Four Stages of a Breakup

Learn about the four stages involved in a breakup or personal relationship dissolution. Most, if not all, breakups follow these four stages of a breakup.

More often than not, the breakup of a relationship is as hard on the person ending the relationship as it is on the person being broken up with. Most people never really escape the inevitability of heartbreak in his or her life.

In many relationships, there comes a time when one or both participants in a relationship realize that it is time to call it quits. A relationship breakup is difficult and painful because it involves loss and some people feel rejected and, therefore, their self-worth diminishes. Thus, you have to adjust to new circumstances.

There are four stages involved in the dissolution of a personal relationship:

  1. Intrapsychic stage
  2. Dyadic stage
  3. Social stage
  4. Grave dressing stage

Intrapsychic Stage

The intrapsychic stage refers to the individual’s private appraisal or evaluation of, or deliberation about the relationship in terms of its quality and alternatives.

Dyadic Stage

The dyadic stage begins when these thoughts become public. In the dyadic phase, partners shift back and forth from resolution to dissolution: a process of figuring out whether their problems can be solved by maintaining the relationship.

Social Stage

Dyadic phase is normally followed by the social stage when couples acknowledge the social repercussions of separating.

Grave Dressing Stage

The final stage, grave dressing, involves a more optimistic, and what seems to be a more objective, evaluation and remembrance.

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