It's Not a Breakup, It's a 'Breakover'

Breakups serve us our most unglamorous moments: hovering over a pint of ice cream at 2:30 a.m., weeping in front of the television, living in sweatpants.

And sometimes, that's the least of it.

"After my breakup I definitely did some stalking," said 22-year-old Marie Burtz of Clemson, S.C. "I knew what time he would go get breakfast every Thursday. I would go to that place and just wait around, all dressed up, to show him what he was missing.

"One time, I made cookies for his roommate, even though his roommate and I weren’t really great friends," she continued with a laugh. "I just wanted to take the cookies by and, again, show him what he was missing. One time, I parked my car several times during the night so I could watch him walk back and forth to his apartment. Yeah, that’s a little creepy."

Recognizing the plight of gals like Burtz, former "Sex and the City" writer and come-lately dating guru Greg Behrendt (search), author of the runaway hit "He's Just Not That Into You," (search) co-authored "It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken," (search) with his wife Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt, to guide dumpees (and to a lesser extent, dumpers) through a breakup with the same solid, uncomplicated advice that made "Not Into You" a success.

"Honestly, I think the self-help section of the bookstore should be called, 'Yeah, duh' because some of [the advice] is really obvious," Behrendt told

One of the strongest messages from the book, which is currently No. 67 on the bestseller list, is that a breakup can be a chance for a "breakover," or a fresh start.

"It was the best thing that ever happened to me," Behrendt said of his worst romantic split.

While “processing” the pain is important, “Breakup” advises against overindulging in the sadness of a failed relationship, because wallowing prevents you from actively managing your recuperation.

Backsliding into bad post-breakup habits, said Behrendt, is only "short-term relief. Like the 21st bite of dulce de leche. It only temporarily relieves the pain."

In order to move forward, “Breakup,” advises a period of “he-tox” — going 60 days without contacting the ex — and recruiting a “breakup buddy,” a sympathetically-inclined sidekick firm enough to talk you out of relapsing into typical post-breakup behavior (the book mostly focuses on female dumpees, but also offers tips for lovelorn guys).

"I think the 60 day he-tox is such a great idea. That’s maybe the smartest thing I’ve ever heard. You need time to yourself. You need to find yourself again. You can’t get cluttered by him reminding you all the time about the past," said Kristin, 21, of New York City.

Ruotola-Behrendt said that all of the advice in “Breakup” is essentially aimed at regaining or developing a stronger self-esteem.

“If you're looking for [another partner] for gratification, you definitely have more work to do. Even if you can't do everything in the book, just take some action. Even just trying, even just reading the book puts you in motion to getting better."

But not everybody agrees with all of the advice in the book.

One reader, posting her thoughts on, called the guide "a totally useless book in terms of really helping people review their emotional journey through life, love and relationships."

And New York City-based psychotherapist Dr. Gilda Carle advises against reliance on friends, which the book recommends.

"It’s not OK to maintain the victim role around other people," she said.

But the majority of responses to the book on are positive.

"Mom of Sons" of Buffalo, N.Y., wrote: "I really wish this book had been around when I was in my 20s and making all the mistakes Behrendt outlines in gory and humorous details here."

Burtz too wishes Behrendt has been around when she was going through her breakup.

"I wish I had somebody tell me some of the stuff in that book. It definitely would have saved me from embarrassing myself. I look back and, honestly, cringe. Cringe!"