I Broke Up With My Boyfriend & It Felt Way Worse Than Getting Dumped

Being dumped sucks, but it’s happened to me plenty of times. Sometimes I was heartbroken; other times, I wished I’d been the one to walk away first rather than letting the guy get the glory. However, turns out that the feeling of being dumped is nothing compared to how badly I felt when I was the one ending things.

  1. It was all on me. When I’d been dumped, it hurt, but at least I knew I wouldn’t have regrets. The guy who made the choice to end things would have to deal with all that potential emotional baggage. Deciding to break up with my ex placed lots of responsibility and stress on my head. I was choosing a new path from which there’d be no going back. I worried I wasn’t making the right choice or that I’d later regret it (luckily I didn’t).
  2. I was riddled with ‘what if?’ thoughts. I broke up with my ex because he was draining and selfish. After breaking up, I found myself trapped in a vicious circle of ‘what if?’ thoughts — what if things had been different? What if it could have gotten better? What if I was too harsh or nasty? The fear that I had somehow missed out on an opportunity was strong for a few weeks after the breakup… but interestingly, never strong enough for me to want to give him a call.
  3. I worried about what he’d say to everyone. We had a few mutual friends, so I was worried about how he’d portray me. Would I be seen as the crazy girlfriend or the bitch? Or would he pretend to have dumped me? After a while, the fears settled. I realized it didn’t matter what he went around saying because I knew the truth.
  4. I don’t like hurting people. I didn’t love the guy anymore for a while before I decided to end things, but that didn’t mean I wanted to hurt him or that I didn’t care about his feelings. I had to remind myself that we’ve all gone through breakups and they’re a part of life. Besides, I’d been honest about what I needed and that was better than staying in a relationship that made me unhappy and hurt the guy even more.
  5. I was really tempted to ghost him. Although I know ghosting someone is a horrible thing to do, there’s no doubt that the idea presented itself like a magical door when I was about to break up with my ex. It was a way for me to make a run for it, an easy way out and a way in which I wouldn’t have to face the consequences of what I’d done. But I knew I had to be a grown woman about the situation because I didn’t want to make it even more traumatic. Most importantly, I didn’t want to look back and hate myself.
  6. I almost convinced myself it was worth staying. I put on a pair of rose-tinted glasses and saw all the good qualities about my ex that I was leaving behind. Sometimes the past looks better than it actually was when I was living it. But I had to remind myself of all the awful things that had happened, how I felt invisible around him, how he was self-centred and self-important, in order to focus on why it was the right decision for me. That trumped the guilt and allowed me to move on.
  7. Moving on was scary. After I’d given him his marching orders, there was an icepick of fear at the back of my mind that I’d never find happiness again and that there wouldn’t be anything better out there for me. But I knew in my heart that settling for an average relationship would never satisfy me, even if it was the last relationship on earth. Instead of having a chance at future happiness by leaving, by staying with the wrong guy I’d drastically reduce that chance. If I chose to do that, it would also mean that I would have lost my faith in what life had in store, which would just have been sad.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.