The Real Reason He Dumped You. (It’s Not What You Think). ~ Carolyn Gilligan

Via elephant journal
on May 16, 2012
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The guy that says goodbye to you is out of his mind.

In case you didn’t already know, it wasn’t your thighs or your arm jiggle. That’s just in your pretty little head. It wasn’t that annoying hormonal breakout you had last week. You are the only one who paid that any attention. You’re just human, baby, and us humans we are all so beautifully flawed.

You don’t need to start that trendy diet everyone is doing these days. Don’t bother wasting your money on the best-selling book or the packaged, processed food. Diets are complete crap. If they actually worked we wouldn’t be in the midst of national obesity crisis.

Think about it. Go to yoga instead. Grab yourself a juicy piece of fruit. You don’t need a boob job or P90X. That’s all just bullsh*t.

Dear, know this, you are perfect as you are.

You might be thinking to yourself, “You don’t know me!” but I do. See, as fellow human creatures, our hearts ache and break all the same.

Trust this. The universe, he or she has your back. Let’s go with she. The omnipresent mother is always steering us in the right direction on our journey. One day it will make sense why it didn’t work out. Why it made you cry. Gratitude will wash over your skin and soak through to your heart. You will tilt your head back, looking up at the brightest blue sky and think to yourself, momma always knows best.

In the mean time, go out with your girlfriends. Drink too much wine. Enjoy a beer (or seven). Use their eyes to look at yourself. You will be amazed at how beautiful you are.

Laugh and drink and dance and cry. Cry right smack dab in the middle of the crowded city street. Cry in the back of a cab. Cry on the strong, capable shoulders of the women whom you love so and that in return love you just as you are.

Cry in savasana the next day, not just because your body is all at once throbbing and aching because of the lack of sleep and dehydration.

Cry because you had the almighty, healing pleasure of spending your night in the warm, rich company of those who care for you unconditionally.

The practice will ring out the muscles and draw out the toxins, both chemical and emotional. And you will start to heal. One long inhale and deep full-body exhale at a time.

Learn to be a-okay with yourself, just as you are today. It might take some time. A whole lot of time. And you will still have your moments. We all have our moments.

Be patient with your little self.

And if you don’t want to take my word for it, maybe you will take his. You don’t need to change a thing about you, babe. I’m telling you from where I sit, you’re one of a kind.


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Relephant bonus:


Carolyn Gilligan is a daughter, sister, best friend, listener, lover, ice cream eater, sometimes writer, easily excitable, embarrassingly gullible yoga teacher in training who drinks too much coffee, makes a lot of mistakes and has too much fun for her own good.



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Editor: Kate Bartolotta



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79 Responses to “The Real Reason He Dumped You. (It’s Not What You Think). ~ Carolyn Gilligan”

  1. Chi says:

    I think the title of this article is a little off, since nowhere in it do you give any sort of reason and instead offer (appropriate) advice on how to deal with a breakup.

    • Carolyn says:

      Thanks, Chi. I realize now the title was a miss. I always struggle with writing them. I will certainly will be more conscious of writing appropriate titles that are a better reflection of the contents of the article in the future. Thanks for taking the time to read my first piece. Sorry if I mislead you!

      • Carolyn, I think you were right on with your title. As Jackie mentions below—he dumped you because he was out of his mind.

      • Larry says:

        Thats OK though because the reason doesn't matter in the end. Whatever caused it was the other person's issue. You can only control yourself. not others

      • Rachael miles says:

        The title may be off but what you said was great so often men or women pick themselves apart when a relationship is in the tank… wonder why it is the human mind is so quick to jump to the negitive aspects of life

    • Jackie says:

      yes, there is a reason – he's out of his mind, it says so right at the top!

    • Sure it does. The blog tells the reader to shake it off, cry it out, spend time with friends, and stop thinking the relationship didn't work because there is something inherently wrong with you. Seemed pretty clear to me!

  2. catnipkiss says:

    Nice thoughts, thank you! That song *almost* made me cry… – Alexa M

  3. damgirl says:

    P90X HAS yoga and Tony Horton (P90X creator) says it's the exercise that everybody should do if they absolutely had to choose only ONE – why the bash?

    • Carolyn says:

      I certainly did not mean to offend anyone with that comment or to bash Tony's product. I know that a lot of people have experienced pretty amazing physical transformations with P90X and I have heard his yoga sequence is actually very similar to the power vinyasa that I do. Anything that gets people motivated, moving and staying fit and healthy is great. The problem, as I see it, is we live in a culture where everyone wants immediate results. So they spend all this money on work out DVDs, packaged meals and supplements and do it for 90 days and then fall back into their old patterns when they don't see the results that are shown in the promotional videos and glossy ads. When it comes to health, physical and mental, I think it is important to think more holistically, making subtle, maintainable lifestyle changes. It's just my opinion. Thank you for reading my article and making me think more carefully about what I put out there!

  4. kate says:

    So… what was the real reason he dumped you?

    • Carolyn says:

      Hi Kate, I realize I missed the mark with the title! Should have been something more along the lines these are not the reasons he dumped you. Thanks for taking the time to read my piece. Sorry if the unanswered question left you disappointed!

    • Maria says:

      exactly……seems like it didn't get to the bottom of it.

  5. Tanya Mah says:

    I love this article, ive been that person crying in her car, on the street, in yoga, in bed, in the shower – yes yes yes.

    Ive drunk too much wine and distracted myself in every way and shape possible.

    And 5 years on I thank the universe that it ended and that I hurt and cried because it was the best thing to ever happen to me. x

    • Carolyn says:

      Cry babies! The whole lot of us! Thank you so much for reading. It truly means so much to me!

  6. Danielle says:

    Good advise! Everyone should be able to love themselves for who they are, and not for who others want them to be.

  7. Sambam says:

    Beautiful, well-written, inspiring, amazing.

    2,000 views 🙂 well done Carolyn!

    • Carolyn says:

      Awww you're making me blush! Thank you from the very bottom to the very tippy, tippy top of my wide open heart! xoxo

  8. Candy Kane says:

    This was really well written and touched a couple of my nerves. I hope you will write more on this site in the future.

  9. krista says:

    I enjoyed a lot of this but feel also that the title was off- it should be something about learning to love yourself through loss etc. Also, saying drink wine, drink, drink 7 beers is a horrible idea- fine to say enjoy yourself- but drowning your sorrows is just distraction and hurts your body far worse than it ever helps.
    I like the rest though very much! We all need a reminder that we are the ones judging ourselves and that the universe is carrying us along- to love ourselves and trust in life.

    • Carolyn says:

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment Krista! I really appreciate it. You are totally right, drowning heartache, or anything for that matter, in booze is not good for the heart or the body! Definitely wouldn't recommend it as a cure for anything, ever! For me it is just about balance. I am always trying to control every aspect of my life and sometimes it is nice to loosen my own grip a bit and let myself be young and carefree. Thanks again! xoxo

  10. Noah says:

    The title leads you to believe that the article will answer a question many girls want to know: why he dumped you. But the article then turns in a different direction and lets you know it doesn’t matter why he dumped you. So true – what would it matter if you did know the real reason?! You aren’t going to change the person you are completely. Stop asking stupid questions, move on, get over it, and find someone who doesn’t want to dump ya 😉 Such a fun and uplifting read. I loved it.

    • Carolyn says:

      Thanks for reading Noah! So happy you enjoyed it!

    • Yogagurl says:

      If a person has a personality characteristic that is turning off her dates it's good to know. Sometimes it can be something small. It doesn't mean you change your entire being, it just means you become your best.

  11. Megan says:

    Every girl that has had her heart broken can certainly relate to this. Great piece!

  12. Maury says:

    inspiring advice and not just for the young

  13. ValCarruthers says:

    Like the song says: You're amazing, just the way you are."

  14. yogasamurai says:

    So many of hese comments are frankly ABSURD and COMPLETELY UNHELPFUL.

    Almost every relationship break up is some kind of wake up call – some good reason to look at yourself. It doesn't mean that you are to "blame." But this uncritical self-affirming PABLUM – so typical in the yoga world – only blinds people to honest reflection and self-examination of the choices they make and why, and the consequences.

    I know kids who aren't even teenagers who have more common sense than the people commenting here. GROW UP PEOPLE!

    Maybe he just wasn't that into you? Maybe he realized he wanted something else? Maybe he met someone else? Maybe you acted like an ass and deserved to be dumped?

    I ask the women here: would you give the exact same advice to a guy? I doubt it, but if you did, it would be pablum, too

    JESUS FUCKING CHRIST PEOPLE. Life isn't about kissing all the boo boos away. NOT WHEN YOU'RE ADULTS.

    Are you?

    • Carolyn says:

      Honest reflection and self-examination are absolutely essential. I am with you on that one. I can't speak for the whole of the yoga world, but for me it is a pretty inescapable aspect of yoga. It forces you to own up to your shit. Maybe you have trust issues or problems communicating (like I do) in that case, acknowledging your faults and weaknesses and working on them is the only way you grow. Maybe he wasn't that into me (or whoever felt they related to this article), maybe he did realize he wanted something else, or met someone else, and yes, at times we all act like a$$s.

      The point of the article wasn't to place blame on men (I love men!), but rather to share my experience so that others know that they are not alone in the hurt and heartache and that whatever they are feeling is okay. I think self-love and affirmations are a great balance to self-examination, because when the relationship you have with yourself is constantly critical, its hard to cultivate love for others. And yes, depending on the circumstances, I would give the same advice to my guy friends. As simplistic as it may seem.

      • yogasamurai says:

        Really, Carolyn, people who are adults already know these things. I am shocked at the things people write on yoga blogs that they think are so deep and emotionally meaningful. They are if you are maybe 13, but there are a lot of very immature people in the yoga world, that's for sure. By the way, I don't think yoga "forces" you to do anything. It's a myth. Yoga is only as good as what you bring to it. Plenty of people bring A LOT of ego and self-delusion to yoga, and guess what, their ego gets even bigger, as a result.

        I would say that yoga tends to put Miracle Grow on whatever you have, so you need to bring along a huge pruner as you go, and that pruner isn't yoga, and it's certainly not your yoga teacher,. who's probably as delusional as you are. It's your faith in a Divine Presence, but probably if you're super-young, it's also your therapist, coach, a family member, a priest/lay minister, a guidance counselor, someone with real training and real faith formation, a person of true guidance, who can help usher you to adulthood and wisdom. Yoga won't get you there, not in the American context. In 15 years, I have never seen anyone truly grow up through yoga, I actually think a lot of people come to try to hide out from doing just that.

        Yoga's fine for some things but if you have issues of self-blame, and family trauma or alcoholism, or eating disorders, don't look to yoga, except as one venue. Get real help. No one in yoga is trained to help you. I got all my help- mainly it was years ago – elsewhere. Now I live freely, and joyfully, with a very strong faith, but yoga, which I enjoy in moderation, has zip zero zilch to do with it.


        • Namaste? says:

          "Cheers?" Can you please be honest and end your tirade with a good "F*ck You" like you really mean to say, rather than "Cheers." How ridiculous.

    • northofthesouth says:

      It is a disservice to women everywhere to say “it’s not your fault” if they get dumped. It takes two to make a relationship work. If you were dumped then yes, you are responsible in some way either directly or indirectly. And if he cheated or says “it’s not you, it’s him” then yes, he’s cowardly but there’s something you did or didn’t do that triggered it. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s dangerous to just say “it was all him” and then move on to the next relationship without any real assessment of how you are as a partner.

    • Gordon Gekko says:

      Yes, you maybe be perfect the way you are on the outside, but maybe you were dumped as you had habitual tendencies and unrealistic expectations on him or life in general. Maybe some meditation or calm self reflection might make it more transparent to see where you might have "went off the deep end", when "dipping a toe" was all that was needed. Who know's… There WAS a reason you were dumped, and I think women in general, only from my experience), (awaiting the hate mail torrent!!) is they go from guy to guy, without realizing why it failed or why they were rejected, as oppose to see it where they might change something in themselves next time and learn/grow.

      • Yogagurl says:

        SO TRUE! This goes for men and women! I met a guy I really really liked! But he showed me personality characteristics that made me hesitate and ultimately say "no". Things like inconsideration, selfishness, etc. Character matters! How could it not???

    • Yogagurl says:

      I SO AGREE with you!!! As someone who prefers to deal with reality instead of always blaming the other person…I cannot accept that often relationships don't happen or go wrong because of some annoying personality issue. Sometimes it is because the two are not a right fit but often it's because one or more parties are doing something to ruin it! And YES the truth hurts but it is the only time we will be empowered and make a new decision.

      I was just on a blog where a woman wrote in on how a promising date went bad because he couldn't get past her being fat. And I mean she was really fat. Instead of learning from it and putting all her energy into losing weight for better success she chose to call him "superficial". All the other women chimed in that he was a "jerk", etc. I was a different pov. I said he was nice to you, honest with you, he was not a jerk. Don't take it personal. You could lose weight and have better success! But they wouldn't have it. They'd rather be mad at the world for feeling that being slender is more attractive than change. I say the same thing …"Grow up"!!! So annoying.

  15. bianca says:

    The title was great and alluring but didn’t really pertain to the article; however, the article was very empowering. I love to laugh, cry… fully connect to my emotions. To stifle myself from any emotion just would not be me so I absolutely loved the encouragement. Thank you so much for sharing!

  16. Carolyn says:

    Thanks, Bianca! Glad to be encouraging!! xoxo

  17. illusion says:

    I loved this song from the moment I first heard it. Reminded me immediately of the woman I loved, that didn't love me back, and was desperately hurting because someone she dated for a long time broke up with her. I couldn't believe my ears when I heard he left her. Telling her that she was incredible and amazing and everything I could think of that's good about her, didn't seem to matter however. She still hurt and hurt and hurt. Yoga was her salve, and she went on a long journey of self-discovery. She still doesn't love me back. And I still can't believe he broke up with her. Love that song.

  18. Bobby says:

    Don't be sad it's over; be happy it happened.

  19. Klark says:

    Im not going to say this is the worst advice ever, but it definitely wont help you improve and reflect on your true self. I agree with the part about spending time with friends, but getting drunk, come on, that doesnt sound yogic to me at all, why the p90x bashing, its another process of bettering yourself, (i agree there are pitfalls in it, like the obsession with the body, but it also teaches discipline and self respect.) And the advice to cry everywhere is horrible. You'll make a habit of crying everytime you're faced with hardships. Crying is great therapy, crying out of joy is also great, but don't be baby, have some control of your mind and emotions.

    How about this, take responsibility for your actions, emotions and thoughts. And the reason he broke up with you was partially because of you. Take responsibility for that. There is nothing wrong with you, and I didnt say you did anything wrong to cause the breakup but you were part of the reason and the other part was him. Sit down in silence and meditate on your true self. That should have been the advice. My intention is not to be cruel, rather it's to be real.
    ''It is always better to live with reality, because otherwise, without fail, reality will come to live with you'' -Vimalananda
    You didn't live with reality so hence the pain.

    With all that said there is a silver lining in this piece of journalism that is more fit for Cosmo than Elephant Journal and that is the paragraph that starts with, "Trust this.''

    I expected better journalism from Elephant Journal, I'm very dissapointed.

  20. Anita says:

    well that pretty much sums it up… yep… he was out of his mind 😉

  21. Rebecca says:

    Thank you! Really needed to read your lovely article & hear that lovely song today 🙂 I’ve had a hell of a week and have been feeling sadder than I thought it possible to feel. Getting hopeful again now! Thanks for sending a flickering light at the end of the tunnel 🙂 (he is out of his mind!) xx

  22. tracylaneisnotavirgin says:

    love it…!!!!

  23. JayPo says:

    My ex sent me this song about two months ago..then proceeded to text me line after line of this precious song. When I asked him if we could try again, he said no. Yeah.. The guy that says goodbye to you is out of his mind.. Clearly.

  24. JulienneG says:

    Well done Carolyn! Especially true when it's the hardest to believe. Just wrote on the same theme.

  25. […] should see and know it, and it’s something you need to remember in order to attract the right guy. A guy who sees you as the prize will work hard to keep you. If not, it’s time to “dodge” this potentially disastrous […]

  26. […] My mind knows this is for the best. At least I think so since you clearly do not love me. Not enough. […]

  27. Melvin says:

    If your new and want order of p90x classic to your morning smoothie for an extra boost.
    3. This means informed about the best food order of p90x classic intake.
    The thinking behind muscle confusion has been performing many
    different exercise movements which will stimulate 24-32 inch wide doorways.
    Well that was a quick look at the what works for you may not work
    for you teammate or training partner.

  28. Maureen says:

    And I thank God or the universe that lead me to read this article today and I cried. I am letting myself cry right now after I broke it off with the one man who I thought was the one. Realizing I can't be with someone who said he love me but still looking for another girl online? I value myself worth way too much and decided to end things up. My ex husband cheated on me so it's a very sore subject for me and it actually feels good to stand up for myself and said I can't put up with that behavior. It hurts, still hurts…it's only been 3 days. Thank you so much for writing this.

  29. Laura says:

    I dumped my boyfriend because he has/d a rather elastic relationship with the truth, and I caught him lying to my face when I asked him a direct and important question. This is a man whom I had planned to start a household with and who was planning to move in with me. He tried to interpret my decision as not being able to accept his 'flaws' (because of many years of reading articles like this one, he was able to take that tactic) and he was not in the least bit sorry he had lied. We are all flawed but some of those flaws are elective, through the choices we make. I would have been a fool to take the risk of depending with a man who lies. This is not because he is 'amazing' or 'awesome.' It is because he is a liar.

  30. Mindi Bee says:

    Hey and what about us guys who killed ourselves for the one we loved and she dumped us for unknown reasons? Some of us guys have hearts, we hurt and cry too! What if SHE is out of her mind?

  31. katymarie says:

    For your first article, great job! I saved it to my Stumble account 🙂 I love the positive vibe you give out, acceptance of yourself. So many girls (and some guys) look to things that are wrong with them, but your right on. We are who we are, and being OK with that is amazing. It is so refreshing to read your article instead of ways to make him like you and then the article is all these dieting, sex, and how to dress on the date tips…
    I read some of the comments on the feed, and everyone handles and feels differently about relationships. Personally I really felt the passion behind the article, When you write about drinking and crying I get it. It's not about drinking your problems away or being a baby, its about healing and doing it in any way possible. Going out there and saying "Hey, I can over come this!" And I think this is great. No, everyone may not drink, or cry – but use it metaphorically for something they could in place, your passion easily came across. You are talking about acceptance, and loving yourself. That is the most important thing and that is what woman, and younger girls entering the dating scene need to hear and/or learn today.
    I am recently out of a relationship, so I especially enjoyed reading this and some of the comments about being able to deal with reality, or take responsibility – well everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I take responsibility for my part in every relationship, but that doesn't mean that I have to blame myself and/or dwell in misery. It's not worth it, move on. It hurts, it's hard and it sucks! But life doesn't stop happening, and neither should you or any of us! So to me, your article makes perfect sense. Love the song too!

  32. AJ says:

    Wonderful article. Made me warm and fuzzy

  33. Olivia Coleman says:

    Thank you this is a beautiful article!

  34. GrownWoman says:

    Um …condescending tone made it impossible for me to finish. Please dont talk to grown ass women as if we are little girls.

  35. michelle says:

    love it. makes me wanna be in your circle of friends. 🙂

  36. nina says:

    Thanks so much!! I really needed to read that and love the song! truly lifechanging, you guys rock!

  37. DevonDuh says:

    Shallow but may be relevant for 20 somethings

  38. michael says:

    no i'm sorry but the reason I break up with people is because as a child, I was never shown how to love someone.
    I had parents who would like verbally and physically, and as a child, That didn't teach me anything good about loving someone.
    Don't get me wrong, I don't hit or verbally abuse females, and think anyone who does needs to be shot.

    I have been in many relationships and I was always the one who tore us apart, I think that a relationship needs to be like those in the movies, never fighting, always loving but it's just not true.
    when ever me and my partner would have a ight, i'd blame myself for the whole thing and then i'd feel like i had wrecked the relationship.

    then i'd end it.
    Honestly, if i had stuck to the person i think i would have learnt what a relationship really is and how to love someone.

  39. John says:

    "The guy that says goodbye to you is out of his mind"

    Oh really? Really, really? Because a lot of breakups with your so-called "perfect as you are" women are perfectly reasonable. I'm not a bit sorry to rain on your on your little parade, but your method of empowering women by dis-empowering and belittling men is just so much infantile and sophomoric baloney.

  40. Christina says:

    Now I wish I knew why he dumped me! Too emotional…not happy enough? I wish he'd say! But too often they don't tell you and it's so frustrating. I am heartbroken and no amount of wine or beer or girlfriend talk will bring him back.

  41. DiaW says:

    Eh…while it's good to love yourself, I think it's important to use a breakup as a learning experience to develop oneself. It's never just "bad timing" or "he's unavailable or a jerk". If you find yourself in a pattern, then either you're subconsciously drawing in (or being drawn toward) the wrong people, or you're doing something to drive them away. If you're really the type of person to believe he dumped you because of your weight or PMS, then I suggest you need to work on your self-esteem or narcissism issues.

  42. Lurker says:

    I think some people are missing the point of this article… Some women, myself included, judge themselves to the point of destroying their own self-esteem or self worth after a break up, even if they saw it coming. The whole "if I try harder he'll love me" thing was what always got me. I tend to put a bunch of myself in a relationship and have always had this idea that if I kept up my end of the relationship, they would too. And if they were lacking, I would unhealthily pick up their slack. Admittedly, I was afraid to be alone and have since worked through these emotions.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is sometimes you get so wrapped up in the idea of a relationship you sort of lose your logical thinking. And then when the relationship ends, even if it was absolutely necessary, you feel like there was some sort of deep rooted lacking in yourself to cause the relationship to fail. Like if you had just did your hair this sort of way, or acted this sort of way during a situation, or laughed at his jokes more, or gave him more space then he could have loved you enough to stay and keep the relationship going. I think the point of this article was to tell yourself you can't put all of the relationship's demise on yourself. You admit to the rational wrongdoings on your end, but you have to let go of the tiny little things that you think you did wrong. Because chances are they weren't what ended the romance. Cut yourself some slack. <3

  43. Mellisa says:

    Very confusing to read an article you think is about one thing and it’s not. Why not just change it?

    Besides that, it’s hardly a ground breaking article. Might be suitable for 13 year old girls but not really suitable for adults.

    I should have stopped with the opening “the guy that says goodbye to you is out of his mind” comment. We all have faults that end relationships. Females included. It reminds me of a Louis CK moment where two 16 year olds are in a cafe and Louis is at the table next to them listening in. As they are discussing why some boy is not calling one of them back. “You know why he’s not calling you back. He’s crazy and you’re awesome. Like totally awesome. Like you are the most awesome’ist person I know. Like you are just so awesome…”. All a bit silly really.

  44. Jarlee says:

    Thank You! <3

  45. Powderpuff says:

    I needed to read this… Sitting here crying as I type. Thanks.

  46. Shane says:

    Don’t try and account for your actions (or lack there of) – just blame the other person

    Brilliant advice…. Hope you enjoy the single life

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