I wrote this approximately three months ago. I think it deserves to see the light of day.
The unknown is often pretty scary. Once you face something, you may realize you can handle it-maybe even learn and thrive. With that in mind, here’s my story and the reason I think everyone should experience getting dumped, at least once.
Sure, I’ve had plenty of failed first dates and scores of other relationship/dating snafus. I’ve made the ‘splitting’ choice a time or two myself, and then proceeded to question if I’d been ‘right’ for way too long (I WAS right). Actually being dumped though, having someone I felt invested in tell me ‘sorry, it’s over?’ That was new ground.
It all happened quite suddenly. We were cuddling on the couch, tardy for our dinner plans when the subject of my ex-boyfriend arose (via a text he sent relating to trivia). Though I had no notions or lingering desire for our romance to rekindle, I still appreciated all the great things that had led me to him in the first place. I hadn’t seen him in several months; we were casual friends. Pilot (actually newly minted captain) sat up on the couch.
‘I don’t date women who talk to ex-boyfriends.’
‘What? We’re just friends.”
‘It’s my rule. I’m really sorry Lily.”
Dinner plans dead, we went in circles for several hours. Was this a joke? Was our budding relationship really ending over an ex-boyfriend I hadn’t seen in 5 months–barely spoke with, was truly, really completely over? I was so not OK with this happening. I attempted to reason with him. I said everything I possibly could to change his mind, make it work.
But it was like an emergency switch had triggered in his mind and there was no return.
Three hours and a lot of tears later it finally sunk in. He couldn’t do it. I was….dumped.
So now that story-time’s out-of-the-way, the good stuff: Why get dumped?
1) To face a fear There are lots of things that challenge us–some we grow from. Accepting that an experience hurt and sucked, and I was still OK was powerful. In yoga we talk about the observer. I watched my ego sob and feel hurt.
We’d only been dating a few months. I didn’t think he was the love of my life or anything, however I was happy with him. I stopped crying long enough to extricate myself from his apartment. I got in my car, immediately called a best friend and resumed sobbing all the way home-(all of 1 mile).
The wise part of me watched all that and already knew it was all OK, even for the best.
If I hadn’t faced my fear of being dumped, I’d likely make series of small sacrifices. I believe when we sacrifice things that matter to us, we are slowly giving away our zest, our life force, our happiness.
2) More fiercely oursleves-With less fear we’re freer to be ourselves. I’ve noticed something about my approach with men since pilot. I’ve become pickier; more grounded in what I want. Previously I was open-minded, maybe to a fault. ‘So what if I can hardly picture myself with him next month, he’s interesting-I’m LEARNING something from him NOW.’ While this approach has merits and I’m thankful for all my experiences, the time we spend with one person is time we could be pursuing personal passions or meeting someone else with whom we more deeply connect.
No I can’t date businessman who’s hardly around and ignore that we clearly have different ideals of intimacy. No I can’t date cute entrepreneur and ignore that I’m slightly offended by 1/3 of what he emits. No, I won’t go on a second date with musician just because he’s invited me to a new music venue and I want to meet his musician friends.
Since giving myself permission to actually follow my intuition, I’ve miraculously had more time to do things I love, spend time with friends and make new friends. Eye opening!
3) Sense of possibility-we all fall into routines; it’s normal. I love to travel because it forces us to shake up everything we do autopilot (no pun intended). When a piece is suddenly taken out of your life, it can be disconcerting, however also an amazing impetus to look at things differently. We can only create the new building when the old is removed.
4) Surrender “Surrender” was the internet password at the place where I fell in love with yoga last year. It greatly disturbed and offended me.’I’m a fighter,’ I thought. I don’t let things ‘settle’, I fight for the things I want, I make my own choices, I change things. As a dumpee there’s nothing to do BUT surrender. Once you’ve said everything you want to say, it’s a wonderful opportunity to let go and trust. As I’ve gone deeper into yoga, I’ve realized the power of surrender. Maybe you’re more familiar with ‘locus of control.’ The practice is freeing.
Convinced? Unsure? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Unfinished non-masterpiece(my painting has improved recently!!): It was one of those awesome polar vortex days: school was cancelled and flights were too (he flew planes).