Okay, we’re all responsible adults here, and we know that relationships and breakups aren’t about winners and losers. At the end of the day, whether you’ve grown apart quietly or things end with a screaming match, it sucks that whatever connection you once had is dead – but it’s time for you both to turn your attention to healing and growing.

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That being said, if you wanted to feed that little part of you that puts ego above all else, you probably could pick a winner and a loser in most breakups. We love to make a break-up seem amicable in retrospect when, in reality, you probably didn’t both turn to each other and instantly acknowledge things were over. So… what’s the official point scoring system in the boxing match of breakups?

You did the dumping

If you were the one who instigated the breakup, that has to be a mark in your favor – right? If winning here means anything, and if there is actually a prize worth fighting for, it’s finding what you felt you were lacking in the relationship. The first step is figuring out that you feel like you’re missing something. Step two is ending the relationship so you can go and find out what that is.

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It’s not as simple as “you did the dumping, you win the breakup, you’re the good person and they’re not” – but ending a relationship is hard. It shows a willingness to change and make sacrifices, which, while not always a good thing, mostly is.

You didn’t say anything you regret

Honesty and open communication are the bedrock of a strong relationship, but it’s human nature to sometimes bite our tongue when we fear a certain reaction from our partner. It might not be anything serious, and it might not even be explicitly negative, but all it takes is a second of self-doubt for the words to sink back inside.

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Breakups can be an opportunity for either partner, dumper or dumpee, to practice some radical honesty and let slip all of the things they felt but never said. This can of course lead to some hurtful words, and they’re almost always low blows. If you kept your cool and acknowledged the emotional hurt without taking it out on the other person, then that round goes to you.

You’re willing to part on good terms

You won’t always want to stay friends with your ex, or even on speaking terms, and there are a million great reasons as to why. The thing is, for it to be a breakup worth winning and not just immediately forgetting about, you sort of have to feel some emotional investment in the partnership.

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Love sometimes comes out of nowhere, but it rarely stays around without work and compatibility. Up until now, you were both a part of that labor. That’s assuming it wasn’t a car crash relationship, in which case you already win by leaving it. In any case, it’s worth remembering your shared investment, and carrying that care for them with you after everything is over.

You feel at peace

To continue the boxing metaphor, the ‘championship rounds’ of the breakup will be the following weeks or months, when you’re physically and emotionally adjusting to life outside of a relationship. People struggle during the breakup, sure, but even once the immediate threat of difficult conversations is over, there still remains a lingering sense of unease.

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The sooner that feeling fades, the better the odds of you coming out on top. You’re not truly living when you lie in bed all day moping over lost love, checking your phone every 15 minutes to see if they’ve reached out – you’re only hurting yourself when you indulge in that. Allow yourself the time to grieve and feel knocked down by life, but if you want to win, you have to beat that 10 count.

Their parents still like you

Sometimes, a partner’s parents are really cool, and you feel a little pang of guilt at having to say goodbye to them through no fault of their own. Maybe you have your own parent stuff to work out, or you just love the way they seem really put together, and like have this whole life thing figured out. Either way, they can sometimes feel like our friends.

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Obviously you won’t be invited round for dinner very often, unless your families were friends beforehand or you live inside some weird CW show, but it can be a relief to hear that they’re sad to see you go. Plus, you know that the version of events your partner told them doesn’t paint you as a twisted, manipulative heart breaker, and isn’t that nice?

You get all of the stuff you wanted

It all comes down to this at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter how many points you score in rounds one through 12 if you get hit with the haymaker of “I paid for the TV” – there’s just no coming back from that. In all seriousness, a lot of how this stage goes is informed by the previous ones.

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If you’re at each other’s throats over the relationship ending, of course you’re both going to be petty about your stuff. But it’s not really about the lamp, is it? Some pricier items are worth putting your foot down for, but you should be willing to part with sentimental objects as a peace offering, or just out of whatever sense of respect you still have for them.