The Break-up Aftermath: 7 Emotional Stages of Grieving a Break-up

Your relationship just ended, and whether you were blindsided or knew it was coming, now it’s here. There’s no escaping it now. You may be feeling overwhelmed, angry, or deeply sad about the loss of your relationship. After your break-up, you’ll be going through the process of letting go. These are the emotional stages of grieving a breakup you’ll experience.

Stages of Grieving a Break-up

Desperate for answers

If your partner broke up with you, you want to know what happened and why. You’re desperate to figure out what went wrong. So, you start over-analyzing things your ex has told you in the past, things you may have done wrong, anything to help you understand the loss of your relationship. You talk about the possibilities with your friends, family, and colleagues, as you want to put the pieces of the puzzle together and solve the problem.


This isn’t happening. How can I live without them? You don’t believe this is a permanent break-up, maybe it’s just a phase, and things will go back to normal in a couple of days. Your relationship is something you’ve heavily invested in, and in the blink of an eye, it’s gone. You don’t believe the relationship is over, and now, you’re in survival mode to keep it alive. During this time, you’ll pause the grieving process because you’re hoping there’s still a chance to mend things.


Since you’re in denial and desperate to keep the relationship, you’re about to do just about anything you need to do. You’ll put the toilet seat down after you pee, you’ll hang out with their parents more often; whatever it is they need you to do, you’ll do it. Right now, you’re hanging off the edge, and if the relationship ends, you’ll fall into the unknown. But what you don’t see is that by doing anything for your partner, you’re putting the relationship on your back. When, in reality, a relationship is a two-way street. You cannot be the only one working to save the relationship.

Relationship Relapse

This doesn’t happen for everyone, but maybe you were able to convince your ex to give you a second chance. So, they agreed. For a moment, you’ll feel a sigh of relief, almost as if a ton of bricks were lifted off your shoulders. But the odds of this relationship lasting are slim. You may have to go through multiple break-ups and relapses before it becomes clear it’s time to end things. This is why sex with your ex is a bad idea.


At first, you fear the unknown and deeply saddened by the fact the relationship didn’t work out as you had planned. Once a bit of the fear subsides, you start to feel anger. However, if you’re able to harness your anger, it can help you through the break-up process. With anger, you can reflect on the relationship and realize that you deserve more. Regardless if your anger is directed at your ex, life, or family, you can use it to push yourself forward by steering it in the direction of self-empowerment.

Reluctant Acceptance

With time, you’ll (kind of) accept the break-up. It’s not going to be full acceptance, but more like surrendering yourself to the process. You’re going through the process not because you want to, but because you don’t have a choice. And this is apart of the stages of grieving a breakup. As more time passes, you’ll become more aware that perhaps the relationship wasn’t the right one for you.


Hope is an interesting human quality as it can push through our fears while also preventing us from moving on. If you start to accept the break-up for what it is, hope can be then used to push through this time in your life and show you that you can live a fulfilling life without your ex-partner. Though you may not feel hopeful right now, at some point in time, you will feel it and start a new chapter in your life.

The emotional stages of grieving a breakup aren’t easy, yet they’re unavoidable. At some point, you’ll need to face them. Give yourself time and patience; your emotional process cannot be rushed. But with time, you will feel better and start to live life as you should.


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