There’s nothing worse than a breakup. You feel awful like you’ve wasted your time, or like you were never good enough, to begin with. At least, that’s how we’ve always felt after a really bad break.
And after a bad breakup, you always go through the same stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. You don’t necessarily go through each stage in that order or spend an equal amount of time in each stage, or even go through each one individually and not keep bouncing back and forth between stages like some sort of melodramatic jumping bean. Yet, everybody goes through them after a breakup, and that means we all tend to do similar things when we’re in that dark place.
Here are five things that everyone does after a truly bad breakup.
Denial - Cyberstalking
Come on, admit it—we all do it. After a bad break, you can’t help but check out your ex’s Facebook or Twitter profile to see what they’re up to. Maybe they’re as sad as you are, and maybe they’re lamenting their decision. Maybe there’s still a chance to get back together. After all, watching your beau from the internet is almost like being together, right?
Nope, it’s just creepy. But we all do it, even though we really shouldn’t.
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Bargaining - The Drunk Dial
There’s usually a lot of drinking after a bad break. We're not sure what it is, but drowning your sorrows in booze is a go-to response for nearly every human being on Earth. It’s almost like an evolved response.
What is definitely not an evolved response is drunk dialing your ex at four in the morning with a tearful plea to get back together. You’ll promise to be more attentive, to not get mad at their parents, and be totally cool with having their cat sleep on the bed even though you’re allergic and nearly choked to death that one night.
You’ll promise the world, and it’ll be totally sad, and if your ex is nice they’ll just not pick up when they see it’s your number. Doesn’t stop you from leaving a truly awful voicemail though.
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Anger - The Purge
At some point, all that emotion becomes a little too much to handle, and it morphs into a bizarre rage. That’s the point where you grab all your ex’s stuff, throw it on the front lawn, grab a bottle of lighter fluid and have a good old bonfire on the front porch. Fire can be so cathartic.
If you’re not so much a pyromaniac then you can sensible thing and just delete all your old pictures, their phone number, social media accounts, and online messenger programs, but we’ll be honest that’s a lot more work than throwing it all in a dumpster and lighting it on fire.
Depression - Ice Cream, Table For One
For us at least, the longest and most depressing part of a bad breakup is, well, the depression part. You’ll just be sad for so long, often for no reason. Actually, for a very good reason, but it saps the life out of you. Things you used to enjoy no longer bring you pleasure until your only hope is to start stacking pleasurable things on top of each other in a desperate attempt to dig yourself out of your sad hole.
That’s how you’ll find yourself sitting alone in a dark room watching your favorite movie for the umpteenth time while eating ice cream straight from the tub with a wooden mixing spoon. Because a regular spoon isn’t good enough to fill that emptiness you feel. Only ice cream can fill it.
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Acceptance - The Date You Immediately Regret
The Rebound. It can be great, it can be awful, but either way, you immediately regret it. If it was great you think you’re somehow betraying your eternal love for the guy/girl who just dumped you. If it sucks, you feel horrible for having meaningless intercourse that turned out to be awful.
But there’s a silver lining here. The mere fact that you agreed to go on that stupid date your friend has been desperately trying to set you up on to make sure you’re not so depressed you’re considering suicide after that fourteenth tub of ice cream (at least, more immediate suicide than the diabetes you’ve almost certainly already given yourself) is sign that you’ve entered into the last stage of grief: acceptance. You may not be ready yet, but soon you’ll finally agree that it was all for the best, and that true love is waiting for you if you’re just courageous enough to look for it.
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