The 5 stages of getting over a break up

Breaking up is a loss. So we deal with it like any loss. We go through the 5 stages of grief. I am going to reframe the 5 stages of grief as it applies to a break up. So you’ll be able to actually deal with it and be better off.

Denial is the first stage of getting over a break up

This is when you float between acting like it’s not real and wishing that it wasn’t real. It doesn’t always manifest as a complete denial, though. Usually it’s more subtle. You’ll tell yourself that it is just temporary … while a part of you isn’t sure if that’s true or not. You’ll fantasize about being back with him, like the break up never happened. And in between those two things, you’ll be right in tune with the fact that it did happen.

This is all completely normal.

This is how we handle this stuff. I know there’s this idea out there that people have. That denial is bad. And it kind of is. However, it doesn’t mean that we don’t all go through it from time to time. It’s okay if you experience a little of this at first. You just want to be careful that you don’t go too far down the rabbit hole. And stay in denial for too long.

Anger is the second stage of getting over a break up

This is when you get mad at him. And yourself. And just about anyone else you can think of. You’ll have moments where you feel like you could curse him out the moment you see him. And then you’ll have moments when you want to curse yourself out. Then you’ll feel like cursing out his friends, maybe your friends and who knows who else.

Of course, this is also completely normal.

Anger’s got a bad rap in our society. A little bit of it can be good. It can “wake” you up from denial. That’s really where it stems from. It comes from waking up to the fact that the break up indeed did happen and that you wished it hadn’t. The thing you want to watch out for with anger is … be careful about how it is expressed.

You don’t want to lash out at anyone or yourself.

Anger’s just an emotion that will pass if you allow it to.

Bargaining is the third stage of getting over a break up

This is when you are ready to plead. Maybe you’ll plead to God to get you back together. Maybe you’ll plead with your ex boyfriend. Maybe you’ll plead to anyone who’ll listen. The reason for this is rather simple. We live in a world where we really can bargain for certain things. So it seems like an option. But it’s not. Not when it comes to love and relationships. You wish that there was something you could do to bargain your way back to him.

That’s normal as well.

Thing is …

Bargaining isn’t really attractive, is it? Have you ever had a guy like you and you didn’t feel that way? And in trying to “change” your mind … he bargained with you or pleaded with you? Probably didn’t make you want him any more … did it? Of course not. Bargaining puts you in a “weak” position. One you don’t want to be in.

So while you will probably plead and bargain …

Realize that this isn’t going to win him back.

It’s just you getting ready to move onto the next stage of breaking up.

Depression is the fourth stage of getting over a break up

This is one that can be painful. You get to a point where you think it’s hopeless. You won’t be able to win him back and there’s nothing you can do. You’ll wallow in your sadness for a while. You’ll either want to be by yourself … or if you are with friends, you’ll be totally focused on talking about how hurt you are. Or how unfair it is.

Like the other 3 stages, this is normal too.

The catch with this stage is, you really don’t want to dwell in it for too long. You don’t want to get to where you feel like it’s hopeless. The good thing is, as bad as it can feel to be in this stage of breaking up?

There’s a window that’s getting ready to be opened.

It won’t look bleak and hopeless for too long.

You are well on your way to the final stage.

Acceptance is the fifth and final stage of getting over a break up

This is when you accept the reality of your situation. You accept the break up. You are no longer denying it. You are no longer fantasizing that it didn’t happen. You are no longer mad at the world and everyone in it. You are no longer wanting to plead and bargain. And you are no longer feeling depressed about it.

You have accepted it.

This is where you can actually move on. This is when you feel peace with the way things are. It’s a good feeling. It’s an attractive state to be in. This is the stage that you want to get too.

The good news is?

You can actually get here kind of quick.


Well, now that you know the final stage and that it’s all about moving towards acceptance?

You can start practicing it right now.

It may not happen overnight.

But if you keep at it, if you keep practicing accepting things as they are? It gets easier. And you can get to that place of accepting it for real … a whole lot faster.

Now …

What if someone says,

“It’s just a break up get over it” …

Don’t pay them any mind. We all go through these 5 stages. How quickly depends on lots of things. So just know that if you are still in one of these stages, it’s fine. As long as you are moving through all 5 stages and not getting stuck in any one for too long?

You’ll be fine.

P.S. I just want to point out, that we don’t go through the 5 stages in a line. It’s not like you go exactly from one to the next. It’s more like we bounce between them. Still, keep in mind that acceptance is what you are after. Only in acceptance can you truly get over a break up.

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