Jilted, Dumped or Duped…How to Move On From Disappointment to Dancing!
After my last blog about the “Do’s and Don’ts of Keeping the Flames Alive”, I had originally planned on writing about the man’s role in the relationship as the “fire-stoker”, but so many friends of mine have requested that I write about what to do when you have been” jilted” or “dumped” by your guy, that I feel I have to make it a priority this week. Whether you have been dating a guy for a few months and you thought you really had a connection, or your husband left you for another woman, here’s what to do to in the interim and in the “meantime” as you decide how to move on and move toward the right guy for you.
Don’t Focus on Why He Broke Up With You
Ask him why only once. Don’t spend your time questioning him like a drill sergeant about his reasons for calling if off. Don’t demand an explanation. This behavior shows you care too much and are way too invested in the relationship. Don’t recount conversations where he talked about the future as if he had you in mind. Also, don’t write him a long letter or email explaining why he is making the wrong decision, your need for therapy to work through this breakup, and how you have decided that you two can be a power couple if you both give it one last try. This will just hammer the nail on the coffin so to speak, and he will be glad he’s rid of you! Write yourself the letter and put it in a drawer. In a month, you will be glad you never hit send on your email or posted the note.
As women we like to have all the gory details when things go awry. But he’s not your girlfriend, he’s a guy leaving you. He does not want to be quizzed about his decision, and he isn’t going to tell you the truth most likely anyway for fear of hurting your feelings or just because he doesn’t feel the obligation to justify himself to you. If you have to ask him why he chose to break up with you, do it just once, and then be satisfied with the answer, or at least appear to be. Trust me, the less you know in most of these instances the better. Sometimes knowing too much adds more hurt and pain to an already painful situation. Knowing his reason for leaving is not going to change anything and not going to bring him back.
Do you really want to know right off that he met someone else he likes better than you? Talk about a double blow! You will be crying in a corner with your wine glass for weeks if you find out he met someone new, or decided he wasn’t in love with you because of XYZ. Then armed with new information you will be focused on what you could have done differently and blah, blah, blah… it’s my fault because. PHOOEY! Moving on and away from him quickly will be better for you in the long run as you try to pick up the pieces of your broken heart.
Phones, Social Media and Other Toys
Put down your phone! DO NOT blow up his phone with texts and calls. No drunk dialing allowed, no matter how much you think you “need” to talk to him. You don’t need to explain to him that you are okay with just a “booty call” now that you aren’t an item anymore. Friends with benefits won’t resonate so fabulously the next morning when you awake and your head is pounding from your hangover, and he’s out the door. You will soon learn that the acrobatic porn star you thought you were in bed the night before is still not going to bring him back to a committed relationship with you. It was just another walk of shame, but this time with more emotional consequences than a one night stand.
Also, in the same vein, do not email him casually or with intent about events he may want to be aware of or other news. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER blast your social media sites on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook about your breakup, your bitterness, and your broken heart, AND ESPECIALLY, do not put any sappy quotations about how your break up sets you free to meet the right man for you etc. You are NOT allowed to play the “poor pitiful me” bit for all the world to see and sympathize with you. The only thing you are allowed do on social media concerning him is to change your relationship status, period. Do not let anyone outside your “best friends circle” know about your disappointment, and most importantly not 5,000 of your closest friends, that will read about it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
You may feel like crying on your sofa in your holey sweatpants with empty Chinese containers and listening to Barry Manilow songs, but you can’t let anyone know it. GO it alone for the most part, except for your inner circle that will bring bottles of your favorite wine, keep your cell phone from causing you harm and protect you and nurture you through your pain. The last thing you want a man to think is that you are suffering. You don’t want him to think you can’t get a date and that you are still stuck on being in love with him. A better approach to posting on social media is to post ALL OF THE FUN YOU ARE HAVING being single again. I would post a different event, party or activity to show that your life is full and exciting without him. In fact, if he or his friends saw your posts they would immediately think you are having the time of your life…which is exactly what you want them to think and will put him exactly where you want him… wondering if he really made the right decision leaving the fabulous, fun and popular woman that you are after all! Make social media your friend and not your enemy. Use it, but don’t lose it (meaning your mind) in the process!
Keep Calm and Carry On!
Breaking up is heart-wrenching, trust me, I have been there more than a few times in my life, and I have made more than my fair share of mistakes. That is why I am trying to keep you from doing the same and protect your heart and your dignity above all. Having a broken heart is horrible on its own, but to couple it with letting him think he made the right decision by making an ass of yourself is even worse. Don’t let him get the best of you again! Walk upright with dignity and grace.
Grace is the most paramount word in this entire article when it comes to moving on after a breakup and moving forward in your life as a woman in every aspect. Being a woman of grace after a breakup means being confident, dressing classy, not slovenly or slutty, carrying on with your life as if nothing happened, and acting as if this has not affected you in any other way than by it being a momentary sidestep in the greater overall picture that is your life.
Gossip is one of the worst offenses in a breakup and we all do it. After a breakup or a disappointment by someone significant in our lives, we are all more susceptible to gossip about that other person to make us feel better and make them look less than glowing in other people’s eyes. My gay friends call it the “pro-active approach” to fixing life’s tragedies.
Even though you will be tempted beyond belief to do it, do not gossip about what has happened in the relationship with your guy, and especially not to his friends. If you tell your single friends you and your guy broke up then what do you think might happen? You may find yourself running into one of these nice single girls and your guy out together sooner or later. You are back to square one immediately (wine and Barry) and the first day of the breakup in split-second timing. Single women are vicious on the prowl. Don’t give them any advantage by offering information they don’t need to know, and don’t set yourself up for another letdown first and foremost. If the girls ask where he is or how he is say, “I’m sure he is great. I haven’t seen him in a while. I am just so very busy these days.” End of sentence. All true, since you ARE out and about busy meeting a new man!
Branch Out…Of Your Regular Haunts
If you live in a cosmopolitan area do yourself another favor and don’t frequent the same old places you used to go with him. Don’t go to your favorite restaurant you went to when you were dating and sit in the same corner table alone or with friends. Don’t go to the Starbucks he frequents at 7:30 a.m. hoping you might accidentally run into him since you know his schedule every day. Just say NO, in a big refreshing way! Plus, going to new places will give you a chance to meet new and exciting people and maybe even a new guy in the process or at least a new prospect. If you live in a larger city there are a lot of places to try and new ones cropping up every day. Go out of your zip code and see what else the city has to offer, mammal or otherwise!
You Win Some You Lose Some…At the End of the Day It Remains a Game
The bottom line is being jilted doesn’t mean the end of the world. It does mean a new start, but not in the pathetic inspirational quote sort of way. It means taking a deep breath, analyzing what went wrong with your last relationship and moving on to the next phase of your dating life. If talking to your closest confidante doesn’t cut it then seek out a counselor and cry on their couch for a few sessions. It’s all right. Sometimes you just need a listening ear that can’t repeat what you say and won’t judge you for feeling the way you feel. Just be careful about asking for advice from a counselor or psychologist as many times their advice is to be transparent and show all your cards in relationships, which is not what a savvy dater should do! This is the game of love my friends, and it is a game. So, keep your strategy to yourself and your cards in check, because it is most often the most important game of your life!
D’Andra Simmons is a businesswoman and philanthropist. She is the founder of Hard Night Good Morning Skincare and an active volunteer for the Dallas community serving on the Advisory Board of Booker T. Washington School for the Performing Arts, volunteering with the Junior League of Dallas, AIDS Services of Dallas or Cattle Baron’s Ball for the American Cancer Society.