First rule of being dumped, always talk about being dumped. Second rule of being dumped, always talk about being dumped. It happened. He/she declared it. The relationship you knew is now a mere decrepit cesspit of mindless thoughts and tears, oh God, so many tears! Goodbye relationship, hello single life! Goodbye boy/girlfriend, hello Mr. Cat! Goodbye long walks on the beach, hello ice cream tub in front of The Notebook! It’s a sad fact to face and it’s an even sadder reality to cope with, but you’ll survive.
What should you do? Should you go speak to him/her? Should you text them a billion times and wait for a response? Should you ignore them and go on with your life? Well, the answer is not that simple. Relationships have a deep seated dynamic to them that objective outsiders will not understand. Every relationship is as unique as a fingerprint and will leave a lasting scar on your heart when it ceases to exist. So, what do you do about those horrible feelings of sadness and grief? You talk about it as often as humanly possible. Yes, some of your friends might ignore you for a while, but a break-up is not only a test of your resilience, it is also a purge. Throughout the break-up process, many friends and foes will come to your aid, but most of them will become bored and move on to the next victim in despair. However, those who remain with you for the long haul are your truest and best of friends. Remember the age old adage you were taught at school and saw on bumper stickers when you were growing up? “When days are dark, friends are few.” These are your dark days, so the few friends who stick with you should be valued.
A break-up is akin to grieving. You have to go through the five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. You’ll get there, even though it feels like the ceiling is imploding on you and you’re about to burst from sadness. So, in true Celeb Teen Laundry fashion, we decided to set up our own five stages of break-up grief that you have to deal with before moving on:
1 – Denial of relationship – Are you saying to yourself, “I should have never trusted him/her in the first place,” and, “Why did I allow myself to get hurt”? This is the first stage of a break-up. You’re questioning the reality of the situation and coping with the hindsight. However, hindsight is always 20/20, so obsessing over the choices you made will not bring any relief to the situation.
2 – Anger at ex – These thoughts might pop into your head, “I am so pissed off with him! How could he leave me high and dry like this? What did I ever do to him? I’m going to get my revenge… Just you wait and see!” You’re angry, you’re livid; you’re planning to slice up his clothes and donate his mom to a homeless shelter. Anger is always one letter away from danger, even how clichéd that might sound! Don’t let anger control you, because in the end, being angry at him/her will only place the power squarely in his/her sweaty palms.
3 – Bargaining with ex – You send text messages and ask him/her to try again, you phone him/her in the middle of the night and plead for forgiveness (even though you did nothing wrong), and you take his mom on sushi dinner dates, all expenses paid. Don’t bargain. Never, ever bargain. Both of you need time and space to cope with the new reality, so don’t force someone into a relationship where they’re not willing to invest in you. A return to the normalcy of the relationship will never, ever be the same again, and your ex might end up resenting you for forcing him/her back into an awkward situation.
4 – Insane sadness – You will be sad throughout the entire break-up, especially when you’re reminded of him/her. However, the insane sadness you’ll experience after the first three stages is nothing compared to immediate post-break-up sadness. It’s not entirely dark and dreary, because the sadness is only your mind’s way of reminding you that your reality will never return to what it was, it’s a new reality now, and it’s time to accept it. This sadness will also lead the way to a brighter future, as the scar will cause you to be more resilient and more loving of a future partner.
5 – Accepting the situation – This is the last step in becoming whole again. You’ve done it! You’ve made it! You’ve existed without your ex for a few weeks, and life can go on. This is also the moment where you start socializing more often and remind yourself of what you just went through. The light is bright, the stars are more sparkly, and food tastes so great. You’ve made it, congratulations!
Remember, these five stages are not set in stone, so you might experience them out of order. It’s absolutely normal to go through these five stages and fall back into one of them down the line. A break-up is a long and hard process, but with the proper support and love from family and friends, you’ll be a brand new person in no time!