Advice for When You've Been Dumped...and for When You're Doing the Dumping
Dear April Masini,
I got dumped, and I'm still having trouble getting over it - even though I'm in my next relationship. I actually think I made a mistake and that this is just a rebound reaction, and now I want to dump him, but I don't want to hurt him. I need advice on how to get over a breakup...And I also need advice on how to end a relationship dump someone!"
April Masini's Advice :
Getting dumped sucks. It's just the worst. Not only is your heart hurt -- you're insulted because he got to do the dumping. But if he did, and you didn't, then this was coming, and you're better off in the long run. Face it - you're better off being with someone who doesn't want to dump you, and you'll soon recover; but for now, you've got to heal gracefully - which is a tall order for any dumpee. Try these dos and don'ts to stay on course.
Dos and Don'ts for When You're Dumped:
1. Don’t call him and hang up. Do call one of your best friends every time you have the urge to call him.
If you've been dumped, fight every impulse to call him just to hear his voice or say hello. It's over, and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you'll be on your way to true love. So if you're feeling lovelorn and dump-sick, call a friend for some TLC, and let them tell you how much better off you are now.
2. Don’t cut off all your hair or dye it green. Do rejuvenate yourself with yoga and a massage.
There's a tendency to want to react to being dumped, by doing something drastic to show you're alive and on top of things. Try to ease that tendency so you don't do anything you may regret later. If, after a month, you still want to cut your hair boy-short and dye it green, then okay. But not the day after a break up! Do something life-affirming and non-drastic, like an exercise class, a massage, a new nail polish color, or a henna tattoo.
3. Don’t burn all the gifts he gave you. Do put them all in a box in the garage. After three months, donate them to charity.
You may be mad as hell and don't want to look at a single thing that reminds you of him, but temper your temper and put all remnants of him in a box in the attic or the garage. Think about giving them to charity and think about what particular charity would really appreciate the items. Make lemonade out of lemons.
4.Don’t call his family or friends. Do call your family and friends.
It's over. Don't connect with his family or friends. It's truly inappropriate. Besides, if he's weak enough to be convinced by his family or friends to take you back, you have a relationship with someone who's easily swayed and that's going to result in more and bigger problems down the pike. Get together with your family and friends and ask them to support your healing and help you have some fun.
5. Don’t dwell on being dumped. Do vent and then get over it. Try to put your feelings and his feelings for you in one category, and your actions and his in another. Chances are, if you separate out his behavior from his feelings, you’ll get over it faster.
Everyone gets over feelings at their own rate, but to help yourself move on, try to consciously not dwell on the break up. It's good to get it all out, but don't let the venting go on for weeks or months. If you're stuck in the negative part of the break up and find that you're getting bitter, get some professional help.
6. Don’t write him a letter and send it to him. Do write him a letter and burn it.
There are always things you wish you said, but didn't in the heat of the moment. And things you wished you hadn't said. This is not the time to correct all that. The important thing is to move on. If writing a letter to him helps you get it out, great. But don't send it. You need to wrap this relationship up and put it to bed, and the sooner you do this, the better you'll feel. If you do write the letter, burn it in the sink. Make a ritual out of it as part of saying goodbye to all that you loved and hated about him.
7. Don’t sit in the house and sulk. Do channel the newfound time you have into something fun and positive.
So you're not dating, and you have time on your hands. Step away from the ice cream and potato chips! This is not the time to soothe your soul with a pint of chunky monkey and a canister of chips. Get out and do what you love. Take a trip if it makes you feel better. A spa is great, a weekend or week with an out of town friend or relative is terrific. Start a business or a hobby you've always wanted to do. Hit the library or the bookstore and buy trashy novels and sit on the beach to read and soak in the gorgeous scenery. Life is good, and the more you appreciate it, the less you'll sulk in the blues.
8. Don’t get into a rebound relationship. Do take your time getting back on your socializing and dating feet.
Go slow when it comes to dating again. Flirt away, and even date away, but don't get into anything too serious too quickly. Your heart is sore from the break up, and any soothing feelings may seem like more than they are - the end-all be-all to your problems instead of just the warmth and comfort of another kind human body. Go out in groups and don't be afraid to go out with other couples as the third wheel - it can be a great way to meet people at parties and restaurants.
Doing the Dumping:
Breaking up is hard to do - if you're a sensitive person. But not breaking up when one of you wants to is worse than breaking up, so do what's right for the big picture, and if it involves breaking up, do it appropriately and kindly.
1. Do it face to face.
Answering machines, e-mails, post-its and faxes are NOT cool ways to break up. If you have spent more than three dates with the person you're breaking up with OR if you've slept with them you owe it to them to sit down, face to face, and tell them it's over and that you're sorry.
2. Keep anger in check.
If you're breaking up because you're angry about something, express yourself, but remember that you are not a victim. You can come and go as you please - and you are. If you're angry, chances are you're mad at yourself for not seeing who this person was earlier, or for not trusting your own instincts.
3. Don't be part of the drama.
If the person you're breaking up with chooses to cause a scene or make threats, don't engage with them. Listen. Be quiet. Don't respond. And if it gets too crazy, leave. If the person you're breaking up with threatens suicide or violence, call a counselor, a doctor, or a police officer and ask for advice. Don't try to take on that kind of situation yourself. It's not responsible on your part.
4. After you break up, - de-brief - with a friend over lunch and a movie.
Keeping in your feelings about what just happened may be overwhelming, and may cause you to want to call your ex for contact or comfort - even if you're the one who broke up with them! Have plans after the break up with a buddy.
Once you're ready to start dating again, check out my book Ideas for A Fun date for some great first date ideas!