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Why You NEVER Ask Someone Why They Dumped You

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

There I was, innocently sipping my iced coffee, my gorgeous pitt bull snoring at my feet, when I saw this headline.

After the second date, we left on an odd note, and we took some time to reflect and when we spoke again, we decided that we shouldn’t continue dating. It was pretty mutual, but I don’t feel the need to cover up the fact that it was her idea.
“Do you really want to know why?” she asked me. “Some guys beg me to tell them, then they call me a c**t.”
I told her I definitely wouldn’t do that, and that I appreciated the opportunity to learn. She laid out for me exactly what turned her off about the second date, and I was shocked. Mostly because I was totally unaware of how I was making her feel.

On its face, the idea of asking for some kind of dumping post-mortem sounds like it would be helpful. I mean. They dumped you. They should know what you did wrong, right?


While there is inexcusable behavior (you insulted them, you said something hateful or offensive, your hygiene is bad) there's also behavior that can be easily rectified with a brief mature conversation.

None of the reasons this woman gave for ending things with this guy were based in fact. They were all her perception. Let's run through them:

I didn’t encourage her to talk about herself

She's an adult. If she wanted to share something or talk about herself, she always could have taken the reigns of the conversation. It's not other people's job to provide prompts that will allow you to engage in the conversation. This one is on her.

I talked about myself (a lot)

I wonder if that's because she refused to contribute to the conversation?

She worried that I only wanted sex

Again, she could have simply used her words and asked him what he was looking for (which I don't advise as most people will just say whatever will make the conversation less awkward.) Or she could have said, "Hey, I had fun the other night, but I want to be clear I'm not looking to casually date or just hook-up." That would open the door to a broader conversation about what they were looking for and each other's expectations.

“You may not have space in your life for someone else.”

Two dates. TWO. DATES. Nobody - and I mean nobody - can tell this about someone after two dates. Not with any accuracy, anyway.

Let's be clear: this woman just wasn't into seeing this guy again. I inferred from the piece he asked her why (again, don't do this! this is why people ghost. the why doesn't matter at this stage.)

“Do you really want to know why?” she asked me. “Some guys beg me to tell them, then they call me a c**t.”

Let's be clear: nobody begs her to tell them. They might ask once and she responds with an incendiary, "Are you sure you want to know??" implying what she had to say was sooooo harsh they better buckle up. Of course they'll say yes after an answer like that. It's a trap. The only correct answer in a situation like this is:

"I can't quantify it. The click just isn't there for me. But I think you're great which is why I wanted to say this to you and not just ghost. You deserve that."

And...scene. That sentence encapsulates perfectly why a near-stranger might not want to date you. They just weren't that into you.

Her reasons are bullshit. She wasn't into him and, rather than say that, she manufactured a laundry list of imaginary things this guy may or may not have done and pinned it all on him so he could leave feeling like garbage. I repeat: none of the reasons she gave were insurmountable or unfixable. If she had liked him, she would have kept seeing him. Period. Full stop.

Let's say you're on the other end of this. You owe it not to the other person but yourself to speak up and give them a chance to digest your feedback and implement it going forward. That's Relationship 101. You need to learn how to address the things that bother you in a healthy way, one that doesn't put the other person on the defensive or result in an argument.

I have a friend whose partner ditches in the middle of text conversations. She hates that. Once she determined this was something the man did regularly said to him, "I love that you text me to check in, but you sometimes disappear without warning. I end up feeling insignificant to you."

She made sure it wasn't a one-time thing, addressed it, and took ownership of her feelings. She didn't say, "You make me feel insignificant." She made it very clear she was pointing out one very specific thing and that she wasn't criticizing him.

He apologized, adding that he sometimes got distracted by work. The next time, he made sure to communicate when he would be out of the loop so she knew he didn't just forget her.


The most troubling part of the above linked essay is...the guy believed her. Every word. He bought into everything she - a woman who barely knew him - said. He didn't take her words with a grain of salt. He took everything she said at face value and never once questioned why she didn't just tell him any of this. The answer? Because she either a) wanted him to read her mind (that makes for a fun relationship, amirite?) or b) knew these "problems" were easily fixable and she wanted out.

Never ever EVER make yourself vulnerable like this to someone who hasn't earned the right to that vulnerability. They don't care enough about you to be kind or honest. They will say hurtful things in hopes of shutting down the conversation. They want it over. They want out of there.

Nobody knows you well enough to make these - or any kind - of sweeping judgements. Some things are blatant and impossible to ignore (though we often do if they're hot, am👏I👏rite👏?) Others require a little bit of time to suss out.

If you really want to know if there's something you're doing to turn people off, ask a close friend, one you know unequivocally has your best interests at heart. They care about you. They want to see you happy. Someone you went on two dates with isn't invested enough in the dynamic/relationship to want to be genuinely helpful.

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