Lessons learned from those rough dating moments we know all too well

Today, November 15th, is Dump Day (there really IS a day for everything), which is actually NOT a day for celebrating dumping people (or being dumped), because that would be the worst idea for a holiday in recorded history. No, Dump Day is a deadline. If you’re planning on breaking up with someone, you gotta do it by today, because if you don’t, you’re basically stuck with your boo through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day. The idea is, if you split by today, your soon-to-be-ex still has time to reconfigure Thanksgiving plans, and by Valentine’s Day you both could possibly even have a new someone-someone in your lives. Any later and you’ll be the person who ruined the holidays (AKA everything).

In recognition of this weird faux deadline (that, come on, can’t really exist), we thought we’d take this time to assess past damages and lessons learned. Breakups are the worst. But you will get through it, no matter what side you’re on. And sometimes it helps to know you’re not the only person embroiled in a crappy dating moment. We’ve all been there and we’ve all come out the other end. So here are some disturbing dating experiences and the lessons we’ve learned from weathering them like champs.

1. When Your Dumper Brings Up The Idea Of “Still Being Friends”

This is the grandaddy of all crappy dating moments. The reason this one sucks so hard is because it usually comes at a time that’s too soon. If you’re the recipient of the dumping, you’re not ready to “be friends” just quite yet. Maybe down the road, but you got to do you for a bit.

Lesson learned: Take this whole friendship thing at your own pace. You can be pals when you’re ready. But it’s totally OK to take some time on your own and process what you went through and what your priorities are.

2. When Someone Stops Liking You In The Middle Of A Date

This has happened to me twice — I could actually pinpoint the moment that a dude decided to dump me while we were on the date. Like, we were sitting and watching a movie and I could just FEEL the magnetic poles shift and I knew I was going to get dumped.

Lesson learned: If someone knows it’s not right while you’re hanging out, you don’t have to feel shame. You’re awesome and you deserve to be in a situation where you don’t feel so heavily judged. You’ll be so much happier in the long run.

3. When Your BF (or GF) Checks Out New Prospects while you’re still dating

That’s a bummer. And it’s also totally rude. But you know what? It’s clearly just not meant to be.

Lesson learned: If someone’s looking elsewhere, they’re not in it to win it and it’s best for both of you to back away.

4. When Your Ex Breaks Up With You Right After You Do Something Really Nice For Them

So maybe you threw them a big birthday dinner or spent the week caring for them while they were sick. And JUST when they start feeling better, you get blindsided.

Lesson learned: It may feel infuriating in the moment, but don’t let it sour you on doling out the TLC to someone else who might really appreciate it. 

5. When You Feel Weird For A Week Or So And Only Realize Later It’s Because You Were About To Get Dumped

I feel like you always know if you’re going to dumped, even if the front of your brain doesn’t know, the back of your brain where all your forgotten nightmares and baby memories are kept, that part KNOWS. So you go around just feeling off for a week or two or maybe a month, and you don’t know why. Well now you do. It’s because you’re about to get dumped.

Lesson learned: Trust your intuition. You know when something (or someone, rather) is not a good fit. Listen to your gut. Then go pow-wow with your besties for some pep talks and a Nora Ephron marathon.

6. When Someone Works Their Butt Off To Woo You And Then Loses Interest The Minute You’re On Board

You didn’t all of a sudden become “not interesting” the second you decided to date that persistent person. You just found yourself with someone who may not know what they really want.

Lesson learned: Don’t beat yourself up for being open. That was just good practice for when the right person who knows what they want comes along.

7. When You’re the Dumper and You Have to Break Some Sweet Person’s Heart

Look, no one WANTS to be the bad guy. I get that. But if you want to break up with someone and are too scared, the answer is NOT suddenly becoming so toxic that your partner is forced to break up with you. You have to woman up and tell your partner it just isn’t working out. It’s the worst, breaking up with someone who you don’t want to hurt. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

Lesson learned: It takes guts to stand up for your feelings. And in the long run, if it’s not going to work out, it’s better that the both of you confront that painful fact sooner rather than later. Just remember to be kind while you’re going through the process and take the other person’s feelings into account. Breakups are painful but everyone survives and hopefully, walks away with a little more insight on their personal relationship goals.

Images via, Giphy

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