“My boyfriend broke up with two weeks ago. He didn’t give me a particular reason for his decision but I suspect that he wants to get rid of me before I ask him for money to do Christmas shopping. I sense that is the reason. The sad thing is that we have been together for two years and I don’t pester him with providing for me. I have been working for my money since I was 22. I am 28 now and I don’t get excited over how much money a man has before dating him.
Unfortunately, I lost my job this year and things have been tough for me. I started a side business that is still picking up gradually but it made me reduce the quality f my lifestyle. My ex witnessed everything that happened so I don’t know why he would treat me this way. I am so heartbroken. I feel like dying sometimes.
We were already talking about getting married next year suddenly he broke up with me. I have asked him many times what I did wrong but he refused to tell me. I even went to his house last week but he refused to open the door for me. He told me to stop stalking and pestering him. This is the worst breakup I have suffered. How do I deal with everything I am feeling? What do I do? How do I deal with the pain and move on? I need help.”
A young lady sent this to me this week. I felt the pain in her words. I told her to take things easy as the pain will take time to heal. I assured her that she will get over the pain but not at once. Matters of the heart can be tricky to deal with. Sometimes, when you think you are over someone you love, your emotions betray you all over again when you least expect. Dealing with a messy heartbreak is not easy. It takes time and positive steps to get over the pain.
There’s no denying that breakups hurt. Thankfully, the stages of a breakup are rather predictable, and there are some tried-and-true expert strategies to help you cope. If you are going through heartbreak now, you may bounce between stages, stay in one for a particularly long time and others more briefly, or go through them in a different order. There’s no right way to process a split because it will still hurt. But hopefully, these standard stages revealed below can help you mentally prepare and get over your ex for good.
If you think back to all of the breakups in your life, you might start to pick up on some patterns. Of course, some breakups stand out as being particularly worse than others. And some, you facilitated them because you were really just over it, and the pain wasn’t so terrible. But the ones that stung, those sent you spiraling into a series of behaviors and phases that you just had to get through in order to get over it. When you are in it, it seems like every breakup is different. But looking back, you may realize that your post-breakup behavior fell into a range of activities.
Like with any difficult transition, such as grief or addiction recovery, it’s important to know that there is a process, it’s rather universal, and you really aren’t alone in it. There’s comfort in knowing what feels like an emotion-fueled mess of actions is actually falling neatly into place in one of the regular steps. And that’s the case for getting over a breakup. So if you are experiencing a messy heartbreak and feeling like you will never recover, you can step back and say, “Ah. I’m just in that stage right now.
First of all, you should know that a breakup is a loss. When you know this, you will know some sort of inner peace. Going through a breakup sometimes is like suffering a severe loss. Getting over a breakup is a journey. The process of emotional recovery afterward is very similar to the grief of losing a loved one. And like the process of getting over the death of a loved one, breakups involve a stage of denial. This is the first stage of dealing with a breakup.
When you are in denial stage, you tell yourself that everything is fine while trying to suppress what you are feeling. Denial can begin before the relationship has officially ended. Denial is the stage where you have a difficult time coming to terms with the fact that your partner or you are no longer happy in the relationship. You may want to act like everything is normal, and go on about the relationship as if nothing has happened. It’s that time when the love and happiness may be gone, but you are still holding onto the title of being in a relationship.
Why do you deny what you are presently feeling? You engage in this stage to numb the pain that you are experiencing in that moment. This is normal to want to delay pain but it is a short-term solution. It’s like holding onto a dead limb you know needs amputation: it’s no longer serving you, but seeing it just there gives you the delusion that it’s working. A lot of Nigerian women need to learn the art of moving on when love is no longer served in their relationships.
After denial, comes anger. Anger is just the outward manifestation of pain and sadness. You feel that after what you have been through in the relationship, the person decides to leave you. Anger is the surface emotion people use to express all the other hurt emotions that are brewing underneath the surface. When you are in the anger phase, it is important during this time to be careful of how you express these feelings, and not to lash out or hurt anyone because you are feeling hurt. This is a good time to reflect on what you want to do to hurt your ex. This is because there can be permanent repercussions to actions taken in response to a temporary emotion. Learn to control your anger. No matter how justified you think the actions you are planning against your ex are, don’t do it.
The bargaining stage is where you tell yourself that the breakup is just a break and that you both will get back together again. If you have decided to take a break rather than have a full breakup, or you have told yourself this breakup isn’t really the end, you may be in the bargaining phase. At this point, you may want to try to make bargains with your partner, maybe even God, to keep your relationship. You might say things like, “Maybe if I give them more attention or sex, they will become who I need them to be and we can fix things.
Bargaining can happen before a breakup too. You may keep telling yourself that a dead relationship is still worth saving. You may try to bargain with yourself to stay in a relationship that you know isn’t working. It is clear that being out of control is tough. The hardest part of this stage is coming to terms with the fact that you can’t change who your partner is or what they choose to do if they are the one ending the relationship. In life, people come and go. If you come to terms with this fact, it will save you some breakup pain.
Depression is the first part of accepting that your relationship is over. This is the phase where all you want to do is lay in bed, eat ice cream, cake, and watch your favorite movie. The most underrated part of this stage is that you are coming to terms with the reality of where the relationship is, and you can heal from here. So, take some comfort in the pain of this stage, because it can be a gateway to healing.
Acceptance is the next stage. Even though this isn’t the fully recovered, I’m free and walking on sunshine stage, it is more like the stage where you make peace with what has happened. You forgive yourself and stop going through the ‘what ‘if’s’ in your mind. You let go, trust that you have everything you need to move on, and have learned how to cope with the pain that the breakup may have brought up.
The stages of grief are never linear, they can be very unpredictable. You may jump from denial to depression or experience anger and bargaining at the same time. That is okay. When you are grieving a relationship, it is important that you give yourselves permission to acknowledge and feel your emotions. As time goes on, you learn how you need to go through these stages individually and allow you feel them with permission and acceptance.