How To Get Dumped

See it coming from a mile away. You’ve been getting rejected in small but important ways for some time now. Their body is further away from you when you sleep, they call with less frequency, they’ve been looking disinterested. Panic silently in your room and wonder what you can do to remedy the situation. Decide to be overbearing and shower them with love. “I love it when you wear that shirt. It’s my favorite shirt on my favorite person!!!” Feel distraught when they don’t reciprocate and become aware of the increasing gap between your feelings. Realize you’re going to be shacking up at Heartbreak Motel any day now—the one that’s on the corner of Disbelief and I Need A Drink.

Or don’t see it coming at all. Be happy in your relationship. Spend your last days together cuddling and feeling secure. Be confident that this person loves you just as much as you love them. The day before you get dumped, watch them make you spaghetti and play a DVR recording of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Eat the spaghetti in comfortable silence, save for the occasional laughter at some joke. Just another regular night in with your boo!

It doesn’t matter if you see it coming or if you’re blindslided because your reactions will be the same. You will be stunned when they sit you down and tell you in so many words that they don’t want to make spaghetti with you, they don’t want to lie in bed next to you, they don’t want your penis, they don’t want your vagina. At some point, they did. At some point, that’s all they wanted, but those days are gone now. The heart is a fickle thing. You knew this, didn’t you?

It’s always hard when we’re perceived as not being good enough. We immediately go to that dark irrational place and think about the things we could’ve differently. “Maybe if I dyed my hair a different color, maybe if I had let them see Tree Of Life instead of Project Nim last weekend, we would still be together. Yes, that’s what must’ve set them over the edge into the “I Don’t Love You Anymore” category—seeing that damn chimp movie instead of Brad Pitt and some dinosaurs.” This is illogical of course but it’s what your mind goes to when you’ve been rejected. What could you have done to get them to stay and want to eat spaghetti with you for the rest of your life?

We work so hard to be loved by others. We go to the right bars, spend money on nice haircuts and jeans, all so someone can maybe look at us and be like, “Okay, I want you.” Getting dumped by someone who used to want you feels like the ultimate rejection. What about you has changed? How can you go back to being the person they used to love? These questions don’t have answers. In the beginning, you think they do. You think there’s some secret you must find out but there’s not. It’s just life. People change, they fall in and out of love, and in a weird way, sometimes it truly has nothing to do with you.

The only thing you could mourn is being born a human instead of a penguin or a lobster. Those mate for life, right? Well, wouldn’t that be nice! Humans aren’t necessarily wired that way. So you can go cry about that, I guess. You can go cry about being born as a species that hurts others, that can change their feelings at the drop of a hat. Any other kind of mourning is fruitless. Because when they say things like, “It’s not you, it’s me”, they mean it even if they think they don’t mean it. Even if they dumped you because you were too needy or too kind or too mean, they were still able to change their feelings and abandon the relationship because that’s what people do. At some point, you will probably do it too and then you will gain a larger understanding of how these things work. Honestly, that’s the best way to finally get over being dumped— dumping someone else. Understand how to fall out of love with someone. It will make you realize, “OMG, people are just big ol’ jerks who get tired of someone and move on! I get it now. I can do this!” Call the person who dumped you and tell them this. They’ll think you’re insane and/or high, but whatever. At least you’re happy. TC mark

Image via Innocent Eyez

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • Michael

    you break my heart everyday.

  • Michael

    you break my heart everyday.

  • Michael

    you break my heart everyday.

  • Amy Stage

    This post came the morning after I was dumped. Fate! I love it, you’re my favorite writer here.

  • Me

    this made my broken heart smile

  • carolyn

    You are ridiculously, comfortingly accurate

  • WIZK

    YAY!  Anoder sweet article from RYU!

  • Guesty

    Ugh, I just got into a relationship and I’m terrified.  TERRIFIED

    • Joanna L

      I know what you mean.  It’s SO SCARY.

  • Aimee Vondrak

    You always just know how to say things Ryan. I scroll slowly so I’m not blindsided by the end of one of your pieces and can be comforted by the indentation of a new paragraph. Thanks for keeping it to the point, and just long enough to keep us pacified :)

  • Mr Shankly

    I was worried when I saw the title but this was nice.

  • Burger King

    “…they don’t want your penis, they don’t want your vagina.”
    Damn, I hate when my partner doesn’t want either. Usually I can get them interested in at LEAST my vagina or my penis.

  • Jo

    That one is deep. My all time fave.

    • Briana



  • vee

    only 24 and so wise 

  • Sam

    boy do I ever wish that I was a penguin or lobster not part of a stupid species that hurts others/and gets hurt.

  • Tau Zaman

    Whenever I got dumped, I used to always do this thing where I would act like I’m totally cool with it and so mature and totally respect their feelings and “get it.” Because even though it’s completely illogical, I think, like, there’s some glimmer of hope they’ll go, “oh wow, he’s taking this so well, I’m totally blown away by his maturity and respect for my feelings and yeah I’ll totally give them another chance.” Or something. It’s so dumb. 

    Now I just say, “Okay, well, that hurts, alot. But I get it. Just know I was really happy with you and I’ll try to think of those times when I look back on this. You should too. Okthxbai.”

    • Guest

      then after you calmly part ways, you keep a keen eye on them via internet stalking. Ha ha, and they thought they got away…*evil grin*

  • Caitlin

    “Honestly, that’s the best way to finally get over being dumped— dumping
    someone else. Understand how to fall out of love with someone.”

    No truer words have ever been said.

  • Anonymous

    I wish I could have dumped someone after Tree of Life. There is photographing scenery and then there is just looking at trees for 20 minutes.

  • lilac

    Does everybody always really fall out of love? I’ve never fallen out of love before.

    • Guest

      if you fall out of love, it wasn’t real love in the first place

      • Marguerite

        disagree. love is fluid.

  • assitant2theassitant

    penguin love is cruel too.  

  • guest

    I think you are rationalizing why *you* got dumped. Sorry but if you’re getting dumped, it most certainly has something to do with you.

    • Caro

      He said it sometimes doesn’t have anything to do with you. Keyword: Sometimes.

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  • Joe

    Its harder when your married.

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