I’ve had quite a few breakups in my day, most being in high school since that’s basically when I peaked physically, but whatever. In college, there were fewer breakups, mostly due to the fact that I only had one actual relationship, but now that I’ve graduated, I feel like I’m ready to get back into the whole “boyfriend, girlfriend” game. I’ve started dating again (mostly guys who aren’t capable of making plans or brushing their teeth, more on that later) which will most likely lead to a handful of breakups before and if I ever find “the one.” Horrible or not, the stages of a breakup are pretty much always the same.
1. Crying…really loud…for a long time.
Unless you were just extremely annoyed with your significant other or he cheated, there will always be tears. I don’t care who broke up with whom. After “the talk” happens, the second you hang up the phone (he didn’t even meet you in person?!), shut the door or leave his apartment, there are tears. A shit ton of tears. Secretly, it’s cleansing, and afterward you lie to yourself that “it’s been a long time since I’ve had a good cry.”
2. The best friend rescue.
If your BFF cares enough, she’s at your place the day after the breakup with Ben and Jerry’s, a bottle of vodka and the Sex and the City DVD box set. You talk about how stupid your ex (OMG not used to saying ex now, cue more crying) is and how you need a “real man” who’s 30-something and established instead of these boys you’ve been dating. You are both working girls now and you’re determined to find someone who’s on your level, which, according to your BFF, is like really, really high.
3. The therapeutic all-girl bar crawl.
Even though you’re heartbroken and still dying a little inside, all of your friends are SO happy for you that you got out of that “toxic” relationship. Your single friends are all welcoming you back to the Single Club and your taken friends are just happy you didn’t get engaged before them. It’s time to drink vodka tonics and flirt/make out with every dude at the bar. Why? Because you can now. Congrats.
4. Embarrassing drunk hookup.
Remember all of those Fireball shots you were taking with that decent-looking guy at your therapeutic all-girl bar crawl? No? Well, all of those shots contributed to your first sloppy rebound. A necessary but not always classy move post-breakup, your single friends were right, you’re officially back in the club and you have the headache to prove it.
5. “My ex is so annoying I’m so glad we broke up.”
After a little crying and a lot of rebound shame, a tiny bit of anger sets in. You can’t believe you dated that guy and let his dumb excuses go on for so long. He never even changed his sheets while you were dating. NOT ONCE.
6. Ultimate freedom.
You can do anything you want now. You don’t have to watch the game. You don’t have to cook for two. You don’t have to share your covers. You don’t have to talk to his crazy aunt at family gatherings. You don’t have to argue with anyone. You don’t have to be in shape anymore, because no one is seeing you naked every single night. Unless you have a hookup buddy, and in that case, props.
7. Ultimate loneliness.
After a good amount of freedom and spreading your wings in this new uncommitted world, you start to miss a few things about being in a relationship. You don’t have anyone to spoon you. No one cooks you dinner. No one will go with you to see those weird movies you like so much. Valentine’s Day is the ultimate slap in the face.
8. The cycle repeats itself.
It may take weeks, months or years, but at some point, you will be in a relationship again. It’s new and exciting and you’re just so in lust with your new man. He is just so much more mature and successful than your ex. But he does do that really annoying thing where he talks really loud in restaurants and NEVER FLOSSES… (cue stage 1)