with your significant other. Go home alone, cry and don't bother to brush your teeth.
  5. Pour over old photos, posts and messages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, ListApp(?!), analyze each word and "like". Obsess over the visible trajectory of your relationship, knowing fully this will not change the current state of things.
    Note: If seeing that your ex has changed his/her relationship status makes you pass out or barf, consider quitting all social media.
  6. Avoid certain bars/restaurants that you two used to frequent, so you don't have to have to explain your situation to the bartender/waitstaff. It's too humiliating.
  7. Start to miss him/her. It will feel like someone has taken a heart-shaped cookie cutter to the center of your chest. Take the local instead of express subway lines on the lower half of Manhattan, because that's what your ex does. "Stumble upon" his/her local coffee joint.
  8. Mistake every person/animal/inanimate object with similar coloring or shape for your beloved ex. Feel your heart sink when you realize it's not them.
  9. Binge watch the rest of the TV show you guys started together. After all, you might need something to talk about when you *finally* become friends.
  10. In a moment of weakness, text him/her. This will start off feeling great, then quickly turn. Their replies will be unsatisfying no matter what, like a sandwich on gluten-free crackers.
  11. Slowly rebuild the Jenga pieces of your life. Celebrate when you get through a day without crying or when you put on pants with a zippered crotch. Learn how to fill your days with things that bring you joy, and you won't have time to remember how miserable you actually are. Delete his/her parents' numbers from your phone.
  12. A few years later, respond to his/her text that catches you off guard. Allow all of your suppressed emotions to resurface. Go back to #3. Rinse and repeat.