When I hear someone say, "I got dumped" I cringe. Why? Because the word "dumped" sounds really harsh, mean and insensitive.
So, when I received a text last week from a friend who said, "I got dumped. Ouch. He said there just wasn't a spark," I felt like I should address the "I got dumped" part in this blog post.
First of all, I don't believe that people "dump" people. I think that is a horrible description of a breakup. People "end relationships" or "break it off" or "break up" because there was something that didn't feel right, or the person hurt them, or they lost trust, or like in my friend's case, there was no spark. How is that "dumping?"
I am shocked by the number of people getting divorced who tell others they got dumped. You don't dump someone when you are at that level. You might dump someone after a date or two. Notice the difference.
So back to my friend's text, "I got dumped." This is a guy my friend had been dating for a couple months. What are people supposed to do when they date? Talk, laugh, share stories, kiss, have physical encounters and figure out if they think the other person is a good fit for them. Right?
In my friend's case, the guy came to the realization that she was not the one, and he let her know. How is that "dumping?" She also texted me that he told her he sincerely enjoyed her company and getting to know her, and that he wanted to be friends with her. That hardly sounds like he was "dumping" her. I actually give the guy a lot of credit for being forthright with his feelings.
You're probably thinking right now, "Jackie, call it whatever you want -- dumped, broken up with -- the bottom line is, the guy ended the relationship."
True. There is no getting around the fact that my friend is left boyfriend-less from a guy she really thought had potential to be a long-term love. That hurts, no matter what you call it.
Here are things that girlfriends will say to console you after you get broken up with:
1. It wasn't meant to be.
2. He was a jerk anyhow, I never liked him.
3. Someone better is out there for you.
4. You can do better.
5. I never pictured you with someone like him anyhow.
I hate all of these! No one wants to hear these things after they are broken up with.
The best advice I can offer someone who got broken up with was said to me by a dear friend (who is actually a guy.) Here it is:
I can't tell you to step off the roller coaster of emotion (because that is a very personal-and likely innate tendency) but I can offer you the advice I've gleaned from a wise woman on Divorced Girl Smiling. Savor and be grateful for the intense and exciting experiences and emotions when you begin dating. The pain in your chest is not heartbreak, but excitement that needs a little more breath. So, breath deeply, smile and jump into the deep end. You are a thriving, self-confident and dynamic person. Go have fun and don't let others' choices reflect on your self-acceptance (don't take it personally.) Have the time of your life.
Now, I'll be the first one to say that if someone breaks up with you, it can be gut wrenchingly sad and beyond disappointing. I can remember being exhausted by the sorrows of certain breakups, with bouts of tears lasting for weeks. It can be a horrible, hopeless feeling that makes you feel like finding true love is impossible.
But, like my friend said, dating and relationships also give you so many gifts, and with each breakup, we learn so much about who we are and what we want in the future. Not to mention, relationships give us priceless memories -- some that I wouldn't change, despite the pain of the breakup. Even now, I look back on certain relationships that ended with Jackie's heart feeling like it was stomped on, and I recall some really funny memory that to this day makes me smile. How is that a bad thing?
In closing, remember that there is always something to be learned and to be fondly remembered out of almost every relationship. It's not easy, but try to be patient, because someday someone is going to come along and he or she isn't going to dump you, break it off with you or break your heart. On the contrary, they are going to keep you safe and warm, and they are going to treasure you. And you'll probably take the word "dumped" out of your vocabulary, unless you are talking about hauling large amounts of garbage.
Jackie Pilossoph is the author of her blog, Divorced Girl Smiling, and the comedic divorce novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase. She also writes feature stories, along with the weekly dating and relationships column, Love Essentially" for Chicago Tribune Media Group local publications. Pilossoph lives in Chicago. Oh, and she's divorced.