We’ve heard Dr. Kubler Ross’s stages of grief as it applies to a break up, but often the fifth stage is misinterpreted. First I’d like to review the first four stages:
1. Denial – The “No, not me” stage. This is the stage where you still believe you are the exception, that you’re ex still loves you and will be coming back. The stage where you can’t deal with the fact that things are over, and will never be the same.
2.Anger/Resentment – The “Why me?” stage. When you are angry at them for leaving you and breaking your heart. When you’re angry with them for all the pain that you’re having to deal with and for shattering the ground you stood on. For turning everything you thought you knew upside down.
3. Bargaining – The “If I do this, you’ll do that” stage. When you come up with your plan to win your ex back. When you say “If you stay, I’ll change.” The no contact rule fits here, and so does the making your ex jealous plan... You’re basing your actions, not on your own happiness, but only to get your ex back.
4. Depression - The “It’s really happened” stage. This is the stage where you don’t want to get up, and you feel powerless. You may or may not have accepted that things are really done. You can’t really deal with it yet, but you know it’s happened.
The fifth stage is often described as the moment that you are okay again, but open any psychology book and you’ll realize that that’s just not the case. You don’t bounce right back, although you do start to move on. Here is the truth about the fifth stage.
5. Acceptance – The “This is what happened” stage. You are not over what happened, you have only accepted that there is nothing you can do, things are really over whether you like it or not you will need to move on with you’re life. You may still hurt, you may still love your ex... But things are done. And you’ve accepted there’s no going back.
Eventually you will move on and be happy, which should really be the sixth stage. The first five stages are really important to be happy and to avoid the rebound relationship. The acceptance stage, in my opinion, is by far the hardest. You’ve accepted the inevitable... and you need to deal with watching you’re ex move on, work on moving on yourself, and putting yourself back out there where you can get hurt again.