Dumped? Be cool and don’t seek revenge

'Good dumpee conduct' means not trying to score points or take revenge. And no drunk dialing!



February 7, 2020 - 2:18 PM

Carolyn Hax

Hi, Carolyn: I’m a late bloomer weathering my first breakup, and am genuinely curious to know your take on breakup etiquette, not for the dumper, but for the dumpee. What constitutes good dumpee conduct in terms of what is expressed to the dumper, and when it’s expressed? Is the question even relevant when (sometimes justifiably) hurt or angry feelings are involved? — Gracefully Dumped

The question is at its most relevant when there are hurt or angry feelings involved, since we need far fewer civility guidelines when we’re feeling calm and at peace.

It’s hard for me to say what “good dumpee conduct” (a fine dark horse for a band-naming contest) looks like for your situation when I don’t know what happened between you. But, I think you’ll be okay with these general guidelines: saying thank you for any candor that isn’t plainly intended to wound; not trying to score points (including but not limited to lashing out, trashing Dumper to anyone who will listen, seeking vengeance); not begging to reconcile; and for the love of bloomers late, prompt or bunched, never drunk-dialing. Accept the breakup as fact, and gracefully look forward from there.

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