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What happens when a love relationship comes to an end?

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When we end a relationship we need some time to get used to the idea that that person for whom we had certain feelings is no longer going to be part of our life, and thus readjust our routine and future plans without their presence.

For all these reasons, in this process in which we assume and face our new reality, it is normal to experience unpleasant and intense emotions that, at times, we feel that we cannot control. Grief over the loss of a partner is quite similar to other types of grief. and overcoming this or the strategies that we can use for it are also similar.

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The stages of grief

To begin with, we will see that the phases of mourning a sentimental breakup are the same phases as those of any other mourning. Next, we will briefly describe these phases that many of you may already know or have experienced. We must take into account that they don't have to happen linearly, each person will experience them in an order and we can go through each of them on more than one occasion. The phases are:

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1. shock

It is the initial contact with this new situation. In this phase the person may not have reacted yet, it is like a surprise phase in which we have not yet thought about what is really happening.

2. Denial

“This cannot be happening to me” or “what I am experiencing cannot be true” are typical thoughts that flood us when we are in this phase. At this point in the process we refuse to accept the reality that is happening, we do not assume that our relationship has ended and we remain waiting for the relationship to be fixed again from one moment to the next and to continue in partner. If this situation continues and the person continues to avoid what has happened without going through the rest of the stages of grief, you will end up having difficulties doing it in the future and it will cause you even more suffering in the long run.

3. Anger/Anger

In this phase, the person has begun to assimilate that the relationship has ended and anger towards his ex-partner begins to overtake him. We feel that we have been treated unfairly or that we have been betrayed. Sometimes we think that he has not valued what we have done for the couple, that he was immature or that he did not deserve us as a couple. This anger hides behind a deep suffering for what we are living and it is possible that at this stage we also feel anxiety.

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4. Negotiation

In this stage the person tries to negotiate possible changes to recover the couple, forcing agreements or trying to solve the problems that we have seen that were part of our old relationship. It is possible that romantic gestures appear that perhaps the ex-partner had demanded some time ago, that we look for excuses to have to see each other or force "casual" encounters or, sometimes even blackmail or manipulation so that the couple wants to return to the relationship, for example, "I can't live without you" or "if you don't come back I won't be able to get out of this situation".

5. Depression/Sadness

At this stage we begin to assimilate that the breakup is something real and that it has no solution, so it is common for us to experience deep sadness for the loss. We begin to have thoughts and behaviors that can be harmful to ourselves. We tend to think that we will not find anyone to share our life with, that we will never experience love as intense as this again, or that I will never connect with anyone like that person again.

These thoughts are completely irrational and will feed on fears and beliefs of each of us so each person will experience their own. Regarding behavior, it is usual that at this stage we are a little destructive with ourselves and generate habits or attitudes that if we kept them in the long term would be harmful.

Grief before the end of a relationship

6. Acceptance

This is the final stage of mourning, in it the person has already accepted that the ex-partner will not return and that she is capable of living a full and happy life on her own. Once we are in this phase we can say that we have overcome the duel and when the time comes we can start a new healthy relationship and with new learning.

  • Related article: "Unconditional self-acceptance: what it is and why it improves our mental health"

Advice before the end of a love relationship

To help you with this duel, here are some tips that will make it easier for the duel not to become entrenched and that you can learn from the entire process that you are experiencing:

1. know yourself

Sometimes after years of relationship we have formed an identity as a couple and once the breakup occurs I feel lost and I don't know who I am. Take advantage of this moment to experiment and bring to light your own identity, what hobbies would you like to have, new tastes in music, theater, cinema, etc. and new approach to my life, how I would like to live it.

  • You may be interested: "Self-knowledge: definition and 8 tips to improve it"

2. work on your self esteem

The self esteem it will be the basis for him to be able to go through a good grieving process; accept me as I am, with my strong points and with the less strong ones and loving myself for all of it.

3. time alone

Take advantage of this new stage to enjoy doing things with yourself, learn to listen to you, to give you what you need and to dedicate little moments of peace and care that you can add to your routine.

4. practice compassion

With you, understanding that you are giving your best in every situation and learning from the occasions that have not gone as you expected without punishing and judging yourself. But also with the ex-partner, since understanding that they are just one more person trying to do the best they can with the tools they have will make the process easier. by the duel (mainly in the anger/anger phase) and will allow us, once we have gone through the duel, to remember the relationship with its beautiful moments and its learning.

The time each person takes to grieve varies, can be influenced by various factors, including the possibility that there was some type of relationship in the relationship. dependency that makes separation difficult, ideas and beliefs about relationships and about myself and even my own fears.

For all these reasons, it is important that we follow our own rhythm, listen to each other and take our needs into account, and if we feel that If we remain stuck, let's seek help from a professional to prevent the duel from becoming something pathological and so that we can move forward in our process.
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