A vector human without face showing a healed heart after going through stages of breakup

5 Stages of Breakup (with Scientific references)

Breakups can be tough, and it’s common to go through different stages as you process the end of the relationship. Here are some common stages and some tips for how to navigate them:

1. Denial:

A human emoji crossing hand showing denial after a breakup

In this stage, it’s hard to believe the relationship is really over. You might try to hold onto hope that things will work out, or you might try to ignore your feelings and move on like nothing happened. But a study found that people in denial after a breakup have a harder time adjusting and moving on. It’s important to allow yourself to feel and process your emotions, but also to try to accept the reality of the situation.

But, man, it’s tough.

2. Anger:

An anger emoji showing anger after a breakup

You might feel angry at your ex, at yourself, or at the circumstances that led to the breakup. A study found that people who are angry after a breakup are more likely to engage in negative behaviors like substance abuse or lashing out at their ex. It’s important to find healthy ways to express your anger, like through exercise or writing in a journal. Avoid lashing out or acting on impulses that you’ll regret later.

3. Bargaining:

bargaining in breakup

In this stage, you might try to find ways to fix the relationship or get back together. This might involve trying to convince your ex to give the relationship another chance or making promises to change your behavior. But a study found that people who try to bargain with their ex after a breakup are less likely to move on and more likely to experience negative emotions. It’s important to recognize that a breakup often signifies the end of a chapter in your life, and it may not be possible or healthy to try to rekindle the relationship.

Also read: 8 Key Tips on How to Text Your Ex Without Looking Desperate

4. Depression:

A sad emoji showing sadness/depression stage after a breakup

It’s normal to feel sad and depressed after a breakup, especially if you had a strong emotional connection with your ex. A study found that people who experience depression after a breakup have a harder time adjusting and moving on. Allow yourself to feel and process your emotions, but try not to get stuck in a negative cycle. Seek support from friends, family, or a mental health professional if you need it.

5. Acceptance:

A smiley emoji showing, 5th and final stages of breakup

Eventually, you’ll reach a point where you can accept the reality of the breakup and move on. This doesn’t mean you’ll forget about your ex or the relationship, but you’ll be able to move forward and focus on building a new life for yourself. A study found that people who are able to accept the reality of a breakup and move on tend to have better mental health outcomes and are more likely to form new, healthy relationships in the future.

Also read: How to Tell If You’re Ready to Date Again After a Breakup

It’s important to remember that these stages aren’t necessarily linear, and you might experience them in a different order or revisit certain stages multiple times. It’s also important to be patient with yourself and allow yourself the time and space to process your emotions.


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