What Being Dumped Looks Like

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Dear Bitter Single Guy: Recently my girlfriend of a year and a half broke up with me.  Let me fill you in on the details.  She and I met while doing a research stint as undergrads and hit it off.  We were passionately in love for the three months we had together during the program.  So much so that when it was over we decided to make the long distance thing work for 6 months until I graduated and could move in with her.  I was reluctant to move in with her for many reasons (no real job, far away from friends and family, etc) but I also love her so I did it anyway.  During the time we lived together while she finished undergrad it was clear that some of the passion was gone but that’s no real surprise.  After she graduated we picked a graduate program together, moved across the country together, and got an apartment together.

Graduate school can be rough so our time here has put us through the wringer but I’ve been trying to make it work.  I actually planned on proposing to her in the spring.

Here’s where things get weird.  During a bad two week stretch for me she keeps going out every night with friends.  I let her know that it was a little hurtful (”I’m always there for you when you need help”) but at the same time trying to not be too restrictive.  Then one day after being out all night she tells me that we should break up and that she’s not interested in me anymore (WHAT?!).  Now granted, things weren’t at their best in the relationship but I never imagined we were near a break-up.

Now to make matters worse she has been spending all her time for the past two weeks with another guy.  She swears up and down that they’re not dating but I still think it’s pretty messed up.

To get to my point: I’ve been trying to patch things up but she’s been resistant.  I talked to her family and was told that she has a tendency to walk away from relationships.  I really think she loves me but is afraid of being with me for some reason.  I don’t know if I should try to make it work or just give up and move on.  Please help me. ~Dangling From the Ledge~

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Dear DFL: The Bitter Single Guy thinks that it’s amazing folks like you who manage to keep the species moving forward. In the face of blunt rejection by your fickle fig, you’re trying to find out what you can do to fix this and accommodate her needs~

It’s harsh DFL, but the BSG knows you come to him for the real scoop: You’ve been dumped.

She is dating New Guy no matter what she tells you. Whatever the real activities, she’s investing in him emotionally and NOT in you (nor has she for some time, apparently). So details aside, the result is the same. Plus she’s told you she’s not interested in you anymore; the message can’t be any more clear than that.

The BSG recommends you spend some time feeling sorry for yourself; you’ve earned it. During this time, the BSG doesn’t believe you should have any contact with Fickle Fig; none. It’s likely that she’ll contact you because she’ll feel less like a jerk if she can get you to place nicey-nicey with her. Don’t fall for this, stay out of contact until the worst of the sting passes (this is probably a month).

It’s likely that Fickle Fig will come back to you at some point, saying that she thinks about you all the time and wants to try again. Be very careful deciding to re-engage with Fickle Fig…you don’t want to setup a pattern of being tromped on by her.

Now DFL, this will be the hardest thing to hear. The BSG has to point out that maybe Fickle Fig tried for a long time to love you like she wanted to and tried hard to figure out how to make it work. Some folks don’t have those conversations with the folks who they should (you, in this case), but instead try to work it out on their own. It’s possible that during the week you needed her and she was out all night, she was using a little bit of alcohol to help her get her courage up to do what she felt she had to do (namely: dump you). None of this should stop you from feeling sorry for yourself (again…you’ve earned it), but when you pick your head up in a few months, it may be helpful to remember that sometimes relationships just end and it’s no one’s fault.

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