To say that I’ve always been the dumpee would be a lie. I’ve broken up with my fair share of boys, but I’ve come to realize that I’ve always been the dumpee in the relationships that mattered the most to me. I’m still not sure how that works, and of course I have my theories, but it’s just what I’ve come to notice. When I am 100% invested, which hasn’t been that many times if we’re being honest, I end up getting dumped. What in the actual f*@#! is that about? Every time I get the same speech, (stop me if you’ve heard this one. Just kidding you can’t):
“You are truly amazing. You’ve been so good to me and I am lucky that I’ve had the chance to be with you. Any guy that gets the chance to be with you will be so lucky. You’re incredible, beautiful, wonderful, etc., BUT blah, blah, blah, excuse, excuse for why I don’t want to be with you.” The End.
Awesome. Said no girl ever.
Now, I’ve always prided myself on being able to read between the lines and hear what was being said inside of actual words, but for some reason this one always takes me by surprise and I get the urge to humiliate myself trying to fight for what I later realize is a lost cause. It took me a while to finally understand what is being said here. Are you ready for it? Probably not, but you’re getting it anyway.
“I don’t want to be with you anymore, because the brutal truth is that I don’t love you.”
Let’s be honest, if that had been said originally, yes it would have sucked really badly, but it would have saved me a TON of pain over the long run. That’s not something I can fight or argue with. It’s just something to accept. They don’t love me. Ok, cool. I can start healing from a clean break. When they start telling you that “yes I love you, but ….” Or the classic “it’s not you, honestly…” Nothing is heard after that. All we hear is that they do love us. So if they love us, why aren’t we together? That leaves room for us to fight for them, to try to dispel any reasons they have for not being with us. To make fools of ourselves. We try to make sense of things. We actually end up defending them to everyone we talk to: he’s just really stressed out right now, he’s got so much going on, etc., while everyone in our lives is trying to tell us what he wouldn’t. “He just doesn’t want you, dude. Wake up!” The trouble is, we want to believe the people we’ve loved and been so invested in. We want to believe that they believe the reasons they’ve given us; that they would never intentionally lie to us, even if it is to keep from hurting us. They don’t realize that they would be hurting us a whole lot less if they were just brutally honest to begin with.
This is where I’m going to address all you psychos out there- you know who you are. You who just can’t accept what you are told without flipping the f*@#! out and going crazy. Those of you threatening suicide, faking seizures, hacking into their email and sending horrible messages to their contacts, throwing stuff, hitting, stalking, keying their car and whatever other nut job behaviors you’re committing. Knock that shit off! You’re giving all women a bad name. You are programming men to expect crazy reactions and because of that, they sugar coat stuff. They beat around the bush and won’t say what needs to be said. I can’t blame them! I wouldn’t want some girl going psycho on me because I just don’t feel what I should for them, what they deserve. A man tries to let you go so you can find someone that really wants you, and you won’t let him without being a totally crazy bitch. Seriously? Shame on you. You’re embarrassing. Stop it. Is that to say that some guys aren’t just assholes? Nope. I am aware of that fact and some just don’t like being seen as the bad guy, but if we are being real- most are scared of crazy bitches. Moving on.
So you’ve been dumped by the current “love of your life” (how many times have you said that? Right, so you know there will be another one), what do you do now? How can you ever move on? Lucky you, I’ve provided a list. This is not about how to get the right guy or how to get a guy back. Clearly that is not my forte. This is about how you handle what’s happening, the next step- where I have plenty of experience. It’s about moving on after you realize he’s not into you, understanding that it doesn’t matter that he isn’t into you, and maybe even realizing that you honestly weren’t that into him either. This is about you.
So, first thing’s first- you need to ask yourself a couple questions and be sincerely honest with yourself in your answers.
- Do you honestly, with every fiber in your being, believe that person was the one and only person in this world for you?
- Was it really perfect or are you ignoring all the bad stuff, romanticizing what you had because you’re hurt?
- Are you upset because it’s over and he was “the one”, or are you actually upset because it wasn’t ended by you on your terms? That it wasn’t your decision?
- Do you really miss him, or just the “idea” of him and having someone to focus your attention on so you could avoid focusing on yourself?
Here’s the thing- the answers to these questions really don’t matter in the long run. They may help you develop some perspective which is always nice, but the truth is, all that matters is that the relationship is over. That’s it. The reasons given are irrelevant, what was said doesn’t matter. It doesn’t change the outcome. If they wanted to be with you, they would be. It’s that simple. Yeah, I’m a jerk. But I’m an honest one, so let’s start healing and moving on.
Yep. You read that right. The first step is to just cry it out. This needs to happen. Allow yourself to feel it all: the anger, the pain, the hurt, the depression, the sadness, and just let it out. If you need company while you do this and your friends will be there with you for it, great- call them up, but whether you do this alone or with friends- turn your phone off and put it away. Seriously. This is extremely important! Do not give yourself an opportunity to send crazy or desperate messages that should be left in your own mind. This will also keep you from posting those cryptic, pathetic messages on social media that are just drama-inducing and unnecessary. (Again- you know who you are. Stop it.) You want attention? Call your mom. Don’t post your drama for the world to see because once you’re over this moment and past this phase you’ll wish you had never done it and it will continue to come up and be pushed in your face. That makes it really tough to move on in a healthy way. Don’t do it. If you feel like you must write it out, grab a pen and some paper- (yeah, remember those? Going old school)- and get it all out. When you’re done, rip that thing into a million pieces or burn it, whatever makes you happy (outside of sending it to the person) and let it go.
#2- Recognize that they are doing you a favor.
Yeah, I know. I get it. It doesn’t seem like it at the time, but try to see that if they don’t love you, or don’t want to be with you- they are doing the right thing by letting you go so you can find someone that will. They are closing the door on something that is not serving you. This puts you in a great position to move forward into something better for you. Repeat after me: This is the best possible thing for me, even if I can’t see it yet. Quit rolling your eyes at me and just do it. Good job.
#3- Understand that a relationship ending is not a reflection of your self-worth.
Just because someone doesn’t want to be with you, does not mean there is anything wrong with you, or that no one will want to be with you. I repeat- just because someone doesn’t want to be with you, does not mean there is anything wrong with you, or that no one will want to be with you. It’s time to realize that not everyone you date is meant for you and just because you want them to be doesn’t make it so. You are not less of a person or unworthy or unlovable just because you haven’t found the right person yet. Stop blaming yourself. Don’t blame anyone. It isn’t anyone’s fault when two people aren’t meant to be together. It’s just the way things are.
#4- Change your perspective. Being single is not the end of the world, so stop being so dramatic.
Being single is the perfect opportunity to try new things, reinvent yourself, and become the person you always wanted to be without any limitations. Those of you who have been in long relationships may not even realize what you don’t know about yourself, but the more time you give yourself being single, the more you will learn. Spend some time really figuring out what it is that you want out of this life, and out of a partner. When the next chance comes along, don’t compromise on those things you’ve realized you really want. No settling! Knowing yourself is the best way to find someone who is truly compatible with you. How can you have a successful relationship with anyone, no matter how great they are, if you don’t really know yourself? The answer is you can’t. Keep in mind, being alone isn’t synonymous with lonely. You do not ever have to be truly lonely. That’s a choice you make. Yeah, you read that right too. It’s a choice. Choose better.
#5- Better yet, don’t just spend this time learning who you are, spend it loving who you are.
Quit expecting others to see something in you that you don’t. If you don’t believe you are lovable, why would anyone else? Why should they for that matter? It’s not fair to ask someone else to figure that out for you. I can guarantee that there are a million reasons to love the person you are, but you have to figure them out first so you can go into life and relationships with the confidence that you truly do deserve the best and it will come. That may finally include the relationship that you have with yourself, the most important relationship of your life, and I would guess the most neglected.
I have an exercise for you at this point: Sit down and start a list of everything that is pretty great about you and in your life. These could be simple things: “I have good hearing.” “Look at me being literate and reading an article!” “I have a couch so I don’t have to sit on the floor. Whoopee!” I know that seems silly, but it’s seeing the positive in every single thing that you can and it’s a start until you can see all the amazing qualities you possess and that you are wanting others to see. Can’t think of anything real? Ask your friends. They are your friends for a reason- they obviously like something about you so you might as well find out what it is. Continue to add to the list every day. And if there are qualities that you really don’t possess, but wish you did- make a list of those and then start working on developing them. Take a class. Read the literature. Surround yourself with people that do possess them so you can learn. Everything starts with you, so get started.
#6- Be patient.
Don’t try to overhaul your life overnight. Self-improvement takes time. But you have to do the work to get to where you want to be in this life. Do things for yourself and trust that when the time is right, it will come. If you try to force it, you will once again end up with someone that isn’t right for you, beating your head against a wall wondering why things never work out or whatever other crap you tell yourself. Be patient. Trust. Learn how to love being single. It doesn’t have to be your preference or life dream to be alone, but it does deserve to be appreciated and as there are so many great things about your time being single, love them and enjoy them rather than focusing on how much you wish you were in a relationship or dwelling on why the last one didn’t work out. Focus on what’s right about right now, not what you perceive as wrong.
#7- Remember your friends.
If you are like way too many other women, you’ve neglected your friendships throughout the entirety of your last relationship, and every other relationship you’ve had for that matter. The time for that is over. Now is the time to make your friendships a priority, healing them and being an active participant in them. Then the next time you enter a relationship- maintain those friendships as they are some of the most important in your life. And if the friendships you used to have no longer serve you, build new ones with people who are in tune with the life you are wanting for yourself. Seek out people that make you want to be a better person, people that have common interests that you can do things with, and then do not abandon them when you meet someone new. Under no circumstances do you ruin your friendships because of a new relationship. Make room in your life for both. It’s important on so many levels. Remember who you turned to when this relationship ended. Just one of the many reasons you don’t blow those off. One day there won’t be anyone to turn to. Keep your friends no matter what.
#8- Get out of your house
So you’ve had that long cry, and now all you want to do is stay there. I get it. It is so easy to hole up in your home on the couch or in bed and wallow in your depression, but is that really helping you? I’m going to take a stab at it and say no, it’s not. It’s also my guess that you are the kind of person that should never be allowed to be alone with their thoughts in times like these because you never hang out in the positive. This takes some training to do, but when you see this starting to happen- call one of those friends that you’ve made or renewed and get out of your house. It doesn’t matter what you do. Go for a walk, go for coffee or a meal. And I lied- it does matter what you do. Do not go drinking or anything else that is going to make your emotional state even worse or give you something more to regret in the morning. This is about building yourself up, not compounding problems. And if none of your friends is available- treat yourself to some time to yourself out of the house. It’s not about not being alone necessarily, but more about getting a change of scenery that will pull you out of the mindset you were stuck in and hopefully bring more positive thoughts to mind.
#9- Get moving
Everyone always says this, and there’s a reason (and science to back it up)- because it’s the best advice in the world- move your body. When you’re all depressed this can turn out to be one of the most difficult to do, but exercise in some way. It could be the slowest walk of your life, but you’re moving and that’s what matters. It’s something positive for your body and mind. Every little bit helps so just move. Dance around your living room, sit on the floor and do some stretches (make sure your muscles are warm for this so you don’t hurt yourself), whatever strikes your fancy- do that. It’s just so important to get active and you will find that in the depths of your current despair you are actually improving your life.
#10- Take it one day at a time
Every day is going to be different. Today you may be feeling awesome. Tomorrow you’re going to feel like a truck ran over you after getting shit on by a dog. Understand that there will be ups and downs, and do what you have to for you to be in the best position you can be for that day. Feeling amazing? Excellent- feed that and do what it takes to hold onto that feeling for as long as possible. Feeling like poo? Start with the small baby steps that are going to improve that even the smallest degree. You will start to notice that the awesome days happen more often, the poo days are less awful and don’t come as frequently. Then one day you’ll wake up and realize that this was all just a blip in the amazing life you have.
So we’ve discussed all the things you’re going to do. We need to talk about all the things that you are not, under any circumstances, going to do. What are they? I’m so glad you asked.
You are not…
…Going to try to convince him that he wants to be with you or that he does in fact love you. If you have to convince someone of these things, you don’t want them. To add to that, you are definitely not going to do this by pretending to be something you are not. Do not all the sudden try to make him think you like all the stuff he does when you don’t. That will undoubtedly backfire. Stay true to the person you are. If you believe there was truly a misunderstanding and want to address it, and he is open to that- then by all means give it a shot, but do not get attached to the idea that it will change anything. Be prepared for an outcome that you don’t desire and accept it with grace.
You are not…
…Going to be a psycho. We already talked about this. Knock it off. No crazy text messages, no cryptic or horrible Facebook posts, no stalking (illegal and will get you a restraining order- stop), no hitting (duh really), no defacing property [ie: keying his car, egging his house (how old are we?), slashing tires], no faking pregnancies or medical emergencies… none of that. Act in such a way that you can look back and have no regrets or a police record.
You are not…
…Going to be a pathetic mess. No leaving crying messages on his voicemail begging him to come back or telling him how much you miss him. You will keep showering and taking care of yourself, cuz really, that’s just gross. You want to be a mess? Do it at home in private. Again- turn your phone off if you have to. Don’t make it worse. Being the poster-child for misery is not going to get you anywhere and definitely won’t be winning you any awards so the attempt is unnecessary. That is not how you want to be remembered.
You are not…
…Going to be miserable forever. This I promise. You will get through this and you will be better for it. You will have learned more about yourself, developed a better relationship with yourself and those around you, and will be a better partner for the next person that comes along. Every failed relationship is just a step in the right direction to the best relationship for you. Learn from them and grow.
Break ups are hard, trust me I know. But they do not have to run (or ruin) your life. Give them the time they are due, and begin healing. I’m not asking you to fake it and pretend like you aren’t hurting, but I am asking you not to dwell in those thoughts and actions that aren’t helping you. Some of these things may be extremely difficult for you, but do them anyway. Even a baby step is a step toward happiness and away from pain. Just think how amazing it’s going to be when you can look back on this time and remember it for the growth and rebirth instead of the pain. Someday you’ll actually thank him for letting you go. Crazy, right? Just wait. You’ll see.