The 13 stages of a breakup: Which one do you find yourself in?

Shkruar nga Anabel

21 Nëntor 2023

The 13 stages of a breakup: Which one do you find yourself in?

Breakups are difficult, because they bring change, transition and the loss of a person who has stood by you in many situations.
Plus, people want to bond and build relationships with each other, so it's hard to break an established rapport. But, breakups happen and there's nothing you can do about it. It is important to go through the stages of a breakup in the right way and identify where you are.

Too many thoughts about the other person

This stage comes before separation occurs. In this period, the person in question has positive and negative thoughts in a relationship, but is not yet convinced whether to separate. This stage is characterized by good moments, such as fond memories, as well as bad ones, which may include a fight or a frantic desire to break up. "Often the other partner is not aware of the thoughts of the person about to separate and this makes this stage even more painful", says Ned Presnal, couples therapist.

Euphoric memories

So you ended the relationship. But suddenly, everything about your ex seems perfect. At this stage, you fondly and lovingly recall the beautiful moments, the positive aspects of the relationship and even see in a more positive light the aspects that led to the separation. According to Nicole Artz, a couples therapist, this stage can also bring feelings of guilt or regret.


At this stage you feel like every brain cell is trying to reconcile you with your ex. However, a part of you knows very well that the breakup is something that had to happen. According to Beverley Andre, couples therapist, at this stage, people tend to analyze what led them to break up and slowly, by analyzing every aspect of themselves and their ex, they understand exactly why the relationship came to an end.


This stage is not experienced by everyone, but the signs are: disconnection from reality and denial of current reality. "Numbness can last for several hours, to several days after separation", says Nicole Artz.


At this stage, you find it difficult to accept that the relationship is over. "It's a common defense mechanism, used to help de-escalate the situation," says Megan Harrison, sex therapist. She argued that a person, for an indefinite period of time, denies the situation and lives with the false hope that things will return to the way they were before, finding it difficult to move on.


During the anger stage, people don't deny what happened, so they look back in time and feel anger. This is the period when one feels unhappy and irritated with the ex, or frustrated about the breakup itself. Perhaps you will feel anger about a certain situation, or even the ex himself.

Everyone gives an opinion

Yes, as annoying as it may seem, you will pass this stage too. People will come to you and tell you how you could have solved/managed the situation differently. In some cases you will feel judgment or criticism, but just think that it is totally your life and your decisions.


Don't underestimate your pain and emotions. "The end of a relationship can be like losing a loved one. It's painful, devastating, sad in all aspects of life," says Harrison. However, it should be kept in mind that the end of a relationship does not mean that you have lost the other person.
At this stage, you may withdraw from society, be more alone, not eat as usual, not get enough sleep, or even become irritable for no reason.

Changes in social networks

Let's be honest, social media makes sharing a little more difficult. You have to delete the photos (if you have made the connection public on social networks. If not, you will delete them from your phone), you have to mute his/her posts, or even unfollow, but you will not be able to stay without controlling what he does or who he goes out with.
What is suggested is to take a break from social media, or reduce the time you spend on it. When you're ready, come back.

Return to previous state

Heartbreak and healing are somewhat insidious processes, as you convince yourself that you're fine and you're getting over it, but at some point, you find yourself crying bitterly about your ex. It's okay to experience it, but understand that it's just a moment of liberation. Often, at this stage, you try to reconnect with the other person and the situation can become even more negative than before.


After experiencing anger, people's thoughts and your intense feelings, you will have to accept the breakup and understand that it happened and period. Now, you are ready to move forward.


This stage of the post-breakup journey is about moving forward and wanting to love again, however, you still have your eyes and mind on your ex. At this stage, you can get to know someone else, but you will still compare him to your ex. As a result, you will be disappointed, you will have different expectations than what the new person offers and in many cases, you will hurt yourself and the person who is entering your life.

I walked forward

Hallelujah! You did it! Now, you're ready to move on. Of course, this does not mean that you will not have difficult moments, days, or even weeks in which you will create the new routine. This does not mean that you will not see your ex's profile on social networks from time to time. "Emotions and memories can still be present," says Carla Marie Manly, author of Joy from Fear: Create the Life of Your Dreams by Making Fear Your Friend. It's perfectly normal to want to get back together with your ex and have mixed emotions, but you're ready to move on with your life.