Your friend is asking you how to get rid of bunions, and you tell her you to need to go. You just received a heartbreaking text from your significant other breaking up with you. You’re in disbelief and unsure of what happens next.
These Are the 7 Stages of a Painful Breakup
(There is light at the end of the tunnel for you, so chin up.)
The first and most short-lived stage after a breakup is shock or disbelief. Your whole world has turned upside down. You won’t believe what has happened – even if you saw it coming for a long time. Once it’s officially over, it’s hard for you to comprehend the reality of it. Your mind and body are conflicted.
After you go through the initial shock phase, you might experience denial. You don’t believe the breakup has actually happened – things were so good between the two of you at one point. You might have felt that this was your forever person, so your mind will try and tell you the breakup hasn’t occurred or that you two will get back together. You might feel cognitive dissonance in this stage – which means your mind has conflicting beliefs about the same thing.
The next stage is anger. This either immediately follows denial or happens at the same time. You feel betrayed and confused. You react with anger and hostility either towards your partner, yourself, or the world in general. This stage happens because you’re uncomfortable with the way you feel. You don’t understand why you experienced love to have it end in such a painful way.
The anger doesn’t last forever, and the next stage usually involves isolating. You don’t want to step into a world that you feel is cruel and unfair. After going through the previous stages, you have a complete lack of energy. There’s nothing you want to experience, so you usually hide out in your room – shutting off the world around you.
Depression goes along with isolation. After you’ve spent a considerable amount of time avoiding human contact, you fall into a depressive state. Nothing seems to bring you joy or happiness anymore. Instead, you feel hopeless and lost. This is one of the most challenging stages of a breakup. At this point, you’ve probably realized the chances of the two of you getting back together are low. In turn, you feel helpless and alone.
After you have weathered the storm of a painful breakup, you finally learn to accept the breakup. You’ve grieved, and now you’re ready to accept that you and this person will no longer be together. Acceptance usually feels bittersweet. You’re letting go of something you’ve held on to for quite some time, but you feel ready now.
The last stage of getting over a painful breakup is moving on. You made it to the other side, and you’re ready to start living your life again. You might still feel some residual sadness, but it’s much more infrequent. You believe in love again, and you’re ready to open your heart back up.