“I should have seen it coming,” she began. My friend Cameron had been recently dumped by her boyfriend of three months. Cameron and I were sharing tapas at one of our favorite lunch spots downtown.
“Don’t be so hard on yourself,” I said.
“But all the signs were there. We were arguing a lot, he’d become distant, and his friends were acting strange. The writing was on the wall.”
“Hindsight is twenty-twenty,” I said sympathetically.
“I’m proud of how I handled myself, though,” she offered.
“Oh?” I was glad she had stopped beating herself up.
“I handled the whole thing with grace. I listened to everything he had to say, told him I was sorry to hear it but appreciated his honesty, and wished him well. Then we hung up.”
“Hung up? He broke up with you over the phone?” I was appalled.
“I know that’s not kosher, but I’m glad he did,” she said. “That way, he couldn’t see my face and how I really felt.”
“And how did you feel?”
“Angry. More angry than sad. I was mad at myself for not breaking up with him first.”
“I get that.” I’d been there too.
“He was right; we weren’t a good match. We should have ended it a month ago.”
The next day, I thought about our conversation. The next time, I’m dumped I’m going to take a page out of Cameron’s book. I’ll listen carefully, thank him for his honesty, and wish him well. The less emotion shown the better.
Even if it’s been a long-term relationship, I’ll keep any drama to myself. I’ll avoid arguing, bargaining, lashing out, or crying. After all, there’s no reason to act like he’s destroyed me; he hasn’t. I will get through it, and one day I’ll find someone who loves me as much as I love him. I deserve that.
Cameron had shown me how to handle a breakup with grace.