Stages of Grief - In the Context of Moving-On From a Romantic Relationship

Have you ever been in a serious romantic relationship that ended sourly? If yes, you have also probably gone to the phase of getting over the person you were with.  Regardless of age, personality, educational attainment, and religious belief, people mourn when something tragic happens to them.  Individuals may just have different ways and timetable on how they will be back to their happy selves, but, there is a common denominator on the stages they will go through. Persons in this situation may not notice this universal factor but when taken closely, there is a general pattern of emotions with the people moving on.

According to psychologists, grief is the feeling someone experiences when he loses someone or something important to him.  It is also considered as an overwhelming emotion of a person which causes him deep sorrow.  With this definition, we can conclude that individuals whose relationships stopped in a bad note are very much prone to grief.

Among the stages of grief, the first phase is denial.  This is when the individual feels that the bond between him and his loved one is not yet over.  In this phase, it is possible that one or both parties may still communicate and talk about their separation over and over.  If it is the man who broke up with the woman, she is prone to asking the man several times on why he decided to end what they have.  If no communication is made at this stage, the couple may feel that nothing awful happened between them.  They may not cry nor react negatively in their state.  Another potential reaction is to feel okay and maybe to sense that they have already moved-on.

The second stage is anger.  One famous cause of broken relationships is betrayal. If this is the root of the problem, this is the time when the victim will feel mad to his partner.  If the people involved were just casualties of situations and their personality differences, they are expected to hate themselves.  They could think that it was their fault why their love ended and that they did not do anything good in their situation.  Some may go extreme by hating men or women and even the world they are in.  They may think that life is unfair.

After this stage, bargaining would come in. This is considered as the weakest part of heartache.  One may seek rescue from friends, legal affairs, or even from the people they were with.  Since the persons involved are extra vulnerable at this phase, they would have a lot of questions on why it occurred and why it happened to them.  There are also a lot of “ifs” in this leg, such as, “If only I was prettier..”, “If only I had a stable work and was able to provide…”  “If only his mother liked me…”, etc. 

The second to the last stage is depression.  This is when sadness and regret comes in.  Women possibly will choose not to go out and socialize and men may turn to alcohol.  Aside from this, people involved may perhaps feel tired and sickly.  They could once again cry and get stressed over little things.  However, since this is a familiar feeling and people know that the opposite of sadness is happiness, those who are in this stage easily find ways on how they can be joyful again.

The last stage of grief is acceptance.  Do not get fooled because acceptance may not mean cheerfulness.  This may simply mean that the persons involved are contented and at peace with their situation.  They no longer feel a strong negative emotion.  This last stage is also considered as the time when calmness is welcomed and withdrawal from habits brought about by depression is started.

In this world, it is typical for people to fall in love, be committed and get married.  At the same time, it is also normal for them to get hurt, fall out of love, and leave the person they were with.  Among all the natural occurrences in relationships, moving on is a part of it.  Some may be ready to have relationships again in 2 weeks, some will wait it out more, and maybe some would even just accept what happened and never commit themselves in relationships again.  In the midst of all this, it is good to know that no matter how negative we feel about ourselves, our lost love and our personal space – every bit of it is normal.  It is expected and perhaps it is even a must.


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