By Ava Kesler
I don't have much experience on exes, and I can't say this is a scientifically proven study of emotions after a breakup. But this is pretty close to my own experience with my ex, and I hope it'll help you guys relate to another's breakup a little more than a study-proven article would.
Having an ex is like having a really bad cold.
First, you're in shock. It's really sudden to not have that person in your life. This varies on how much you anticipated the breakup, but your heart hurts.
A breakup doesn't just happen. Problems build and grow over time. You may have felt the pain of a breakup over weeks when the problems were building.
Your friends will try to comfort you, but it won't help. You're grief literally won't let their console help. You'll find flaws in their reasoning just because you're upset.
Soon you'll be in denial. You'll decide that you never even liked your ex, and you're glad you broke up. This denial is usually a false cover to comfort yourself. It's not intentional. Just a way to cope. Denial is paired with a feeling of emptiness inside. A curled up ball of tension.
Then a month later, you break down. You seek closure. You start missing the idea of a relationship. Jealousy sits in of others who are dating. You look for ways to move on, but it just doesn't work. You still watch your exes' social media waiting for what they'll do next.
Then anger sits in. You can insult your ex all you want, but the pain is still there. You still care about what they do. It depends on what terms you were on when you broke up, but you probably want to know what they're doing just because you're upset you're no longer part of their life. This is kind of the lost phase. You got your closure but you haven't actually moved on.
Next, you actually admit that you miss the ex. You could have had the most abusive relationship, but you'll still find the tiny happy moments. You look back at pictures and think about all the good times. You wish it didn't end the way it did.
You can start talking to other people, but your ex lingers in your mind. You compare everyone to the ex, deciding if they're worth it. But your heart isn't in it. You haven't found that true happiness yet.
Now is the magical moment. You let go. You don't do it on purpose. It just happens. You suddenly meet someone else, or have a really big life event, basically a really good day or week, and just like that, wisdom hits.
You start to finally see the situation from the third person. All the people who tell you how to move on suddenly make sense. Whatever the problem in the relationship was, it becomes clear to you.
As this settles, you find inner peace.
Still, you're a little weakened. A random item will remind you of the ex. I still don't know how long it takes until this ends. But slowly the pain from these reminders do leave.
Over time, you forget about the person. It all becomes a distant memory. Hormones stabilize, life continues, the sun rises again, more important things take place in your life.
And there you go. That's what it's like having an ex from my perspective.
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