Learn what the stages of a breakup are, so you know what to expect after your relationship ends. The breakup stages aren’t linear, which means they won’t progress in a straight line. Rather, you’ll find yourself going back and forth, up and down, during these breakup stages.
The five stages of a breakup are circular, just like the stages of grief. They aren’t predictable, but most people find themselves going through all stages as the breakup progresses.
The most important thing to remember is that your breakup doesn’t mean you’ve lost your chance to be happy. On the contrary: this breakup may be the beginning of a new, happy, exciting stage of your life! I know it’s hard to see it now…but the breakup could be the best thing that ever happened to you.
“Sometimes we must undergo hardships, breakups, and narcissistic wounds, which shatter the flattering image that we had of ourselves, in order to discover two truths: that we are not who we thought we were; and that the loss of a cherished pleasure is not necessarily the loss of true happiness and well-being.” – Jean-Yves Leloup.
If you’re not interested in the breakup stages, read How to Move On After Breaking Up With Someone You Love. Sometimes it’s better to focus on moving forward, and not stay in the moment.
5 Breakup Stages
When you break up with someone you love, you’ll probably go through five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Denial. You’ll try to get your ex back because you can’t accept that your relationship is over. When you love someone deeply, taking that person out of your life is like tearing away a part of yourself. The pain can be very intense, but you can move on. If you’re in the denial stage of a breakup, you’ll keep wondering if you should get back together. Read Before You Try to Get Your Ex Back – 16 Questions to Ask.
Anger. You’re angry at your ex, at yourself, and even at innocent bystanders. You’re angry at everyone and everything that put wedges or difficulties in your relationship. You’re angry that you broke up, and you’re angry that you stayed together too long. It’s important to control your emotions when you’re at this stage of the breakup, or you may do something you regret.
Anger isn’t the only emotion you’ll feel after the breakup. Read 11 Emotions You’ll Feel After Breaking Up to learn what else to expect.
Bargaining. You make a deal with God: bring your ex back, and you’ll never do anything bad again. You may plead and pray to get back together. You may bargain your money, your soul, everything you own just to put the relationship back together. Bargaining is one of the most depressing stages of a breakup, because you feel helpless and desperate.
Depression. When nothing else worked – not the denial, anger, or bargaining – then you fall into depression. You’re depressed that you broke up, and scared you’ll never fall in love again. This breakup stage can last a long time if you’re not careful! And, you may fall into unhealthy ways of living, such as overeating, drinking too much, or isolating yourself from people you care about. Depression is a common stage of a breakup.
Acceptance. Finally! You will eventually accept the breakup, and will be able to look back at the stages of a breakup with relief and clarity. You may even feel gratitude that the breakup happened, because you can see that the relationship wasn’t good for you. This is the best stage of the breakup, because it brings freedom, light, and possibility.
What do you think of these stages of a breakup? I believe the stages you go through depend on the reason your relationship broke up. If your husband left you for another woman, for example, the stages of your breakup would be different than if you left your relationship because you didn’t want to be in it anymore.
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For more breakup tips, read 10 Best Ways to Cope With a Breakup – Pamper Yourself!