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Stages Of Breaking Up

The Six Stages Of Breaking Up and A Failed Relationship
By Tigress Luv, the Breakup Guru (Based on webpages taken from About Your Breakup .com and from the books, How to Get Over a Breakup, and How to Stop A Break Up and Win An Ex Back)

Stages of Breaking Up One: Falling in Love

In the beginning of a relationship the world is great. You truly think that the sun really is shining brighter than before. You notice for the first time ever how absolutely beautiful that old oak tree on Main Street is. You wake up in the morning with the sweetest feelings of warmth. There is a sparkle in your eyes and a new spring in your walk! You are ‘falling' in Love!

New love is selfish love. We value another because they make our life better. Love isn't a thing or an emotion. Love is an effect. We fall in love with somebody, not because of who they are, but because of how they make us feel about ourselves. We feel we can make them happy, and making another happy makes us feel happy. They are attracted to us so therefore we suddenly feel very attractive and grow in our self-esteem. The more they are attracted to us the better we feel, and the better we feel the more we are attracted back to them for making us feel this good. In turn, they feel the same feelings and emotions as us because we are making them feel good about themselves, too! What a great cycle of love; we actually fall in love with each other for making us feel so great about ourselves. We can make this person happy–and that will make us happy. Our future has the promise of "happiness"! They show admiration and appreciation for our accomplishments, goals, lifestyles–therefore we gain a renewed self-confidence and pride–we must be great! They are patient and accepting of our shortcomings, faults, and flaws (they even think our shortcomings are cute!) and therefore we must have over-exaggerated our faults and we now find a perfect contentment and acceptance of ourselves. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could always feel this in love with ourselves!!!!????

"It is only in the beginning stages of love that we can make the conscious
decision to allow or not allow ourselves to love."~~Tigress Luv


  • Elated Pride, increased self-awareness and self-approval

  • Desire felt by lust

  • Human love and friendship, open and inviting

  • Curiosity and actively seeking new 

Stages of Breaking Up Two: Being in Love

Giving to each other makes each happy. They have made us feel so happy and we want to make them happy in return. We want to assure their happiness to guarantee them in our lives and hearts forever. We delight in showing our love, our acceptance, and our appreciation with the other. Their happiness is of the utmost importance to us. We demonstrate appreciation of their impact in our lives by giving them little gifts. We relish in making them as happy as they have made us feel by doing little things for them and caring about them. We meet each other's basic emotional needs. It is in this stage that we start to notice those little things about them that make them so adorable! Their crooked smile, the way they walk, the feel of their lovemaking, the smell of their skin, the touch of their hand. "Being in Love" is different from "Falling in Love". We now feel love toward the other person because we appreciate them more for who they are as opposed to how they made us feel about ourselves. We actually become addicted, in a sense, to the routine of them and the familiarity of a certain lifestyle that we share as a couple. We are hooked.


  • Elated Pride, increased appreciation of the other

  • Desire felt by trust

  • Human love and friendship, giving and caring

  • Curiosity turns into personal satisfaction 

Stages of Breaking Up Three: Expecting Love

We have reached the stage where we are in loving relationship. We feel safe, protected, secure, content. Our vulnerabilities we wear on our sleeves with no fear of them being taken advantage of. Our emotions are free-flowing, open, and trusting. Yet, sometimes when we open ourselves up to trusting emotions we can get confused in our beliefs that this trust is somehow being violated by our significant other...especially if we somehow feel our emotional needs are not being met, or our loving ways are not being appreciated. This is the stage where our pride and ego step in and work against us - destroying our very own happiness!We subconsciously seek and expect certain proofs, respects, and validations of our feelings. For instance, he wants to go bowling with his buddies tonight and you are nervously fretting over an important job interview tomorrow. He leaves and you mistakenly resent him. "If he loved me he would have known how much I needed him to be with me tonight!" Because you love the other you have openly gave to them, willing and freely, but now you feel hurt and anger that your needs weren't respected, acknowledged, or important to them. You have come to expect certain actions from your mate that reaffirm your love and make you feel validated, and they didn't do that by electing to not stay with you. You start to question their love for you.


  • Pride turns into wounded and hurt feelings

  • Desire turns into compliance

  • Human love and friendship turns into negotiating tactics

  • Curiosity turns into invasive probing

Stages of Breaking Up Four: Questioning the Others Love Intent

It is at this stage when we are more likely to feel anger, hurt, and betrayal if we feel our needs are not being fulfilled. Hurt emotions overwhelm logic and judgment. We get defensive and egotistical. We are selfish. We start to put ourselves #1 and often feel indignant. "If they loved me they would do this, or not have done that, etc." We start to withdraw from doing those little things for them, after all if our needs aren't met then why should we meet theirs. (This will show him how much he hurt me!) Even though we may have withdrawn our ‘giving' we start to expect even more in return. Our pride and ego step in and take front row! We demand certain signs from them as a show of their love and how much they are sorry that they have unintentionally hurt us.

They, in turn, realize you have withdrawn your love and have insulted them, either by verbally attacking them, or demeaning them, and they proceed to protect themselves, too, by doing just the opposite of what you want from them. They withdraw their loving ways too, at a time when you are needing their validation of love more than ever. Now, neither one of you are getting your emotional needs met. Unfortunately, it is in this stage that couples are still very much emotionally bonded. That makes the pain of the other's actions all that much more damaging. Our ego and pride nose dive! We lash out at the other, our intent to belittle them, make them lesser in our book in order to kill our pain of rejection - loss of pride and bruised ego again rule the day.

Your relationship has now become a showdown between two selfish people who's only attempt is to protect their own selves at all costs! This is the last dance you two will ever share...each step your partner takes you react accordingly. Without either of you realizing it you have created a cycle of conflict, resisting, and attacking–and eventual withdrawal. And sadly neither one of you are even aware of your role in the conflict. You are both filled with resentment–and resentment makes you feel angry, critical, hostile, frustrated, and unloving. Resentment makes both partners separate from the other and retreat behind their own personal walls.


  • Pride turns to Shame

  • Desire turns to Disillusion and Anger

  • Human love to resentful loneliness

  • Curiosity to Distraction and Unconcern

If they are blocked long enough, and all hope is gone, the blocked emotions change into hopeless emotions:

Stages of Breaking Up Five: Hiding From Love

We withdraw from one another, forming an impenetrable wall of protection from the pain. The pain and hurt we both feel is from the feeling that we gave of our love so freely, and did not have it neither validated, nor appreciated. We feel that nothing we had ever did made the other one happy. They expected more and more from us, but didn't give anything in return. In this stage, in order to protect ourselves from hurt and pain, we become very good at convincing ourselves that we don't need, want, love, or even like the other person. We separate from them, if not in our physical environment, in our mental and emotional environment. We dwell on all the bad things about the other, often times escalating the slightest things to justify our own reasons and to deter self-blame. If this stage is left untreated we eventually fall prey to the final stage...falling out of love.


  • Pride turns to Contempt and Hurtful Actions

  • Desire turns to Fear of Losing Self

  • Human love turns to Disdain, Repulsiveness and Rejection 

  • Curiosity turns to Detachment and Apathy

Stages of Breaking Up Six: Falling Out of Love

In this final stage it is common for the relationship to take on either one of these two directions:

  1. Both parties walk away, neither attempting to rekindle the loss. Our hearts are heavy and empty. We feel betrayed, hurt, and resentful. How could they allow such ruin? We do not feel good about ourselves. The sun has stopped shining, the old oak tree is wicked looking, with gnarled twisted branches, your eyes have dark circles under them and there is a dragging shuffle in your walk. You have fallen out of love.

  2. Only one party walks away, feeling empty and emotionally exhausted. While this happens the other partner realizes their impending loss and wants to try and save the relationship. They become the pursuer, forcing the absent partner to take on the roll of the pursued. The more the pursuer pursues, the more the pursued tries to flee. Ego and pride has been damaged. The pursued party becomes focused on one goal, and that is getting out of the relationship that made them feel stripped of pride and emotional well-being. There are no other options considered by the pursued party. They are adamantly, and ignorantly, finished - and nothing will penetrate their intent to exit the relationship. They usually get 'tunnel-vision', seeing nothing else outside of their goal to end the relationship. The more they are intent on this goal, the more the pursuer clings to them, or pleas with them. The pursuer may make promises to 'change', try reasoning tactics, frantically pour out their love, threaten, act helpless - any tactic they can use, except the right one!


  • Pride turns to Egotism and Selfishness

  • Desire turns to Shame

  • Human love turns to Blame, Resentment and Bitter Anger 

  • Curiosity turns to Detachment and Apathy

You can prevent the final stage from happening if you catch it in Stage Five. Read how to stop your break up.
By Tigress Luv, the Breakup Guru

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Article brought to you by Tigress Luv, the Breakup Guru

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