I have never been the “dumper.” Unfortunately (and embarrassingly), I have always been the “dumpee.”
Whether I was cheated on, people lost interest or things crumbled, I was never the one to end a relationship. I was always on the other side of things – the heartbreak side.
You know the side where you take a pint of Ben & Jerry's, turn on "The Notebook" and listen to depressing love songs full-blast in your car and question where you went wrong? Yeah, that's what I've been familiar with throughout my relationships.
Honestly, if you had asked me even just a few months ago, I probably would've told you I would never take on the role of the “dumper.” Why, you ask?
Well, because when I love, I love hard. I put the other person first, always.
In fact, let me let you in on a relationship secret of mine: I treat the person I'm dating how I wish to be treated.
Isn't that the key? I take a problem, find a solution and work through hard times. For me, giving up on someone is the last option.
But I have just lost my “dumper” virginity.
It's something I never thought I would do. Quite frankly, it's something I didn't think I was strong enough to do.
I struggled with the realization that I was about to do what I had always told myself was never an option: give up.
I struggled knowing I didn't want to lose someone I loved, but knowing I couldn't carry on in this relationship feeling the way I had been feeling.
My feelings of love quickly turned into indifference. There was a swelling feeling I could no longer ignore.
I stayed unhappy for several weeks before I finally concluded that even though it hurt like hell, it wasn't fair for me to stay in a relationship that wasn't getting the attention or time it deserved, nor was it fair to him for me to keep on pretending like I was still happy.
It was strange to learn being the "dumper" hurts just as much as being the "dumpee."
But eventually, things came to a head. Even though I was torn as to what to do, I found a strange comfort in knowing I had done all I could on my end to make it work and make myself happy.
I had to stop crossing oceans for someone who couldn't seem to hop over puddles for me.
As a girlfriend, it is an unspoken “job” that we have to make our SO's life better, happier and easier as best we can. And for any guys reading this article, guess what? That's your job, too.
So the next time you “can't read her mind,” or “don't understand how the woman's brain works,” let me make it simple for you: make an effort.
Let me also let you gentlemen in on another secret: Sometimes we don't know what will make us happy.
But that doesn't mean you shrug your shoulders and tell us, "I don't know what to do." Make an effort. All girls want is a solid, true effort to show you care and want to make us feel better.
I take pride in being a very caring person. If my SO isn't feeling well, I do what I can to make them feel better. If my SO had a bad day, I do what I can to turn that around. If my SO mentions they want to do something, you bet your ass I do what I can to make that happen.
I started to realize everything I was doing on my side in the relationship simply wasn't being reciprocated, which brings me back to my relationship rule of thumb: treat your SO how you would want to be treated.
In a relationship, it's important we're reminded how our SOs feel about us. I want to be reminded that I am wanted, loved and beautiful. I want to be reminded you care.
It's healthy, normal and refreshing to know how important you are to someone.
I wasn't getting that. I was relying on someone else for my happiness, and ironically, it spiraled me into a tunnel of sadness. My expectations weren't being met, and I was stuck in a relationship where I was constantly being disappointed and it was weighing me down.
After a bout of going back and forth battling with my feelings and deciding what I should do, I had to remind myself what I wanted and deserved in a relationship. And this wasn't it.
I had reached my breaking point, so I stuck my ground and ended things. A relationship means two people, and those two people need to make an effort. I was getting exhausted being the only one.
I found a strange empowerment in realizing my worth. I realized the person I am in relationships, and I realized I need someone who can match the effort I put forth.
I never saw myself as the dumper. I was always the dumpee. I told myself I'd never hurt someone by ending a relationship, I've learned now just how important a lesson breaking up with someone is.
I didn't see myself digging out of the unhappiness that had grown around me any time soon, so I ended it. And that's that. The dumpee becomes the dumper.
The most important lesson I learned is to create your own happiness. Don't rely on others to make you feel what you need to feel. Rely on yourself.
When the time comes around for a new relationship, you'll know what you deserve.