What to Do When You've Been Dumped Part 1


How to Recover Your Confidence and Self-Respect

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

I was deeply in love with David.  A mutual friend had set us up, and though we’d only dated for 4 months, he had flown me to his hometown to meet his parents, had declared his love for me, and had swept me off my feet.  Still, I developed a nagging feeling that something wasn’t right.

One Friday evening, I planned to go to his house where I would spend the weekend - that was our typical routine.  We would go to dinner and then enjoy the weekend together.  He asked me to eat a snack before I came over because he wanted to talk to me.  Uh oh - the dreaded “We need to talk.”  And, eat a snack?

I still packed my weekend bag and made sure I looked cute.  He sat me down on the couch, and our conversation went like this:

David:  How do you feel about me?

Me:  I’m totally in love with you.

David:  I feel the same way - I love you.

(At this point, it was as if time slowed down.  I thought - WOW!  I’m totally wrong - he’s not breaking up with me, he’s going to propose!)

David (continuing): That’s why I need to take a break and go back and date my ex-wife for a while.

Me:  Huh?

David:  We’ve been talking for about a month, and I think I need to see her again.

Then, he asked me to not tell our mutual friend….I’m sure he didn’t want to look like a jerk.  

I really didn’t understand why he asked me to pour my heart out, then he used that as some kind of segue into breaking it.  

When things didn’t work out with his ex-wife (predictably), I saw him around town with a variety of other women.  When I gloated to one friend about things falling apart (again) with his ex, my friend gently reminded that David still hadn’t called ME.

I could not make sense of it, and I couldn’t let go.  I ended up calling him, and then running into him later, at which time I actually begged to know why he didn’t love me.  Very sad.  His next move was to have a friend of his email me saying that David suggested I ask you out.  I felt like I’d been passed on like an old t-shirt.

Now, that’s not the first or only time I’ve been dumped.  We’ve all been ghosted, benched, breadcrumbed, or whatever the latest iteration of rejection is all the rage. 

But the only thing worse than rejection is looking back on the rejection and realizing you torpedoed your self-esteem, dignity, and any chance you had at making him realize you are a high-value woman.  

Today, I handle rejection differently.  If you adopt these strategies, you will increase your confidence, your self-respect, and your value in your own eyes (and therefore everyone else’s).

Have realistic expectations.  You’re probably going to feel hurt.  Very hurt.  Even if you didn’t really like the guy, being rejected hurts.  So, if you need help healing your broken heart, look at this.

Given that you’re hurting, you MUST follow this plan.  You won’t FEEL like it, but trust me - you’ll be glad you did.

Don’t make the problem worse.  Don’t vent on social media.  Don’t drive by his house (David actually caught me doing this - humiliating!). 

Don’t EVER vandalize anything.  Do not confront him in public (I have not done that, but I have been on dates with men when one of the exes does, and it’s embarrassing to watch another woman make a public scene).  Don’t email his new lady.  Again - I had a scathing email from someone who thought I was sleeping with her ex-man (I wasn’t).  Then another email from her apologizing.  Get it together, please. 

When you’re in the throes of pain, this is not the time to text, post, or take any action other than crying or calling a girlfriend you trust. 

You’re going to have your hands full getting over the hurt - don’t give yourself additional drama to deal with because you lashed out.  

Maintain your dignity - don’t beg.  Take it from me - it doesn’t work.  If he ended it, crying and telling him how much you care won’t change anything. 

After dating for a little over 2 months, I was ghosted on by a guy I really liked.  Now, I did block his number for a while after he disappeared, but when I unblocked it, I got a text from him that was basically, “Haven’t heard from you in a while, so best of luck to you.” 

Well…we ended up talking, and I told him how much I liked him and wanted us to work out.  He seemed happy about this…until he stood me up and ghosted on me.  Again. 

See, if a man disappears on you once - he’ll do it again.    If you really feel like Mr. Disappearing is your Mr. Right, then THE ONLY CHANCE YOU HAVE of getting him back is to be the girl who got away. 

People want what they can’t have, and the only chance you have of him seeing (on his own, with no help from you) that YOU are the One Who Got Away is to get away.  With no words.  No letter.  No text.  To that end…

Click here for Part 2.

Self-respect and resilience are part of having a One-Derful Life.  You may not be happy BECAUSE you’re single, but you can be happy while you’re single.

Question: What’s your best advice for a woman who’s just been dumped?

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