How to be a boss at getting dumped

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Photo: Getty

Getting dumped is not something many people strive to achieve excellence in – but maybe it should be. After all, we’re supposed to get our hearts broken an average of five times in our lives, according to a little scientific journal I read called The Daily Mail. Having endured much of my quota (mostly at the hands of the same ex) I feel qualified to share the findings of my research, or, my guide on how to be a boss at getting dumped.

If you are looking for love advice, I can tell you I don’t have love advice. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career of being the dumpee. Here is your guide.

Ditch the Mentionitis

Mentionitis is a real disease, affecting thousands of dumpees every year. Symptoms include: obsessively mentioning a particular person as frequently as possible, despite the tenuous links said person has to original topic of conversation. For example - Person 1: I would like a flat white, please. Dumpee: My ex was white! Why does everything remind me of (insert ex name here)?! There is only one cure – and it’s going cold turkey. It means training your brain to not look for links to your ex, and retraining it to look for other topics of conversation.

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Don't 'meet for closure’

I’m not even convinced closure is a real word – I think it might have been something invented by Hollywood to facilitate plot developments. There is no reason, once one of you has said it’s over, to meet/speak/email/SMS/snapchat for ‘closure’. You may think that seeing your now-not-so-significant-other after the fact will help – you may start to see their flaws, you may realise you put them on a pedestal, they may have gotten morbidly obese. None of this will change the fact that they no longer want you. It’s much healthier to imagine they have been tragically killed, and that the last words they whispered were your name and something about regrets. Trust me.

Never do the sex with the ex

Just because it rhymes doesn’t mean it’s right. Let’s be honest – if it was just about bumping uglies, you’d go on Tinder. So why must you go back to the ex for the sex? Because it's ‘familiar’, or ‘easy’, or ‘STI free’? If you want to be a boss at break ups, go sow your wild oats somewhere, um, wild. Because if there is one thing that my mum taught me it’s that the fastest way to get over someone is to get under someone else*.

*This is an extrapolation of what my mother said and not her actual words.

What’s that on my favourites? Just my ex’s Facebook

When you break up with someone, you might engage in torturing yourself with hypothetical images of them out on Saturday nights, imagining them drinking in ‘cool’ bars, chatting up long legged beauties and loving their new found single life. Thanks to social media, these images are no longer just hypothetical – they are readily available, at your fingertips, to confirm your worst nightmares. Clicking through countless photos and wondering which of the people photographed might have been your ex’s hook up for the night, is not a productive way to move on. Delete them, unfollow them, unfriend them. You may also wish to falsify photos of yourself doing the above and flaunt them on social media, but this is optional and only for the purposes of malice.

But we're still best friends! 

You are not friends. You are ex-lovers. Ex-partners. Ex-soulmates. You can’t just skip back down a rung on the relationship ladder to ‘best friends’ and pretend the whole ‘thought we might live happily ever after’ thing didn’t happen. Maybe in years to come, with the benefit of several dumpings under your belt and wizened old age, you will be able to salvage a friendship from your train wreck of a relationship. But two weeks after you broke up? No siree.

It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s a start. Once you achieve expert level, you’ll be getting dumped with the kind of aplomb that others can only dream of. Surely that’s enough to console your broken heart?

 

8 comments

  • I don't know about the closure one. My fiance and I broke up a few months into our relationship because of a misunderstanding (about our future and where we saw the relationship going). We met up for "closure" and ended up sorting out our problems and now we are still happily together, three years later.

    Commenter
    AussieA
    Date and time
    May 09, 2014, 9:58AM
    • quote "if you remain friends with an ex either you didn't love him/her or you're still in love with him/her"
      unquote, source known.
      i understand a working relationship due to eg kids but friends? not likely.
      and yes a dumpee needs to understand that for whatever reason you're no longer wanted, there's a reason(valid or not), that's life.

      Commenter
      Victorious Painter
      Date and time
      May 09, 2014, 10:19AM
      • Bravo Alyson,

        Very good, seems we have certain similarities with the multiples from the single, but in any event you've hit the nail on the head with this inexhaustive (spellcheck?) list here.

        Cheers

        Commenter
        The Lucky Chap
        Location
        Aus
        Date and time
        May 09, 2014, 10:42AM
        • This x 1 millionity plus 1!!!

          I tried to remain friends with my ex (we'd been together 13 years, married a decade) but it was only in letting go entirely (heck, he DID ask me for cash for his brand new gf's engagement ring ... so ummm, yeah, the "letting go" and cutting him from my life came easily) that my life truly blossomed. That I revelled in single life, gained confidence and self esteem back, got my footing in this world. And then boom, met my new husband (as cliche as it is, as soon as I was cemented in being happy alone and enjoying life, love came along).

          I honestly don't think I would have been able to let new love in with the ex's toxic influence still hovering.

          I do admit that I suffer from point one to this day - and it's something I'm actively working on ... I try to refer to him simply as The Ex and not his name and I try to avoid verbalising my mentions. It helps.

          Commenter
          Ms A
          Location
          The office
          Date and time
          May 09, 2014, 10:55AM
          • I received a really great piece of advice many years ago after breaking up with an ex. They told me to write down everything I loved about the person (including all the nice things they had done for me) - then follow it up with a corresponding list of everything I hated and all the ways I had been disappointed and let down. Unsurprisingly, the 2nd list was significantly longer than the first - hence why he was my ex!!! The point of this is not about wallowing - but simply, once some time has passed, you will invariably start to romanticise the relationship, so this list is your reality check and to stop you getting sucked back in to trying to reignite something that needed to die. Use it until you have enough emotional distance to truly see the relationship for what it was - and that takes time. This has served me and my friends extremely well.

            Commenter
            Oggly
            Location
            Melbourne
            Date and time
            May 09, 2014, 11:15AM
            • As a fellow expert dumpee I'd add "accept, forgive, and forget". Yes, they had an affair with your best mate; or someone else; or they were far from kind when they left; or they ditched you for their ex about ten times; or they played you like a fiddle and were never really with you and turned your brain to mush; or what ever...but letting go of all that hurt is a choice, it is possible, and it frees you up for somebody else.

              Commenter
              Nick
              Date and time
              May 09, 2014, 11:37AM
              • I received a really great piece of advice many years ago after breaking up with an ex. They told me to write down everything I loved about the person (including all the nice things they had done for me) - then follow it up with a corresponding list of everything I hated and all the ways I had been disappointed and let down. Unsurprisingly, the 2nd list was significantly longer than the first - hence why he was my ex!!! The point of this is not about wallowing - but simply, once some time has passed, you will invariably start to romanticise the relationship, so this list is your reality check and to stop you getting sucked back in to trying to reignite something that needed to die. Use it until you have enough emotional distance to truly see the relationship for what it was - and that takes time. This has served me and my friends extremely well.

                Commenter
                Oggly
                Location
                Melbourne
                Date and time
                May 09, 2014, 11:54AM
                • A few omissions from the dumper side,
                  1. If the inevitable hate mail arrives just delete it. Negative and spiteful outpourings are just that, and you don't need to be dragged down any further. From the dumpee side, never send hate mail , all the negative and spiteful outpourings will just drag you deeper into the abyss.
                  2. Dumper, never never never drink and SMS. and if you receive one ignore it. Dumpee, never never never drink and SMS and if you recieve one ignore it.

                  Commenter
                  Duncan
                  Date and time
                  May 09, 2014, 1:00PM
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