It sucks to be a dumpee. If you have been dumped more than once, you’re probably asking yourself why you keep drawing the short stick. If it’s your first time though, hey—welcome to the club.
Everyone has his or her coping mechanism, either to scratch the wound or to cauterize it. Music becomes your best friend as the lyrics seem to make a lot more sense. The day somehow turns to your favor and rains—if not, you’ll hate the day anyway. The very human feeling in your chest as if it’d caved in grows more intensely the more your mind recalls memories, words, promises that you now believe are utter bullshit.
And while tempting as it may seem to wade in the pool of tears or wallow in the fiery pits of anger, shame, and resentment, here are some things to keep in mind while you’re going through the phase.
1. You are not helpless.
This is the most important thing you need to remember as a dumpee. You are not helpless. Yes, it happened to you. Yes, you are hurt. Yes, you are a victim—but do not play the victim. I’m not saying you shouldn’t give yourself time to grieve. It’s human nature to throw yourself a pity party. Just don’t overdo it. You can ask for advice all you want, and it doesn’t matter how caring or bluntly it was delivered for you to absorb it. It’s what you do after all that’s happened. It’s your decision how to see yourself through your eyes. I just hope you know when enough really is enough.
2. Do not make “the best thing that ever happened to you” the spitting image of a person.
Seriously. It’s one of the oldest lines in the book. It doesn’t matter how adorable your story was. It just reeks of dependency. What happens if “the best thing that ever happened to you” decides to up and leave you (which, surprise, actually happened)? Believing that “the best thing that ever happened to you” was the same person who dumped you goes to show how much you made his/her world into your world, too. And that he/she has become the center of your universe. When it comes to “the best thing that ever happened to you,” it should be something to the likes of self-fulfillment. It should be devoid of tethering. Allow it to be something that no one can take away from you. And please, no romanticized notions. Be realistic about it.
3. Have a sense of humor anyway.
If you are a naturally funny person, and then shit hits the fan, are you still the same naturally funny person you originally were? Or are you now the unhygienic, miserable slacker who thinks the world hates him/her and has driven everyone away so he/she could be left alone in their fortress of solitude?
Humor can go a long way. It changes your outlook and helps you to be at least a little optimistic. If you can find it in you to pick something funny out of your being a dumpee, then by all means do it. This means to bring out the bitter card every once in a while, but play it out with caution. When people bring up what happened to you, don’t allow the pity to sink in. As a matter of fact, I encourage you to deny yourself the pity you will receive. Instead, poke fun at it. Show them how resilient you can be. You’ll slowly learn to accept your situation, change your mentality on how to see it, and finally move on.
4. Things happen when you least expect them.
You should know. That’s exactly how you became a dumpee. But remember, good shit also happens when you least expect it. You were never meant for just one person. And that one person isn’t the one person. This whole relationship game is all about trial and error. You’ll keep screwing up or they’ll keep screwing up until finally you get it right. Then of course, things blow up in your face even when you do get it right. Chalk it up to experience. This probably isn’t your first time to get dumped. So? Game’s not over yet. You don’t get it wrong once, but you don’t get it right once, either. Take it from Meghan Coates: “We are all searching for someone whose demons play well with ours.” There are way too many people out there to think that only one person can make you happy—or, let’s be cheesy—can make you feel complete. There will be a lot of chances to take and a lot of opportunities to try. There won’t be neon signs, and they won’t come around wrapped in a bow. It’s difficult to take things as they are. But the sooner you’ve come to terms with it, the better.
5. Find yourself.
People often tend to lose themselves when they’re in a relationship. It becomes about the other person. Your family and friends are no longer your top priorities. Your success in life becomes dependent on the success of the other. You stop doing the things you love because your significant other isn’t into it. Your life becomes a dud all the more when you’ve been dumped. You lost your direction, but now it’s time to find it. Don’t know where to start? Try things out. Go back to what you gave up doing, and if it no longer suits you, go find another thing. There is no limit to how much you should try. Spend more time with your family. Reconnect with your friends. The closest people to you are the ones who will help you find yourself—or better yet, reinvent yourself—because they know who you really are. They will be there to help you remember. You owe it to yourself to be able to stand on your own two feet again. It might not be easy, and it might take a while, but remember: This is about you now. And once you’ve gotten a firm understanding of what it is that you really want out of life, you’ll have a much harder time losing yourself the next time the other shoe drops.