Monday April 23, 2012
Down in the dumps
But Then Again
By Mary Schneider
Many people who have been dumped experience such an overpowering desire to get back with the dumper that they lose the ability to think rationally.
THE 19-year-old daughter of a friend was recently dumped by her boyfriend of one year. One minute she was dreaming of having his babies, cooking him sumptuous meals, lovingly ironing his shirts, and helping alleviate his stress at the end of a busy day, and the next he’d jettisoned her, by text message.
“av found sum1 else, pleez return my dvds,” the message said, completely blindsiding her.
There had been no inkling that the relation was floundering: no heated arguments, no cooling of ardour (at least, not on her part), no secretive text messages, no missed dates, no accidentally calling her by the wrong name.
Overnight, she slipped into a depressive state, a condition that worsened when her pleading phone calls, text messages and emails to him went unanswered.
Then he did something to publicly humiliate and ridicule her: he un-friended her on Facebook and changed his relationship status from “in a relationship” with her to “in a relationship” with someone else. That day, 1,459 of his closest friends, many of whom happened to be her Facebook friends too, saw the status update.
Her real friends told her to forget about him, and tried to convince her that he wasn’t worth crying over.
But they all overlooked the fact that she was still in love with him.
For several weeks, she walked around with her heart squeezed in a vice-like grip. She couldn’t eat or sleep and her studies began to suffer. She spent almost every waking minute trying to think of ways to win him back.
She made a video telling him how much she loved him, posted it on YouTube and sent him the link. She also sent him small gifts in the mail, called a radio station to dedicate a song to him, and asked one of his friends to pass a message on to him.
Her efforts were ignored.
At this stage, some of you might be thinking, “This is starting to get a bit creepy. Sounds like she’s one step away from being a stalker.”
Many people who have been dumped experience such an overpowering desire to get back with the dumper that they lose the ability to think rationally. And it can affect men as much as it does women. Even usually levelheaded, well-disciplined men can begin to lose the plot. Indeed, there’s no telling how anyone might react based on how they behave under normal circumstances.
For example, if Hitler had lived long enough, he might have been dumped by his mistress, Eva Braun, and under such circumstances, he would probably have become obsessed with winning her back. As one of the most powerful men in the world, Hitler probably had a lot of self-control, but I can picture him hiding in the bushes near Eva’s house, waiting for her to come home, bombarding her with flowers and goose-stepping around her office car park in the hope of catching a glimpse of her.
If you had told Hitler to pull himself together and get on with the war, he would have bellowed at you (at the very least) for trying to give him advice. Rational advice would not have brought Eva back to him.
It was the same thing with my friend’s daughter.
One day, when the pain became unbearable, she called her mother.
“Stop trying to contact him!” was the first thing my friend said to her daughter.
But she might as well have told a heroin addict to stop taking drugs, for all the good it did.
“I can’t,” her daughter wailed. “I keep thinking about all the wonderful times we had together.”
“Then don’t think about the wonderful times, think about the bad times.”
“But there were no bad times.”
“Didn’t he just dump you? Surely that constitutes the worst kind of bad time.”
“He just doesn’t know what he’s doing.”
“Perhaps it would help if you were to start to do some of the things you used to do when you were single,” she said, trying a different tack.
“But doing the singles stuff will only underscore the fact that I’ve lost him.”
“Well, just keep busy, get out and meet people. And avoid getting involved in a rebound relationship!” she said, exhausting her breakup advice.
“But I don’t want a rebound relationship.”
That’s when my friend realised that her daughter wasn’t ready for advice.
When someone gets dumped by the person they love, they often don’t want to listen to opinions about what’s best for them. They want to cry, rant, and rave, and goosestep around the car park. And once that’s done, they’ll eventually see sense.
It’s just a shame that Eva didn’t dump Hitler. She could have single-handedly put an end to the war.
Check out Mary on Facebook at facebook.com/mary.schneider.writer. Reader response can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.