Thought Catalog

7 Painful Stages Of A Breakup We’re All Too Familiar With And How To Get Through Them

  • 0
Seth Doyle
Seth Doyle

While I’m not a doctor of the human mind, I have been in the trenches of relationship travesty. I have done all the things you should never do, taken way too long to get over someone, self destructed into a dark hole and gone back 3, 4 and 12 times. The relationship roller coaster is a time-wasting life sucker.

To effectively get over someone, you’ll have to deal with the stages of a break up which are like mourning someone who has deceased. Let’s face it, something has died and it sits close to your heart so you’re going to need to go through all the phases. If you manage the phases properly, you don’t have to feel miserable. They are there for a reason and you might just find something new in life to be passionate about

The ‘What Just Happened?’ Phase

When you’re in shock, your body is protecting you from the trauma of a devastating experience. Whether you saw the breakup coming or not, you won’t know how it’s going to feel until you part ways from him. Shock can last minutes, hours, days or weeks and there’s no way to speed up the process as it’s a natural reaction you have no control over. The shock wears off when the body thinks you’re ready. The best thing to do is ride it out. It’s not a bad phase anyway because you don’t feel much of anything.

Head in the Sand Phase

Then comes the denial which can be confusing as you know something has changed but your conscious mind refuses to acknowledge it. Your body stores your feelings which can manifest if you don’t face it. The relationship is over and if you go ostrich and stick your head in the sand, you can remain in denial for years. This stage is where people turn into stalkers and stand to destroy their lives and their ex’s as well. While it’s not suggested that you wallow in your loss, have the courage to feel the loss. Maybe it takes sad movies or the most tragic love songs to get you to realize your loss. Talking to friends or journaling out your feelings can also make it feel real. It sucks but you need it to move past denial and get on with your life.

Time to Yourself Phase

When you have gotten past the denial, you’re going to need some time to yourself to mill over what’s happened. You’ll likely dissect every detail of moments that were both good and bad. You’ll find your feelings that exist in the situation. It’s likely you won’t want to go out or talk to anyone for awhile. This stage might seem very painful but it is far more mentally healthy than the denial you were experiencing. At least you’re back in reality even if it’s a sad one.

The Emotional Fury Phase

Your emotions will flip all over the place with anger being at the top of the list. When you first broke up, you miss your ex to an unbearable degree. You even put him on a pedestal but as everything sinks in, you realize they weren’t perfect. You feel angry at him for taking so much time and energy from you. You also feel angry at yourself for the smallest details of compromise you gave him. In the end, the anger represents an acknowledgement that something in fact happened. The reaction is normal and in many ways, it’s healthy. If you respond normally to anger, this is just another good step to getting over your ex.

The “Maybe It Wasn’t So Bad” Phase

In the bargaining phase, you may retract all your logical thoughts and feeling about the break up. You may even decide you want to get together again reasoning that the way he made you feel was manageable. The deceit, fights and negative situations may seem worth the chance to feel his arms around you again. These thoughts stem from either guilt or not feeling good about yourself in a time of weakness. The best way to combat these feelings and thoughts of going back are to do everything in your power to feel good about yourself. If you push forward with your future, you’ll be less likely to stay in the past.

The Big Bad Sad Phase

You knew this phase would come which is why you started mind bargaining. There may be deep sorrow that you can’t avoid. The realization that the window of opportunity has left can be overwhelming and you may feel hopeless. This is often where people might start to use coping mechanisms like drinking or emotionally eating. This of course only prolongs your pain and you create a new persona of someone you don’t like. Instead, be kind and love yourself in a real way. Taking up yoga or meditation eases your mind and you find there’s much more to life than the ego that is causing your pain. Start running or doing something that raises your endorphin levels. Do all you can to be a version of yourself that you’re proud of. Let the break up be a lesson and propel you onto greater things.

The Aaaaaacceptance Phase

This phase is the sweet spot full of epiphanies. You understand that your relationship is over and why it needed to end. You start to feel whole again as you recognize we are all just people trying to manage life, not gods or demons. Your smile will be natural again and you will feel the possibilities ahead of you. You may even feel like you won a battle, which in a way you have. This phase is deeply rewarding so all you need to do is bask in it.

More from Thought Catalog

Thought Catalog Videos