For all those notorious drunk dialers and those prone to weak phone moments after sappy movies, I have developed a little trick to help prevent calling the people you don’t want to want to call.

Your phone is no longer your enemy in the battle against leaving someone behind; it is your training device.  Here’s what you do when someone is invading your phone space or when, at critical times, you can’t seem to remember (or care) why you stopped talking to someone.

1. Don’t delete. Deleting his number is actually an advantage for him because every time he calls you see his number, and if you’re good with number recollection, you may inadvertently memorize it. Then you’re really screwed. Also, when you’ll inevitably need/want it again, then you’re stuck asking around for his number.

2. Rename him. Try to pinpoint exactly the reason you don’t want him in 2 or 3 words.  You can also think of what you want your response to be to him. Then, edit his contact info in your phone.  First name: Over, last name: It. First name: Crazy, last name: Jerk.  Try these: Not Worthit, Man Whore, Selfish Bastard.  I recommend using first and last name rather than nickname because when you scroll through your contact list you don’t see the nickname, and this isn’t as effective.  If you think you may forget who you assigned what name to, add his real name as the nickname.  That way you can see who it is as a side note when he calls.

3. Assign Foreboding Tones. If you want to go all out, this is the kicker. You’ll hate getting calls and texts from him when you assign him the most irritating or foreboding alert tones. It’s reverse Pavlov. Abrubt alarms, suspenseful tones, and dread inducing crescendos all work wonderfully.  There are always options on your phone for this, and there are infinitely more on ringtone apps.

I don’t think I’ll take this call…

Little does he know that every time he tries to worm his way back into your heart, he’s doing more harm than good.  The more he tries, the more you realize you don’t want him to. Each time he sends a message trying to promote himself, you’re counteracting it with your own message to yourself: he’s not what I want.