Breakups are always difficult, but, unfortunately, sometimes they are our only option.
There are some excruciating stages of a breakup we all have to go through to deal with it healthily, heal, and move on after the end of a relationship.
Breakups always leave some heartbreaks behind. They can put us in a real emotional tailspin. One person will always end up hurt, and that’s, unfortunately, inevitable.
No matter how much you overthink it or try to come up with the best way to end the relationship, one person will always be left with a broken heart in the end.
In the end, there might also be some regrets. One partner will always have a hard time letting go and coming to terms with the breakup.
Those are simply facts and, unfortunately, you can’t do much to change it. No matter how ugly and hurtful it is, sometimes ending a relationship is the best option we have.
However, don’t take this the wrong way if you’re dealing with a breakup right now. The good news is that we all heal in the end and gather the strength to move on.
It’ll take time, but you’ll recover, and you’ll be able to leave it all in the past.
After some time, you’ll understand that your breakup was for the best and that God removed that person from your life only because He has planned someone else, someone better for you.
It’ll take some time, but one day you’ll be ready for a new relationship. After you go through all these stages of a breakup and the healing process, you’ll be ready to meet the right one, the person who is meant for you.
14 inevitable stages of a breakup
We all have different opinions on how many stages of a breakup there are, but all relationship experts agree that some stages are simply unavoidable.
Trust me. There are no stages of a breakup for men only or women only. We all go through the same things after the end of our relationships.
Also, there is no such thing as stages of a breakup for a dumper or dumpee because, once again, we all have to go through these phases to be ready to finally move on.
Some are very painful, but all of these stages are inevitable if we want to move on with our lives.
Maybe we cope with them differently, but the bottom line is that these breakup stages are the same for every one of us.
Below are some inevitable phases of a breakup and some relationship advice with them to help you cope with it easier.
Break up or make up?
After you break up with your partner, especially if this is your first time dealing with a breakup, you’ll be overwhelmed with different feelings, and it’ll make you so confused.
So, the first stage is a constant reconsideration of your decision to break up. You’ll rethink your decision about breaking up all the time.
You won’t know for sure what the best decision is, and you’ll be thinking about it over and over again, looking for the right answer.
Deep down, you know that ending your relationship would be for the best, but still, you aren’t quite ready to let it go, and you still think that you can save your relationship and make it work once again.
However, the truth is that you’re only lying to yourself and trying to delay the inevitable…You’re just trying to put off your breakup even though you know it will have to be done sooner or later.
The sad truth is that you are only hurting both you and your partner. You won’t soothe the pain by delaying it; you’ll only make things even worse, and it’ll become even harder to deal with it.
The final decision
Right now, you may be delaying it or trying to stop thinking about the breakup. But, the truth is that you know that you’ll have to do it sooner or later.
You’ll have to make the final decision, even though that decision might hurt the person you once loved.
If you have stopped loving your partner, you have every right to break up with them, which would probably be the best decision. You must understand that thinking about your feelings isn’t selfish.
Sometimes we have to let go of people in our lives to make space for new and better ones, for others who’ll know how to love us the right way.
Sooner or later, you’ll have to make a decision. That decision will hurt someone, and that’s a fact. But staying in a relationship with someone you don’t love anymore is unhealthy and unfair.
As much as you must think about other people and their feelings, you also must take care of your feelings.
If you think that a breakup is the best option for you, do it. If you start regretting it, there’s also a way back, and you should fight to win your loved one back.
Sometimes it’s difficult to accept and come to terms with breaking up, especially for the dumpee. No matter how much you try, you just can’t accept the fact that someone you love has broken up with you.
That’s when this next stage starts – the denial phase. After not being able to come to terms with the breakup, you’ll begin denying it and behaving like you’re still in a relationship.
You just won’t be able to accept the fact that your relationship has ended.
Maybe you don’t even love your partner like you used to, but you just got used to them, which will be the leading cause of your difficulty letting go of your relationship.
Being dumped by someone we love is always difficult; it affects our self-esteem and mental health.
Denying the facts is probably one of our coping mechanisms. We still aren’t able to confront the truth, and it’s so much easier for us to ignore the fact that our relationship has simply ended.
Unfortunately, that makes things even more complicated and difficult for us. You have to remember that the sooner you accept the breakup, the sooner you’ll be ready to heal and move on.
You’ll feel overwhelmed by everything that is happening in your life. You’ll constantly feel like you aren’t ready to accept the facts and deal with them.
You’ll feel a real emotional roller-coaster. The breakup will emotionally drain you. The fact that someone you love won’t be in your life anymore is extremely difficult and painful.
There is a whole range of different emotions you’ll feel every day. Depression, anxiety, fear, sadness, confusion, anger…These are only a few emotions you’ll continuously be shifting between.
Do you want to know how to deal with all these overwhelming emotions? There is only one answer: Give it time.
You need to take time to think about everything. You need to process everything that happened. Don’t hurry your healing process.
The only right and healthy way to deal with such a tremendous amount of emotions is to take time, understand your emotions, and process them slowly. Patience must be your biggest ally in this fight.
Bottling up your emotions…
Suppressing our emotions is probably one of our biggest defense mechanisms. We don’t want to show others that we’re suffering, and we think that bottling up our emotions is perhaps the best for everyone.
You don’t want to talk about your ex-partner or your ex-relationship at all. You behave like everything is fine, you hang out with friends, you go out, it simply seems like you’re enjoying life as if nothing has happened.
But you’re the only one who knows how you are feeling. Putting on that facade of fake smiles won’t help you.
Not allowing your ex-partner to see how hurt you are won’t help you. All that ‘life goes on’ and similar BS won’t help you.
Suppressing your emotions definitely won’t help you. One day, all those accumulated emotions inside you will blow up right in your face. Then, the real problems will arise.
Talk with yourself first. BE honest with yourself and admit that you’re hurt. Admit that you’re suffering. You broke up with someone you love or loved, and it’s perfectly normal that you feel sad.
You don’t have to pretend like everything is fine because it’s not.
You must talk with someone because you shouldn’t keep it all inside. It’s not healthy. It’ll affect your mental health and leave some deep marks that you won’t be able to get rid of for a long time.
…then finally, letting it all go
After you realize how harmful it is to keep suppressing your emotions, you’ll understand that you have to deal with them healthily.
What’s the best way to deal with such overwhelming emotions? Well, that’s different for each of us, but your first step should definitely be talking with someone else about how you truly feel.
It’s quite simple. Relax first. Now, breathe in all of your emotions, the good and the bad, and then breathe out and let everything bothering you out.
Don’t be ashamed to talk about your feelings. Choose a person you trust the most and talk with them.
You’ll feel much better, and they may also give you some practical advice on how to deal with your feelings after your breakup.
Sorting out your thoughts and emotions
You probably feel overwhelmed by all those emotions you’ve been feeling since your break up. It’s perfectly okay, and I get you.
I was once you. I was so sad about losing someone I loved. I was so anxious because of everything that was happening. I was so afraid about everything that was coming, new relationships, and new partners.
Sometimes, I thought about how it was the best option for both of us, but also sometimes, I thought about how my ex-partner had never truly loved me and how this was a perfect opportunity for him to get rid of me.
I had to organize my thoughts. I had to sort out my feelings and try to understand them for once. It all took some time, but after it, I finally moved on with my life.
Finally, the acceptance stage
This is when you’ve finally accepted your breakup and the fact you can do nothing about it. A new life is starting for you, and you couldn’t be happier for it.
You think that it’s time to leave your relationship in the past because that’s indeed where it belongs.
You gave your all to save your relationship, and it didn’t work. However, you shouldn’t look at it as your failure.
Sometimes we can’t go against our destiny, and yours was to break up with your partner. Sometimes, no matter how much we try and we want it, we just can’t save some things.
I’m sorry I’ll have to disappoint you a little bit. You may think that it’ll all end with this acceptance stage, but no.
This phase can deceive you a lot. You may feel that you’ve accepted your breakup, but true acceptance comes later, and you’ll find it below.
The no contact rule
You’ve probably thought that acceptance is the last stage. Well, it’s not. There are five more stages, and the no contact rule is one of those.
You have probably contacted your ex after your breakup because you wanted some answers, or you tried to get back together with them.
Well, now you understand that the best thing would be to cut all contact for some time or maybe forever if the other side has hurt you badly or broken up with you in an awful way.
The no contact rule is the best way to get over a breakup. As long as you’re in contact with your ex, you can never move on completely.
You must be strong, tell them that you need some time alone, and you don’t want to be in touch with them for a while.
You’ve prioritized your ex for too long; now it’s time to start prioritizing yourself again.
This time should help you understand that you can live without your ex and that it would probably be a bad idea to stay in touch and stay friends with them after the breakup.
Post-breakup triggers and reminders
Even after some time and even after you think that you’ve accepted the breakup, you’ll still be reminded of some happy moments from your past relationship.
You and your partner have probably gone through so much, and that’s one of the reasons why you had so much trouble accepting your breakup.
You probably shared many difficult moments, but there were also some beautiful ones that you’ll always remember.
However, after some time and especially when you start a new relationship with someone else, those memories will begin fading away.
The new memories you’ll create with your new partner will replace old ones, and you’ll feel completely free from your past relationship.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should immediately run into the next relationship. That would be your biggest mistake. Just give it time because time cures everything.
The grieving process
A famous psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, wrote a book “On Death and Dying” and was the first one to present and discuss the grieving process. In her book, she put forward the famous “Kübler-Ross model.”
It’s a famous model of the grieving process describing five stages of grief. Those stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
I totally agree with this famous grief model of 5 stages of a breakup, and we’ll talk about them below, but I did add a few more grieving stages that I thought are important as well.
This grieving stage is the same as the denial stage of a breakup. It’s a very common defense for all of us. However, it’s an unhealthy way to deal with your emotions too.
You may think that it’s much easier to deny that you’re feeling sad or betrayed or that you failed, but trust me, it’s much healthier to accept the truth.
You have every right to feel hurt, betrayed, depressed, or angry. You’ve just broken up with the person you still have some feelings for; it’s perfectly normal that you have these emotions.
Denying your feelings won’t make them disappear. You’ll have to confront them sooner or later. And the sooner you do, the sooner you’ll be able to let go of them and move on.
Feeling extremely confused
After the denial phase, you’ll be very confused. You’ll want some answers, and you’ll start asking your partner for them.
You’ll want to know what made them break up with you. You’ll want to know when they stop loving you.
There will be many things bothering you, and you’ll want to know the answers to all your questions when it comes to the end of your relationship.
Holding out the hope of getting back together
If you aren’t the one who wanted to break up, you’ll probably be full of hope that things will get better and that you’ll reconcile.
However, you’ll only disappoint yourself and hurt your heart even more than your ex did with their decision to break up.
Don’t believe in false hope. Come to terms with the fact that they wanted to break up with you and that it’s probably because they don’t love you; there is no better explanation for it.
Many people become depressed after they break up with someone who meant so much to them.
I know it’s difficult. I know you’re feeling a range of negative emotions right now. I know you’re thinking about how you’ll never meet a person like them ever again.
But, trust me, you will. You’ll meet someone even better. You’ll meet your soulmate, the right person whose life mission will be to make you happy.
As Dr. Kimberly Riley, LMFT, says, “Your anger may even be showing you the love that you had for the person that you never expressed; it is never too late to share those feelings, even when it feels like it is.”
It’s true, indeed. Your breakup hurts because you still love your partner. You feel angry because you still have some feelings for them, and you can’t quite come to terms with breaking up with them.
Otherwise, if you didn’t have any romantic feelings for them, you wouldn’t feel anger.
Accepting the truth
This is the last stage of the grieving process after a breakup. When you sort out your feelings, you start accepting reality.
You come to terms with the fact that your relationship has ended. You finally feel ready to let go of the way things used to be; you’ve let go of the memories and accept the separation.
This is when your healing process starts. You become aware that the decision to break up was for the best and start adjusting to your new life.
The final acceptance stage!
Yes, you’ve understood me; there are two acceptance stages. This is the final one. This is the one when you finally accept that your relationship has ended and that you can do nothing to fix or save it anymore.
You accept that you have come to a dead-end. This is the stage when you’re finally ready to extend your hand to your ex-partner and wish them all the best for the future.
This is when the no contact rule ends. You have the strength to call them and talk with them face to face.
If that’s the closure you want and you think you need to end it all once and for all, you should call your ex and ask them to talk.
You should emphasize that you don’t want to talk about getting back together, so you don’t give them false hope and avoid misunderstandings.
Once you go through all the stages of grief, your healing process will finally start. You’ll see how everything will become so much easier for you.
You won’t obsess over your ex or your breakup anymore. You’ll shift your focus to yourself and pay more attention to your self-care.
You’ll want to take a complete social media detox. All that stalking of your ex on social media will stop because you’ll have finally come to terms with the breakup, and you’ll move on as soon as possible.
You’ll start working on improving your self-esteem because your breakup has left some negative consequences on it.
You have to reconnect with yourself. You’ll need to take some time for yourself. Treat yourself with a weekend wellness gateway, for example.
Do something you know for sure will relax you and make you forget about the breakup even for a few moments. Remember, you’re trying to relax, so phones are off-limits.
To heal, you have to pamper yourself. Lift your mood by indulging for a while. You have every right to spoil yourself.
Yes, finally, we have come to this phase. It’s my favorite. This is when you have understood that there is a whole new life waiting for you, and you just have to be ready to embrace it.
Your breakup only means that your ex-partner wasn’t your soulmate. Your soulmate is still out there somewhere, and now you’re ready to meet them.
You won’t have to go through these painful phases with that person because there won’t be any breaking up. They’re meant to find you, make you fall in love with them, and keep loving you “until death do us part.”
Look in the mirror. Say to the person you see that you believe in them wholeheartedly. Tell them you know they’re brave and strong enough to endure this all.
Maybe you didn’t get the closure you wanted, perhaps there are still some issues left unresolved, and I know those things still hurt. But still, you have to leave it all behind, look to your future, and finally move on.
Sometimes it’s so hard to deal with a breakup. No matter what you do, you just can’t come to terms with your breakup, nor can you accept it.
It might seem like the end of the world to you right now, but trust me, and this comes from a person who has gone through all of these stages of a breakup several times, it’ll get better in the end.
This is something I promise you.
You’ll heal sooner than you think, and you’ll leave it all in the past. You know why? Because I know you’re much stronger than you think you are.
You are a person who was left with a broken heart but didn’t allow it to break you completely. You didn’t allow it to break your soul or your spirit.
You’re a fighter, and you’ll continue to fight this, and very soon, you’ll win your fight. After some time, you’ll be ready to close this chapter of your life and open a new, way better one.
I know you’re having a hard time accepting your relationship has ended and letting go of it, but trust me, one day, you probably won’t even remember this.
You just have to keep believing in true love and have faith that God has someone special for you, that your soulmate is somewhere out there and that they’re coming your way.
Once you meet them, you’ll understand that you had to go through all this pain to find them, and you’ll admit that it was all worth it.
I believe in you. Don’t worry too much; good days are coming. The sun will shine brighter than ever.
I’m sending you a big virtual hug and wishing you get through these stages of a breakup as smoothly as possible and move on as fast as possible.