How to Get Through the 7 Stages of a Breakup

Two young women sitting on a couch while another one stands in the background, one on the couch looks very sad and the other seems to try to calm her down

A breakup is never easy. We’ve all been there, crying into a bowl of ice cream and wondering if we’ll ever love again. Heartbreak hurts. After all, it’s a form of grieving. We’re grieving the future we had with this person and the importance of this person in our life.

Right now, you may think that you’ll never stop hurting, but this just isn’t true. In order to heal, you gotta get through the breakup and the different stages that occur. Dealing with all these feelings will help you start over, strong and able to take on the world!

So, what are the seven stages of a breakup, and what are the best ways of dealing with them?


Young man sitting on a sofa and looking sad about something

The first stage of a breakup is being desperate for answers. You want to know what happened! Why everything so great became so… horrible. Was any of it ever true? Did your ex even love you in the first place?

This raw stage of heartbreak can hurt a lot. It can really impact how you relate to yourself, with a distrust of your memories and feelings. To get through this, you need to acknowledge the good and bad things that happened in the relationship. The relationship wasn’t perfect, but it did give you a lot of happiness. Let go of the questions, it is time to leave them in the past.


After desperation comes denial. Part of you thinks that maybe they have made a mistake and you’ll get back together. Denial happens because heartbreak is a shock to the system; you just don’t feel ready to admit that it’s over. You’re scared to feel the pain.

Despite that, you have to face reality and accept that the relationship is over. Remind yourself that you will be able to love again and that you and your partner broke up for a reason. You may want to talk things through with someone you trust in order to gain clarity and overcome your denial.


Angry black beautiful woman

Feeling anger after a breakup is totally normal… Just don’t direct any of this anger towards your ex (or anyone else around you). Anger is actually a great way to get rid of any love feelings we have towards a person, so feel the anger and remind yourself of how your ex just isn’t worth it!

Go for a run, create some angry art, rage-clean your house, or just cry and shout it out. Whatever you do, don’t text your ex!


This might be one of the toughest parts of breaking up with someone. It is the stage where you just want them back. You want to tell them that you will change, that they can change, that together you can form a perfect relationship.

But, this just isn’t true. At this point, you have to find healthy distractions. Keep busy, and keep your calendar packed full of fun events. Do things you enjoy, and try out new activities that you’ve always wanted to try! Remember, starting over after heartbreak can actually be super fun!


Young Asian woman sitting on the floor and crying

When we have come to the realization that it is definitely over, a whole load of sadness comes our way. It hurts, but this is a really important part of the process. Don’t repress your sadness – cry it out! Remember that time heals heartbreak, so allow yourself to feel the sadness. Feeling it means that you can grow and get over the breakup. You may feel scared of dating, and as if you will never love again, and this is completely natural! However, it is important for you to know that these feelings will pass.


The acceptance can be a bit shaky at first. Some days you might wake up and think, ‘yup, it is over, I am better without them and it is time to move on’. Then other days the sadness comes back and you just can’t see yourself without this person.

This is completely normal! Heartbreak doesn’t just go away, and it takes a while to really accept that the relationship is over. You still may have lingering feelings of love and attachment towards your partner.

If you are finding yourself feeling a lot of love towards your partner, it is time to negatively reappraise your ex and remind yourself of all the things they did that annoyed or hurt you. According to the Journal of Experimental Psychology, this method actually works to reduce your loving feelings towards your ex. This may hurt a bit and make you upset, but it will help you accept that this person just wasn’t right for you and that it is time to move on.


Young man taking his dog out for a walk in a beautiful park

Ahhh, the final stage of a breakup, and certainly the best one! Your acceptance of the breakup is growing, and you feel a lot less love towards your ex. Yeah, you may sometimes think about them but you know that the heartbreak allowed you to grieve them and grow as a person. Your ex wasn’t the one, and you are starting over.

You are no longer scared of dating, and you are hopeful in regards to finding love again! Embrace this feeling of hope, and know that the right person is just around the corner.

Lou Siday

Lou Siday

Lou Siday is a writer from North East England with a degree in Creative Writing. Having been on her own self-love journey over the last few years, she loves writing about empowerment and wellness! For Lou, communication, honesty, and mutual respect are essential when it comes to dating.


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