Phases of Breakups

As the song says, breaking up is hard to do.As the song says, breaking up is hard to do.

A breakup is similar to the grieving process for multiple reasons, namely, though, because you are losing someone close to you as your relationship is ending. Realizing what stage you and your partner are in can help you understand which direction your relationship is headed: whether there is a possibility of reconciliation and to ease the pain you are experiencing.


It is easy to look back and see the small things, argument or agitations, that lead to a breakup. It is not always so easy to clearly see where you are at the time, however. It is important to realize that denial is a common stage in any breakup. You may be in denial that the relationship has problems. You might deny that a breakup is inevitable. Once the breakup occurs, you could experience denial that this traumatic event could happen to you.


Immediately following a breakup, individuals may experience anger toward their ex-significant other. Anger may also be directed at one's self, carrying guilt or regrets about things that were said or not said. It is important to find ways to overcome any anger issues that arise from a breakup in order to move on. Anger can be used as an outlet to try and gain control of a situation. During a breakup it is easy to feel as though you have lost control, and many aspects of your life may change.


Someone experiencing a breakup may try bargaining with the other person, making deals in order to keep their relationship together. A person may make promises to stop certain behaviors or to improve themselves in one way or another.


Once a person has gotten past any denial and pent-up aggression, depression has a chance to set in. It is crucial to understand that depression and sadness are natural feelings that are experienced after the loss of someone you care about, be it through death or a breakup. A person experiencing depression may appear withdrawn and moody. As long as there are no self-mutilating or damaging behaviors, allow the person some time to heal. Always be aware that depression can deepen and that chronic depression should be treated by a doctor.

Acceptance and Moving On

The final stage of getting over a breakup is accepting the reality of what has happened, that your relationship did not succeed. Getting to this stage requires varying lengths of time for everyone and should never be forced.

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About the Author

Laura Simpson began writing in 2010. She has been published on various websites, specializing in politics, music and child development. Simpson holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science with minors in psychology and music from Indiana University.

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