Ending a relationship really sucks. Period. The process of breaking up and experiencing all the messy emotions that come with it can make you feel like you're never going to recover and probably die alone alongside a billion cats.
The good news? That's not going to happen. Surviving and thriving through these seven common stages of a breakup is not only perfectly normal, it's healthy. Here's what you can expect:
Accepting the stinging truth that your relationship is no longer working or that your partner no longer wants to be with your awesome self can be tough. But remember, you could be the juiciest peach in the whole entire world and there’s still someone out there who just doesn’t eat—or work well with—peaches.
Instead of checking your phone every five seconds for a text of reconciliation (hmm, not likely), or even worse, backsliding into your new ex's bed looking for some kind of comfort, take time for yourself now, and lean on your friends and family for support.
Put down the bat, girl. You are not in a Beyoncé music video smashing stuff. This is real life, and yes, you have a right to feel angry with how things went down—especially if you're the person who was broken up with or done dirty.
But blowing out the blow torch and cooling your jets is high-key recommended right now. Doing something drastic when you're absolutely furious isn't worth the consequences.
Ugh, the worst part of the breakup TBH. As if wallowing in your heartbreak Elle Woods-style isn't depressing enough, it's probably now that you'll also conveniently happen to find your old love notes tucked between the pages of your notebook. Or, you won't be able to stop yourself from surfing through your camera roll of #couplegoals pics. It also doesn't help that you haven’t seen a shower in four days and you’re eating dry ramen.
But really, this is one of the healthiest stages of a breakup. Allow yourself to feel all the sadness now, and you'll have an easier time moving on later. Trust.
Jealousy and Competitiveness
If you've ever been through a split, you know this phase well. Maybe you sign into your BFF’s socials to stalk your ex's accounts (since you obvs unfollowed him). Maybe you patrol his followers list and creep on every woman’s account who has double-liked one of his pics post-breakup.
And maybe you’re even posting thot-y pics of your own that you know damn well will get you record high likes in the hopes that he'll see it. It's savage, but maybe a little much. You're in a not super secure time in your life right now, and you know it, so put. The. Phone. Down.
This is quite literally a feeling of nothingness—like being trapped in your own body without having any feels, emotions, or concerns for yourself or the people around you. Instead, you are fully immersed in processing the new information that who you may have thought was your person is not. And for that reason, you are left feeling as empty as a hallow tree.
You know when something just clicks? And, suddenly, you get it. I mean, really get it. You make peace with your loss ("RIP to old bae") and, little by little, you start to feel ready to move on. Perhaps you're not about to look back on the relationship with a smile on your face, but you know it's definitely time to move on. There's only way to go from here. Thank u, next.
Ah, the final stage. You made it! Through all the heartbreak, the back-and-forth, and the unsettling emotions, you've finally reached a point where you can start looking toward the future. You're ready to try again and know there could be someone else out there.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.