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Getting over a breakup is hard no matter what your age, but if you find that you can’t seem to move forward perhaps you haven’t allowed yourself to grieve the relationship properly.
Broken relationships are like any other type of loss in that the expectations and feelings need to be dealt with honestly before you can learn the lesson and move on. This means your reaction to a breakup will likely follow the five stages of grief. You may feel these in order, or get stuck in one stage longer than the rest.
“We broke up, but it’s good. We wanted different things.”
Sometimes we break up and feel so calm and right about the situation, that our positive reaction shocks us. That might be because it usually doesn’t last. It isn’t that the good vibes you’re feeling about your breakup are false, it’s that this is just the first stage of grieving.
Sometimes, you’ll feel this for a long while before diving into one of the other five stages of grief. Moving on from this stage doesn’t mean that you won’t still end up in a positive place. Dealing with each stage of grief in a breakup is a good way to fully understand the lessons you’ve learned.
“That good for nothing creep is dating my neighbor.”
Sometimes anger comes out when it’s obvious that the other person has moved on and is dating someone else. In that case, denial is shattered and the realization that the other person didn’t want a romantic relationship with you hits home.
Anger roves, and may land on friends, yourself, your family, or even your ex. You may blame people and feel angry that they didn’t help prevent the breakup.
“Let’s be friends.”
One of the biggest hints that you’re in a bargaining stage about your breakup is the agreement to immediately be friends, sometimes even before you’re officially broken up. While it’s admirable to want to do this, a true friendship can only be formed when enough time has passed that allows you to naturally develop a friendship.
“Why bother dating anyone? You’ll just end up with a broken heart.”
When you start viewing every potential date as a relationship destined for heartache, you might be in the depression stage of grief. This stage allows you to get your bearings and spend time on your own. You might push away friends and avoid dating altogether, which eventually will help you see that you can stand on your own two feet.
One positive that comes out of this stage is an independence towards romantic love. You might convince yourself that you’re okay without the love of a man or woman, and while this stage won’t last, it helps you from jumping into a rebound relationship.
“It’s okay. If I’m meant to meet someone I will.”
In the acceptance stage, you’ve come to grips with the fact that your ex wasn’t right for you. You might still be hesitant to date at this stage, but you’ll have a healthy attitude that love isn’t elusive for you even if it takes you a while to find it.
Acceptance allows you to date at the pace that is right for you. You’re not desperate to be with someone, which in turn helps you move on from those who aren’t right for you so you can find the person who is.