How To Respond To Someone Who Has Ditched You

What to do when your relationship comes to an end…

Being dumped is hurtful, especially if you didn’t see it coming. You felt as if everything in your relationship was going great; then, suddenly, you’re left with a broken heart and a head full of questions, struggling to work out what happened.

There’s a lot of emotional pain and confusion to deal with and it can be difficult to come to terms with it all. Rejection is one of the hardest feelings to cope with and it hurts when someone we care deeply about doesn’t feel the same way.

In The Moment

When someone announces that they want to break up with you, it can feel like a punch to the gut. Even if you saw ‘the end’ coming, the reality of hearing the words spoken aloud can still come as a big shock.


In and out, deeply and slowly.

Focus on your breathing and give yourself time to pull your thoughts and feelings together.

Tell yourself that no matter how horrible you feel right at this moment, things will get better. Repeat it to yourself over and over again in your head.

Respecting Their Decision

It’s important to respect what the other person is saying to you. Give them time to lay out their reasons and listen to what they have to say. This also gives you time to gather your thoughts and steady your breathing.

Your Response

When you do respond, try to stay calm and collected to avoid doing or saying anything you might regret later. Try to avoid tit-for-tat name-calling or saying things you don’t really mean. If you feel too overwhelmed to respond right now, you can ask the other person if you can talk about this later. It’s totally OK to give yourself time to process everything – you don’t have to respond right away. Sometimes it can help to take a few hours or days to think things over.

Give Yourself Time To Grieve

Understand that you will need time to deal with your feelings and that there’s no ‘quick fix’ to help you get over a loss. And that’s what the end of a relationship can feel like – a loss. You’re grieving, so be kind to yourself.

Grief can be very complex, popping up when we least expect it. A photo or song might spark sadness and memories of happier times with your ex. These are normal ways to feel and it doesn’t mean that you’re not coping with the break-up. Recovering and moving on after a relationship takes time and isn’t always straightforward. Be patient and kind to yourself by:

  • Surrounding yourself with supportive friends and family. Talking can help you work out your feelings and make sense of the situation.
  • Doing things you enjoy. Try a spot of positive thinking, too – you can find lots of helpful tips on how to think yourself happy here.
  • Looking after your health. Try to eat well and get plenty of rest. If you’re struggling to sleep, try a sleep app or read our helpful guide here. Exercise can help, too, and even a short walk can go a long way to making you feel a lot better.

Read more about coping with grief here.

Moving On

Being dumped is always hurtful. You might not believe it right now, but things will get better. The initial pain, shock, anger and maybe even humiliation will start to fade and lessen. Don’t be afraid to talk to friends and family for support and give yourself the time and space you need to heal. Once you’ve worked through these emotions and found peace, you’ll feel more ready to look to the future.


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