How to Get Over Breaking Up With Someone You Love

There are lots of books and articles out there on how to get over being dumped. Most of them include the same list of ways to get through it: long luxurious bubble baths (with mood-lifting aromatherapy), walks in nature, massages, ice cream and chocolate (but not too much), girlfriends, pets, new hobbies, volunteering, journaling, shrinks, running, focusing on career, learning French, vacationing, getting plenty of sleep (but not too much), and still more bubble baths. Don’t forget the all-important list of reasons he’s no good, or no good for you, or better yet, both. And never, ever listen to your song, or the song he wrote for you.

But what if you weren’t the one who was dumped? What if you ended the relationship?

I think there’s an added layer to coming to terms with the break-up when you’re the one who ended it. As the dumpee, you have no choice in the matter. You were told the relationship is over, and you don’t have to struggle with whether ending it was the right thing. You didn’t choose to break up–they did. All you have to do is pick up the pieces and move on. Okay, yes, you do have the element of rejection, so maybe you have it worse in that sense. But the dumper is the one who is responsible for making the decision to pull the plug. And for sticking with it. I’ve got the sticking with it part covered. This time when I ended things with Mack, I made certain he wouldn’t want me back if I waffled. Yes, I was mean and downright nasty. No chance of going back this time.

Even though there’s no going back, that doesn’t stop me, as the dumper, from wondering whether I did the right thing. (See my previous post: But isn’t he better than nothing? I wonder whether I’ve finally relegated myself to a life of solitude. With cats. I wonder whether Mack will be the last man I ever love. Whether he will be the last man I ever make love with. The last man who doesn’t mind the cats sitting on the dining room table while we eat dinner. Needless to say, this line of thinking fills me with anxiety and causes tears to spring to my eyes. I force myself to stop, and I remind myself of the one thing that has always been true: There is always another man. Always. Mack will not be the last man I ever love. The last man I ever have sex with. While I might be alone for a while (and I need to be alone for a while), he will not be the last. I will not wake up alone (with cats) on Sunday mornings for the rest of my life.

Yes, even the dumper can feel down in the dumps. Particularly on Sunday mornings. So it’s time to lace up my shoes for my run, to be followed by a lavender bath.

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