Dumped – Stories of Women Unfriending Women, edited by Nina Gaby. Published March 2015 by She Writes Press.
Read: March 2015
Source: Publisher – this does not affect my opinion of the book.
Get It Now: Wordery
Goodreads Synopsis: Being dumped by a woman-friend is excruciating: you expect romantic relationships to break up eventually but you don’t expect it from your friendships. And when it happens, you feel as though there should be an Adele song for you but there isn’t. Dumped: Women Unfriending Women fills that void, exploring the universal experience of being discarded by those from whom you expected more. The essays in Dumped aren’t stories of friendship dying a mutually agreed upon death, or of falling out of touch and reconnecting years later to find you haven’t missed a beat. These are stories by established and emerging authors who, like you, may have found themselves erased, without context. These, like your own, are stories that stay with you, maybe for a lifetime.
I first spotted this book on Lipsyy Lost and Found and as soon as I read the blurb I checked it out on Goodreads. Such was my desire to read this book, that when I realised it hadn’t been published yet, I tracked down the contact details of the publisher and inquired about a review copy.
My immediate thought was that we’ve all experienced this unfriending? One moment your best friend is there, and then *poof* she’s disappeared in a cloud of smoke. Or maybe you’ve been the dumper, rather than the dumpee? Either way the title of this book resonated with me BIG TIME, as did the fact that friendship break-down often isn’t given the attention it deserves.
Dumped: Stories of Women Unfriending Women takes an interesting look at the intricacies of female friendship – we share so much as females; we create and rely on our sisterhood to pull us through the rough times, and ensure we’re present for each other to celebrate the good times. Personally, some of my strongest bonds have been with female friends, and when those relationships end – especially when there is no sense of closure – it really can hurt just as much, if not more, than the breakdown of a romantic relationship.
This book felt similar to reading Chicken Soup for the Soul (anyone else familiar with those excellent books?). Some stories were more
entertaining relate-able than others, and some felt “better written” in the sense that the author better explained the relationship and its demise. A couple of things really struck me about this book:
- The empathy I could feel for so many of the authors having felt the exact emotions, or having been in such a similar scenario, when one of my friendships unexpectedly ended.
- That when a friendship ends in this way, the dumpee often wonders what they did wrong, or how they could have been a better friend, when usually that has nothing to do with it.
- The striking similarity in this self-blame between death of a friendship and the end of a romantic relationship.
One thing this book doesn’t do is offer an insight into why these relationships fail so spectacularly, nor do I think it’s supposed to. What it does do is show you, most definitely, that you are not alone in this scenario and that it is possible to heal when your trust is shattered and your heart broken by the end of a friendship.
One of the stories that really stuck with me was that of a 63 year-old woman recounting a story from her teenage years – the reason being that these “hurts” you experience throughout your lifetime stay with you. They mold you. They have the power to change you. And I think it’s hugely important to remember, that as with romantic relationships, the end of friendships can also affect your outlook, your mental health and your ability to generate new and positive friendships in the future, particularly if you’re left feeling jaded and neglected by a previous buddy.
I was put off female-friendships for a long time after being badly burned once or twice. I was one of those women who claimed to get on better with men than with women for all the reasons I now speak out against – that women are too emotional, too bitchy, too competitive etc. After watching Adichie’s TED Talk last year, reading Bad Feminist earlier this year, and immersing myself in the #HeForShe culture, it’s safe to say that even with stories of women dumping women, I no longer feel this way. In fact, this book focuses on the strength of women to overcome, and it might make you think twice before dumping your girlfriend, or blaming yourself unnecessarily the next time you get dumped.
Share your Dumped stories with me! Have you ever been unceremoniously dumped? Have you dumped a friend and want to share your thoughts on it? Are you a female who relates more to friendships with males or have you 180’d your thoughts like I have? Let’s chat!