Breakup Timeline: The Emotional Stages Of Being Dumped

From the initial moment to the one-year anniversary, here's what to expect when you've been dumped.

Even if you’ve never gone through a breakup, all you have to do is flip on the radio or turn on the TV, and you’ll come across some song or some movie that will confirm that breakups are the worst. No matter how the relationship came to an end, it’s still a loss and one that hurts like hell.

Although we can definitely agree that a breakup is a loss for both, the person who really suffers is the one who’s been dumped. It’s that person who has to live with the burden of wondering what they did wrong, what about them wasn’t good enough, and all while trying to deal with their broken heart. It’s not easy. 

It can take a long time before you’re able to fee like yourself again, but eventually you’ll get there.

Need to know what to expect? Here are the emotional stages of being dumped.

1. The initial moment.

In that initial moment, there’s only shock. Shock that it’s over, shock at what you’ve been told, and then the shock of this is suddenly your life, your life without them.

Breakup Timeline: The Emotional Stages Of Being Dumped

2. The first day.

Although the shock lasts through the whole first day, there are also tears. Lots and lots of tears, intermittent with nausea. You may even throw up a few times, because the emotions are too much to bear. You’re simply overcome with devastation.

3. The third day.

Breakup Timeline: The Emotional Stages Of Being Dumped

Depending on how devastated you are, you may have tried to sleep the first three days away. If you went that route, then all your dreams were likely to be about your ex, they’re the first thought you have every time you wake up, and the last thought you have before you fall asleep. Life still doesn’t seem real.

4. The first week.

The first week is always the worst, so to say you’ve somehow gotten better between that initial moment and by the end of the first week would be a lie. You’re not better. In fact, you might be a little worse as your shock has worn off and you’ve been left to deal with the heartbreak.

5. The second week.

Breakup Timeline: The Emotional Stages Of Being Dumped

By the second week, you actually leave the house. You agree to meet up with friends, but you do so in your loungewear. You don’t see the point in wearing anything else. You try to talk to your friends about other things, but it’s hard not to keep coming back to your breakup. It’s your first time out in public since the breakup and the first of many public tears.

6. The first month.

As the first 30 days or so come to an end, the shock is officially gone. You accept that this is your life now, albeit begrudgingly. You’ve definitely sent your fair share of angry drunk texts, email tirades, and screamed into your ex’s voicemail, too. Your rage and sadness take turns being the dominate emotions in your life.

7. The third month.

Breakup Timeline: The Emotional Stages Of Being Dumped

When the third month rolls around, your anger is probably at its height which puts you right on track with the stages of grief. You’re angry at your ex, you’re angry at the situation, and you’re even angry at yourself. You might even blame yourself in some ways, but don’t go there. You have enough to deal with, so don’t add to it.

8. The sixth month.

You’re still bitter and angry, and when someone mentions your ex’s name, you can feel your skin crawl – totally normal. You can feel yourself getting stronger, but you know that you still have a long way to go. Every day you’re making a little bit more peace with what has happened, but you can still feel the pain in your heart, even if by now you’ve recognized that the breakup is for the best. You do not want to be with someone who doesn’t want you. Ever.

9. The first year.

Breakup Timeline: The Emotional Stages Of Being Dumped

Once an entire year has passed, you feel like you’re able to find yourself again. You may have started causally dating or you’ve just recently started considering it. You no longer send drunk texts or angry emails, but that doesn’t mean the hurt and disappointment have lifted. You’re not quite to the point where you’re able to look back on your relationship and see some of the good stuff, but you know you’ll get there soon enough… and you hope you do, because you know there at least a couple good memories tucked in there. You just need to weed through all the sadness to find them.