Been dumped? Ask What Instead of Why

Dear Fledglings (along with the recently heartbroken, dumped and confused),

Allow this old bird to share a few relationship tidbits because she’s been on this ride for a few decades and had many a client cry “Why?” when they ask about their broken relationships.

Take a breath and grab onto something. This might sting.

When you’re dumped, your ex is not going to experience any level of pain even close to yours. They dumped you, no matter how softly they tried to make the landing. They won’t pine over you or come to an epiphany that you were the best thing that ever happened to them. If they do, it’s because their Plan B didn’t work out, and they come crawling back out of familiarity. That’s right. Nine times out of ten, when the bow breaks, it’s never the same again. Like cutting rope. You can tie it together again, but it’s never as strong.

People are like pants. There is no one-size-fits-all. You’ve got pants right now that you don’t wear because they have one tiny little flaw. One. Too tight, too baggy, don’t hang well, odd colored, one misplaced stain or snag, rides up, down, itches, pinches, something. One little thing and you stop wearing them.

Same with people. One little tiny quality, tick, habit or pet peeve can be a deal-breaker. Doesn’t make them bad people. We all have qualities others find annoying. It only means they are bad for you at this moment in time. You’ll both change (or not). Maybe you’ll fit someday (or not).

So, before you go asking the tarot “Why?” first ask yourself: “Does it matter?”

You’re not a couple anymore. Your ex dumped you. Would you want them back after that? Have a little self-respect. Don’t you deserve better? Because if you don’t, work on becoming a better partner so you can have better relationships. Come to the table with the goods. Are you bringing the delectable dishes to dinner or the cheapest bottle of wine? Are you as generous as you want the other person to be? Are you as good a giver as a taker? Do you know how to receive compliments and gifts as well as offer them? Are you bringing your best? Because you expect the other person to, right?

But, “Do they still love me?” Honestly, no. At least, not in the way they used to. Or you would still be together.

But, “How do they feel now?” You mean, are they devastated? Remorseful? Grieving the loss of you, as if you were the best thing that ever happened to them? No. Sorry. They aren’t.

But “Why?” You cry!

Your ex was one of four things:

  1. immature or inexperienced (not knowing what they want or what is good for them)
  2. noncommitted (to anyone or anything)
  3. blind to your genius, wit, and beauty
  4. strong enough to know you aren’t a fit (and all the compromises and accommodations made by either of you will only lead to bitterness and breakup down the road)

Be honest. Ask yourself:

Was I happy in that relationship? Was it really working?

Was I making all the compromises in the relationship? Or none at all?

Was I receiving as much as I was giving? Or was I doing all the taking?

Were my expectations too high/low? Or did I have any to start with?

Listen fledglings, no matter how much you have in common at the beginning, as you grow and change, so does your partner. Sometimes it’s together. Sometimes it’s apart. And it only takes one little pebble in your shoe to rub you the wrong way.

And blaming everything on the other person is totally unfair.

Can I shout that any louder?

There were two of you in the relationship. So, before you go poking a doll full of pins and wishing bad things on your ex, account for your contributions or lack thereof. Neither one of you were solely responsible. Take inventory. What worked? What didn’t? Never mind the whys. (Why did they leave me? Why wasn’t I enough?) Note the whats. Know what you want and what you are willing to bring to it. Be accountable for your contributions – the good and the not so good. Then you can move into “how” to grow and improve the next relationship. Learn how to give and receive. Equal energy exchange will even your odds next time around.

Our relationships are supposed to make us better, smarter, more loving creatures, not turn us into hurt, frightened animals.