Like anything in life, breakups are a long and tedious process that you have to go through in order to get over someone. You are in pain, and it can make your mind blurry towards other things in your life. Sometimes a break up can take so long that you begin to wonder if anything is happening or if you ever will get over your ex. To clarify those feelings, here I present you the seven stages of a break-up.
1. Need for Answers
At this stage, all you can think about is “Why? Why did this happen?” and you start looking for answers. You need an explanation for what happened, and you become obsessed to find out the causes. You recall your relationship little by little to figure out clues for the break-up. You have no peace of mind. All you need is answers to the question “why?”.
You are desperate for closure. Your mind is confused and in disbelief for what happened. At this stage, you feel compelled to discuss it with your friends, colleagues, family and pretty much everyone that crosses your path.
Between the moments of confusion and despair, you have moments of clarity where you find an answer, and you go “Oh! That’s why.”.
Denial is when you go “NO! This can’t be happening!”. You simply can’t be without your ex.
You gave everything you had into your relationship, and you think there is no way that this can be it. You are hoping for your relationship to come back, so you delay your grief. The pain is too much to handle so you stay with hope in your mind that the relationship can be salvaged.
At this stage, you start to think “What if…?”. You rethink everything you would do different in the relationship to keep it. You try to do anything to be a better partner: you will change your ways, and you will give in more to make “your partner” happy.
The truth is, there is nothing you can do to redo your relationship. You two couldn’t keep it satisfactory and healthy, and both of you had to give in in one time or another. You can’t change yourself to be everything your ex wanted and needed, that’s not the healthy way to do it.
When anger sets in, it means that you no longer fear to be alone, that you accepted everything that happened and you start to throw out everything that reminds you of your ex. You begin to feel empowered, and start to think that you deserve more than that. You start to feel like you can conquer the world by lunch and you can redo your life entirely by dinner time. All you want is to not look at those things that remind you of your ex. Here you have some options to deal with those items: destroy them, put them in a box, sell them, throw them out… The choice is yours. This is when you feel compelled to change your point of view and make proactive changes.
Some studies say being in a relationship is like an addiction. When you have no more of what makes you feel good, you try to find it again. This means that at this time because the pain is so great, you may want to go back together with your ex.
It is a bad idea to do it. You will never be able to carry the relationship solo. Both of you have to work to make a good relationship, and the chances are that this time won’t be that different from the first.
You can consider having a rebound relationship but don’t go breaking hearts just because you feel bad right now.
You start to accept what happened not because you want to but because you have to. Things are still tough to process, but you realize that the relationship won’t happen again.
Both of you start to recognize that you are not meant to be. Maybe your personalities don’t go along, and the break up has nothing to do with something you did (but you still should learn with every relationship).
You accept the break-up and realize there is nothing you can do.
At this time you start to think about your future and what will happen. You will realize that you don’t know. So you have to think positive and do everything you can for you to be happy.
You will always have hope, you just have to redirect that hope towards yourself. It’s ok to be without your ex and to be alone. You just need some confidence to believe that tomorrow will be better.
As it turns out…
You may find all of this weird and with no sense at all if the break up is recent. Or you may think you are different and won’t go through anything of it. It’s probably too early for you to recognize all the stages, all of it takes time. You can be someone organized, and you go through it one at the time, or if your ex- turned your life upside down, you might feel like everything is happening at the same time for you. In any case, it’s ok, you are normal, and there is nothing wrong with you. You will eventually feel like everything is in its place, even if it takes years, you just have to be patient.