Dumped, Actually by Nick Spalding

Rating: 5 out of 5.

When Ollie Sweet is very publicly dumped by ‘The One’, his seemingly perfect world dissolves into misery, self-pity, and a bizarre rooftop meeting with a suicidal man in flip-flops. While most would seek out the support of loved ones at such a torrid time, natural-born journalist Ollie asks the subscribers of his website: how did they get over their failed relationships?

We’re all prey to the vagaries of our quest to find the right person to love. Every single one of us. But sometimes I think we all need reminding of that – instead of believing that we’re the only ones in the deep, dark hole.

When Ollie follows some of their more extreme advice, chaos inevitably ensues, including accidentally exposing himself to some unsuspecting wildlife, jumping out of a perfectly serviceable aeroplane, and suffering from an extremely painful bottom, courtesy of a maniacal Scotsman.

Of course, all of this goes down a storm with his online following, and Ollie soon finds himself the centre of everyone’s attention ― whether he likes it or not!

With his eclectic collection of supporters to guide him, can Ollie mend his broken heart, heal his broken bottom, and learn to find happiness again?

I am absolutely positive she will say yes. We’ve been together long enough that I know how she feels about me. After all this time, I know Samantha very well, and I’m sure that she’s as ready to take this next step in our relationship as I am. Our love for one another is very strong. She is most definitely ‘the one’. I have no doubt about it whatsoever.

I had to laugh out loud as this clutz (sensible and very much in love), decides to propose to his long term girlfriend at an amusement park, just after going on a ride which does 180 degree spins – which to all who have gone to Alton Towers will know to be gut busting!

I’m now no longer white like the Joker; I have gone the green of the Incredible Hulk, jumping effortlessly from one comic book brand to another in my sheer terror.

The proposal turns (even more) badly as the string quartet hired to sing for the new couple had food poisoning and had been replaced by a band of Germans in Lederhosen.

‘Samantha, I love you,’ I say, voice trembling. ‘And I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you . . . Will you marry me?’

No, Ollie,’ Samantha repeats, shaking her head, and backing away from me. ‘I don’t want to marry you.’

‘I’m leaving now, Ollie,’ she tells me. ‘I’m really sorry, but I think it’s best we don’t see each other again.’ The crowd then parts to allow Samantha to disappear into it . . . and to disappear from my life.

I loved how the book takes the time to look at the men’s perspective of breakups. From the sad and mopey times to the looking for advice in all the wrong places. Where I think our hero went wrong was cutting out his friends circle – making Samantha, his partner, the only friend he would need or want. Now that he’s gone and his friends are otherwise occupied with their lives, he has nothing to do but wallow in self-pity.

I don’t really have any other friends I can turn to. Samantha had become the central pillar of my social life and, now she’s gone, I feel all at sea, with no islands to swim to.

He decides that he will humour his dark thoughts and go to a local famous suicide spot – just to see how it feels to dangle over the side – just to be pulled back by a man who was there to do it for real. They exchange stories and as life has it, there’s always a better sob story out there than the one you’re currently living. The poor man was cheated on, deserted by his wife, fired from his job, burgled and his dog jumped off his balcony.

They manage to prop each other up and Ollie feels a bit better. Misery likes company but company often relieves the dark thoughts. Feeling better, he returns to work and shares his story at the insistence of his boss.

Everyone has been dumped at one time or another. Reading about your heartache could help other people with theirs!

The idea sticks and so Dumped actually article appears in publication, explaining all the breakups and all the heartache in a humorous but still real / raw way. The support is astounding and soon people come in to share their own breakups and how they managed to the next level without a lot of issues.

  • A make-over is recommended. Positive body image means positive vibes
  • Doing things in nature. With like-minded people in like-minded clothes
  • “the best way of getting over somebody is to get under somebody else”
  • Confront the ex and find the reason for the split so that you can get closure
  • Throw yourself into a lot of work and get the respect of your bosses / peers
  • Mindfulness

The fun begins and Ollie finds himself hilariously waxed:

It’s only when I pop to the loo that I am reminded of the results of my waxing. I look like a plucked chicken down there. It’s a good job I’m not going to be having sex any time soon. I rather resemble a twelve-year-old boy in the sausage department, right now. This is not a sexy look for anyone who wishes to remain on the right side of the law.

The second attempt at finding himself in the nature does not go as planned either – he is caught masturbating by a deer (I am wondering who looks more shocked in the headlights!)

Has it just popped its head in right at this moment? Or has it been staring at me with those disapproving eyes the entire time I’ve been flogging my winky for all I’m worth?

The third item on Olly’s list is to go out and meet people. So he does what any normal person would do – invites his hot boss out. Or more likely she takes him like a pet to a very exclusive club where he drinks Peroni after Peroni. Until – he gets noticed by a 10.

Vanity is tall, willowy, raven-haired and ever so exclusive. She’s also way, waaaaaaaaaay out of my league. The odds of me pulling her are about as high as the bar stool I’m sat on becoming self-aware and running for prime minister.

A funny discussion ensues much like the one between Tommy Lee and his penis.

I’m starting to feel like an avocado being inspected before purchase.

She takes him home and things get heated up real quick until she starts making some odd demands. Some silky boxers, a cardboard face mask that looks like “a Latin-looking Ryan Reynolds – if such a thing were possible. Deadpoolio.”

The sex scene degenerates into a badly written and super funny Mario Fanfiction Porn. Um . . . You like-a da hat I’m a wearing-a?’ At this point I was chuckling loudly as I read along. “Ooh yes-a. That-a feels-a so good-a. Ride-a me hard-a. You have-a da lovely pussy-a

The outcome was pretty bad and ended up in a discussion about exes – a bit of a purge out of the system so to say. His boss is equaly impressed on how he handled the follow-up news article story:

“I only think she turns up to yoga because it fits the lifestyle she thinks she needs to have. Everyone has to be gorgeous and perfect all of the time. It doesn’t leave much room for being a flawed, interesting human being. It was a pleasure to see that side of her, and lovely that you were so nice to her”

The last half of the book focuses inwards a little with the confrontation with Samantha bringing to light that she felt suffocated in the 3-month relationship and felt that Ollie was too needy. Desperate for love and affection. This comes as a shock to Ollie as he starts now to see a pattern in all of his relationships. He grows like ivy on the pillar that is the other person. It’s not healthy.

So to heal, he takes on a course of meditation and mindfulness and even a stint in a sensory deprivation chamber where he talks with an elephant. So this elephant, or self-voice, tells Olly what we’ve been suspecting. He’s a people pleaser and desperate enough to seek attention and love from millions of readers through his exploits (well, every blogger knows that)

Everyone wants a quick fix to the problems in their life, but there’s just no such thing when you’re mending a broken heart. It takes time, patience and the love of another person to truly get you back to where you want to be.


I absolutely loved his parent’s vow renewals:

‘Without you I would be an ocean without land, a voice without a soul, a plant without soil.

Leonard . . . I cannot imagine a life without you. These forty years have been everything I hoped they’d be when I first said my vows at our wedding. You are kind. You are gracious. You are constant.’ ‘You are my rock. My guiding star. My life is only filled with light because you shine next to me.’ Jesus. I’m starting to fill up now. ‘I have been by your side for forty years, and I will be there for all the years to come, and beyond. I love you, my Leonard. I love you with all of my heart

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