7 min read

5 Stages of Breakups (+ Psychologist-backed Ways to Heal)

stages of breakups and ways to heal

Understanding the stages of breakups can feel like navigating a labyrinth.

Indeed, when heartbreak strikes, the #1 challenge is...

Navigating through these stages of breakups.

Many are uncertain of the correct course of action. This journey separates those who remain stuck in their past from those who bounce back stronger. Moving on post-split can be challenging, but if you ain't got the know-how to do it right, you'll never reach that level of emotional fortitude.

Moving on after a breakup is tough, folks.

I recall one individual sharing that as soon as they thought they had moved on... their ex-partner reappeared in their life unexpectedly.

This incident left them fearful and hesitant to move forward or even consider new relationships again.

No wonder!

But here's the truth...

You won't unless you understand and work through stages of breakups effectively.

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Understanding The Stages Of Breakups

underestand stages of breakups

We all know breakups are tough. But did you ever consider that they might follow a pattern? I'm talking about the stages of grief, as proposed by psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.

The Stages of Grief After a Breakup

I've seen many individuals go through specific stages of breakup grief - denial, anger stage, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Studies on romantic relationships have shown that these stages are not linear; you might bounce back between emotional ups and downs before reaching the final stage of acceptance.

Science Behind Breakups, explains how our brain's addiction-like response to romantic love drives us into experiencing grief after a loss.

Non-linearity And Unpredictability Of Breakup Stages

You may think it's linear: one stage leading directly into another in order.


The truth is far more intricate. We can bounce back and forth between different emotions or even feel multiple at once. This unpredictable emotional rollercoaster makes each person's healing process unique. Now that we've laid out this groundwork for understanding the dynamics behind breakups, let's dive deeper.

In our next section "Personal Experiences With Breakups", I'll share some insights from my own encounters during breakup grief stages. Stay tuned.

Personal Experiences With Breakups

Breakups can be emotionally overwhelming, particularly when they involve long-term relationships. The actual grieving process involved is similar to how we process social pain similarly to physical pain.

This may sound daunting but understanding this common grief ground can help us navigate through the intense emotions that come with a painful romantic separation.

Coping Mechanisms: Sleepovers versus Solitude

Different people cope differently; some prefer sleepovers with friends while others need solitude for introspection. It's important to remember though that healing takes time - sometimes a lot longer than anticipated post-breakup from a long-term relationship.

Toxic Relationships & Emotional Intelligence

A toxic relationship often includes patterns such as manipulation or control which make it difficult for partners to steadily fall out of love despite knowing its harmful effects on them. Healthline’s guide on Toxic Relationships, provides further insight into identifying these damaging dynamics. 

In dealing with emotionally unintelligent individuals in relationships, it helps if one recognizes their own worth first. Emotional intelligence is a key factor in maintaining healthy relationships and can be developed with time and practice.

Impact of Toxicity Across Genders And Orientations

The impact of toxicity in relationships isn't confined to any specific gender or orientation. Everyone, regardless of their identity, experiences grief after romantic rejection or loss. However, the intensity and expression might vary due to societal norms and expectations.

For example, women in toxic relationships are more likely to experience physical and emotional abuse. They are also more likely to be isolated from their friends and family.

Men in toxic relationships are more likely to experience emotional abuse. They may also be more likely to use violence as a way to cope with their emotions. This study, also suggests that men may take longer than women to deal with heartbreaks but it’s important not to generalize this finding since everyone's grieving process is unique.

LGBTQ+ people in toxic relationships may face additional challenges, such as discrimination and prejudice. They may also have difficulty finding support from friends and family.

If you're in a toxic relationship, it's important to reach out for help. There are many resources available to you, such as hotlines, support groups, and therapy. You deserve to be in a healthy and loving relationship.

Dealing With Emotionally Unintelligent Individuals in Relationships

deal with emotional unintelligent individual in relationship

Emotionally unintelligent people may have trouble understanding and responding to your emotions. They may also be unable to communicate their own emotions effectively.

If you're in a relationship with someone who is emotionally unintelligent, there are a few things you can do to try to make the situation better:

  • Be patient and understanding. It's important to remember that your partner is not trying to hurt you intentionally. They may simply not be able to understand and respond to your emotions in the way you need them to.
  • Communicate openly and honestly. Talk to your partner about your needs and expectations. Let them know how their behavior is making you feel. Be specific and avoid generalizations.
  • Set boundaries. It's important to set boundaries in any relationship, but it's especially important in a relationship with someone who is emotionally unintelligent. Let your partner know what behaviors are acceptable and unacceptable.
  • Seek professional help. If you're struggling to cope with your partner's emotional unintelligence, you may want to seek professional help from a therapist or counselor.

Common Patterns In Toxic Relationship Breakups

In my years as a counselor, toxic relationships are characterized by unhealthy patterns of behavior, such as:

  • Control and manipulation. Toxic partners may try to control and manipulate you through a variety of means, such as threats, guilt-tripping, and isolation.
  • Jealousy and possessiveness. Toxic partners may be jealous and possessive of your time, attention, and relationships with other people.
  • Put-downs and criticism. Toxic partners may frequently criticize and put you down. They may make you feel bad about yourself and your accomplishments.
  • Threats and violence. In some cases, toxic relationships may involve threats or violence.

I've also noticed how different individuals react similarly when subjected to similar scenarios within toxic relationships.

  • Cycles often start with idealization where everything seems perfect.
  • Frustration creeps in over time due to unmet expectations.
  • Sadly followed by devaluation where nothing one does ever feels enough.

While it's true that each person's pain threshold varies significantly based on individual resilience levels, it has been universally observed across various cases that the hurt inflicted by such harmful dynamics cuts deep.

Identifying And Breaking Down The Stages Of Breakups

Going through a breakup is one of the most difficult experiences a person can go through. It can be a roller coaster of emotions, and it can be hard to know how to cope. But it's important to remember that you are not alone. Millions of people go through breakups every year, and there are stages of breakups that everyone goes through.

Stage 1 - Limiting Your Relationship With Reality

When you first break up with someone, you may be in shock. You may not believe that it's happening, and you may try to deny that the relationship is over. This stage is normal, and it's important to give yourself time to process what happened.

Stage 2 - Cherry-Picking the Good Times & Qualities

In this phase, you might find yourself only remembering all those sweet moments and ignoring any signs of toxicity in your ex-partner's behavior.

Stage 3 - Starting To Feel Angry

Once the shock and denial wear off, you may start to feel angry. You may be angry at your ex, angry at yourself, or angry at the world. This anger stage is normal, and it's important to find a healthy way to express it. Talk to a friend, family member, or therapist about how you're feeling. You can also write in a journal or exercise to release your anger.

Stage 3 - Show Them What They're Missing While "Healing"

This stage often includes attempts at showcasing how well you're doing without them. You may start posting more frequently on social media about positive life changes as if trying to prove something.

Note: Please remember healing should not just appear outwardly but also happen inwardly... Your real progress matters far more than their perception of you.

Moving On After Heartbreak Through Emotional Independence

Breaking free from the chains of a toxic relationship is no easy feat.

The path to emotional independence post-breakup can often feel like navigating through uncharted territory.

But remember, your journey toward healing starts with prioritizing peace over chaos.

Prioritizing Peace as an Act of Revenge Against Your Ex

Do you ponder how this could be done?

Psychologists suggest, moving on and living well is indeed the best form of revenge against a toxic ex-partner.

  • Acknowledge that you deserve better than what was served in your past relationship.
  • Cut off all contact with them if possible - out of sight, out of mind really does work wonders here.
  • Focusing on self-improvement not only helps distract you but also aids in building up lost confidence and self-esteem.

However, it's important to note that seeking revenge should never be about causing harm or distress to another person.

Instead, it's about reclaiming control over one's own life by making positive changes for personal growth.

While forgiveness may seem impossible at first glance after experiencing heartache,

It plays a crucial role in finding closure and ultimately achieving emotional independence.

Forgiveness isn't justifying their wrongdoings or forgetting the pain they caused;

Rather, it's accepting reality without allowing bitterness or resentment to cloud our judgment.

This acceptance paves the way for setting adjusted boundaries rooted firmly within ourselves which promotes healthier relationships going forward.

So let go. Embrace change.

Remember, you are strong enough to face anything thrown at you,

And always strive towards becoming the best version of yourself every single day.

With time and patience, the wounds will heal leaving behind valuable lessons learned along this tumultuous journey called love.


Breakups are tough, but understanding the stages of breakups can help you navigate through this difficult time.

You're not alone in your journey and every stage has its own significance.

The anguish is authentic, yet it's an element of the mending cycle. It helps us grow emotionally stronger over time.

Toxic relationships leave scars, but recognizing common patterns can aid in breaking free from them for good.

Remember that these stages aren't linear or predictable; they differ for everyone based on their unique experiences and emotions involved.


Our AI Relationship Coach is here to guide you through each stage with empathy and understanding.

but with DearAimii by your side, we assure you'll come out stronger than ever before.

choose emotional independence post-breakup, and let forgiveness be about accepting reality while adjusting boundaries accordingly for self-growth.

We promise to stand by you at every step as you unravel the emotional stages of breakups.