If you get dumped

Posted on January 14, 2011

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No one likes being dumped.

Even if you were in a relationship where you weren’t particularly happy, even if you yourself have been entertaining the idea of ending things, there’s just something about being the dumpee which, well, sucks.

But it happens. And when it does, you may feel completely blindsided and unsure of how to react. Although nobody likes thinking about getting dumped, having a few guidelines for behavior in this uncomfortable situation may help preserve your dignity. Which is why I provide them for you below.

Guideline 1: Do not protest your now ex-partner’s decision to end the relationship.

Don’t beg this person to change his mind. Don’t argue about the reasons she gave you for her ending things. The dumper has already decided that you are not the right one for him/her and there’s nothing you can do about this decision. The dumper may-and hopefully should-be delivering the news to you face-to-face, in the kindest way possible. Don’t misunderstand their kindness as a possibility for reconsideration of their decision.

Guideline 2: Don’t contact this person.

Once the relationship is over, it’s over. Any attempts from you to regain contact will only hurt you even more. Don’t call, don’t text, don’t show up in a place where you know you will have to see your ex (if you can swing it). And yes, please remove them from your Facebook friends list. Very rarely are people who once dated able to become real friends so it’s best if you don’t even consider a future friendship a possibility.

Guideline 3: It’s okay to be hurt and angry and to express your feelings…but save these intimate emotions for understanding and supportive friends.

A lot of us are tempted to tell our exes just how much damage they’ve done or how pissed off we are at them. Don’t. You have every right to be hurt and angry after you’ve been dumped. You have every right to express your hurt and anger. (In fact, you’re probably going to need to do this in order to move on).

However, hurt and anger are important emotions. They are intimate emotions so be very careful with whom you share them. Your ex has lost the right to see any intimate sides of you. (Callous and cold friends and family members have as well). So go ahead and call the people you know will love and support you as you process the end of your relationship. Just don’t expect your ex to be one of them.

Guideline 4: Don’t demonize your partner or plan revenge.

Revenge is not worth your time or energy. Villianizing someone you once spent your romantic life makes you look pretty bad to any potential partners. Take responsibility for the part you played in the ending of the relationship (no matter how small) and when speaking about your ex, do so in a polite way.

Guideline 5: Resist thinking that you’ve just lost your soul mate.

A few weeks ago, I was coaching a man who was convinced that he had just lost his soul mate. He had just been dumped and he was miserable because he believed he had lost “the one.”

I challenged him-and I challenge you too-to really think about your definition of soul mate. If someone was your soul mate, wouldn’t he/she want to be with you? A soul mate is not someone who rejects you or dumps you, but who reciprocates your feelings of love. In fact, doesn’t the fact that someone dumped you automatically mean they are not the right person for you to be with?

I would argue that technically it’s impossible for anyone who rejects you to be your soul mate. So yes, mourn your loss. But don’t give your energy to thoughts that can only hinder you from meeting the great person who really is perfect for you.

Guideline 6: Remind yourself about your fabulousness.

Getting dumped takes a pretty big hit on one’s self-esteem. In fact, prepare for your lizard to go buck wild with self-defeating criticisms when this happens.

You’ve gotta be able to countermand all this negativity in order to get your mojo back. So go ahead and be shamelessly uninhibited and write down all of the reasons that you are a really great catch. Remind yourself, over and over again, of your worth and surround yourself with loving people who do the same.

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