The Art of Getting Dumped

(Originally published November 18, 2013)

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I started dating for the first time (in my life) about two months ago. My track record tells all: I’m 0 for 3. I think that’s pretty impressive for only two short months.

To say I got “dumped” is a bit of hyperbole because I only hung out with each woman two or three times. (We all know I love my hyperbole. If I ever got a tattoo it would be in honor of hyperbole–but could it ever be big enough to truly represent?)

Today I got the death knell from #3. As with the others, I knew it was over well before I received text message confirmation.

These are the actual texts I received from each (no hyperbole):

#1: “I think I’m too stressed out about work and life to be in the head space to date you. I’m really sorry that I crossed the kissing line before I figured that out because it must be confusing.” (Editorial note: Because I’m just too simple to possibly understand?)

#2: “I do enjoy your company. I just don’t have time or energy for anything serious right now. I can tell that’s what you want. My career has to be top priority. I would like to be friends.”

#3: “I’m sorry, but I’m not in a place to date, I’m just not there. You are awesome and I hope that we can remain friends.”

Interesting how the language gets nicer from 1 to 3. #1 implies that she needs to be in a particular “head space” to date ME. #3 is much more tactful by leaving off the YOU (as in, “I’m not in a place to date YOU”). It’s a subtle thing that makes a huge difference. The third is also kind enough to throw a bone of “you are awesome,” which might as well not be there because my brain skims right over that part (see commentary about hyperbole above).

And as for being friends…that’s sweet and totally ridiculous. Not gonna’ happen. People are too busy to hang with who they REALLY want to hang with (especially if kids are involved), let alone someone they had to dump. It’s probably a lesbian survival skill we learn early: It’s a small community (we’re bound to run into each other at Second Friday sometime)…better to keep the peace.

I don’t know if my skin is thick enough to keep dating, but it has been a great learning experience. I realize that I do read energy pretty well and although I don’t (want to) trust my knowing most of the time, I do end up being pretty right on.

#1 was all in, 100% full-court press (which I learned I don’t like) and then just as quickly she was gone. I perceived her energy literally swoosh out of my life, and then the next day came the text.

#2 was very helpful in pointing out that I give a million signals indicating that I’m looking for something serious. That’s helpful feedback. And pretty spot-on. I’m clearly not a casual dater.

#3 is the one I’m most sad about. But it’s nothing that taking a couple extra naps, throwing a temper tantrum in my head, and writing a blog post can’t fix. I’ll keep on keeping on, as I always do. And hell, I’ve got this little 50-mile run to prepare for. That should keep me busy.

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Important Takeaways:

Dumper: Do it via text and leave out any reference to “head space” and not being in a place to date “YOU.” Be sure to offer the consolation prize of friendship.

Dumpee: Disregard anything nice the dumper said–they’re saying it to make themselves feel better. Oops, that’s the temper tantrum talking. Let it talk and wail and then sleep it off. Then wake up and get on with your life. Getting dumped offers huge lessons. I find it illuminates everything I’m unhappy with in my life. The last 3 dumpings have pointed a neon arrow at my job. MUST find a new job. Okay, got it. Thanks, dumpers. Oh, and I need an entirely new wardrobe. But I already knew that.

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