The Best Way To Get Dumped For the First Time

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Rejection is never something we seek.

But it makes us better.

We learn from it.

But when it happens all we can think is:

What is wrong with me? What did I do? I can be different.

The reason we go inward and brutalize ourselves is because our dumping comes in the form of a fluffy let-down devoid of the truth.

The Classics (in person)

It’s not you. It’s me.

I think we would be better as friends.

I’m just too busy for a relationship right now.

The Updated Classics (via text)

Not goin to werk. Sry.

Not you. Me. Still friends? Let’s be adults.

I think we r better as friendz.

The Avoidances

I’m really busy at work. Maybe a week from Thursday?

So crazy. My phone broke last week and I just got it fixed.

: straight ghosting :

Everything above is complete bullsh*t. It always is.

Someone once told us to let people down easy. The person who told us that was batsh*t. It doesn’t help anyone.

There is no reason to be mean. But the cold, hard truth stings a lot less in that moment compared to when we find out the real truth a month later when we see you with our good friend.


When I was 18, I dated a 21 year-old for a summer. She was great. We had a fantastic summer. When the summer ended, we broke up amicably.

It was the most adult micro-relationship I had ever had.

I was going to college. She was going back to college. A breakup was the right thing to do. We were both fine with it.

We stayed in touch and talked on the phone, but never saw each other.

The following summer we were excited to see each other again. In retrospect, maybe I was a little more enthusiastic about it.

Cue my 19 year-old brain

I thought I was grandfathered in to micro-relationship: part two. It didn’t cross my mind that we wouldn’t date. We never fought. We didn’t have a bad break up. We talked throughout the year. It seemed like a no-brainer to me.

I acted like it.

I was a dumb sh*t.


We went out for dinner the first night we both got back into town.

Just like old times — in my mind.

At the end of the night I went to kiss her like I had so many times before.

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I was befuddled.

She said she wasn’t ready for that. She reminded me that we hadn’t seen each other in nine months.

I responded appropriately and said that I understood. I apologized.

We set another date in two nights.

Cue self-doubt and ridiculous male privilege

  • Was it my breath?

  • I thought my skin looked better. Maybe it didn’t. (I stared in the mirror for at least an hour trying to decide.)

  • She found someone more age appropriate.

  • I wasn’t mature enough. Maybe I had regressed intellectually.

  • Was our relationship last summer a good one?


The Best Way to Get Dumped For the First Time

We met up. She said we needed to talk.

I remembered how straightforward she was.

“I am just not physically attracted to you anymore.”

Mic drop.

I was 19. I overreacted to everything. I blamed everything on someone else.

But somehow, this one sentence pierced me in just the right way.

It didn’t hurt.

There was no careful lead-in.

There was no telling me how great I was to get me warmed up.

There was only truth.

My Ego wanted to dispute her statement.

What could I really say?

“No. You are still attracted me.”

“Don’t worry. It will come back.”

“You don’t know what you are attracted to.”

I said nothing.

I stared at her for a solid three minutes. Her eyes were so beautiful.

I had nothing. No response. No witty retort.

I didn’t understand why she wasn’t attracted to me anymore.

But I did understand her truth. And I appreciated it.

I was dumped.

I was fine.

I know this wasn’t a five-year relationship. I know this wasn’t a marriage. I know this is simplistic.

We were young adults. Breaking up was easier.

All true.

BUT

Knowing the truth felt better.

I would get over it much quicker this way.

Having someone look me right in the face and tell me something they knew I wouldn’t want to hear felt oddly good.

She didn’t look down. She didn’t look away.

She didn’t build me up just to let me down. She just gave it to me straight.

There was nothing to question.

And I am still grateful for that moment.