Who Should Initiate Contact Dumper Or Dumpee?

Who should initiate contact after the break-up, the dumper or dumpee? Shouldn’t the dumper be the one to initiate contact? Do dumpers ever contact the dumpee?

Although I’ve often used the words “dumper” and “dumpee” myself, I’m convinced that “dumper” and “dumpee” labels oversimplify the break-up and reconciliation process.

“Dumper” and “dumpee” labels, though not directly or even intentionally imply that:

  • Break-ups are inherently “bad” or unnatural.
  • The dumpee is a “victim” of the dumper.
  • The reconciliation process is about righting a wrong.
  • The one who holds out longer (does not initiate contact) has the power.

These are relationship assumptions or beliefs that although not often spoken out aloud; drive many of our actions. But are they true, realistic or helpful? My answer is no.

1. Break-ups are as natural as the sun rising and setting.

Most break-ups are not personal. The dumper is doing what they think and feel is right for them. The dumpee may feel it’s not fair, and sometimes it’s not. But like in many things in life; there are no guarantee in love. Sometimes the one you love will not love you back. Even where there are still strong feelings of love both ways; sometimes that’s not enough to make the relationship work.

2. There is always a “good” reason; as far as the dumper is concerned why someone wants out of the relationship.

Most people don’t end a relationship because it’s so great. You may not like their reason for the break-up, their timing or how they did it, but that does not make you a victim.

Granted, some relationships end because of abuse, and if that’s the case, reconciliation should be out of the question, unless one enjoys being abused.

If you are trying to get your ex back because your ego is so badly hurt and you think that getting your ex back will again make you feel good about yourself, you have serious issues. What you need is therapy, not your ex.

Holding out on someone you still love and want back in your life does not prove you are mentally strong. It proves that you are emotionally insecure. It’s an admission that you don’t trust yourself enough to be able to regulate your own emotions and actions (act too needy or clingy).

People who know what healthy connection is trust themselves to know what is healthy and unhealthy contact, they are not overly worried/fearful of the risk that relationships call for, and they trust that whatever happens, they’ll be just fine.

So, who should initiate contact, the dumper or dumpee?

Whoever wants the other back should initiate contact. There is nothing shameful or demeaning about showing someone that you still love them and want them back. In my opinion, as long as you accept that there are no guarantees that the one you love will love you back, risking rejection is one of the most selfless things to do.

If ego and fear have their way, you could be waiting for that text, email or phone call for ever.


3 Ways No Contact Hurts Your Chances (Attachment Styles)

How A Fearful Avoidant Ex Comes Back – Explained In Detail

What Makes A Dismissive Avoidant Ex Miss You And Come Back?

This Is How An Avoidant Ex Reacts To You After No Contact

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  1. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Connie

    This article makes so much more sense than those encouraging NC. If you claim you still love your ex, why you want to ignore them just to win (or justifying it as helping yourself healing) The dating world is full of manipulating games and I wish there are more articles like this encouraging genuine care and love and courage to take rejections.

  2. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: LonelyinParis

    It’s wonderful to read advice that emphasizes the need to sustain our connections with each other. In my case, we just weren’t right for each other. We both agreed it’d be best as friends. He’s the only man I have been involved with who has remained in my life. To me what this means is that he is an honorable person, and will always be a valued person in my life.

  3. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Mahla

    We have broken up 4 times and I have always been the one who reaches out and tries to work things out. This time I havent reached out to her and waiting for her to come to me first. I dont want to be the one thats always asking her to come back. Btw, it’s a same sex relationship.

  4. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Truman

    Thanks for the wonderful post. I have been doing serious thinking and the reason I haven’t contacted my ex is because I’m afraid of being further exposed to rejection. The breakup which happened 2 months ago left me completely devastated. Basically my question is should I try again and what do you think my chances are?

    1. I strongly believe that if the door is not completely shut, you should always try again. You just never know.

      As for your chances… it depends on how long you were together, what kind of relationship you had, why you broke up, what’s changed since the break-up, if she’s still open to communication… it depends on a lot of things.

  5. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Gent

    Its been almost seven months now since we broke up. It was a very bad breakup and I needed some time to heal. I would really like to reestablish some communication with her but I am afraid that the period of no communication has hurt my chances. I did try to contact her about a month ago and got no response. Do you think its already to late? What can I do differently?

    1. Seven months is a very long time not to have any form of contact. There is a very high chance that she has moved on. The only way to find out is to try contacting her again… a simple “how are you” text and see if she responds. It’s a long shot though.

      Until she responds and there is open lines of communication, you do not have that opening to do anything differently.

  6. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Miss T.

    I was the dumpee and I admit that I didn’t take the breakup well and more damage was done to the relationship as a result of how I handled things. Is it still okay to initiate contact?

    1. It depends on why you are initiating it and what you expect to get out of it.

      Are you initiating contact just to re-open the lines of communication, or are you doing it to get him to respond so you can ask him if he wants to give the relationship another chance?

      There is a high probability that he will not respond, and you have to be okay with that, otherwise you will feel worse if you don’t get the response you are looking for.

      And if you rush to the “let’s get back together ” conversation, he most likely will say “no”. You can’t appear from no where and expect him to rush into your arms. You have to progressively build things up to it.

  7. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Arev

    I was the dumpee and I admit that I didn’t take the breakup well and more damage was done to the relationship as a result of how I handled things. Is it still okay to initiate contact?

  8. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Jay

    Thanks for putting up these valuable advice. I have a long history of cutting off all my exes. Things began to completely change for me when I stopped associating “breaking up” with negative experiences and outcomes. This is the first ex that I’m trying to get back, and I’m perfectly okay with risking my heart because I love her so much, but also because I think this experience is good for my personal growth.

  9. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Josephine

    Thank you so much for this website. My girlfriend of 1 year broke up with me a few days ago, and while our relationship was far far from perfect, I still love her very much. A lot of my friends and family tell me I should do no contact, and I don’t want to at all. Your articles have shown me that there are other, better ways to deal with a break up, and just maybe down the line.. get back together again.
    Thanks a lot Yangki 🙂

  10. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Confusedheart

    I found your site this evening and now Im feeling conflicted. I have implementing NC for 3 weeks and feel it’s helping me control my emotions. But I also know that my ex isnt the type to chase or make first contact so it is me who has to make the move. When do you think is the right time for me to contact him, after 6 weeks or 8?

    1. You asking the wrong person. The best person to help you will be someone who encourages the use of NC.

      My conviction is that it’s always better to engage/communicate/talk than not to. I created this blog specifically for those that are looking for an alternative to No Contact.

  11. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Nerak

    We have been separated for 6 wks. We were together for 3 yrs. I pleaded and begged and after that I initiated NC. In wk 5 of NC but I have to admit I cheated and used a friend’s account to check her facebook. She has made status updates on her facebook which I think are to try and make me jealous. My question is, how long does it take a dumper to contact a dumpee?

    1. It depends… a day, a week, a month, a year… some dumpers never contact the dumpee at all.

      Just so you know, not everything your ex does after a break-up is about you. Sometimes they are just moving on with their lives… meanwhile you are sneaking around checking their facebook updates.

      For your sake, I hope that the status updates are indeed meant for you.

  12. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Seth

    Yangki, my ex and I broke 5 weeks ago. We have not spoken or had any form of contact since the split. I am thinking of sending her a letter telling her what’s on my mind. I suspect she will not respond or will respond negatively, but it’s worth a try, right?

    1. A letter immediately after a break-up only helps you the writer and not your ex — or the relationship. If you want to send one with no expectations for a response and no request for another chance, then do it for you. It’s not something I’d advice if you want to get back together.

      Most people immediately after a break-up do not want to hear how much you love them or miss them, even when the reason for the break-up was because they didn’t feel loved. Too much and all of a sudden outpouring of emotion is overwhelming at best, and suspicious at worst.

      From experience, a simple “hi, how are you?” gets you a long way than an emotional letter. If and when communication is re-established, you can then send her the letter.

  13. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Chris toner

    Hi yangki
    I am the dumped after the break up i did all th usual mistakes begging pleading etc it hurt both of us..we agreed on no contact it was more my ex idea as she said she still had feelings for me but we could never go back and her feeling were all confused anyway we have been in no contact for about 3 weeks and iv got an urge to explain i know my mistakes and faults that led to break up and apoligise for my behaviour afterwards. This is not necciserly to get back together of course i would like to but if it doesnt i could live with it just want to know if a text is a good idea thanks

    1. Love Doctor, Yangki AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      Have you tried positing your question on No Contact forums/sites? You’ll get better advice/help on what’s allowed or not allowed in no contact.

      This site is for people NOT doing NC, don’t want to do NC and are repulsed by the very idea of NC. Here we do grown-up stuff like… COMMUNICATE… 😉

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