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I Was in an Emotionally Abusive Relationship, and I Didn't Even Realize It

Stages of Breakup Grief

The 5 Stages of Breakup Grief

We're happy to present this excerpt from one of our favorite sites, YourTango.

"I think we should break-up."

"I don't love you anymore."

"We aren't right for each other."

Breakups can leave the lovelorn rattled for weeks, months and sometimes even years. But there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Grieving a relationship is not unlike grieving a death. It's a healing process. But one day, you will move on. 20 Shocking Breakup Statistics

"The key to getting through a breakup is accepting that you are going to be a crazy maniac for the next three to six months of your life," says Elina Furman, relationship expert and author of Kiss and Run: The Single, Picky and Indecisive Girl's Guide to Overcoming Her Fear of Commitment. "There's no skipping steps so even if you think you're over it right away, you're probably not."


If you're recently single, fasten your seatbelt. These five stages of grief can get pretty rocky. It's A Breakup Not A Breakdown: Get over the big one and change your life — for good!

  1. Drunken Denial: A nightmarish state with equal parts alcohol and magical thinking.

    "After Andy broke up with me I just didn't accept it," says Eliza, 29, who dated her ex for two years before he called it quits. "I continued to call him exactly as I had before, we continued to have sex and then he would push me away and remind me we were broken up. It was terrible."

    As with most matters of the heart, we have nothing but biology to blame for the magnetic pull that drags us to an ex's front doorstep immediately after a breakup.

    "Initially there is often shock," says sex and relationship therapist Ian Kerner. "When you've gotten used to routines and patterns, those routines are hardwired and hardcoded in our brains. There's a sense of wanting to resume them."

  2. Sweaty Mania: A confusing state, during which you experience intense feelings of regret, euphoria and guilt. As reality filters in, you find yourself wildly grasping for relief. You're injected with confusing and invigorating energy.

    "People do a lot of crazy things during this stage," says Kerner. "I always tell women to watch out for casual sex because men don't produce oxytocin, so it's easier for them to compartmentalize a one-nighter or something casual. For women, it's more difficult. You immediately want to bond with who you are physical with."

    Use your newfound recklessness to do something that terrifies you. But pass on the one-night stand! Sign up for improv acting, maybe, or go skydiving.

    "Staying busy was really the best cure for me," says Amanda, 26. After she and her boyfriend of a year split, Amanda replayed each and every one of their arguments and endlessly beat herself up until she found a new outlet for her energy. "I trained for a marathon," she says. "I swear it was just as good, if not better, than therapy.”

To read the next three stages, check out YourTango: The 5 Stages Of Break-Up Grief

Written by Melissa Noble for YourTango.

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