Recently I became single after being in a long-term relationship and as most can probably relate, I was devastated. I was scared of being 'alone' and 'single'; why? Because as everyone who has once been in a relationship can probably relate, I was scared of the stigma behind break-ups and what happens when you're newly 'single'. While every breakup is different, the heartbreak one feels remains true, and this is why the process of coming to terms with being single again is pretty universal.
Personally, I've come out of two long-term relationships in the past three years and both times I went through the same process of accepting myself and my new title of 'single', even if one breakup took me longer than the other. From rebounding to finally accepting that you're a boss a** b*tch, here are the 8 most common phases of moving through a breakup.
The first few minutes of a break-up is the hardest, maybe you got a "we need to talk" text or maybe if you're 'lucky' the break-up happened in person. Then comes the actual break-up, it feels like the wind is knocked out of you and you are overcome with a grief you did not know was possible. This feeling can be overwhelming as you're sad for what you're losing seemingly all of the sudden. Oftentimes, during this part, you seemingly 'shutdown" which leads to the next stage.
After a break-up, no one wants to admit to this stage as it can often be considered the 'worst' stage of being newly single. This is the time where you seemingly 'shutdown' and deny that the break-up has happened. Maybe you reach out to your ex and attempt to talk to them as if the break-up never happened or maybe you beg your ex to take you back and forget the break-up happened. This stage is not a loss of self-respect, it's simply not being ready to let go of someone you love. How much time you spend in this phase depends on many things such as, how long the relationship was, how strong the love was, or how the breakup actually went down.
3. Sadness, Again.Giphy
After accepting that the relationship is officially over, you may become overwhelmed with a new kind of sadness, the realization that the love has run its course. Your phone no longer lights up with their "good morning' texts and you can no longer bask in their company. There is no perfect way to handle this phase, if you're like me you'll have amazing friends that sit with you all night to cheer you up with cheesy movies and bad pickup lines or maybe you'll take a few days to yourself to process your grief. Just know that this phase will soon end and the hurt will not last forever.
4. The Urge to Hit Up All Your Other Exes.Giphy
Everyone will tell you, "don't do it" but if we're being honest, we all go through this stage. You're chilling alone in your room and you think to yourself "what would it hurt to hit them up". It's easy to forget how much a previous ex has wronged you when you're fresh out of a relationship. As humans, we naturally seek out comfort in others and so losing that can have you seeking it in places you once found it. There is nothing wrong with having this phase, except that oftentimes there's a reason that person was our ex too. The other side of this phase is it's simply "rebounding", maybe you don't have another ex to hit up so you download tinder, do not let people judge you for this. There is no set amount of time before you are allowed to have this phase.
5. Anger and Revenge.Giphy
After you realize that maybe hitting up that other ex was not a good idea or that tinder has nothing to offer, you become angry at being alone. Maybe you sh*t talk to friends or maybe you rant to your journal. At some point, you'll find yourself wondering how you can get revenge on your ex for everything they put you through that you were blind to before. You're losing your best friend and lover all at the same time, you're bound to be angry over all the time and energy spent on this person just to be left alone suddenly. Being angry and plotting revenge is a healthy coping mechanism, just don't do anything illegal.
6. The Change.Giphy
Once you've cycled through all the emotions associated with a breakup, you feel ready and in need of a change. Personally, after my breakup, I went out and got nipple piercings and dyed my hair, I just needed to feel like I was in control of myself and my life again. During this phase, the things you do may be something you subconsciously always wanted but did not feel your significant other would approve of or maybe it's a spur of the moment decision. This phase is never about your ex and always about you owning your life again and being ready to be happy. The act of changing something about yourself can be therapeutic, and a signal to yourself and others that you're ready to move on and be happy.
7. The Realization That You're a Boss A** B*tch.Giphy
After making a huge change, you finally realize that you're a boss a** b*tch that doesn't need a man to determine her self-worth. Which is just in time for your ex to realize what he's missing and hit you up with the "I miss you" text. Remember your self-worth and all that you've been through, you can accomplish everything you set out to do without them in your life. This is the time to prove to your ex just what they lost and show everyone the amazing woman you are.
8. The Act of Officially Moving On.Giphy
Finally, your ex is out of your mind and you're ready to move on. You've gone through the other seven phases of the break-up and you really feel like your own person again. Remember, there is no set amount of time that you have to wait before you're allowed to move on, we all find love in the weirdest or most unexpected places. Whether you waited two weeks or two years your feelings are always valid. Just remember to still love yourself during this time, just because you're ready to move on doesn't mean you have to stop loving yourself.