The 5 Stages of Grief

Most of us have been in a relationship at one time or another that wasn’t a good fit for us. It’s hard to begin to recover from that hurt, to begin to trust in ourselves and in others again.

We go through stages; shock, denial, anger, the emotional roller-coaster, moving onto acceptance and disengagement before moving on. What do these stages mean and what do they look like in real life? You heard from Brian and heard his story. Today you’ll hear mine.

Unlike Brian, I have never been married. I have been in multiple relationships, two of them long, before meeting Brian. The longer of those two ended less than a year before I met Brian, my Dream Partner. So how did I get through those stages?

Shock and denial go hand in hand. It’s the shock of realizing that this precious relationship is ending. You might have seen the writing on the wall like I did, or it could have come out of nowhere. No matter how expected it is, it’s still a shock when it happens. After the shock of the relationship ending, we go into denial. We deny to ourselves that this ending is permanent, that it’s only a temporary insanity. We don’t admit to ourselves that ‘we’ is now ‘I’. We tell our friends that we simply had a disagreement, that of course we’re getting back together.

As we move out of denial we move into anger and the emotional roller-coaster of dealing with our emotions. Anger is naturally a part of the roller-coaster of our emotions. We lash out in anger at our friends and our former special someone, trying to cause hurt to get a reaction. We then feel guilty about lashing out, causing us to turn back into ourselves before the cycle comes again. We hide from our friends and family, pull away from our favorite activities because of the memories they invoke. We bury our heads in the sand instead of handling our emotions.

As we begin to handle our emotions, we begin to accept our new role as a single person and disengage from our former special someone. We do this by beginning to get back out there and remember who we were before being a couple. It’s not easy, but it’s an important stage in reclaiming our identity as a confident person who deserves to be happy. Hanging out with friends, enjoying our favorite activities, or even new ones that were introduced while dating. These are all important aspects of reclaiming ourselves. The only thing you can do is move forward one step at a time.

When I broke up with my boyfriend before meeting Brian, I hid from my friends and kept to myself at work for a couple weeks. I didn’t want to admit that my relationship of several years had ended finally, or that I was the one who ended it. My relationship had become intolerable and there weren’t any changes being made to save the relationship.

I was broken out of the shock and denial of it finally ending by my friends, who got me past the emotional roller-coaster (I was lucky enough to slide right through anger) and got me back out playing disc golf. I didn’t have many memories of being with him playing disc golf, so it was a safe activity that got me back out with my friends and being active.

I focused on reclaiming myself and beginning to think of everything I had learned about myself while recovering from my relationship. I was even able to start dating again, using my new knowledge to try to find my Dream Partner. When I met Brian, it was an instant click that I felt in my soul. During that entire first date, that click got louder and louder. It was a magical weekend that I’ll be eternally grateful for.

If you want to reclaim your dating life, to come back from an old relationship, click here:

Reclaim your confidence in yourself. Reclaim who you are and who you should be.

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