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The Inevitable Stages Of Breakup (+ 5 Grieving Stages)

The Inevitable Stages Of Breakup (+ 5 Grieving Stages)

All the sadness, frustration, anger, and brokenness that a breakup leaves behind isn’t something that can be sealed with ease.

As much as you try, you just can’t go through a breakup and move on with your life in a jiff. That’s absolutely impossible, and once you accept it, you’ll be a step closer to recovering.

There are some excruciating stages of breakup that we all, unfortunately, have to go through and deal with in order to gather the strength to leave it all behind. Before all else, let’s first find out ?

The Ugly Truth Behind Breakups

Breakups always leave some heartbreaks behind. They can put us in a real emotional tailspin. Whether we like it or not, 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.

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, along with the healing process, you’ll be ready to meet the right one… the person who is truly meant for you.

9 Stages Of Breakup For Dumpee

The truth is that breakups are harder for the person who has been dumped. They experience a true emotional shock, and they go through different stages of breakup than the person who dumped them does.

If your partner has ended your relationship, below are some inevitable phases of a breakup, and some relationship advice to help you cope with it easier. Some are very painful, but all of these stages are inevitable if we want to move on with our lives.

1. The denial

Sometimes, it’s difficult to accept and come to terms with a breakup, 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 the first stage of the breakup hits you – 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 not being able to let 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.

2. Emotional rollercoaster

You’ll feel overwhelmed by this new reality that has hit you out of nowhere. You’ll constantly feel like you aren’t ready to accept the facts and deal with them.

You’ll feel a real emotional rollercoaster. The breakup will emotionally drain you. I get you… after all, the fact that someone you love won’t be in your life anymore is extremely difficult and painful to bear.

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.

Give it time… ‘Cause time heals, and time helps to forget.

You need to think about everything. You need to process everything that happened. You need to sort out your feelings and thoughts. So, please 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.

3. Depressive episodes

Many people become depressed after they break up with someone who meant so much to them. Most of us feel that we’ll never be able to forget them or to ever move on with our lives.

You feel helpless and hopeless because you had plans and dreams with that person, and now, all of them have been ruined. You miss your ex even though that’s the last thing you want right now, but you just do and you can do nothing about it.

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.

4. Holding on to hope

If you aren’t the one who initiated the breakup, 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.

5. The powerful no-contact stage

You’ve probably thought that acceptance is the final 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 is 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. Yes, you have every right to block your ex if you feel the need to do so (unless they already blocked you). 

The no-contact rule is, without a doubt, 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 that 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.

6. The acceptance stage

This is the next stage of the breakup process for the dumpee. And, by far, the most important one.

It’s when the person accepts that their relationship has ended, and that they can do absolutely nothing to fix or save it anymore.

You accept that you have come to a dead-end. You realize that the best thing to do is to extend your hand to your ex-partner and wish them all the best for the future.

This is when the no-contact phase 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 only emphasize that you don’t want to talk about getting back together in order to avoid some unnecessary misunderstandings.

7. Letting go of resentment and negative emotions

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.

After you let all those negative emotions out, you’ll feel relieved instantly. And, then you’ll realize that you need to let go of those negative feelings. Let go of all the anger, bitterness, and resentment.

Remember that you don’t get rid of all these harmful emotions because of the other side. You only do it because of yourself.

The fact is, you’ll never be able to feel truly happy if your heart is poisoned with hatred and resentment.

8. Prioritizing the healing process

Your healing process doesn’t start right after your relationship ends. As you see, you need to go through several stages before you actually start to mend your broken heart.

You can’t start with the recovery process if you still haven’t faced and accepted your current situation.

And, unfortunately, you can’t move on until you heal. You can’t start a new relationship or let someone new enter your heart if it is still broken.

Take care of yourself. Build a support system. Talk about your traumas, and find a way to deal with those triggers that constantly remind you of your pain.

Make healing your top priority. Your wounds are deep… too deep, and the only way to cure them is by allowing your healing to be as deep as they went.

9. Forward motion

Yes, finally, we have come to the final stage. It’s my favorite, and I’m sure it’ll be yours, too. A whole new life is 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 the next relationship because there won’t be any breaking up. You’ll find the person you’re meant to find, they’ll make you fall in love with them, and they will keep loving you until death does you part.

Look in the mirror. Say to the person you see that you believe in him / her wholeheartedly. Tell him / her that 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… I know those things still hurt, but still, you have to leave it all behind, look to your future, and finally move on.

On the flip side, if you’re the one who initiated the breakup, or if you simply want to understand how a dumper handles a breakup, take a peek into these stages of breakup for dumper and find out.

8 Stages Of Breakup For Guys

Even though most people (and by ‘most people’, I mean most women) think that guys simply go out, get drunk, and get over their breakup, that is actually very far from the truth.

Guys aren’t heartless… they also have emotions, and they can feel heartbroken after a breakup, too. They also suffer after their beloved girl dumps them, but they choose to deal with their sorrows in peace.

They don’t like to show their emotions because they think it might make them seem less manly. That’s why they go through a bit of different stages of breakup than women do. So, let’s see how guys deal with breakups for real.

1. The ‘delirium’ stage

This stage is actually very similar to the denial phase. Men don’t refuse to believe that they’ve been dumped, but they get very confused and they don’t know what they should believe in anymore.

That’s when they start asking for answers. Actually, they’ll demand them. They want to know what made their partner break up with them. They’ll want to know exactly when they stopped loving them.

There will be many things bothering a guy after he gets dumped, and he’ll most definitely want to know the answers to all of his questions when it comes to the end of their relationship.

2. Bottling it up

Suppressing emotions is probably one of the biggest defense mechanisms. And, guys tend to use this after a breakup because they think it’ll help them stop thinking about their ex  and move on.

They don’t want to show others that they’re suffering, and they think that bottling up their emotions is perhaps the best for everyone.

They won’t want to talk about their ex-partner or relationship at all. They will behave like everything is fine. Hanging out with their friends, going out, and leaving the impression as if they’re enjoying life as if nothing has happened at all is what most men do after a breakup.

But, they’ll know that deep down, they’re suffering. Only they will know how much it truly hurts them inside. But, guys, let me give you a bit of friendly advice…

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.

One day, all those accumulated emotions inside of you will blow up right in your face. Then, real problems will arise.

3. Reaching for different coping strategies

Besides suppressing their real emotions, guys also use other coping mechanisms to help them go through a breakup faster.

Unfortunately, they aren’t aware that all those things are only short-lived. The truth is, you can never move on from a breakup until you give yourself time to grieve and heal in peace.

They try jumping into a new relationship, and they think that this new love will erase traces of the past one. They think they can stop thinking about their ex with a new partner. Of course, things are never that easy in real life.

They also might try to drink their sorrows away. Drowning your sorrows in alcohol is also not an efficient way to handle a breakup because you should know that they’re hellacious swimmers.

The only right coping mechanism that men use to cope with the ending of their relationship is sharing their emotions with their support system. It really can make you feel relieved when you share your sorrows and fears with your loved ones.

4. Emotional regulation

After they realize how harmful it is to keep suppressing their emotions, they finally understand that they have to face them and deal with them in a healthy way.

Avoiding or suppressing emotions is beyond toxic and harmful for the emotional and mental health of a person.

So, what’s the best way to deal with overwhelming emotions? Talking… with yourself or with your loved one, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you need to let your emotions out and accept them as they are.

Also, try to relax. Breathe in all of your emotions, the good and the bad, and then breathe out, and let everything that is bothering you out.

Don’t be ashamed to talk about your feelings. Just because you’re a man doesn’t mean that you don’t have the right to feel hurt. Choose the person you trust the most and confide your feelings in them.

5. Anger and frustration

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 ex-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.

6. Reaching acceptance

This is when you’ve finally accepted your breakup and the fact that you can do nothing about it. A new life is starting for you, and you are finally able to embrace 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 or how much we want it, we just can’t save some things.

7. The grieving phase

You’ve faced the breakup, you’ve accepted your emotions… you’ve accepted the fact that you’re hurt and that your heart is broken.

Now, it’s time to mourn your breakup. And, this time, you do it in the right way… you don’t facade your emotions or try to be a man and suck it all up.

This time, you cry, you feel depressed, you even break some things in order to let out all your overwhelming feelings. You finally allow yourself to grieve and share it outside yourself.

8. Moving on

Of course, the final stage is letting go of everything and leaving the past things in the past.

You finally feel ready to open a new chapter in your life and turn to the future. You leave your heartbreak behind and open your healed heart to someone new… to a new love.

6 Stages Of Breakup For A Woman

Most people say that women deal with breakups a lot harder than men do. The one and only truth is that breakups hit both men and women the same. The only difference is that women don’t try to hide their pain, unlike men.

Also, women handle breakups differently, too. But again, the fact is that we all go through these same stages of a breakup listed below:

1. Rejecting the truth

This is the denial stage of a breakup, and it definitely makes moving forward a lot more difficult. Maybe it’s because your ex is behaving hot and cold, or maybe it’s because you don’t feel strong enough to accept the truth…

Well, the fact is that denying the truth is a very common defense mechanism for us all. However, it’s undeniably a very unhealthy and toxic way of dealing with our emotions.

You may think that it’s much easier to deny that you’re feeling sad or betrayed or that the person you truly love isn’t a part of your life anymore… Trust me, it’s much healthier to accept the truth and find a way to deal with all of its consequences as soon as possible.

2. Feeling intense emotions

The denial stage also happens because we’re afraid to face our emotions. We’re scared of showing our vulnerabilities to others because we think that doing this gives them the power to hurt or betray us even more.

You have every right to feel hurt, betrayed, depressed, or angry. You’ve just broken up with the person you dreamed to say ‘I do’ to one day… 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.

3. The indulgence of self-doubt

Breakups really do affect our emotional and mental well-being, but they harm our self-esteem above everything else.

We start having those self-worth doubts because we start thinking that the breakup was our fault. Maybe we aren’t pretty enough or maybe we didn’t try hard enough to keep our man… these thoughts soon start to occupy your mind. And, I’m not saying that you should allow them nor am I saying that they’re true…

However, it’s completely normal to go through this breakup stage, but you need to try to get over it as soon as possible. Give yourself the validation you desperately need right now.

4. Coming to terms with the truth

This is the most significant stage of the breakup process for every woman. When you accept, embrace, and sort out your feelings, you finally 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 let go of the memories and accept the separation.

This stage is of huge importance for you because this is when your healing process starts. You become aware that the decision to break up with your boyfriend was for the best, and you start adjusting to your new reality.

5. Focusing on the recovery

Once you finally accept the ending of your relationship and stop wanting your ex back, it’s a good sign that your healing process has started.

That’s when you’ll feel able to focus on yourself and pay more attention to your self-care.

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. Find a new hobby or anything that will take your mind off the breakup.

You could even use a full social media detox. All that stalking and thinking about texting your ex on social media needs to stop because that is stopping you from moving forward the most.

Do something you know for sure will relax you and make you forget about the breakup. Remember, you’re trying to relax, so phones and social media should be off limits.

To heal, you have to pamper yourself. Lift your mood by indulging yourself for a while.

6. Looking for closure

Do you still dream about your ex? Do you think that you can’t move on without proper closure? That’s perfectly okay, and you should get closure if you think it’ll help you heal completely.

Dating coach, Claire Byrne, says: “Our brain is fixated in believing that the only option for our peace and the mending of our heart is having closure with our ex.”

So, if this is the way you think your heart will be healed, you can get rid of all the reminders of your past relationship…

You can talk with your ex for one last time… you can do whatever you think will bring that closure to you, but don’t allow it to take you a few steps back and protract your healing process.

How Long Does A Breakup Phase Last?

Even though some relationship experts claim that the breakup phase lasts 3 to 4 months, the truth is that no one can give you a precise answer to this question because it depends on so many things.

Kristina Hallett, a clinical psychologist, explained it perfectly: “It depends on how long you were involved, how strongly you felt, how invested you were, and how important it was”.

The best (and, in my opinion, the only right) answer to this question is – as long as you need it to last. Give yourself time to go through all of these stages of a breakup and, most importantly, give your heart time and space to grieve properly.

Simply, some people go through it all very fast, and they feel ready to move on with their life, while, on the other hand, there are some who don’t feel fully recovered for months or even for years.

Don’t go back in the dating pool if you don’t feel completely ready for it. Stop focusing on time and some other unimportant things… you only need to focus on yourself and your healing. That’s how you’ll heal successfully and sooner than you think.

How Do You Grieve A Breakup?

One of the most important steps in breakup recovery is facing and accepting your feelings, even the darkest and most negative ones.

If only we could somehow skip the denial phase and jump into the acceptance stage right away. That would help us heal a lot easier and faster.

However, the important thing is that you will never be able to deal with your emotions if you don’t accept them completely. And, the truth is that the sooner you face them, the sooner you’ll be able to get through it all and move on.

Believe in the strength of your divine self!

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, much better one.

But, the only way you’ll get through it is by keeping faith in yourself. You’re a caterpillar right now and this is your metamorphosis that will help you turn into a beautiful, strong butterfly. You just need to keep believing in it.

The hope for a better tomorrow will lighten the burden of today.

I know you’re having a hard time accepting that your relationship has ended, and letting go of the person you still love, but trust me, one day, you’ll look at it as your greatest lesson… your life lesson.

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 finally understand that you had to go through all this pain to find them. You’ll actually feel thankful for this heartbreaking experience because it led you to finding true love.

What Are The 5 Grief Stages?

Throughout life, we all experience different kinds of grief. However, we all manifest and cope with them in a very similar way.

In 1969, the world-famous psychiatrist, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, wrote a book called On Death and Dying, where she described five common stages of grief. It is now known as the Kübler-Ross model or DABDA.

5 Stages of breakup grief

So, during the grieving process, we all have to go through these five stages of grief. Maybe we all experience and deal with them differently, but the underlying fact is that all of them are a part of our grieving process.

These stages are:

1. Denial

This is the first stage of the grieving process and, in my opinion, the one that prolongs the recovery process.

We start denying that it is happening to us because we simply can’t come to terms with our new reality. We can’t accept that our loved one has hurt us or that they are no longer a part of our life.

2. Anger

This is actually a very normal emotion of the grieving process, and we should completely embrace it.

We may be angry at ourselves for losing the person we loved, or we might be angry at them because they left us. Whatever your reason is… you need to face this emotion and focus on dealing with your anger before it consumes you completely.

3. Bargaining

This stage of grief occurs when we start obsessing over the endless ‘what ifs’. It’s actually understandable behavior; however, we need to find a way to retrain our brain.

Your breakup was something that needed to happen, and no matter what you did or could do, you just couldn’t prevent it. Blaming yourself won’t help you cope with your trauma; it’ll only affect and harm your mental health even more.

4. Depression

The second-to-last stage of the grieving process is when you finally start understanding what’s happening, but you still aren’t ready to accept it.

That’s when your ride on the emotional roller coaster starts. You might feel a whole range of emotions all the way from bottomless sadness to frustration.

You’ll enter into a state of utter hopelessness and depression.

5. Acceptance

Hopefully, you’ll come out of that state soon and face your new reality. You’ll come to the final stage (and the most important one) of your grieving process, and that is acceptance. That is where your future happiness lies.

You’ll understand that you need to move on with your life with or without that person in it. After all, you can’t change your past… you can only accept it and let it change you.

In Conclusion

Going through a breakup and dealing with all of its consequences is heart-wrecking. Regardless of who was the initiator, the pure fact is that a breakup is almost always a painful process for both sides.

I know that sometimes, no matter what you do, you just can’t come to terms with your breakup. No matter how much you try, you just can’t face and accept your new reality.

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 with time.

These are not just some words of consolation… this is something that I can honestly promise to 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.

I believe in you and you should, too. Better days are coming. The clouds will drive the rain away and the sun will come… shining brighter than ever.

I’m sending you a big virtual hug, and I am wishing you get through these stages of breakup as smoothly as possible – and move on as fast as possible.