The Phases of a Break-Up

Break Up

Josh Bowman shares the many phases of a break-up.

Note: I’ve been dumped and been the dumper. Now I’m in a relationship, and the pain is (mostly) gone. Here is my amalgamated experience of the phases you go through after a relationship ends.

  1. Denial. “We can still make it work! We can still get back together!”
  2. Confusion. “Did that really just happen? Maybe it was a dream…”
  3. Anger. “You bastard! After everything I did for you! I don’t have to change for you! I don’t have to change for ANYBODY!”
  4. Making Generalized Statements. “Whatever, all men are assholes, who just want sex and then they move on.” “Whatever, all women are bitches, who only date assholes.”
  5. Excessive Self-Confidence.“I’m awesome. The best revenge is living well, and he/she is gonna feel like shit when they see my new work-out bod.”
  6. Revisionist History. “Actually, when I think about it, the relationship was never right in the first place. There were problems from day one, and my friends never liked them…so I actually dodged a bullet.”
  7. Uncharacteristic Lasciviousness. “I am gonna go out and screw everybody I meet. I’m single and ready to MINGLE!”
  8. Paranoia. “Ah! Is that them over there by the Folgers display? Musthidemusthidemusthide…”
  9. Zen. “After my whirlwind trip to Nepal, I realized that we are all merely specks of dust on an endless window, and we are all one. I feel at peace.”
  10. Rose-Coloured Glasses. “You know, in retrospect, things weren’t so bad. I mean, there were good times too. I wonder what he/she is up to now…”

—Photo cdrummbks/Flikr

About Josh Bowman

Josh Bowman is a professional fundraiser, story-teller, comedian, and blogger. He has worked and consulted in Vancouver, New York, and now Toronto for almost a decade. Josh improvises around Toronto, including regular shows with Opening Night Theatre, and also blogs for the Huffington Post. You can email Josh here.. If you want to know more about Josh, check this post and this post out first.


  1. Working in a family law office, we see people in all these stages almost every day. Thanks for adding a humorous spin to the many phases of a break up!

  2. Don Draper says:

    Six years ago I did some things that wound up ending a 15 year marriage. We were very imperfect and had to WORK to make our marriage survive as long as it did.

    Neither of us has remarried, or really had a serious relationship. I’m stuck on #10…I still think of the good times and wonder, “should I ask her if there’s still not just a little spark left for us? Do you want to grow old alone? I can love you more faithfully and maturely. I’ve worked on myself.”

    But I hear from my kids she hasn’t changed much. She never mentions me and frankly, avoids me (I think, out of pain-avoidance) as much as possible. Am I simply viewing a worthless, was probably never meant to be situation through rose colored glasse?, Should I see if she would consider an “us” again? Do I continue to have these thoughts BECAUSE I’ve been unable to bond with someone else? I’m searching for some answers and ideas!

  3. J.A. Drew Diaz post: ROFL you can not imagine how true your statement is; or maybe you can –a possible hello to a fellow soul with a “been there, know about it” experience????

  4. You forgot “I’m going to sleep with her mother”.

  5. Very funny and very true.

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