What is the difference between breaking up with someone and getting dumped? When you sit down and really think about it, both parties have the same basic emotions. Loss, disillusionment, nausea, etc. But there is one discernible difference between the person who is getting dumped and the person that is doing the dumping – relief. As a person who has been on both sides of the coin, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that the person doing the dumping always feels like the winner. There is a dread unlike anything I can explain that goes along with dumping someone. But it’s a dread that goes away immediately following the conversation where you have to explain that you’d be better off without him/her. And after it’s over you really do feel better. That person getting dumped, though? Well that is a whole other can of worms, and whether they’re blindsided by the news or have seen the writing on the wall for a few weeks is of no consequence. The dumpee is in for a long, arduous road to recovery, and that road has four stages, or rather, waves. They’re all really tough, and I don’t envy anyone going through a breakup right now. God Speed.
This just isn’t working for me anymore.
Well, you say to yourself, “Surely I can fix this.” There must be a way for me to change their mind. Surely there is a way to convince this person that breaking up is not in their best interest. There isn’t, though. You’ll probably beg. You’ll probably promise the dumper some stuff that you know you can’t possibly make good on. But the bargaining stage isn’t about making sense. It’s about trying to change a person’s mind who already has their mind made up. Bargaining never works, and in most cases, only makes things worse. You’re writing checks your ass can’t cash, and the dumper knows this. The dumper wants to get through the stages of this breakup quickly, so the sooner you realize that no bargaining is going to be had the sooner this will be over.
When this conversation started you thought you could salvage it. But your weak bargaining skills soon devolve into an argumentative tone. You were relatively calm five minutes ago but now that you realize bargaining isn’t going to work you decide to go out swinging. Any issues that you’ve kept at bay for the sake of staying with this person are about to come to a head and things will be said which cannot be taken back. It’s okay. Arguing and saying some things that you don’t mean are all a part of the process of getting broken up with. Let it all out. You’re going to feel like a pathetic piece of shit whether you start acting petty or remain civil. Why not be petty? This person doesn’t like you anymore, remember?
The dumper is going to say something along the lines of “I don’t know what else to say. I’m sorry.” This is where the dumpee finally starts to realize that it’s really over. There are more than likely tears on both sides, and then the dumpee will say something like “I’m sorry, too.” There will be a hug, maybe a kiss, and then you’re off on your own to figure it out. A few hours alone, or with a friend who will sit there and listen is what the dumpee has to look forward to. But a friend is more than likely going to leave at some point, which leads us to our final stage of getting dumped.
No, that is not a typo. Bargaining comes back onto the table after the shoulder to cry on leaves the apartment and the dumpee is left with his/her own thoughts. The fourth stage of getting dumped is an important one. This stage has a least a half a bottle of wine accompanying it, and the phone call/subsequent voicemail which is left after two or three glasses of wine is downright cringeworthy. More empty promises. More crying. More apologizing. And it sucks to wake up and realize that you’ve called the one person in your phone who you know you shouldn’t be calling. But it’s completely necessary and valid. It has to be done and it’s better to get it all out sooner rather than later.
I hate to overuse this quote from Junot Diaz, but it is so true I can’t help myself. “The half-life of love is forever.” If the dumpee really, truly loved the dumper, the heartbreak that they’re feeling isn’t going to subside for a while. It’ll get better, sure, but nothing is the same following the breakup. This isn’t Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. You can’t just erase ex-lovers from your memory, so the best thing you can do is get through the waves of the breakup without any major injuries and try to get back on the horse. .
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