The five stages of a breakup (and how to get through them)

January 31, 2017
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It seems the entire world has broken up with logic recently. From Trump, to the apparent new trend of wearing stockings under jeans. Or maybe it’s more serious than that. Maybe you just got dumped. Breaking up sucks A LOT and so its super easy to lose control of your emotional compass. But through the (mis)fortune of several breakups, I’ve developed a textbook clinical five-step process to get that compass pointing you to peak contentment.

Day zero

Imagine the worst episode of 24 – 24 hours of nuclear attack threats and torture and gangs of assassins. The first day of a breakup is infinitely worse than that. But it’s also the first day in the process of getting over it! Today is the day to cry. Cry and cry and cry and get it all out and call your mum and tell her about it and cry again in the shower. The catch is that today is the only time you can cry about it though.  Crying is a purge of all your emotions and in order to move on, it all needs to be out. If you find yourself in tears in a month’s time, you’re just holding onto something unhealthy. SO GET IT ALL OUT NOW.

Week one

The first week of being single means a time for changing things up. My favourite, and most adhered to, coping mechanism for the first week is cutting/dying my hair. Once I went blonde, another time I went purple, it really doesn’t matter! This also has the added bonus of giving you the chance to post about your new look on social media and score a few self-confidence points. While you’re in the hairdresser’s chair waiting for your foils, take the opportunity to delete all evidence of your ex. Delete their number, unfriend them on Facebook and send all your photos of them to the trash van where they (and the photos) belong (#salty).

One month later

This is optimal rebounding time. Get on Tinder, go out, go on blind dates – whatever! Whether you rebound emotionally or physically (or both!) it’s a process that teaches you how to play the dating game again. Most of the time, this new fling isn’t going to work out. You’re probably holding back and they’ll probably feel your hesitation so they’re never going to end up being the one. Regardless, it’s important to go through the motions and be disappointed by someone new. It’s all about getting new perspective.

Three months later

You’re becoming more content with being single and this gives you the best opportunity to throw yourself into uni. You’ve dealt with the initial shock, you’ve had your rebound and now you’re ready to bunker down and focus on yourself. This is also a great time to join a gym or start another resolution because you’re not doing it to spite anyone or show anyone up – it’s purely for you and your self-care.

Six months later

At this point, you’re ready to look back and take a few lessons from the entire thing without it hurting too much. At best, you can recognise what went wrong and acknowledge your part in it. Maybe you can even be friends now. At worst, you realise that you messed up real bad and that you’re a better person when you’re with them. If that’s the case, please feel free to send through any advice because I’m currently failing to find a solution.

Always remember though: without you even noticing, time is always going to push you onwards and upwards! As long as you love yourself, anyone extra is just an added bonus.

Danica Lamb

Danica is a Laws Masters kid at UWA. She enjoys cheap coffee and 80s pop music.

Image: Forgetting Sarah Marshall official Facebook page

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