Six Common Emotions After a Break Up
Going through a breakup can be very difficult, emotional, and stressful. Often, you are filled with all of these confusing feelings and wonder if what you're feeling is even normal. People going through a breakup tend to do crazy things that are out of the norm. For a while, you might even become overwhelmed with emotions. It's normal to feel these emotions, and it's quite a process to let go of a person you really loved.
Everyone will go through different stages at different times so do not worry if you feel like it is taking a little longer than expected to get over a loss. Sometimes, you might even repeat a stage that you've already gone through.
Here are the six stages of a breakup most people go through:
- The “crazy stage”
1. Shock and Denial
Shock and denial go hand in hand. At first, you will feel like you are dreaming. Even if you knew that the relationship was in trouble, you never actually thought that a breakup was possible—your significant other loved you too much to leave. Despite all the bad times, there were many good times. You shared so many wonderful memories that this cannot be real.
You tell yourself that your significant other will soon realize that they are wrong and will come running back. You can't believe that this is happening to you because you were once "the perfect couple." You tend to forget all the bad things or see them through rose-colored glasses. You continually tell yourself that you guys will fix things and everything will be OK.
You're constantly be staring at your phone, waiting for the caller ID to say their name. You believe that they will call soon; they must be busy. At this point, you still will not be able to refer to them as your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend. You tell people that you are not really broken up—you both just need a little time.
2. Fear and Loneliness
The phone has not rung, and it has been quite awhile. You are getting over the shock and starting to realize that they might not call. You start to think to yourself that maybe this is real. And that's when fear starts to kick in.
You fear that you will be lonely forever. You fear that you will have nobody to talk to. You fear that you will not be able to make it in this big, scary world without them. You fear that when you are sick, there will be nobody there to comfort you.
You'll likely want to stay in bed and hide under the covers—feeling lonely, sad, depressed, and sorry for yourself. Talking to friends and family is not an option. You want nothing to do with what is going on around you.
You will sit and cry and listen to “your song” a million times, to the point where there are no more tears left. You will look at pictures over and over again. For some reason, you will torture yourself. You'll tell yourself that you will never be able to find a person that will love you the way that they did. You'll question if you're good enough and if someone else will love you.
So now that you have been crying for awhile and have not moved from your spot on the bed for weeks, you start to think about all the things that you did for this person.
You tell yourself things like this: "I don't understand why they left me. I was such a good boyfriend/girlfriend. Nobody else will ever do what I did for them. Good luck trying to find somebody who will do the things I did for you."
At this point, you need to blame somebody. You are tired of blaming yourself, and it suddenly becomes their fault. You are sick of hearing that song and turn the radio off every time you hear it. You want to rip their picture into one million little pieces and burn it.
The “Crazy Stage”
The crazy stage is a little bit of everything mixed into one. It is the stage where shock, denial, fear, loneliness, and anger kind of come together. I know that many of us have gone through the crazy stage. This is when you have now realized that this is real, but you are not going to let it stay that way. You are going to do everything you can to try to make this person come back into your life.
They haven’t called, so you decide to call them. They haven’t written an email, so you plan to write them one. What, no text? You tell yourself you'll text them. You are constantly looking at their online activity. You want to make sure that there are no other significant people in their lives. And most people in this stage don't do these things one time and move on—you'll bombard them with calls, texts, emails, and letters and beg for them to speak to you. You promise them that this time will be different. You promise to make all of the wrongs right. You try to remind them of all the good memories and make them see that it wasn’t so bad after all. You promise to do anything to make it work.
You read articles and books and watch TV shows on “how to get your ex back.” This is now war. You tell yourself that you're going to make them love you. The outcome of this stage can vary. Because you are setting yourself up for disappointment, when you don't get the response you were looking for, you might revert back to one of the above stages. Some people will be in denial or feel lonely again while others will experience more anger.
6. Peace and Acceptance
Even though you feel as though you will never get to the point of peace, you will. One day you will be able to sit back and realize that you have made it! You made it through the heartache, tears, anger, and fear. You are still alive! Thinking of this person will bring about happy feelings instead of feeling like a knife is cutting through your heart. You will be much stronger than you were before, and you will have learned a lot about what you need and want.
Words of Advice
Nobody can predict exactly how long it will take for the pain to go away. Every person is different. It is really hard when you have created so many memories and shared so many important details of your life with another person. Letting go is not an easy thing to do. The main goal is to understand that yes, your life will change, but this does not mean you have to forget all the good memories and times you shared with a person. This is a part of you and always will be. Remember what this person has taught you and be thankful that you were able to experience the things that you did.
You just have to make sure that you keep yourself healthy during these stages. You need to try your best to get advice and support from the people around you. Eat properly. Try to get out of the house and socialize a little. Many people suggest jumping into another relationship right after a breakup to get your mind off the other person. I do not suggest that. At this point, you have many emotions built up and starting a new relationship will not allow you to heal from this one, and you will not be giving the new relationship a fair shot. So you need to allow yourself time. Get to know yourself. Discover what makes you happy and try to be strong. Many times after a big breakup, we discover things about ourselves that we weren’t even aware of.
After all is said and done, if you still feel that this relationship has a chance, then maybe you and the other person can work on it. But remember you cannot make another person love you. Give them the time and the space they require to get their head straight as well. They have gone through this breakup too, and I am sure they are feeling a whole bunch of different emotions. We have to remember that. We tend to be selfish when it comes to these things. This person might be going through the same thing as you. Being overly persistent and clingy is just going to push them away even more.
Stop being so hard on yourself. Just because a relationship did not work out, it does not make you a bad person. It does not mean that nobody will ever love you again. Maybe you did try your best to do all you could for the other person. When you are with another person, remember you are part of a couple. A couple is two people and you are only one of the two. You can only do what you can do, just like the other person can only do what they can do. If you truly love a person, you should want what is best for them. It would not be fair to make a person stay in a relationship that is not fulfilling to them. It does not mean that you are lacking something (maybe they are lacking something within themselves) and no matter how many things you did for them or no matter how much you loved them, they will never find the satisfaction they are looking for.
Give yourself the time required to heal. Let your emotions out and address them. Do not try to pretend like you are okay if you really aren't, this will just prolong the process.
Remember that time heals all wounds!
What is the hardest stage?
© 2010 Jenn