A DUMPER’S P.O.V.: “It’s Not Easy to Walk Away”

This is an archive post created to potentially de-mystify some of the thoughts in the mind of a dumper.

Do you wish your ex ill or Well?For a decade now (nearly) I’ve seen the shock, hurt, confusion,  and anguish that dumpees go through following a break up. What has been less apparent over these years is the other side of the story…The one from the person who has chosen,  for whatever reason to walk away…There are always two sides to every relationship and every break up too.

Of course not all statements will be true for all dumpers, but many of the feelings expressed in this upcoming series are universal – and notes have been contributed to us by young / old / male / female / gay / straight individuals…for the purpose of these pieces.

MYTH 1: “It Must Have Been So Easy to Walk Away From Me”….

Despite how it may look from a dumpee’s vantage point, breaking up is hard on both parties. It’s  just that it’s generally hard at different times for each. Obviously from the day the bombshell is dropped, most dumpees feel the pain…but for the dumper it’s not the same in fact as harsh as it may sound, for the dumper, D-day is a relief.

The days, weeks, even months prior to the split may have been much more agonizing for the dumper than a dumpee can ever realise. Even though a dumper may have made it look easy,  it probably wasn’t. (Well, not unless the ex was a cold-hearted-sociopath or something, but most likely you weren’t dating one of those…).

More than likely, the dumper weighed up the decision for countless hours, days, weeks, even months – always to-ing and fro-ing – just trying to find some sort of conclusive proof that whether to stay or whether to walk was the right decision.

This is exceptionally challenging – because, at the end of the day, no relationship is perfect and no one is all good or all bad. So often for the dumper it’s a constant inner struggle between what they deem are the pros and cons of the relationship, and additionally, on a deeper level is this relationship better than being alone?

So many thoughts hound a dumper’s brain and sorting through them can be a downright draining experience…How will I cope living alone?, What if I never find someone else? What if I don’t have as good of chemistry with the next person? and so forth.

On the flip side, a dumper needs to ask themselves: What if there is someone who is a better long term fit for me? What if there is someone out there who wants to do the same things as me?

Again this “should I stay or should I go” thought process can be draining  as you’re having this constant inner civil war going on in your brain…and the nicer the person you’re dating, the harder it is to walk away  just in the hope of finding someone who may be that better long-term fit.

Share Your Ghosting Story

DUMPEE IS CLUELESS…

The dumpee is seldom privy to these inner debates and often a break up can come after a period of really good times together – which only makes the exiting even more challenging and confusing to comprehend for them.

“But we were just talking last week about________” – (Insert your response here:- going away together, moving in together or even getting married.

Honestly, seldom, in my opinion, is the decision to walk away done over night. It may appear that way to the dumpee, but in the mind of the dumper,  as I say, it could  have been going on for weeks or even months (or more).

Leaving a relationship can be hard whether it lasted ten weeks, ten months or ten years.

You could have been a great couple on many levels, but one of you (or both) just felt it wasn’t working for them. It hurts like hell when it ends (for both parties), but it’s not a crime to walk away. It’s not a crime to have someone fall out of love with us – even though it feels like it at the time.

I remember, asking my ex, from ten years ago, how he felt after the breakup and he said he felt a great “relief” after he dumped me.

I think the words were “like a great big weight has been lifted off my shoulders”.

Amidst my sorrow and pain, I took that as the coldest, most callous, insensitive thing a person could say to me, but a decade later I started to really understand what he meant.

He wasn’t saying, I don’t think anyway, that having me out of his life was a relief (though that may have been a bit the case too) – what I believe he was saying was after weighing up this decision to walk for weeks or months – he was relieved to have finally done it. He finally said those words “it’s over”, and by then it was a relief.

For him, it was the right decision, as three months later he was engaged, and not too long after he married my replacement…but for other dumpers there is still a doubt in the back of their mind “did I do the right thing?”

This is especially true when you still love and care about the person you’ve left on some level.

If they had gotten to the point where they were thinking about ENDING the relationship – more than actually ENJOYING it – then the chances are they probably did the right thing…

Several years ago, after breaking up with a guy I really liked and feeling duly miserable (just as bad as when I had been dumped), I remember, being asked by one of my best friends, “could you have done anything that would have had a different or more positive outcome?” The truth was that there was nothing I could have done which would have resulted in us having the kind of relationship I’d hoped for.

Therefore, if a dumper can honestly answer that question with a “No”  – then  the odds are they’ve done the right decision. It doesn’t mean s/he’s a bad person. It doesn’t mean the person they left is either. It’s just one of these character-building experiences (as my dad would say) that we can file under “not meant to be“.

EASY TO LEAVE…

So was it easy for your ex to walk away from you? In most cases, not on your life. Not for anyone with compassion and empathy and who cares about you – for that type of person, it’s the hardest thing they’ll ever do. Truly. But in the honorable words of the Fray – “sometimes the hardest and the right thing are the same“.

So, for the dumper, the pain really happened prior to the break-up, and for the dumpee it tends to start when the words “it’s over” have been uttered. Pain is experienced on both sides – it just seems to be at different times. And for some dumpers the pain is so bad, that it can be worse than being dumped themselves – due largely to guilt and doubts that surround the decision to leave.

And once the person has chosen to walk away – knowing they made the right decision – doesn’t mean the pain is any less. The dumpee is not the only one who has lost that lover, best friend and confidante in one fell swoop, so has the dumper, it’s just that they’ve generally had a longer time to detach and come to terms with the pending loss of the relationship. So that tends to be why a dumpee thinks it’s so easy to walk away. It’s not. It may just seem like it sometimes.

56 thoughts on “A DUMPER’S P.O.V.: “It’s Not Easy to Walk Away”

  1. It was nice to read “ADumper’s P.O.V”

    I have been devastated this weekend in that my partner of 2.5 years called it quits.
    As the article points out sometimes the dumper waits till the last minute. Two days before the break up he was still talking about us living together. And the next thing I know is that he never had any intentions of being with me for the long run. His comment was…”did you really think we could live together?”. Since he was the one that kept bringing it up, I fully believed we would be.

    I was staring into the eyes of a stranger and I felt chills up my spine. The break up was not due to an argument. In my mind and in the minds of family and friends we were happy. In the 2.5 years we had one argument It turned out that most of the things he has been saying to me were a lie and he admitted to that.

    Needless to say I feel emotionally violated and the whole thing seems surreal. The only reason he gave for the break up was that I irritate him because I tend to repeat myself. This doesn’t even give me closure.

    I am not sure how to deal with this….HELP

  2. I and my bf of 6 months broke up two months ago; ours was initiated by a fight but I know for a long time that he was thinking about it and was just looking for an easy exit. But then again, looking back, I realised that I am the one who pushed him to do it because I used to keep telling him that if he wants to be free, all he needed to do is to tell me honestly and I will accept it without any protest. The problem, however, is that he dropped the bomb all too sudden. I expected him to be a man and find the right timing. I feel bad about him in some way because he gets the upper hand in a sense that he has prepared himself for it, while I was letting myself fall deeper for him. It was stupid of me to challenge him to end the relationship when I am letting myself fall harder. But anyway, I am almost over him now, it is just that getting him off my mind is not easy, especially when I see him at work everyday. We are ignoring each other and avoid recognising each other’s presence. We never look each other in the eye and pretend that one another never exist. So far, this is the toughest situation I ever encountered especially when we have the same set of friends. But I know I need to move on and I am doing good at it.

    @ monica: if breaking up a 6-month old relationship was never easy, how much more a two and a half year-relationship?

    The road ahead will be tough for you, but surely, you will come across paved ways. This might be too late of an advice but for sure, you are still thinking about the breakup unless the two of you have already reconciled. If not, the only advice I can give you girl is to end any communication with him. If possible, avoid seeing him. If you have already done the begging and the stalking part, it is time that you change strategy. But this time, your goal should not be winning him back, but rather helping yourself get over him completely. Love yourself; regain your self respect. Leave him alone if that is what he wants, he’ll just return if he wants to. But of course, you should never waste time waiting for him. Give yourself a favor, give your brain some peace of mind, and give your heart a break. You deserve to be happy. At this point in your life, the most important person is yourself. Play some sports, give your wardrobe a boost, or learn a new hobby. Meet new people too! You will realise what kind of jerk your ex is when you meet guys who are better than him. He is not the world, he is just a dot on it from afar. There are so many dots out there, and they are better him.

  3. Excellent post! I am the Dumper and everything you have said about being the Dumper is so true, I felt all the above it’s as if you were writing about me & the situation I was in. I agonized for months knowing I loved him so much but no matter what he did I knew I could not sustain a relationship with him, we were together for 3 years living together. I grew away from him emotionally months before I left him, I tried so hard not to leave I wanted to believe we had a future because I loved him deeply but the lifestyle we had I could not endure. he was unemployed for the whole time we were living together and I worked full time which meant I was tired needing peace but he had spent all day every day alone & needed company more than I did, when I got in from work I just wanted to relax but he would need constant attention, chatting, listening to music etc I get resentful I guess about him not working and doing not alot all day, sadly I had no choice but to leave knowing it would never change and I felt he took it for granted the fact I hardly complained about his inability to find work or his lazy ways at home gaming, on his pc etc. I tried to tell him I was leaving many times but he would get so upset & end up shouting so loud at times my ears hurt! I feel terrible guilt & shame because I up & left while he was out, brutal I know but I would not have done it with him present he would have convinced me to stay as he had done many times before, I had to get out I didn’t want to hate him. I still love him dearly and feel sad for him but I know I could not ever go back to that life, sadly :o(
    Thanks again for a great post, well written and very accurate.

  4. Thanks. That was a great post. I have been a dumper….very recently…about 3 months ago. I split up with my boyfriend of 6 years and it was the most confusing and agonising decision I have ever had to make in my life. Mostly because my ex was one of the most nicest , caring and loving boyfriends one could hope for, BUT allthrough the relationship I always felt something was missing. I just dint share the kinda chemistry I hoped to share with the ‘love of my life’. I agonised over the decision to break up with him for over 2 months. I finally did it and felt a feeling of relief, but that too lasted only a couple of weeks. Soon I was overpowered by a feeling of loneliness and the fear of being single. The question tht was constantly on my mind was ….what if I never find a nice guy who I also share that chemistry with…Did I make the wrong decision. Soon after I plunged in to a few rebound outings with all the wrong kinda guys.

    3 whole months since the break-up, I finally feel stable and feel able to think straight. Those doubts still remain and I still miss my ex (bcos he was my best friend, confidante, partner…everything), but deep down inside I know I made the right decision. However gulity I feel,I know its important to feel in love and to feel that u are in the right place and time with the right guy which I never felt with my ex.

  5. Yeah I totally know how it is. It’s actually really HARD to leave someone you have cared about for any amount of time. You can end up having doubts “did I do the right thing?” or “did I do all I could to make things work?” but if you have doubts it’s usually for a reason that something is not quite right for a long-term fit. I know. You’ll bring in a better fit you have more chemistry with. What I learned in my last relationships – is that I need both the chemistry and compatibility – if I don’t have BOTH there’s no point in carrying on with it. Good luck x

  6. Sorry I never replied Monica. I do hope you’re doing much better these days and things have worked out for you – if not with your ex then with someone new – or that you’re to a place where you’re happy on your own. Whatever the case thank you for your comment. x

  7. Thank you for sharing this, I’ve just dumped my boyfriendd and I have to say, even though we haven’t been together for very long, letting the one you love go is never easy.

    In the past, there have relationships where the end was made clear to me and in that sense, it was easy for me to walk away; however, I can’t say for certain this time that I’ve done the right thing. Regardless, thank you for sharing this, it helps to see your own feelings written out by someone else 🙂

  8. I was recently dumped by the love of my life. We were together 6 years. She told me and everyone else(her friends) that she never felt this way about anyone and she knew that she would never again. She got a job in another city. she is very career orientated. She pretty much told me and everyone that she demands a certain lifestyle that I can not give her. I work full time an have a good job but she is looking for a guy that can support her so she and whomever can travel. I guess its what hurts the most that I was traded for a few vacations. The thing is that if she would have come to me and told me I would have gone back to school or figured something out I would have done anything no to lose her. Now I met a new girl and she just came back begging me. I told her it was too late now. She said she would do anything to make it up to me. I will never give her the opportunity to hurt me like that again. She traded love for money now let her deal with it. Rich guys just don’t act the same way tward a woman is the average joe. Ladies think twice before you throw away a great guy for a nicer car or bigger house cause at the end of the day when your husband is “at work” and you are home alone with the kids in the big house with the nice car parked outside just remember they are only things. And remember that you could be in the arms of that one special guy that adored you with every fiber of his soul. I stil wish she didn’t screw me cause she was really the love of my life. no one will ever compare.

  9. It’s early days yet it seems so I hope that “no one will ever compare” is just representative of that fact. We don’t really know who we will meet and how we will feel in our futures – we only THINK we do. No it won’t be the same. I have one of those in my distant path – where nothing has really “compared” but I have loved others and had other valuable relationships since that time. You will likely too. I feel your bitterness and your sadness.

    In my opinion – speaking as a dumper – (I have been both!) she probably only THINKS that was the reason she ended it initially. It may have been the reason she cited it but probably below the surface that wasn’t the “real” reason I don’t think. It was more likely the convenient excuse she could give.

    She obviously still cares for you and you obviously still care for her, pride not with standing…maybe your paths will cross later who the hell knows? Work on forgiving her (as it sounds like you still don’t) and as painful as it was – know that she did the best she could with the skills and tolls she’d had or acquired – at that time. As we grow and learn more – we do better.

    As a “dumper” the last time, I know it didn’t mean that I didn’t love him, care for the guy, fancy the guy ON SOME LEVEL – I just knew that deep down, for that point in time, we weren’t a good long term fit. I never rule anything out. Life changes, people change, I just have to work on my own self to be the kind of person a man would want to be with. I can’t control how any guy thinks, feels, talks etc – about me. I can only work on how my reaction to it all is.

    I liked your post Anthony and want to thank you for posting it. It’s definitely thought-provoking. It would be nice if we could all have the LOVE and the MONEY but often life, more often than not, doesn’t work out that way. I think I have ONE friend who falls into this category.

    You’re doing good. I know it’s normal to want to just jump back in the dating pool but I do sense there are a lot of unresolved hurts/emotions/etc to work through – so you might consider taking a “time out” where women are concerned. Really process this and then see where you are and how you feel. As this was “recently” – you’re in danger of getting hurt even more by Miss New or hurting her. My aforementioned ex did the same thing moments after our split.

    Most people don’t listen to me when I heed this advice so I don’t expect you will but do put yourself in the new gal’s shoes and imagine if you met her as she was reeling from a break up from the Love of Her Life – and then dating you. It probably would make you feel a little uncomfortable.

    Thank you again for posting. I really appreciate it. Know she cares for you. She will have some regrets too. But she broke up for a reason and it may not be as “black and white” as it appears to right now. I am not sure how old she is but it sounds like a little immaturity at play. The kind of lofty ideas we may have in our 20s and 30s…as we get older we see more of what you’re saying. Of course not everyone but many of us would opt for love over money. Only ones who’ve felt a constant struggle would opt for the money, the big house, the big car, the big holidays – without love!

    Take care. x

  10. HI
    about a month ago my girlfriend just left me ,no goodbye no letter nothing. it came out of the blue .
    here’s my story i’m 47 now she’s 50 .we met at work ,became friends.she was married, i was just out of a 11 yr relationship .she ended up getting separated ,during this time we never did anything more than hug hello and goodbye.She was moving belongings i helped her with that .ONCE the divorce was finalized we’d just hang out from time to time for about a month .we started dating exclusively.
    WE we’re in LOVE big time .she’s told her parents she’s crazy about me ,told people she could never nor want to hurt me cause i was soo good to her unlike her x husband.we had a strong connecting .
    WE’VE had minor issues nothing big we never raised our voices to each other or got in shouting matches .SHE has 2 teenage boys from her marriage, the x bad mouths me so doesn’t want me around the kids,she got her own place so she can see her kids.i understood all that .
    LATER into our relationship we talk she says she doesn’t see us taking the next steps until both kids are grown 18, or 21 i’m o.k. with that and try to be supportive .
    NOW lately she seems distant from me ,her kids,work,her dad is ill etc all on her mind .i understand.THEN some flat out lies i’ve caught her in and when i did i bought them to her attention we discussed the issues one weekend she told me her son had a double header ball game and would see me after i find out their is no ball game,when i see her i ask her about it -she tells me she spent the day with her son ,i say cool BUT you could have just called and told me ,her reply she doesn’t want to ”check in” whenever plans change ,i say well just out of respect .the issue gets put to rest.
    ONE Sun night she comes over my place asks if i’ve had dinner yet i said i hadn’t ,she cooks us dinner she’s still acting distant towards me we small chat .she says she’s fine. i had to go lend the neighbor an extension cord told her i’ll be a min, she says o.k. i come back to my place my backdoor is closing she’s in the parking lot ,i go after her ask what’s wrong ,i get no reply .we get into a discussion ,she ends up going to her place , says she’ll see me later in the week.
    I come back in on my counter is a box with all the jewelery i gave her , i call her no answer.next day i call at work she says she doesn’t love me anymore, and isn’t in love with me anymore and it’s over ….
    I am shocked and hurt big time ,i try to make arrangements for us to sit and talk she doesn’t want to it wouldn’t change anything she says .I offer we go talk to one of the pastors we know she agrees great i think the morning of our meeting she calls me and cancels ,i ask what have i done ? she says i did nothing ,it’s her .i ask her for an explanation she tells me their isn’t one and doesn’t always need to be one .
    I drop by her place to talk i tell her please help me understand this ,theirs nothing to understand we’re not a couple ,i’m not your girl, we can be friends but just the kind that call each other once in a while to say hi .
    NOW i am moving and have some things of hers and stuff from here she likes .i call and ask her when she’d like to get them , she says she’ll let me know i should take them and keep them for her , i say no problem .
    AGAIN i ask just to sit and talk with me so i can understand
    she stops by i read her somethings i’ve written she said it was nice ,i say i don’t believe anything catastrophic happened between us that we can’t talk about and work through she agrees BUT says she has nothing to sat ,i say i’m moving a new environment maybe good for us i’d like you to be a part of it, let me move get settled in invite you over we talk ,she says she’ll check out my new place when she wants to, she’s having fun doing what she’s doing lately -i say i always wanted you to have fun with your kids,family,girl friends and then when your done with time with them we can have our time she doesn’t want anything to do with me ,i did nothing wrong,i shouldn’t think of her etc .
    AFTER 4 yrs together how can she just turn off her emotions ?
    we both agreed we weren’t ”re bound” relationships for each other,she agrees we fell deeply in love .NOW i call i get ignored , i leave a message -no reply I even said in the past when you messed up you asked me to forgive you and i have and you asked if i’d take her back and i have with open arms ,NOW i’m asking for just one chance and she says she don’t know if she can do that .theirs been no contact or very extremely minimal for a month now .
    I am hurt,confused,sad,EVEN guilt i did something and broke her heart , i don’t sleep ,or eat much , i don’t feel much like doing anything.
    I hope and pray they’ll be a knock on my door one night and it will be her and ready to talk and give us another try i still love her deeply she was my everything all i wanted was to make her happy and be supportive and give her unconditional true love .i know her girlfriends that don’t even know me or met me even are in her ear and she’s listening to them for some reason ,she’s just not acting like the woman i met and fell in love with .
    scott
    their is no chance of her and her ex husband getting back together he is re-married ,i do believe she is seeing someone else now though

  11. Sorry for the delaying in replying. I am also sorry to read all of your pain and confusion. It a sucky situation. You’re left with all of those questions, doubts, fears, resentments, hurts, and that all-encompassing confusion. I am so sorry. I think your last line sums it up. it was my instinct on reading it even before I got to the last line. Though we can’t be “sure” as such…her behavior just sounds like it. Which is why I always prefer if someone just says “Look I am sorry but I have met someone else”. You know. It’d hurt either way, and you’d still have some hurt, confusion etc…but at least you’d know for sure.

    I want you to start eating right. Get some soup in you, crackers, whatever. Stop punishing your body.

    Do your best to get some rest too. Getting sleep will help you start to dramatically begin the healing process.

    I can’t say what will happen in your future but all we know right now is you’re not together and it’s time for you to get YOURSELF together. Maybe she’ll come back, maybe she won’t but right now the only thing you have CONTROL over is yourself…what steps you take each day. So choose your steps wisely. Your thoughts. Your actions. Your everything.

    “Is this going to make me feel better or worse?” Is the question to ask yourself every time you think, speak, move!

    You have no control how / when / where she chose to walk but you can control what you do about it now. You can turn this whole painful ordeal into something good, I promise you that. If you want to that is. *(As hard as it is to imagine right now of course).

    Big hug

    Thea

  12. Bull.

    For the simple reason that all the “problems” that the dumper faces are purely of a selfish nature (what is best for them, and them only) and really, if one gauges how hard it is by the measure of how good the consequences will be for THEM and them only, then one is pretty shallow.

    On the other hand the dumpee has not brought this about on either him or herself or the dumper. He is the passive object of dumping here, not an actor, and has absolutely no say in the matter. Actually, he is FORCED to relinquish anything of selfish interest, and the only comfort he might find is by accepting a purely altruistic love and letting go, most probably while witnessing the dumper happily in love with a new partner.

    It is indescribably a lot harder for the dumpee. The dumper’s difficulties have to do with selfishness – even the feeling of guilt is after all a selfish feeling. The dumper is only worried about he or she feels and what he or she will gain, whereas the dumpee can only merely witness helplessly the demise of the relationship.

    Also, it should be fairly obvious that whereas the dumper faces these questions while in the comfort of the relationship (for he or she still gets the benefits of sex, companionship etc) prior to D-Day, the dumpee is then left to cope alone, again most probably while seeing the dumper happy and alive (for the latter has already dealt with his or her feelings prior to the break-up).

    And finally, the very act of the dumper facing these questions alone without ever hinting anything to the dumpee (who not only has a right to know of his or her partner’s indecisions and uncertainties, but who also have a right to, at that point, make a decision with a new perspective and start coping, instead of being misled into thinking that all is well) is enough for anyone of a good moral character to not sympathize with the dumper.

    I certainly know which side I would like to be on. And this also from experiencing both.

  13. Well Nek, thanks for your opinion and experience. We welcome all. And of course a lot of what you say is true, but some people, in fact, have forced people to dump them – through their own jealousy, insecurity, ambivalence, cheating, or whatever.

    It takes two to have a relationship and two to break up.

    I’ve yet to see a dumpee who was perfect throughout a relationship. EVER.

    So while in some cases your remarks are in fact true – there is no black and white when it comes to breaking up on either side.

    I too have been on both sides. Both sides suck. You’re right a dumper SHOULD give some warning that things are not working out before blind-siding the dumpee (been there and yes it royally sucked). Too right. Sometimes they do give indication and sometimes they don’t.

    >> it should be fairly obvious that whereas the dumper faces these questions while in the comfort of the relationship (for he or she still gets the benefits of sex, companionship etc

    Who knows? They may NOT be having any comfort or SEX and have had little companionship.

    There is no black and white.

    Some people get it right when breaking up some don’t.

    The point for this post was to show not ALL dumpers walk away – without sadness, pain, and doubts. Some do yes. Some don’t. I never did.

    I am friends with all the guys I’ve ever left so I guess I must have done SOMETHING right.

    There is no really GOOD way to leave someone – there are only less evil or harsh ones!

    Have a great day.

  14. I would never think for a moment that it be only one party’s fault – in almost all cases (and I do not say all so as not to sound presumptuous) the fault lies with both parties, albeit to different degrees.

    So we agree on that, and, apparently we also agree that it follows that the dumper should not make a decision which affects both him/her and the dumpee on his or her own – a relationship is a oneness from beginning to end, or else it was never a relationship at all (whether there are in fact instances of real relationships in this sense is another (doubtful) matter).

    My point was that whosever fault it was is irrelevant: if the dumper does not hint, and by hint I mean put it in a straightforward a manner as possible (in the same manner that they wanted love to be uttered and showed and not merely hinted), then I cannot sympathize with such a kind of dumper. So, to me at least, and I might be too pedantic for your tastes, the indication has to be a blinding light put in front of the dumper, and not a faint glimmer to acquiesce the guilt.

    What I meant by having the comfort of the relationship was not that they are actually enjoying it. But even in cases of abuse by the dumpee, the dumper is still making a choice while inside the relationship. They might be feeling really bad (and I do not wish to undermine the wrongness of abuse) but that bad feeling is not related to the actual decision of dumping. They might be getting emotionally or physically abused, but as bad and wrong as that is, it has nothing to do with the dumping. They might be undecided, but they have the comfort of knowing that they are the ones deciding: if they decide to stay, then they can do that, if the decide to not stay, then they can do that as well.

    To illustrate my point: smoking is bad for you. Not smoking is really hard for a smoker, especially if he has a packet of cigarettes in his hand. But he is still free to make a choice: he can choose to smoke, he can choose not to smoke, as hard as the latter decision might be. But if someone were to forcibly take the packet from the smoker, then he has no choice to make, and his freedom to make it has been taken away from him (even if this is, objectively speaking, to his advantage). Whereas it is harder to not smoke when you can smoke, it is naturally easier to cope since if he wills it, he can choose not to smoke, and if he feels he cannot, he can choose to smoke. The smoker deprived of this choice however has a harder time, since he has lost the freedom of choice, and has to abide by an imposed decision.

    I would never, and I never meant to imply that all dumpers walk away easily, but the problems are of a different nature (for they have a choice to make, unlike the dumpee, who is helpless and whose choice is made for him by another). The problems and questions the dumper faces are selfish (though in rare occasions they might not be) – I mean all you need to do is take a look at the examples you yourself provide: “How will I cope living alone?, What if I never find someone else? What if I don’t have as good of chemistry with the next person?
    What if there is someone who is a better long term fit for me? What if there is someone out there who wants to do the same things as me?”; “me, me, me.” so in that sense, the grief doesn’t even begin to compare with that of the dumpee (who is forced to accept the decicion of the other) no matter who is more right or wrong.

    I am glad that you managed to maintain friendship with your exes, but I cannot see how that necessarily means that you “must have done something right.” It could mean lots of things: it could mean the guys still have feelings for you, that they want to keep in touch with you “just in case”, they could be insecure, want to keep tabs on you, they might still be hoping that you change your mind, they might be getting something from you (sex, good advice, companionship), they might be too lonely etc. After all there are many spouses who remain in abusive relationships, and that doesn’t mean that the abuser is doing something right.

    Sorry for being long – philosophers tend to be. 🙂

  15. Thanks for another articulate post Nek. We agree on several points and disagree on several points. As I always say “perspective is a mirror not a fact”. Each of our perspectives are right, for us. There is beauty in that. 🙂

    I wish you all the best, in what I am assuming is a recovery period of sorts…? Unless you’ve merely stumbled upon us in a, for research purposes only, sort of way…

    Either way, good day to ya!

  16. Believe ir or not, I was the dumper and dumpee within a matter of a few months. I had left my boyfriend of two and a half years because I felt that our future wasn’t going anywhere. I liked to plan things out, and he was all about living in the present. It didn’t bother me until he used the money we had saved up for future planned expenses to buy another car, which was totally unnecessary. I felt that he didn’t respect my opinions and wishes in the partnership, and I emotionally cheated on him. Honestly, I felt really guilty afterwards. Everytime I saw him, I would look the other way because I had betrayed his trust and love. Finally, I couldn’t stand it and I left him.

    What goes around comes around. A month later, we started hanging out again, and I was also hanging out with another guy. The greass did seem greener on the other side. But I was emotionally attached to my ex. Finally, he dropped the bomb on my for cheating (he had found out), lying to him, and using him as a backup plan. Lesson learned: really think before you do things, there are consequences. I can only imagine how much I had hurt him with my actions. Those 3 months were terribly hard on him, and I know I deserved to be dumped. Sad thing is, he didn’t deserve to get dumped in the first place.

  17. I have recently ended a 3 year relationship and it was the hardest thing i have ever done. I am sitting here typing and i am consumed by guilt i have fought with myself for days not to contact my ex i just want to make sure she is ok.She doesnt have any family for support and i know she will cut herself off from people.Our relationship wasnt bad we had great times but she started having problems at work and that seemed to take over.I tried my very best to be supportive but it became difficult and was very draining. I would offer advice and support but she would never listen to me we split up a few times but i always went back because i felt so guilty at leaving her.
    I thought i could forget about my wants and needs but in the end i couldnt do it anymore and i ended it. I love her very much but i am not happy and i felt that in the end we where friends rather than partners. But it hasnt made my choice any easier to make with hindshight i should never have went back to the relationship when i did because in doing that i have only hurt her more but i just wanted to try and make it work. I often think to myself have i made the right choice? and i get so upset at the thought of hurting her to the point it consumes me. I am hoping that she is ok and i hope that i will be ok because at the moment i hurt like hell not for myself but for her.
    Mx

  18. Geez I just spent ages replying and somehow “lost” it. Hate when that happens.

    Mainly I think I said “ditch the guilt” and that you’re not responsible for anyone else’s happiness or unhappiness. I mean, sure, be there for people when you can, but not to your own detriment.

    Also was thinking about the work troubles – when women vent about work (or whatever), the best thing to do is smile and nod and not give advice. The art of listening is one to not be underestimated 🙂

    I know how much it hurts. I’ve been there. Just because you know something isn’t right for you – it doesn’t make the pain any less. But don’t beat yourself up for having to walk away. Don’t bother “hurting for her” it’s pointless. It certainly doesn’t help her or you. Also saying you shouldn’t have gone back is also pointless (been there too!) but you were together EXACTLY as long as you were meant to be. That’s the way to view it. OK?

    Take care thea x

  19. I think there is the psychology of “wanting what you can’t have” involved in this dynamic.

    I was recently involved in an 18 month relationship where we both truly were so madly crazy about each other for about the first year. I was recently dumped by her. I felt completely blindsided and the only thing i could think was “how could she do this to me”, we were partners, everything we did, we did it together. Except this. I played “let’s be friends” game for about two weeks prior to getting my closure. Her mind was made.

    I’m still grieving from this and am working my way out of the situational depression stage and hope to be moving onto acceptance (sooner rather than later).

    The strange dynamic here is she emotionally disconnected from me months before the breakup because I had forced her by my actions and lack of emotions. I wasn’t into the relationship anymore, and I knew that it wasn’t the same. There would be times during the last few months she would cry for no reason, and the more it happened, the less empathy or emotion I would show. I KNEW it was over, probably even before she did. But I was in denial, I didn’t want to believe that things had changed. We were still having great times together, I perceived things for the way i wanted them to be and not the way they were.

    I thought about breaking her heart only a few times, but that thought quickly faded into no way she’s still the love of my life.

    Before I could turn my faulty perception into truth, she was already saying “it’s over”. I already knew this weeks/months ago, but I still felt like I was living a nightmare. I couldn’t believe it was happening. Being the dumpee is ALWAYS the harder of the two, even when you are just as aware the relationship is coming to an end.

    Being the dumper has the psychological advantage. You get the opportunity to have someone beg for you back, make you feel special again, and that gives you strength to move on. It gives the dumper a bandaid on the self esteem trauma that was likely suffered during the bad parts of the relationship, while the dumpee opens up a whole new psychological wounds.

  20. I really needed to hear/read this. I dumped my girlfriend of almost 4 years less than a week ago. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I know there is a long way to go but my relief tells me it was the right thing to do.

    I saw some close friends last night, that we did lots of couple stuff together with, and it’s so difficult explaining why you broke up and more importantly why it came out of the blue. It may have done for everyone else but it didn’t for me. A friend said why I didn’t talk about it more with my girlfriend but every time I felt ‘I don’t love her anymore’ I was telling myself that I just wasn’t trying hard enough, kidding myself that it was just a phase I was going through and so tried to put more energy and enthusiasm into the relationship.

    However, if you don’t feel it, you just don’t. I’m 28 and I’ve a wide variety of friends of different ages. From those I’ve spoken to the older, more settled friends (late 30’s to mid 40’s) seem to be able to empathise a lot more and understand what i’ve been through because they’ve been through similar.

    This was a reassuring aricle to read at a very difficult time with some great responses too. Thank you!

  21. Chris I am sorry to hear your story. I know how hard it is on both sides of the dumping ground. Each hard in different ways. Especially when you know the person’s a great person – kind, loving, fun, interesting, smart, talented or whatever – but just not a good “long term fit”. It’s almost easier to walk away when the person’s a total sod. But often we’re not with total sods. Dumping someone you REALLY care about is a total nightmare. Just like being dumped by someone you REALLY care about sucks.

    When my so-called-love of my life chucked me (the great break up of 99) he said “I feel like a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders”. It was incredibly callous but he spoke his truth and retrospectively (after having to “dump” people myself) I realise he didn’t mean the relief was in getting rid of me so much as finally having come to the decision to walk. It wasn’t so “personal” as it felt. I mean he wasn’t saying it because I was a bad or unlovable person more that he’d thought about it a long time, stressed over it and had finally made the break. I was just a wee bit older than you at the time.

    >>> However, if you don’t feel it, you just don’t.

    Though it smarted like HELL at the time, I’d certainly rather be left than cheated on, or stuck in a relationship with a guy who truly didn’t want to be there. So you were right to go – if that was your truth. Regardless of what family or mutual friends may say. Really it’s not anyone else’s business but yours.

    Anyway you’re liable to have some doubts along the path of recovery. It’s NORMAL ok? Once this relief and elation passes you may find moments where you think “Damn I miss her, did I do the right thing?” Again part of the process.

    You’ll be fine. Take some time out – heal. Have fun with your friends. Work hard etc. Even though you will be the one to walk and have been “detaching” for some time it still takes time to truly HEAL from a split. Give yourself that time. Good luck. x

  22. These posts are very interesting as i wanted to know what the dumper would be feeling as i was dumped 4 weeks ago. The pain seems to be worse than before as this guy has dumped me numerous times before. He has had three relationships where they didnt want him. he stuck til they had to force him out, 2 he was married to. the third dumped him so he came back to me. long story of selfishness ocpd but still didnt stop me wanting ot be with him. I cant imagine him feeling anything after dumping me even after 5 years, i treat this man like a king. his selfishness must have to do with it. he pysically abused me few months ago and begged for forgiveness . he has no guilt or remorse he will just be glad iv gone as if i didnt excist . it was my birthday yday i heard nothing, how evil of him i thought , he lied and cheated on me in this relationship to. IM SUFFERING AS THE DUMPEE

  23. I know you’re suffering. Sounds like he’s suffering too in his own way. All the experiences of his past (right back to childhood) have done a real number on his psyche. As much as you may have wanted to “fix” or help him it doesn’t sound like he was able to receive it or even want to.

    I have every faith he does miss you, and he is sorry, regardless of how he acts post-split. He just hides it better than some is all. He no doubt has some guilt or remorse even if suppressed. he’s not “evil” I don’t think – just really fuct up with emotional baggage.

    Sounds like he’s been a great teacher and this split is a wonderful blessing which you won’t see now but I suspect you will in time. Better to be out of it and free to heal and move on to someone who won’t abuse, lie, cheat, dump, hurt you etc.

    Let him sort through his own emotional junk and you work on feeling better about yourself, your ex, life etc. Forgiveness in time will be key to moving on.

    He’s taught you the type of relationship you DON’T want,…now heal then on to find someone you do! x

  24. Thank you thea.

    It help me to knowthese things, my life has been hell, ive tried my best put and gave him my all. Nothing i did would make any difference, his non comitment and everthing under his control. He never cared about my feelings or was there for me it was all about him. Honest i could write a book about him then half the things he has done you would think i needed help. i should of left a long time ago. he would have set days and times to see me. the manner and way i was dumped is extremely painful however iv been there before with him. Im a victim of my own feelings i really could do with some help the suffering is very painful.

  25. Well I think the more you can focus on YOU and your role in all of this the better you will feel. You, arguably gave too much to a guy completely inadequate emotionally to appreciate or accept it.

    Forget his patterns relationship wise and look at your own. Why did you choose a guy like this and STAY with a guy like this (forgetting the whole “because I loved him” defense). What was YOUR payoff for hanging in there so long even when you say “I should have left a long time ago”. Why didn’t you?

    I see myself in you. I’ve been there seen it and done it. Now I am, too, needing to do the work to make different choices. To work on my own patterns, self worth and so forth.

    You’re not a victim. You’re just a human doing the best she can. You know what? So is he…Whether you can see it or not. Whether he even realises it or not.

    When I am suffering – I turn to some pretty positive people that change my thinking. Watch some Byron Katie on YouTube (well it may not be your cup of tea but she ALWAYS makes me feel better by questioning my thoughts!)

    I also am reading a book about rewiring our brains for love REWIRING YOUR BRAIN… by Marsha Lucas. It’s proving thought-provoking (though a bit of a stretch for my own brain LOL).

    Anyway give yourself some time, take the focus off of him and all he did or didn’t do or say, and do some internal investigation yourself. You can change the fact he ended it or how/when/where…but you are responsible for what you do with this…That’s down to Y O U. That’s a great thing because you know what hon, this could be the absolute MAKING of you. If you let it.

  26. That is exactly true reading that post, He is devoid of emotion i have been told so many times no matter what i did made no difference its all about him, thats his best mate telling me so. We met acouple on holiday last year. after the holiday i recieved an email saying at first when they met us thought what a really nice couple soon afterwards they felt sorry for me, it was all his life his job. his home his everything and spoke very little of me, she was sorry she couldnt say anything positive, i told him he made me out to be a liar.
    He put onto me and sucked every ounce of blood from me. he let me do it yet he didnt reciprocate.

    Ive nearly and am almost driven myself mad. i did love him for whatever reasons. I thought after his past relationships when he met he would be jumping at the chance. his friends have stood in front of him saying how good i am. does he care? No, i did to much i agrre with you. isnt that what you do when your in a relationship. I REALIZE IT WAS NO RELATIONSHIP AT ALL JUST FITSAND STARTS OF SHOWY STUFF.
    hE WOULD SAY THANKS “H” I APPRECIATE THAT, ” BUT” YES THERE WAS ALLWAYS A BUT”
    as you put it you cant fix these people, ive learned so much about him and it helps when most people i know and who care say the same thing, Im sure he did not love me. ive been ther to stand in as he cant be without a women. he flirts in front of me. talks with other women. you name it. Every one knew all his problems his parents he would tell and his mate and wife were the judges in this relationship. he acts on what people tell and advise him to do. TO me five years he hasnt cared enough even to send me happy birthday and everyone is telling me to forget him . im trying in the attempt to get better not bitter. how can i not be so peed off. after so much and him having made use of me for his advantage, iv been there to see him through two operations no one else was there for him, i took him in when hewas homeless yet he had the money to say in the ritz believe me, How stupid iv been . He did say on a very first date he wouldnt get marriedagain. it became embarrising if he seen a wedding. shouting dont do it.
    He booke me on a cruise for this may. turned up at my home changed his lock on the door of his home and brought my overnight bag back without an explanation, I hear your words i need to think about my life and ask why i hung on to a no goer for so long.

    I gave him a licence to do as he pleased. he didnt even have the interest to text things that happen normal in any relationship. he would text morning then 13half hours later he would text bk never asking how i was or how my day went all about him.

    He say what you see is what you get like it or lump it. and say cock sure if i wasnt happy bout anything “well your still sitting there arnt you”

    I lost friends through him thay did not like how he treated me. he couldnt even pick up the phone inbetween him seeing me again to communicate.

    Yet he expected me there with his tea on a wednesday and a sunday.

    He is bad mouthing me to family which his parents fell out with me for through him. ive never seen or heard or spoke to him for weeks but just last weekend he was blackening me again i was told. so why does he talk of me when he did the damage. cut me out as if i never mattered ? i didnt matter by the looks of things. thes people are fed up of him. i can only think he is trying to justify his actions for dumping me.

    I am hard ass thinker. i do anylyse but im just so trying to get these thoughts out of my head going around like a washing machine.

    I have good and bad days more often bad.

    fancy sitting the evening before saying 4 months tonight we will be on the cruise . next day i was dumped. normally he has either another women as he is a womaniser. i dont know? even when he had me as a g/f he stil took another women for dinner i found out he didnt like that and got annoyed with me that day flinging me out of his house. he thought nothing of all the abnormal bahaviour it was all me. his words its a pity i cant just take a friend out when i want. In 2009 he me omeone who he then dumped me to go of with her. she was his everything seen her more than he did me things i just found hard to accept. i thought then he had a better connection how could he he didnt know her. he took her on my holiday we had booked and a balloon flight. a photo i saw of them both he looked by his body language desperate she dumped him. he came crawling and contacting me. stupid me went back. we had pics photo shoot last year yet he wudnt have a pic of me up in the house. ALL I CAN SAY IF SHE WAS HIS EVERYTHING AND WANTED HER SO BAD AND SHE HAD IT ALL WHY DID SHE DUMP HIM?

    TALK ABOUT MIXED EMOTIONS.

    I ASK MYSELF WHY HE CAME INTO MY LIFE TO MAKE ME SO UNHAPPY.
    I didnt want to learn any lesson by his cruel antics. I can only see ive enhanced his life. im positive he wont get it again from anyone.

    I loved him like nothing else in the world. fell for the wrong one who was so undeserving of my love. seems he chases the ones who reject him.

    Ive had his work mates spkin to me who i did not know he sat like a coward. saying i was insane. i agrred i was having been with him. I wonder if they knew the real truth of his pysical abuse i took pics of my bruising. He sent me a text just before split arnt i lucky having a cracking guy like him????????wtf

  27. PLEASE HELP ME!! IT ALL DON’T MAKE ANY SENSE

    I’m the Dumpee!! I’m 47 and my ex is 53 he is a widower of two years. We are both career minded people with good stage in our community. After the death of his wife (about 9 months later) he was hooked up with a women for sexual pleasure, he fell for her even though she was the type that did not want any kind of commitment, she ended up hurting him by having an affair with his best friend, their relationship (or whatever it was) only last about 5 months.

    We meet and were only friends (for the first 4 months) we would talk at the local pub and share stories as friends do. We went out on a few casual dates, then started seeing each other more and more, we have a lot of things in common and I thought we had an understanding, I have been divorced for 6 years after a 19 year marriage, he was married for 23 years before the death of his wife, with both have grown children that we love very much as being single parents they are our lives, I knew going into this relationship that he was no were near the commitment status that I was, but over time it seems like he was ready to move forward (not to forget his wife, but to get on with life).

    In this 14 months we have taken each other to every family affairs, and introduced each other to family/friends, he recently even introduced me to his deceased wife’s family. He has a place at the beach and a place in the mountains that he told me to leave things there (clothes, shoes, etc..) so that we could pack light when we would visit either place.

    He and I would seldom have conversations of the future and our life together as we grew older. In this relationship, I have been the chaser (I think that’s the word I want to use) I was always ready to go whenever he called and I would question him if for some reason he didn’t call/text, after awhile I think I really got out of control with my owe mind, I know he would have never cheated on me because it’s just not his style, but I would still have these thoughts in the back of my mind that if he wasn’t with me then maybe he was with the sexual women (first women) and I only thought this because she would still call him, at first he would tell me when she would call and I would get mad, then he said that he wasn’t telling me because I got to upset (well tell her to stop calling) he said that I had nothing to worry about with this women and I really do believe him, she isn’t the type you would want around your family.

    As time went on I would just want more and more of his time and he seemed to want me around more and more, we really didn’t have no obligations at home so we were both free to get and go when ever either one of us would call. For about the last 4 months our relationship became very comfortable and we told each other that we loved one another!!

    But in reality I didn’t think he meant it the same way that I did, I was saying it from my heart and I feel he was saying it from his head…could it have been me not understanding his personality ??? I truly fell in love with this guy and as I type this I have a gut wrenching feeling in my stomach.

    Three weeks ago I felt something wasn’t right, not a big deal, but something was on his mind. I asked him if there was something he wanted to talk about and he said no everything is fine “what? Don’t I make you happy” I told him he did, and I enjoy every moment with him, the next morning we woke up and he said I know you want to talk so let’s talk, he did the whole break up thing! Saying that he just don’t feel like he can give me what I need (commitment) and that is seems like I’m not happy, and I calmly as I could said thank you for your honesty (of course I had tears running down my face)

    I knew there was nothing I could do if he didn’t want to be in this relationship, But then he grabbed and I was crying on his shoulder he said “I’m going to tell you something that is really going to confuse you” I looked at him in the face and he had a tear running down his cheek, he said “ I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you, I want you to move in with me” “take your time to think about it” I was in shock I couldn’t even speak I thought “what the hell just happen” he then told me that he just put me through a test that if I would have walked out then he would have known my love was not sincere.

    So everything was fine for the next two days then the text/calls with slowing down and not wanting to see me then he was away for work and when he got back (a week after the above conversation) he called me and told me we shouldn’t see each other!

    I haven’t spoke (or even tried) to him in two weeks, I did send a second chance letter and texted me “I got your letter today. I would like to stay friends; I guess we will have to see how things work out”.

    What does all this mean “HELP” we are a middle age couple who still do a lot of youthful things together. I’m doing the NC rule! But really we are not in high school, should I call/text him? I love him and want him back in my life, any suggestions are welcome.

    Thank you in advance!!

  28. Oh boy – where to begin on this one…

    It’s a tough one because he sounds a bit emotionally all over the place at the moment and therefor there is no way anyone can give you any advice except maybe get on with living, healing, learning, growing and feeling whole again.

    I am sure he’s not deliberately doing this but he’s emotionally a trainwreck and that of course is rubbing off on you! I’d not get in touch, I’d give him a wide berth for the time being. If he wanted to be with you – he would be. It’s hard for me to assess whether it sounds like he WILL be back. It will be a challenge to trust him if he DOES come back – as he seems to be playing TUG OF WAR with your heartstrings!

    I’ve not heard of men “testing” women like that…and then to, a few weeks later, yank the rug out again!

    I am not saying I don’t think it can or will work out – but again I’d give him a ton of space and get on with the business of living your own life for a while. Act as if you’re over it and moving on…eventually it will become the case,…and if and when he DOES come back you can see how YOU feel then.

    I am very sorry you’re going through it. It totally SUCKS, I know it does. It’s heart wrenching but there are many positives in this experience for you – start excavating to find them! Take care x

  29. Hi, thank you for this article. Really. Thank you very much.

    I broke up with my girlfriend a month ago. Our situation is quite complicated.

    I’m a 20 yr old woman, and she’s 23. Yes, we’re both women.
    We met as exchange students last year in a university in Japan. I am from Southeast Asia and she is from Korea.

    She is my first love. I love her so much, and it pains to me end our 5-month relationship. It may be short, but I really love her, deeply.

    I am not her first relationship, she has had a boyfriend in middleschool, a girlfriend in high school (which she said was only experimental), and a serious boyfriend when she was 19 (they broke up because he had to go to army for 2 years).

    She said that I was her first true love. She was mine too.

    We lived in the same dorm for about 5months. We became very close, until we became a couple. Out of those 5 months in Japan, we were a couple for 2 months.

    Then February of this year, we had to go home to our respective countries. A day before our flight, she broke up with me. Saying that we don’t have a future together because we are from 2 different countries and it’s just not possible for now.

    But on the day of our flight, we called each other. And got back together. We decided to make a long distance relationship work.

    3 months went by. Skype, emails, facebook. shared blog, tumblr, packages and mail.

    Then just last month (May), I broke up with her. It was the most painful decision I had to make. I was depressed before and after doing it.

    I decided to let her go because I realized a couple of things.

    * On our 5th month together, she told me something that quite hurt me. She told me that she is not sure if she is really NOT straight. And that she can NEVER tell anyone about her/me/us. NEVER.

    * We had plans to meet in December. That is the only time we can meet (we are 2000 miles apart, 4hrs by plane, we are both university students we cannot afford such expensive flights so often). But she told me something that has been bothering me for a while. She told me that we will meet in December, and then after that, she will “make her next decision” about the relationship.
    She doesn’t want to talk about the future, about plans. I am not demanding a concrete perfect plan, that is impossible. I only wanted some kind of assurance from her. A simple reassuring plan that she is willing to wait for us, for us to be together in the future. I always felt that she is avoiding these things. She even told me that we might not even make to December. This really made me sad.

    * She’s been telling me about all the guys in her apartment that have been hitting on her. And tells me that she enjoys the attention. I’m not a jealous person, but it gets to my nerves at times. Especially when she told me more about this on the day of our 5th month together.

    * At times, I feel that she does not fully appreciate me and the things I have been doing for her. I know that love is about giving and not receiving, but I have reached a point that I felt exhausted, I felt that I was doing all the giving. And worst, I felt under appreciated. Taken for granted. There was a time that she went for days without talking to me. And when she finally did, I asked her if something was wrong. And she said she was just doing some kind of revenge because I was late for a Skype session one time — because I was fixing something for my internship! And I told her that I would be late for about half an hour or so.

    * She can be insensitive to my feelings. I am three yrs younger than her, but I feel that she is more immature than me at times. I feel like she doesn’t have a drive to keep the relationship for the long run. Like sticks floating on water.
    I read one of the comments above, about a relationship wherein one person liked making plans (like me), and the other with a mantra of “living in the present” (like my ex). But Our situation is different, we are in an LDR, we have to make some kind of plans. That would help keep the relationship alive.

    * I love her so much, but all these things have already made me feel so sad. And I decided to end it. I also began to think more clearly, I began to think that maybe this isn’t the right time for us. We are both finishing university next year. After that, we begin work or go to graduate school. She doesn’t seem very willing to move to where I am because of economic differences. As much as I want to go to Korea, career options are scarce due to language issues. BUT I told her that I am willing to move to where she is BUT it will take time. It will take a couple of years, to be honest.
    The next thing she said crushed me. She said that waiting for more than a year is insane.
    That’s when I realized that I have to start thinking in a more practical and realistic sense. I’m 20, she’s 23. We are in university. Dependent on our parents. Our lives have so much developing to do. We have our whole lives ahead of us, careers, and so much more growing up.

    I feel like I am in a relationship with no future. If she didn’t say all those harsh things maybe I would still be drowned in my own overly optimistic dreams of being with her, fantasies. But now, I have reached the point that I am thinking with my brain, not my heart.

    Also, her family/society/culture, can never accept a same-sex relationship. She can’t even accept herself. I am her secret. A secret she will never tell anyone. She cannot even admit it to herself that she is not straight. I am hurt. I know that coming out is a process and I am not forcing her. But the word NEVER, that sense of permanence in her words when she said she WILL NEVER let anyone else know, not even our mutual friends from Japan. I thought that our love will give her strength to accept herself, but I guess not.

    So even if I love her so much, I had to let her go.

    She has stopped talking to me. Deleted from our online connections.
    I asked her if we can talk on more time, seriously. But she never wants to.
    She even called me obsessed, when I was only trying to assure her that I will always be there for her, because even if our relationship is over, I will always be her friend. And she will always be important and special to me. I was really hurt by that final conversation we had.

    Now I am giving her space. It seems that she doesn’t want to stay friends anymore.

    And now I am depressed. I lost a girlfriend and a best friend.

    ADVICE please.

    Sorry for the lengthy story. Thank you for reading.

  30. Thanks for posting the story. Am in transit so can’t respond properly til tomorrow. Sorry for this inconvenience…I don’t find that we’ve ever “lost” anyone for good. Not if there was a good foundation. Sometimes we just need dust to settle before we can handle a dialogue. OK. So keep some faith and trust it’s all unraveling in a divine fashion. You’re going to be ok. You really are. x

  31. I have recently been the dumpee yet for some time have been wanted to end the relationship myself with my girfriend of 6 years.
    I love her dearly and believe she loved me but we stopped communicating in the right way. We have been falling out over silly things and not speaking for weeks in the end. We once split up for 6 month without speaking the whole time yet came back together in the end.  We split up a few month back over a silly argument and. Went away for a while to clear my head. During this time I found I truly missed her and tried to contact her only to receive horrid messages returned (this was the usual thing) and when I returned she was waiting for me.
    She told me she loved me very much and had been out on a date with another man yet it wasn’t me, it was me she loved and me she wanted. Then after a week, another argument simlply because I said I wished a night to myself and she accused me of having someone else. We spoke a few days later when again she told me she loved me, but I was angry at her and told her to stop the accusations, moods etc and wouldn’t take it anymore, didn’t see a point to the relationship that we had ended up with.
    Then 4 days later I discovered she had arranged another date with the man she said she didn’t want and has been with him for 6 weeks now.
    To say it devastated me would be a understatement. It felt as tho my whole world came crashing down.
    I contacted her begging her to stay as I only wished to find a middle ground and end the arguments not completely finish. I doubted our communication but never our love and don’t think she did either.
    Since that night she has refused any contact with me, won’t speak to me, reply to any messages and when she walked by me last week would not even look in my direction and is asking as tho she hates me so much now which hurts even more.
    While I many times thought about ending it, I never had the strength to quit on her or us. Yet she did and it made me feel like I didn’t matter etc.
    I have wondered if this is a rebound and she will return and spend each night pining for her and watching my phone hoping she will miss me and make contact.
    It seemed as tho she walked away so easily and moved straight onto another relationship without any sorrow or regret while I remained in limbo with all the pain, anguish and hurt.
    Guess I am simply looking for a sign she didnt do this lightly. Something inside me says she still loves me but for some reason is fighting it and telling herself and those around her she hates me.
    The hatred I feel from her toward me is eating away at me slowly, and nothing I can do will bring her back or even get her to speak to me.

  32. I just broke up with my girlfriend after a great 8 months. I had moved away back home after I graduated and our plans to move in together in another city didn’t work out on neither of our ends. My financial situation prevented me from driving up to go see her so she would come twice a month.

    I didn’t realize it but I was growing more distant from her, the job searching really took a major toll on me. Eventually I realize that I was holding her back from a great relationship, I was no longer the guy she fell for and I wasn’t putting as much effort into the relationship as I once did, and she saw that. But telling her it was over was the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my life.

    I’ve broken up with my exes previously but they made it easy, they cheated or were very selfish. This girl was different, everything I could ask for in a girlfriend, my friends think I am nuts, but they don’t understand how I am not into the relationship anymore and it hurts.

    I want her to be happy with someone who misses her as much as she misses them, and is always there 110%. That person is not me, I have to focus on my future/career and who knows where I will be in 2,3,4 months time.

    Still hurts, hearing her cry over the phone made me cry many times afterwards. I felt it was better to do it over the phone rather than have her drive down here just to break her heart.

  33. I am really sorry to hear of your sad break up. Even though you’re not “in love” with her, I know it must have been super hard to know that saying goodbye would hurt her. How could it not. In the long run you’ve done her a favor. Better to be alone than with someone who’s non-committal or settling or something. Truly it is.

    I know I’d rather not be with a guy whose heart wasn’t really in it. Though, given your situation, I am not sure if THAT is more the culprit than the relationship. Like if you felt better about YOURSELF you might be more interested. But right now without work, the financial stress etc – sounds like you are focusing attention on changing that (which is great) but maybe you’d feel different if that stressed eased.

    Or are you totally sure you just have no real romantic feelings for her.

    I feel like my ex-husband did that to me. He was unhappy, even depressed, when he ditched me for someone he was talking to over the internet – thousands of miles away. We never got the “let’s work at this” stage. He just ended it. Then he was a mess (got put on anti-depressants etc) who jumped in with the next girl who came his way…he went on to have several broken engagements I think…but really he’d have been better off focusing on himself and feeling happy and whole within himself before attempting to get involved with someone else (several someones). He got there in the end. I hear he’s married now and good luck to him (and her).

    What the hell do I know? It’s all just my own opinion anyway 🙂

    And I was bummed when he ended it but 1) I understood it and 2) deep down I was grateful he ended it because we didn’t work! I think we both knew that. It just took him having the GUTS to walk away. And it does take guts to leave.

    Thanks for sharing and you hang in there. In the long run, you’ve done the right thing. It’s just going to be sore for both of you for a while!!

  34. I know this was written a while back but I felt compelled to say something. I just want to thank you for the insight. My boyfriend of a little over 3 months (yes, short but certainly sweet) broke up with me nearly as long as we were together. I’ve definitely been able to address some of my own issues post-breakup (feeling worthless, ugly, did I do something wrong, etc) but somehow I still have trouble letting HIM go. He’s gone. We speak seldomly and with every conversation, all through text, it’s always sweet and kind and friendly but I’m left sad a few days later. Like I’m going through withdrawal or something.

    Like I said, I’m working my way through getting over him and getting past my own insecurities. I’m working on myself and TRYING not to care or worry about him. But one thing I wasn’t understanding is if he thought I was such a great person (which he told me numerous times, including when he dumped me), then why would he just leave and never come back without a thought? Why does he seem to be fine while I’m still having fleeting moments of sadness?

    Your post gave me some insight into his own dilemma. He has some commitment issues. He has some job issues. He has some personal dream issues. He’s a wonderful guy and I never thought otherwise and if it would help to show him what I thought of him in the hopes that it would make his worries disappear, I would. But it doesn’t and so he dumped me because he wasn’t “ready” for something more serious and because he felt he had things he needed to focus on and when he was with me, he couldn’t do that and when he wasn’t he wanted to be with me… He was torn. I was disposable. In some ways, I still feel like I got the short end of the stick. I wasn’t in love with him but I did love him as one loves another person and cared deeply for him. I saw a future with him and when it was over I felt robbed. But I guess I’m not the first girl with a broken heart to feel this way.

    So I thought, ok, so he has all these things he’s working on and some commitment issues – so clearly he doesn’t care and is fine without me. These thoughts have hurt more than the words “it’s over.” But it’s just not possible. Well, he may be “fine” without me but it’s not possible that he never felt pain or sadness and doesn’t think of me from time to time. It was probably really hard for him to break up with me. I’m a pretty great girlfriend – a couple weeks before he told me I take really great care of him (this was while I was cooking us breakfast) and then I winked and told him that he takes pretty good care of me too. This was our cute banter that is missed. I’m not perfect and in my own progress I’ve seen the role I played too. Regardless, I just wanted to thank you for your insight. He is somewhere out there handling his life without me. I’m still trying everyday to handle my own. It gives me a sense of gratitude (if that’s the word) to know that he left but wasn’t necessarily happy about it. I know he felt guilty for hurting me. I could see that in his eyes but to know others felt some sense of loss even as the dumper just makes things a little bit easier. At least it reminds me we’re all human after all.

  35. Can someone help please…
    I ended an 8 year relationship 3 months ago – I can honestly say I’ve never hurt so much in my life.

    There were good times but lots of hurtful events which seemed to have left deep wounds.

    I got to a point, after a great year of adventure and travel together, where I realised that it wasn’t healthy for me to keep trying to resolve things if it was just me trying.

    I’m empty. I feel invisible. I want to fast forward life to the end, so I can just quietly slip away.
    I don’t care about experiencing life anymore.

    I moved away from family and friends to try to start fresh so I’m alone.

    I was alone in the relationship – why is this alone I’m dealing with so painful ?

    My decision turned both our worlds upside down and the guilt is destroying me.

    We are now strangers & I’ll forever be the cold hearted jerk…people didn’t see the destruction that went on.
    Why do I feel like the enemy ?

  36. Jessica, I liked reading your post. I hope you’re feeling a bit better these days as obviously this was posted a while ago. My boyfriend of six months has just ended things saying he can’t give me what I want, because I was hurting over him becoming close and having lovely, romantic times together and then him pulling away. He also says that I am the most perfect girlfriend and cares so much about me and he has been in floods of tears after he told me it was over because he is worried he will regret letting me go. He says he just can’t do it. He is depressed right now and he is not enjoying his life and needs to move closer to family, so it really hurts that he will be moving away too. When I think now, he just have been thinking about ending things for a couple of months but I didn’t have much of a clue. It’s all been a big shock. It’s day one and I’m just longing for him. We did end things fairly mutual in the end with us both in tears but he was crying also because he is so unhappy anyway. I tried to advise and help him and made him promise to take some action to get better but it really hurts me that he let me go…. I thought we were in love 🙁

  37. My ex broke it off 6 weeks ago today. Ours is a poignant story, as I am sure everyone else in my situation also feels.

    We first met five years ago and really hit it off. We were so good together. She told me she loved me, but I could not reciprocate. I was not ready to committ. Thus, she left me, met a new man online from another state within less than a year, they were married. I always regretted losing her. Turned about the new guy was an abusive drunk and they ended up divorced.

    Fast forward five years to February, when I found her on an online dating site. I contacted her and we rekindled our relationship. This time, I did it right. I told her how important she was to me, told her that I had five years of regret that I lost her and that I never wanted to lose her again. We fell in love immediately. She professed the deepest love and passion for me, and I to her. She told me she never wanted to be with another man again. In short, I found the love of my life after losing her five years before. I was never going to let that go again.

    Six weeks ago, she texted me that she could not continue our relationship. I was floored. She told me that she had warned me that she needed time to get over the pain of her prior marriage, but that I had refused to accept that and pushed her into a relationship. How could this person who professed her undying love for me just two weeks before, just want to discard me so quickly? Yes, I pushed for our relationship, but no one forced her to tell me how much she loved me and never wanted another man in her life.

    Trying to get over her has been hard. While I did not beg, I certainly did try to convince her to change her mind. All to no avail. Now we have no contact. Plus, this woman who claimed she could not be in a “relationship” is back on the dating website. And, she attempted to go back to her absuive ex husband. WTF is wrong with me? We never argued. I was not abusive. I did everyhting right this time around, yet she simply walked away?

    In retrospect, I was the only one in the relationship. Sure, she told me how much she loved me, but her actions did not match her words. It was always about whatever made her happy. Even though I see that now, I still can’t get over my love for her. I forgive her, but am still struggling through this darkness.

    Just my ramblings……

  38. Sorry I’ve not had a chance to reply sooner. I am really disappointed for you that it went down this way. She probably shouldn’t have been on a dating site – it might have been premature. Then you ended up getting someone on the rebound – which happens a lot. I doubt she did any of this deliberately – more than likely she got close to you and panicked a bit. Maybe realised she wasn’t ready for a serious relationship – as much as she thought she was initially. It’s so challenging to NOT take this crap so personally. She just sounds like a confused hot mess and that’s her problem not yours at present.

    There is nothing wrong with you other than you got too full on too quickly with someone who just wasn’t in a position to be “out there” yet. It’s not any case of you doing anything right or wrong. There is no such thing as “I did everything the right way”. Things just happen in that respect. It might have been the “right” way for someone further out of a failed marriage – it might have been the wrong thing to someone else. We have no control over other people’s responses to our words and behaviors.

    You say “it was always about whatever made her happy” – that’s an interesting statement to make.

    I could imply you weren’t doing stuff to make you happy. You made it all about her. You were a willing participant and it sounds like YOU were pretty happy too eh?

    It sucks when you get close again to someone like that – after having had something before (I actually had something similar happen to be honest, vaguely similar, with a re-kindled thing and it all went a bit pearshaped too)…It sucks when you get a re-taste of that fruit and it gets yanked away (become ‘forbidden fruit’) but what I took away from mine is that this guy wasn’t the right one for me and it was GREAT I could still feel these sorts of feelings with someone. That I could connect deeply with someone…even if he didn’t feel the same potential as I did in the end. It smarted but I picked myself up, dusted myself off and tried to make some notes (mental and otherwise) of the good stuff that came as a result. I am better for it. He was a great teacher (even if he did end up teaching me a few things of what I don’t want in a partner) 😉

    Try to see some positives (as soon as you can) with all of this. They ARE there even if it’s all a bit too soon and you’re too raw to see them.

    Hugs x

  39. Thanks, Thea. When I said I did everyhting the right way this time, I merely meant that I did not make the same mistake I did five years ago by not being able to committ. I always regretted letting her get away. This time, I made it clear from the start that I loved her and wanted her tobe part of my life.

    In return, she made intensely incredible professions of love for me- I love you. I only want to be with you. I never want another man in my bed. You are the only man who ever knew how to handle me. It was as though five years of regret had washed away for me and I had truly recovered the “one” woman I had been seeking.

    Yet, in an unbelievable about face, she tells me she is not ready for a relationship. Yet she jumps back on match.com. Then she attempts to reconnect with her ex husband who, as I said, was an abusive drunk that she ran from. It doesn’t look like that is working out. She intended to go to visit him and his family, but he went off on her over the phone scaring her into reality that she is putting herself in danger.

    The reason I say it was always about her is that, in retrospect, she had no empathy for anybody but herself. She never asked about my family, even though I had some rough times with my teenager daughter this summer. When she had a breast enlargment in June, I went with her to the surgery. She then claimed I “failed” because I was unable to meet her one night after that due to a friends funeral. Thinking back five years ago, she never even sent me a card or any message when my own mother died. It seems like the focus is always on her, her boobs, her broken ex marriage, her self loathing, her low self esteem, her moods, etc. It was always about her. Starting to think that she may be a narcissist, which she joking told me she was once.

    I know all the cleches. I was not in love with her, but who I thought she was. It is not about me, it is about her. Etc. But it all sure sucks to deal with. And I sense for her, the only emotion she feels with the break up was a sense of relief. It’s as though all those professions of love were just pure crap to get me to feed her need to feel special.

  40. I’m about to be the dumper. We DO think about them and their feelings, and the timing.

    If I was going to do the selfish thing, I would stay with him for another six months or even a year, because I still love him and am much happier with him than I will be on my own. But I have always known it isn’t right for me, and I would only be wasting his time and leading him on, making him think there is a future when there isn’t.

    It can seem sudden because you work hard to ignore these things, just like the dumpee usually does as well. Sooner or later one of you is going to admit the truth to themself, and that person becomes the dumper. If I left it for a year, who’s to say he wouldn’t break up with me after finally coming to accept that we are not quite a right fit?

    I also am breaking up with him now (and it will be very sudden) rather than later because he is at uni. I want him to have the time to move on a little before uni goes back, so that it doesn’t affect his results negatively. If I waited until I felt more ready – another six months time maybe – it would be right in the middle of his exams. Also, this is a better time of year to be single because there are more parties, the weather is good, he has some fun and exciting things coming up…

    We do think about all these things. I would rather stay with him for longer but ultimately I know it needs to end, and dragging it out is just cruel to both of us.

    It’s especially hard for me because until now I’ve always been the one to get dumped, so I know exactly what I’ll be putting him through. It kills me, I cry on a daily basis. I just have to time it right.

  41. Lisa, when reading your post, i was wondering, why you would wanna break up. I mean what better can happen than knowing that you “still love him and [are] much happier with him than [you] will be on [your] own”? usually, people are saying this to convince someone else of getting together instead of breaking up, I think.

    maybe, it helps if you open yourself a little more and tell your boyfriend, what’s worrying you so much that you’re crying on a daily basis? maybe it helps if you tell him, that you’re about to give up on your relationship and why?
    from what you write i think, there’s still hope to get even closer.

    in my opinion, most relationships are being ended because at least one of the two doesn’t want to or cannot develop and grow. in order to do this, we have to disclose ourselves to the other person. we have to be strong enough to speak about our fears, anxieties, weaknesses, etc., about our dreams, hopes, needs, etc. – usually people move closer together when doing this. unfortunately, there aren’t many people who have the courage to face these kind of open conversations. most of the people rather look for a new pair of shoes. which will soon be worn out, too. lisa, you love him. that’s a strong feeling. don’t give up. let him help you.

  42. Thea,
    It’s unclear what your credentials are to be giving this advice or opinions, i.e. are you are a licensed psychotherapist or relationship counselor?
    These are your words from an above post: “It takes two to have a relationship and two to break up. I’ve yet to see a dumpee who was perfect throughout a relationship. EVER.”

    First, of course dumpee is never perfect. No human is perfect. I strongly disagree with your statement. When one party does not communicate AT ALL with the other regarding issues, frustrations, etc., and silently shuts down, sneaking around looking for someone else, their mate has no chance to fix the problem. Nothing is ever resolved without communication, an argument, or some method to get the issue out there. This is NOT the dumpee’s fault. You can’t repair it if you don’t know it exists. Many dumpers claim they were “disconnecting” for months. Then why didn’t they SAY SOMETHING? If dumper is soooo torn, pondering whether or not to stay in the relationship, did they discuss the issue(s) with their mate? In some cases it seems dumper is irresponsible, sitting back letting their mate continue to turn them off (unbeknownst to the mate) and watch the relationship die. Sure, dumper can leave any time they want but people have a RESPONSIBILITY in a relationship to do the RIGHT THING. Hiding your thoughts and feelings, or intending to exit as soon as you have someone else when a big problem is brewing is morally wrong. When you withhold feelings or thoughts, the mate you allegedly “love” is trotting around like an innocent puppy thinking your “bad mood” will pass, probably asking you over and over “what’s wrong? Can I do something to fix this/make you happy?”, but dumper says “it’s nothing,” or “it’s just work pressure”, etc.. This is b.s. It happens quite often that dumpees TRY HARD to find out why their mate is pulling away or unhappy. With dumpee trying or unaware of the problem and dumper hiding everything, the problems will get worse and it’s not the dumpee’s fault. So, I take issue with your claim that “It takes two to make a relationship fail…dumpees are never perfect…”
    Dumper leaving dumpee in a dumpster with the horror of not knowing what the hel* just happened or what they could’ve done to fix it is cruel. It’s irresponsible, reckless behavior. At least tell dumper HONESTLY WHY you mysteriously “fell out of love with them” if you didn’t have the maturity to communicate problems when you were together in the first place. Ironically, working thru problems makes the relationship STRONGER on the other side. People walk away so easily and guess what? You will face issues in the next relationship, and the next, only to end up in the same place. I think it’s a crock anyway how people allegedly fall out of love so easily. Love makes this world. Love is a powerful, ENDURING human emotion. Anyone who “falls out of love” in months or a few years wasn’t in love in the first place, doesn’t know how to overcome issues or doesn’t know what love is. Dumper knows EXACTLY WHY they “fell out of love” or why they want out, but usually won’t tell dumpee. Just say it, put it in an email, letter, something!
    My ex BF was a wonderful guy, I was never truly in love with him (never told him I was) BUT he knew exactly why I broke up because I conveyed it a number of times. With all due respect he lived like a pig, was a borderline hoarder and a cheap-skate who made plenty of money. There, I said it and I told him. So, now he can move on with that knowledge and has the CHOICE of fixing it for his future or not. How hard is that?! Why keep so many secrets from the person you’re walking away from if they didn’t do anything malicious or knowingly wrong?
    It is EASY to fall in love. Every relationship is a series of love stages: Falling in love, then questioning if you picked “the right one”, then issues or problems, then reconnecting and feeling that deeper love again. It takes maturity and DEDICATION to make a relationship work, and love has cycles. So these dumpers who mysteriously “fell out of love” with no conveyed reason I think are sometimes doing so prematurely, didn’t give their partner a chance to work it out, or have confused infatuation or sex with love. Authentic love doesn’t just “fall out” in a few years. Sure, in 10+ years people can change quite a bit, but not in these shorter term relationships.

  43. I TOTALLY agree with you Madison….

    My story:

    All breakups are unique as much as the relationship and the people within it. But after 2 ½ months after my breakup and researching information online, I have not come across one quote like mine. Did you ever meet someone where you felt that the match was so compatible and the situation was SO right that you feel that God Himself was responsible for putting you both together?

    My ex and I were together for 2 years. They were very good years with very little if any arguments and fighting (a red flag I would later conclude). We were having a great time, making plans, doing things and having a lot of fun – she NEVER even once complained that there was anything that was bothering her. We became engaged and she moved in to my home with my daughter and I. Three weeks into her living here, she packed up everything that she had just hauled over and left while I was out of town on business. She sent me a text in the afternoon telling me that our relationship was over…that I should never try to contact her. She blocked me on her phone, text, social media, deleted all of our mutual friends and compelled her friends and family to unfriend me (successfully). I have no idea where she had moved to either. There was no incident, no acrimony and by her own accounts supported by her friends, family and co-workers, I was a dream come true for her in the way that I treated her and our compatibility.

    I had tried to contact her after a month of NC and I was greeting with the threat of a PPO from a lawyer friend of hers. I sent a letter to her a few weeks later and it was returned unopened. Come to find out that after a significant amount of digging that there are folks that have an incredibly intense fear of intimacy to the extent that they reject the very thing that they long for. Everything, as is true with hindsight, added up that I researched.

    I do speak with her father every now and again who tells me that she is seeing a therapist and working on this problem (she has sabotaged all of her relationships in all of her 44 years) but she refuses to discuss why she did what she did to even her family, apparently. I am having a hard time dealing with the way that this was done by her and the future that changed radically at a moments notice….I am otherwise a very emotionally healthy and strong person – I am shocked at how painful this has been. Largely because of the silence….I probably would have been over it by now if she had the mind to call me and tell me what kind of a horrible person that I was or something to that effect. Any thoughts? I mean: is she going through hell over there? Should I hold out?

  44. I recently dumped my boyfriend of 9 months and to to be perfectly honest, we still haven’t gone through a clean breakup. I told him that I would take time to think about giving it a second chance.

    A bit of history into our relationship: From the outside, he is the guy that every girl wants, smart, nice, funny, spoils you, good with your family, responsible, physically active, good sex, and good job. Underneath that he has a serious issue with trust and it’s been apparent since the beginning of our relationship. (In his last relationship which lasted for 3.5 years his ex cheated on him.) I’m a very honest person and I let him know that we had a trust issue and i thought it stemmed from him not properly healing from his last relationship.

    Of course, before doing the actual breakup, I had a lot of time for self evaluation and discovered that my selfishness and independence mixed with his romantacism and lack of trust left us with very frequent arguments that would last for days.

    We’ve tried taking a break, which only lasted for 3 days, and we very quickly returned to the roller coaster relationship.

    Our breakup was only a few days ago and for the first time, the very first time since we’ve been together, he told me that he confered with one of his good friends from home and can finally see “the error of his ways”. I miss him a lot but I literally cannot handle going through the type of ups and downs we went through. I’ve simutaneously broken both of our hearts. We both have a lot of learning and growing to doin the areas of companionship, trust, selflessness, and love.

    I did not want to leave him, the decision was extremely difficult and im fairly confident that not only will he move on first but that he’ll marry his next girlfriend. call it a hunch.

  45. Glad to see this forum is still in use and feeling quite sad that others have to go through this painful misery the world over!! I am the dumped and it is has been the hardest time to go through but everyday is a day closer to healing. One thing I think all dumpers are guilty of is immediately switching to win back mode, how do I do it, what will work and generally trying every Jedi mind trick out there to ensure they are firmly back by your side in a matter of weeks. Having read all the entries here from dumpees and dumpers alike, for the first time since it happened I am feeling like maybe that’s not a good enough option. For sure it would be a sticking plaster over what feels like a surgical wound, ultimately if the dumper really feels all the emotion of lifted weights off shoulders, relief, guilt, and contentedness, then all I really want is to preserve my dignity and integrity and let them go without begging, crying or trying to convince them otherwise.

    My relationship followed a similar pattern to many on here. It was 2 years, the first 1yr 1/2 of which was bliss, which I know sounds trite but in the absence of any better term, bliss it must be. Long story short my bf went away to military work for 4 months and somewhere in the time something changed overnight, he became a bit mean and distant for no reason lacking any really emotion but came round after a while although communication was still much less than what it had been when he first went. Fast forward to his homecoming and I live an several hours away from him so I booked flights to visit him but even I had to push that and he was lack lustre to say the least. We had a lovely week but he started bringing up a myriad of random excuses about ‘issues’ that would make long term difficult which was all very out of the blue.

    These issues in hindsight could best be described as excuses as it transpires the original issues have long disappeared and have been replaced by new ones! Anyway I retuned home and essentially that was the beginning of the end. Over the next month I had enough of poor excuses demeaning who I was (although never in a nasty way more in an self absolving way!) and decided that in the face of impending doom and cut the chord and run rather than be forced. This was a week before Christmas and since then he has been in contact every few days just to let me know he misses me, thinks about me, finds it hard etc. The prospect of me meeting someone also had him extremely alarmed when he thought it was happening under his nose which it was not at all. Just this week I have told him I am ready to let go and want no contact at all with him.

    The truth is I’m tired, tired of trying to be what he wants, tired of holding out hope because he wants an emotional crutch, tired of being in limbo and stuck on pause unable to move forward or back for fear of putting a foot wrong and having regrets. It is time to just let go now and understand that life is extremely short, relationships are about risk and while everyone holds on to hope, some risks will payout but most ultimately will not.

    My advice to dumpees is grab hold of every tiny little thing you learned from that journey and process it in a healthy way, learn from it and let it go! To dumpers, just be honest, grow a set and tell it like it is because if you ever loved the person really, they deserve that one final dignity and the truth will really set you free to walk on without guilt or regrets! Peace to one and all and if you are a person of faith, look upwards to the one who holds all things in the palm of his hands and who’s grace is sufficient enough to carry us through whatever storms may come! He has something better ahead for you!x

  46. Madison has it. I chuckled at some of the immaturity on here. I love them, they’re everything I want, but something isn’t right. If that’s the case then you have commitment issues and need to seek therapy. Clearly you fantasize about a more perfect person and relationship; good luck! Don’t get into anything else with anyone until you’ve grown up and learned your issues, so you don’t hurt others with your ridiculousness. Learn to communicate properly.

  47. I was seeing a man going through a divorce. We met and fell in love quickly. He is an emotional train wreck that appeared to have emotionally disconnected from his wife of over 15 yrs two yrs prior. He reassured me all the time as I worried that he was in love with me and that I was not a rebound or to fill a void and did not get him by default.

    YES, I KNOW DATING SOMEONE WHO IS NOT DIVORCED YET IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE ONE CAN MAKE AND I AM PAYING FOR IT DEARLY.

    Anyway, she lied drank they were not close and she is a lot older. He told me he was confused and that he was afraid if he tried with her again it wouldn’t work and that he would end up losing both of us. To which I agreed. I told him that if he needed to go that I loved him enough to let him go.. He cried in my arms like a baby. Not sure if it was relief now or if he couldn’t believe that I loved him that much.

    He moved stuff into my house the next day purchased an expensive appliance that would be for both of us when he moved in. HA! 2 days later she calls and whatever was said this time it did not fall on deaf ears and his love for me didn’t register like it did a week and a half before when he text me that exact phrase. I saw it coming I got very upset, he denied it of course. Next thing you know, he leaves. We are done and he is back with HER.

    The one he said he could NO LONGER trust ever again because of all the lies, the one who told him that she loved him but was not in love with him, the one who threatened to kill him 10 days before if he came there to get his stuff… the one who said she had not had sex with him in 2 yrs because he had gained weight and was not attracted to him…

    ALL THIS had him supposedly to the point that he knew the marriage was OVER and that he would file if she dropped the suit. THAT is why we were making plans again supposedly now I wonder if anything he said was real.

    SHE DID NOT WANT HIM BACK UNTIL SHE KNEW ABOUT ME AND SAW HOW HAPPY HE WAS WITHOUT HER. I am confused as he told me he needed time to think. He did NOT tell me he went back to her. I found out on my own. He has no clue that I know. I gave him many chances to tell me and many chances to just break up with me right then and there and then again on the phone over 2 weeks ago. He said it has only been a few days (0f him thinking– yeah right)

    Then I said I wished things could have turned out differently to which he responded time will tell. Does this sound like a confused guy trying to give his marriage one last shot while not wanting me to know because, I told him, if he went back I would not be here if it failed. OR does this sound more like he is back with her even though it was supposedly so awful and she disgusted him as she has aged terribly in the last 3 yrs due to heavy smoking and drinking. And he doesn’t want to piss me off because some of his stuff is still here (nothing major he took most of it) or get pissed and rat him out to her about how serious we REALLY were.

    I have not contacted him in 16 days and even if I did I am pretty sure it would be bullshit and I WOULD NEVER know the REAL reason he said he needed to think and we needed to slow down. Confused or a jerk that wants me to be the bad guy and leave him. I just cannot imagine it working out rushing back in without fixing any problems or having any time to do any self reflection.

    I want to believe that he doesn’t really think it will work but he has to try and that is why he doesn’t tell me the truth about it or just break up with me. I am not taking him back no matter what. I told him if he went back I was done. I let him go. What he does with that freedom is out of my control. HOW I react to what he did is very much under my control. I sound pretty pathetic reading over this post but I AM JUST SO DAMN CONFUSED AND IT DOES MATTER AS I NEED TO KNOW HOW ONE HUMAN CAN DO THIS CRUEL THING TO ANOTHER. I FEEL LIKE I NEVER EVEN MATTERED. GUESS I DIDN’T….

  48. I want to thank you for writing this article which takes into account the “other” point of view; the one less acknowledged.

    I broke up with my boyfriend of 2 years about 3 weeks ago and I am devastated! Unlike you described, I did not plan it in advance, nor was I looking for a way out, and truth be told, the split didn’t even stem from a fight. I made a rash decision to walk away when a conversation about our future went south. As I asked questions I got very wish washy answers and had my feelings hurt by him regarding some major stuff 2x in that same week. I think my decision was partly an admission of defeat, partly a way to save myself from further heartache and partly a way to get my point across that something had to change as I was suddenly not happy. As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I regreted them. It’s not something you can just take back. I never wanted him out of my life and this feeling of “relief” never came. Instead I’ve been stuck in a vicious cycle of daily panic attacks, melt down moments at the drop of a dime and missing my rock (him) that I could talk to and hug when I was down. So not only did I hurt him, but I did a number on myself.

    Shortly after I left, he did reach out to say that he didn’t like how things had happened the night before. Me being utterly confused responded with the hopes that things could be fixed, but that we BOTH had to work at it. After a lot of self reflection I have realized that some of the issues I was upset with could have been completely avoided had I chose to act in a manor other then I did. A hard revelation indeed. Since the break we have had one discussion about the issues that were bothering us ( I am more of a talk it out and fix it kinda person, where as he is a sweep it under the rug and move on kinda guy). We have gotten together once and there was no relationship discussion, but the amount of effort that he put in was like we were on our first date! There was no arguing, lots of laughter and he told me stories about his past that I had never heard before (he usually doesn’t open up). At the end of the day I felt like he did not want me to leave, and he said things like “I’m glad you came out to see me” and “I will see you later” (we live 2.5 hours apart), ( I should also mention that life circumstances make it much more convenient for the both of us if I go out to see him). That was 3 days ago. I have not heard from him since. I am using all my will power to not be clingy and call or text, and I’m trying not to take the roll of the pursuer. I am stuck in this weird stalemate wondering if I should reach out to him since I am the one who dumped him (I did suggest the first meetup) or if I should let it go for now until he makes an attempt to contact me. I didn’t ever realize how much I loved him until I let him go…
    Advise?

  49. most times relationship doesn’t work out due to lack of understanding and communication. As a psychologist that’s the summary, most relationship would work out but the grass is greener effect makes. us less committed to improve our current relationship. I call it a special case of greed

  50. Thank you so much for writing this. I just ended a relationship, my boyfriend did not want it to end. On the one hand it was a no-brainer, too many differences. On the other hand, I was losing my best friend, and causing someone I cared the world about excruciating pain.

    As the dumper, this is has been SO hard on me.I miss having him around so much, but I know in my heart, I need someone who will fit my lifestyle better. All I could think about was getting out. But the separation stings.

  51. This has been such an interesting read. I met this girl who is 9 years younger than me and who lives about an hour drive from me. We met up and started texting a few days later to the point where my cell battery would last a day. We just seemed to click and she got me. Things between us moved extremely slowly which we both liked because it meant we could get to know eachother better.

    We went on a few dates and finally kissed but it took us a while before we were intimate. I last saw her on a Thursday and i had to travel for work, but by Saturday i could feel she was pulling away from me. The following week i saw her again and she said she just didn’t feel the spark anymore. We ended it in a very adult way. I didn’t realise just how much i had fallen for this girl.

    It has now been 10 days NC and it still hurts like crazy and i miss her terribly. Going from being the first person i spoke to in the morning and the last person i spoke to at the end of the day to NC has been really hard for me and i’m sure for her to, i just don’t know.

    I have been wondering how she must feel in all this and the posts above have given me some insight into her feelings.

  52. I recently walked away from a relationship and I must say that this post is accurate. Not all ‘dumpers’ are cold-hearted, ruthless people. It took me months to decide that I needed to walk away from a 4 year old relationship and he was my one true love. I still get doubts about whether I did the right thing, but I felt a lot of pain and stress due to the constant fights which slowly damaged our relationship. I had broken up for similar reasons earlier, only to get back with him again, with the hopes that ‘this time we will do it right’. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. But I still love him so much that the pain I’m going though is unimaginable. I doubt if I ever find anyone who I would feel this way about, but ultimately, I had to get away from the pain and stress. Toughest decision I have ever made till now.

  53. Sorry for the delay in approving your comment. My SPAM guard has been over zealous. :-/

    I am sorry if there was that much pain and stress, I would hazard a guess that you did do the right thing – even though it hurts like hell.

    Hugs x

  54. As a recent dumpee who has done so much research to better myself and understand why my ex “suddenly” dumped me, THANK YOU for this post. In retrospect, I should have saw the “signs” that he was checked out a lot sooner (we had our last big fight that “killed his love” for me about a little over a month ago; he told me that night too that his love was gone, but gave “us” a second chance b/c I begged him and told him that I would make a better effort to change; I did, but it was “too late” and he told me post break up that he feels some guilt because I tried so hard to make our relationship work when it was already too late, and I “deserve a better guy” than him.) He was irritable and cranky leading up to the break up (probably dealing with the guilt and pain of when/how to break up with me) but passed off the reason as he was not sleeping well from his Adderall prescription.

    Just a week before ending it, he told me that he was still “madly in love with me” and we even were back to having sex frequently. So yes… again, THANK YOU for this insight because I’m pretty certain he was still in the “deciding” stage.

    After reading this post, along with NC and “second chances”, I think I’m resigned to doing what is best for me and try to proactively move on and better myself (we had issues in our relationship because I was insecure and always thought he would cheat/cheating/cheated on me among me being too “self-focused” on “my happiness” and not his, even though he enabled me early on in our relationship) by seeing a professional to help me overcome my relationship and self-esteem (lack of loving myself) issues.

    I’ll be honest thought… despite reading and slowly coming to terms, a part of me still holds onto the hope that he will return… I also think that I’m just grasping at straws because I’m in denial that it is over. I am rambling, but I am still coping at the lost of the first real genuine love (I believe he loved me with “every fiber in his heart” early in our relationship, and he was the first man I dated where I felt it was truly OK to be me and also where I had A LOT in common with, personality/characteristic traits and interests as well).

    I know the reality is that he will likely never come back to me because he is highly stubborn and I read somewhere where if the dumper dumps you because s/he fell out of love with you and are extremely stubborn, s/he will not come back because they will have justified the reasons for leaving you. It is EXTREMELY RARE that ex-lovers will come back after “working on” themselves and to have that second chance work out.

    I’m aware this is part of the healing process, and I go back and forth between clinging on to (false) hope and accepting and acknowledging the reality – our once warm and glorious love is no longer in existence.

    I am fairly certain that in a few years (but hopefully a few months), when I am a bit wiser and older (I’m in my early 30s), I will look back at this point in my life, and laugh at the situation and wonder why I was so hung up on someone who clearly gave up on the relationship, as I do now in reflection to my LTR in my 20s that lasted on/off (mostly on) for 9 years. (The ex that cheated on me.)

    So to my current ex, I’d like to thank you for inadvertently teaching me multiple lessons that I hope to apply towards my next relationship… once I overcome my issues 🙂

    – So long, and thanks for all the fish, Chommer –

  55. I do think that all ‘dumpers’ are in essence cold-hearted, ruthless people, at least for some time. They’re actually trying to disguise that fact – for themselves and others – by feeling remorse, doubt or guilt! If someone really felt comfortable in his or her decision to leave – there would be no regret, no doubt, no pain! Otherwise, the person is still invested in the relationship – just not enough to sustain it. The “sting” that is often felt by the dumper is about them knowing that their love supply has gone, much less however it’s about the hurt they caused the other person. Unless that person is sitting in front of them crying – how would they even really know the other person is hurting? So, did they really love the other person, or are they merely grieving their own loss? Love IS to sometimes sacrifice, to give something up, to compromise, to bear some pain, to not feel IN love, but to love, to embrace, to bear. That is often what the “to-be-dumper” confuses WHILE still in the relationship. I am buying NONE of the remorse and sad stuff – again, I think dumpers are wimps who want to feel in love – but have no clue of what love is actually. I’ve been on both sides – and I KNOW that in order to leave – you HAVE to be cold, selfish and not-caring, otherwise you would or even could not leave.

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