After a breakup your confidence can often plummet to all time lows. Those jeans that you thought you look good in suddenly don’t make you feel good at all. You’re probably feeling very unlovable so if a new person comes along and shows signs of finding you attractive it can give you an enormous confidence boost and lessen the heartache of past rejection. Friends may also be encouraging you to get back out there as there are plenty more fish in the sea. But jumping in too soon without grieving and learning from the past only takes all the unresolved issues into the new relationship. Rebound relationships, because of this, seldom work. They are unfair on the other person and more importantly unfair on you.
The opposite of rebound are the ones who find it hard to love again. For some they are stuck, unable to move on even years after the relationship ended.
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What both these situations have in common is that the relationship didn’t reach a proper ending. To learn, to recovery and to move on properly. It’s called the grieving process and is applicable if going through losing some in bereavement or an ending of a relationship. Those who embark on a rebound relationship are trying to skip the grieving; those who can’t love again become stuck in their grief.
So what is the grieving process? Well it has 5 stages and different people will go through it in different ways. Some might get through the lot in one day; other might take days or even weeks on each stage. It is also common that once you have reached the end something happens and you have to go start it all again , but the good news is will be easier. It’s not just the dumpee who will experience these emotions, the one who left will also go through the stages too.
Denial – the first response to bad news is numbness. The “it can’t be happening to me” moment. Denial is a sort of buffer against the shock providing you a breathing space to control your thoughts and get your coping strategies and supporters rallied into place.
Anger – it finally sinks in and you can’t get away form the fact it is happening to you. You will go through all the questions of why it is happening to you, why did you deserve this. You might be angry at your partner for doing something wrong or angry at your self for not spotting any signs or making mistakes.
Bargaining – at this point you now realise that your anger is getting you no where fast so your natural coping mechanisms kick in. you remember as a kid demanding something seldom worked so now you resort to the asking nicely faze. Bargaining is fine for short term but all it is doing is postponing the inevitable.
Depression – so the asking nicely didn’t work either so the depression sinks in. This can still be healthy though if we learn form it and not mask it with alcohol and other coping strategies. Depression is a way of your body half shutting down so that your mind can figure things out.
Acceptance – Even though you might not have wanted the relationship to end you finally reach the point you accept it has. Sometime there may be set backs when a song or place triggers memories but generally, in acceptance, more time is spent in looking forward rather than looking back.