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Got DumpedDear Dumpee,

I’m sorry.

I’m truly sorry.

I wish that hadn’t happened.

Of course, I’m sure it’s all for the best blah blah blah, but to quote the King James, “It sucketh!”

There it is. I said it. In Authorized King James English.

But more than sympathy, I want to empower you to walk through this time in a way that sets you up for relational success. In fact, how you deal with the aftermath of this romantic disaster can make all the difference in your future, in every area of your life; not just relationships.

Of course, every breakup is unique (uniquely painful, too), but coming from a dozen-plus years of studying, speaking, blogging and writing about this relationship stuff, here are just a few suggestions.

First, I beg you, yea verily, I get down on my knees and implore you not to consider another serious relationship right now. It doesn’t matter if your dumpage occurred this morning, or years ago, because it’s clear to me that you’re still struggling with this loss.

If you weren’t still struggling with it, you wouldn’t be reading this post, but you are and so you are. And that’s OK to struggle. It’s not fun, and you need to find peace (which is what I’d like to help you do), but the last thing a person still smarting from a failed romantic relationship needs is a new romantic relationship.

It’s like ODing on meth and then believing a hit of crack will right everything. Sure, a new relationship will make you feel better, until it doesn’t. Is that how you want to pursue serious relationships? Like a junkie looking for their next high?

Actually, this drug analogy isn’t that far off the mark, because part of the depressed feelings you’re experiencing right now comes from the loss of the love chemicals that were once flooding your brain prior to deciphering the auto-corrected text that said, “I think we should see other pea pull.”

Secondly, instead of pursing another romantic relationship, pursue real relationships. By that I mean, relationships with people that make you feel good because they know you and love you as a friend, not because they are attracted to you and desire you like a stuffed animal, that kisses. And maybe does other stuff.

Were you made for a special relationship that could lead to a life-giving, life-long marriage? Very likely! It’s true of most of us.

But even a healthy marriage doesn’t satisfy all the relational needs of each partner. (Was that a plot spoiler?) You need to know how to get your relational needs met in healthy ways by friends and family who know and love you well, even as you learn to do the same for them.

So that means, in the aftermath of this break-ocalypse, the priority needs to be on growing those friendships which can guide you in dealing with the pain in your past and preparing you for the promise of your future.

Thirdly, speaking of pain in the past, you need to deal with that yuck. With a couple of wise friends or mentors, you need to discern what went wrong in this particular relationship and whether there are recurring patterns appearing in your relational life that you need to address.

Then you need to take ownership of your part.

Yes. You feel like a victim. They dumped you, after all.

However, the mature person is able to identify and take responsibility for their own mistakes, no matter how wrong the other person was. This includes wrong motives, actions, words, reactions, assumptions and inaction.

Finally, to deal with your past you have to forgive the part your partner played in the mess that was once your relationship.

I know it might seem easier to forget and move on, but that’s a lot like painting over rotten wood. It may look better from a distance, but up close, it’s obvious what lies under that thin layer. This is why people who refuse to deal with their pain have to keep people at a safe distance. Not only is that a way of trying to keep from getting hurt again, but if others get too close they can see what you’re hiding. And, just like paint over rotten wood, in the long run the cover-up simply doesn’t stick.

It may feel empowering to hold onto your bitterness, but in a book I wrote on forgiveness (and offer in PDF form for the right price of “free”) I talk about how forgiving is actually far more empowering. I encourage you to check out that book.

I actually have a lot more to say to you, but I want to keep this short, so if you feel like I’m actually making sense, I encourage you to continue your journey toward wholeness by checking out our Hot Topic page on relationships.

Again, I am so sorry for your pain, but I also have great confidence in God’s ability to turn your situation around. It may indeed sucketh, but we serve a God who turned the absolute worst thing that could ever happen (Christ’s death on the cross), into the most impossibly wonderful thing. He may allow things to die, but that’s only because He’s in the resurrection business.

I hope that helps, but if you have further questions or comments, feel free to hit me back in the comment section below.

Sincerely,

Michael (MJ) Johnson
Co-Founder, President & Dean of Dating
Future Marriage University

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The LoveEd study guide series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE YOU FALL IN LOVE! It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. Check out the first two 8-lesson study guides in our store. You can walk through it on your own, but it’s more fun with friends, so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study. Even better?  And ask a married couple you respect to lead it!