For the long list of ways a person can be dumped, unfortunately most often, no actual breakup happens at all. Ending a relationship with unreturned phone calls or unanswered texts is sadly the norm.
Audrey Melnik, CEO of WotWentWrong.com, had had enough of that. Fed up with the anguish she and her friends experienced when they were kicked to the curb with no explanation, she was determined to find a productive and socially acceptable method of getting feedback from those who had ended things. The result is a website that helps the dumped compose what Melnik describes as a "nonchalant, not clingy" email that politely asks the one who did the dumping for full disclosure.
"The tone that I wanted to set pretty much throughout all of it is: 'I'm not trying to get back together with you; I just want to know so I can not make that mistake in the future and improve the next time,'" Melnik explains.
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Users can select from a number of tones -- from flippant to flattering, philosophical to sincere -- from which to compose their email to the ex-mate from whom they are seeking an answer. The site provides text like, "Going out with you was fun for me, and I believed for a while that it was also fun for you. Since I haven't heard from you for a while, I'm assuming things have changed. It would really be great if you could give me some feedback on what went wrong."
Customize the message however you see fit, and it gets sent off to object of your unrequited affection. Melnick so far has been pleased with the results. Not only has the site helped many daters learn more about their own annoying dating habits, but the anonymously aggregated data that results from using the site has provided some fascinating statistics that will help anyone learn more about modern dating behavior (see sidebar).
"I think one of the key things that we're discovering is that there are two different facets: either there are certain things that you can learn that you are doing that you can change or there are certain things about you or your lifestyle that aren't things you can change, so it just means you should stop worrying about it," Melnick says. "Sometimes it's just about finding out that it's not about you, and that can make you feel better."
What went wrong
Top reasons for dumping:
1. “Not ready for a relationship”
2. “Lack of punctuality”
3. “You’re married”/ “Bad hygiene” (tied)
Top methods for dumping:
1. “No phone call”
2. “Didn’t return my call”
3 “Text message/e-mail breakup”
— Data was collected from 500 anonymous, random users on Wotwentwrong.com