The Five Stages of a Break Up
Break ups: everyone hates them yet everyone goes through them. It doesn't matter if it is between two friends or two lovers. They both cause pain, anger, and even denial to everyone involved. It almost makes us wonder why they ever happen. But of course, they do and there's nothing we can do to stop it. Instead, we should look at what to expect once the break up has already occurred and how to recover.
We can look at break ups much like we can death. In death, we go through what is known as the "five stages of death." These five stages are as follows: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.
These same stages can be used to describe how we feel during a break up.
- Denial: We deny the break up is happening. They must be joking, right? This can't be happening to me!
- Anger: We turn to anger. How dare they break up with me! I should have broken up with him months ago!
- Bargaining: We try to bargain our way back into the relationship. If you take me back, I will do anything you want!
- Depression: We turn to sadness.
- Acceptance: We accept the relationship is over.
These steps occur on both sides of the break up. The breaking upper indeed realizes this first. Everyone will deny the relationship has turned for the worst and even though the anger caused may not show externally it is still created within the mind. The bargaining which occurs generally shows by the extension of the failed relationship. A relationship which is known to be over may continue for another day, another week, or even another month or year due to this phase.
Once the depression step has ended the relationship can finally end. However, the partners steps will just begin (if they too have not earlier realized the relationship has failed).