Being dumped by someone we love is among the greatest catalysts of fear, loss and insecurity we ever come to experience in our lifetimes. However, as with any deeply shocking event, there is always a flip-side, in the form of an opportunity for self-improvement.
1. Freedom From Dependency
Becoming the same person during the course of a long-term relationship is a highly romanticized concept.
Admittedly, while there is a great deal of comfort in mutual support and affection, it is easy to forget the downsides of co-dependency; external validation of our emotions, complacency and potentially also the gradual compromise of the fundamental building blocks of our own fulfillment as individuals.
In short, we can lose our sense of self.
Being dumped can make us feel like cast-aways, bereft of our routine and comfort zone. However, precisely because we are now forced to build a new emotional livelihood from the ground up, we have a chance to better ourselves and develop a future with our own needs in pole position.
2. Freedom From Compromise
Long-term compromise can lead us astray. Even if we genuinely love our partner, it is common to progressively saw away our basic existential needs in order to make them happy. Leading inexorably to a situation where we are fundamentally unhappy, but fear the consequences of striking out on our own.
This is usually a subtle process. And only once time has washed away acute trauma do we really begin to feel the sense of liberation freeing ourselves from compromise entails.
3. Putting Ourselves First
Starting fresh is more than just freedom from compromise, however. It is a chance to focus wholly our own lives (without feeling guilty about doing so).
Reconciling with our own needs is not only a way to make use of our time until we find another outlet for our affection. It allows us to become bigger, better, wiser, and more productive versions of our who we are today.
I would almost venture that trauma is a prerequisite to meaningful change. In this case, it is important that we realize that we are masters and commanders of our own fate, and we are in control of where our fates are heading.
The beginning always starts at the end, and there’s no reason why this beginning doesn’t propel us into a life which is leaps and bounds above our current expectations.
4. Dropping The Perfectionism
Relationships are a game of expectations and standards. While it is obviously fruitful to monitor our fundamental wants and needs, we often fall victim to a growing sense of perfectionism which is proportional to the degree of stress the relationship is causing us. The worse we get as a couple, the worse I feel about myself.
Do they still love me? What happened to our relationship? Where is it heading? Are they still the person I fell in love with? These questions can begin to erode our self-esteem and tear at our self-worth. Being dumped gives us the opportunity to free ourselves from the bondage of judgement.
Shoring up self-esteem requires a lot of work, and it often requires the harrowing task of being introspectively honest about our own shortcomings and relationship foul-ups. But once we have thrown a lasso around our insecurity, we can begin to accept the breakup in its entirety. Successfully letting go is nothing short of learning to forgive ourselves, and our partner.
The chance to declare a general cease-fire with ourselves is worth the price of the being dumped ticket.
5. Dealing With Absolutes
It would be foolish of me to insinuate that we can somehow opt-out of being haunted by the ghosts of our ex after a breakup. Or that we can simply switch off our over-analysis of contact. We are pattern-seeking primates after-all.
But trauma inevitably wears off (even if sadness persists), and when it does, so too does the stress involved in constantly having to analyze the state of the relationship.
Letting go is not only a quintessentially sad act (watching the past roll away), it is also a positive one (dropping the stress and shredding the grey area in our lives).
6. Fist-Fighting Insecurity
Only once we are cast emotionally adrift is the deep, raw underbelly of our insecurity laid bare. Sadly, as mentioned at the beginning of the article, it really takes trauma to smash our civility and connect with our basest fears and feelings.
Coming face-to-face with deep-rooted fears such as an enduring childhood fear of abandonment, is never intrinsically pleasant, but it is extremely conducive to positive personal growth.
Breaking-up forces us to take stock of underlying stress. Ideally, if we recognize trauma as an opportunity (and not as a form of passive torture), we can strengthen the walls of our own security and come out swinging at the other end.
Obviously this is easier said than done, but if you ever find yourself decrying the woefully passivity of emotionally inflicted pain, remind yourself that you can actively fight it.
7. Being Dumped Is Easier
Perhaps I’m the only individual in the entire world that feels that — eventually — being dumped is easier than being the dumper. Why on earth would you think that? You may rightly ask. And here’s why:
You are forced to digest abandonment and rejection immediately. Unlike the dumper, your healing will initially be brutal, but moving on — when it finally happens — really does mean moving on. It will mean you have fully accepted a life without them.
It’s rarely that simple for the dumper (if they did truly care about you). When self-esteem precipitates, or loneliness escalates, they may forever be plagued by the what-ifs. Should the grass not be greener (as it seldom is), they may come resent their own decisions.
Or not. In any case, by the time potential realization strikes, you probably won’t mind either way.