Have you ever felt like someone’s pulling away from you? Maybe they’re avoiding a conversation, being aloof and non-commital when it comes to making plans? You could be experiencing quiet dumping.
Unlike an explosive outburst and a tearing apart à la Joy Division, quiet dumping is a slower and, well, a more quiet separation that usually leaves the dumpee feeling confused and understandably quite hurt.
However, Bumble’s Sex & Relationship Expert, Dr Caroline West, explains that, as with most bad behaviour, it reflects more on the person badly behaving than it does you. She also explains that when it comes to being unable to communicate effectively, often there is no malicious intent behind them choosing to faze out a relationship. Dr Caroline suggests that, perhaps, they’re just not comfortable enough to have that conversation.
Nevertheless, communication is important to many people on the lookout for love. “Research from Bumble shows that the overwhelming majority of British singles (84%)* believe being open and upfront is the most important thing in a relationship, but a small section don’t share that view,” Dr Caroline says.
No communication is a form of communication, after all. Though it might feel unfair that you have to be the one to bite the bullet and bring up the potential end, it’s better than allowing it to drag out longer than it needs to. If you feel like you’re experiencing a quiet dumping, she tells me it’s important that you do your best to shrug it off and do what needs to be done.
And, here’s how you can do just that.
Don’t be afraid to initiate “the conversation”
Listen, if you think your partner is avoiding a conversation about what’s going on with the two of you, that doesn’t mean you need to. Did you know that 70% of singles say their partner being able to understand their own emotions is key to them?
If, (or when) you decide to initiate the conversation they are unable to meet you halfway, then this may be a sign they’re not one for you. Bite the bullet and put yourself first.
It’s okay to be incompatible
Everyone is on their own journey. Some of us have cracked communication better than others. That doesn’t automatically make us good or bad people — or toxic, but it can make us incompatible. And, incompatibilities are a dating red flag.
If your partner isn’t able to have the conversation with you — whether that’s about taking things more seriously, talking about your official status or even when it comes to clearing the air, maybe it’s time to find someone who is.
While compromising is a huge part of dating, we should also be able to choose ourselves and prioritise our needs when the compromise is hurting our self-esteem and confidence. If you’re feeling like you’re doing a little too much giving and they’re not reciprocating you might have found the answer you were looking for without having to ask the question.
Re-establish boundaries the next time you date
Bumble’s research found that almost two-thirds of singles are being clearer about their emotional needs this year, and that’s incredibly important when dealing with quiet-dumping. Let me explain. Being clear about your needs from the get-go can help you establish boundaries and expectations early on, which can mean less disappointment later down the line.
It can also mean you’re able to explain why your needs aren’t being met, and if that person is able to meet your expectations at all.
While ending a relationship is never a fun or particularly nice experience, it doesn’t mean that it’s curtains for dating for good.
If you’ve experienced quiet dumping, you may be considering how to get back out there. If you need to take some time out of the dating scene, or you need to establish a clear communication style with your next partner, don’t let the previous bad experience put you off.
Take the time to work on yourself and soon enough you’ll know what you need next time.