Sometimes you never see it coming. Other times, you know deep inside that it was going to happen.
As sucky as it sounds, everyone goes through heartbreak at one point. But at the end of it all, it ends up becoming a learning experience that we take with us as we navigate through the complex world of relationships. Whether you’re going through this tough time (virtual hug!), or you’ve already experienced this, here are the seven stages of breaking up.
7 Stages Of Breaking Up
7. That “sinking feeling”
For others, it’s after a huge argument that they begin to feel this. Even after the fight has been resolved and you’ve kissed and made up, there’s suddenly that heavy feeling on your chest. You try to shake it off– maybe it’s just stress– but for some reason, it’s just always there. And until it happens, you never know what hit you.
6. The confrontation
This is the “breakup” that most people refer to, but anyone who’s loved and lost knows that the real breakup goes longer than that. Words have been exchanged, tears have been shed, and pain has been inflicted. The hurt— so much hurt— is almost unbearable, you feel like your chest is almost about to explode. And then, just like that, it’s over. The cord that once bound both of you is now gone, leaving you cold, vulnerable, and alone.
5. The denial
After you’ve decided to end it for real, you enter the initial phase of denial. Once you’ve packed your bags and said your goodbyes, you don’t feel anything— in fact, the only thing you feel is numb. Maybe ending things really was for the better. When your friends find out that you broke up, the first thing you tell them is, “I’m okay”. Your friends start referring to them as your “ex”, and it feels a little weird. Sure it was a little hard seeing them walk out the door, with everything they used to own out of its place— their spare toothbrush in your bathroom, the pictures taped on the mirror, and all those other little trinkets— but you think you can survive. For a minute, you think, “Is breaking up really this easy?” But at this point, you know nothing.
4. The anger
And then it hits you. Every little thing they—your now “ex”— did. From their annoying habits to their actions that you thought led to the downfall of your relationship, they all drive you crazy. She was too maarte anyway. He was so controlling! Just thinking about what they did to you drives you up the wall, you want to pull your hair out. If they just did everything right, then you would have still been together!
Especially when they did something horribly wrong that was the breaking point of your relationship, like cheat on you, it’s hard not to focus on that. You are so angry, FURIOUS at them you just want to erase them out of existence. How do you make your brain literally forget a person?
3. The manic-depressive state
But then you realize that you miss them— you hate them, but you miss what you used to be. Nights get colder, alone times get lonelier, and just about every single thing reminds you of them: from photographs, to the chair in your living room, even an old stain on a shirt that you almost forgot existed. This push-and-pull, love-hate state is enough to drive you up the wall. Being alone torments you, but the reality of the pain agonizes even more. Some mornings are just too brutal because you can’t find it in yourself to get out of bed. You feel like it’s going to be this way forever, but the good thing about time is that it doesn’t stand still.
2. The “I’m-trying-to-be-productive-as-possible-but-I’m-still-hurting-on-the-inside” phase
Then one day, you find yourself sitting up on your bed at the break of daylight, the first time in a long time. You have enough energy to actually put on something decent, have a good meal, and go about your day. You can actually get some work done! Sure, there are those quiet moments, glimpses of memories where you feel sad, but at least it’s not enough to keep you from being productive. You finally show yourself to friends, and you can actually laugh at their jokes.
For the first time in a long time, you’re better. Not good, not great, but better.
1. The new beginnings
You can’t pinpoint exactly when it happened, but the weight on your chest just started feeling lighter as the weeks passed by. More than just being productive on a basic level, you start taking even more tasks and you feel better about yourself. You also manage to buy yourself something nice for once, and make yourself feel better, doing things just for you.
And just as you’re going through your day as usual, you bump into someone by accident. Smiles are exchanged, and next thing you know, this stranger is asking you out for coffee. You don’t know why, but it feels like it’s new.
Have you gone through this? What do you think?