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9 Stages Of A Breakup For The Dumper (The Surprising Truth)

by Sonya Schwartz

So, you may be wondering, “Are there even stages of a breakup for the dumper?” Don’t they just feel relieved? I mean, after all, they are the ones that ended things, right? 

I understand where you are coming from; I really do. Essentially, they did decide to break things off, possibly breaking your heart. You may feel little sympathy right now for their feelings, but there’s a real possibility they may be hurting as much as you are. 

In fact, there are many emotional stages of a dumper - things that may surprise you. The dumper may go through a myriad of feelings before the breakup even occurs.

What you really want to know is, “Will they change their mind and want me back?” 

Through a series of studies, one company found that 46% of couples who broke up, reunited. So, while you may be feeling crushed right now, there’s a good chance the two of you may reconcile if you play your cards right.

Let’s look at the many stages that a dumper goes through during a breakup, some guidance on how to reconcile, and tips for moving on.

The 9 Stages Of A Breakup For The Dumper

1. Anger

How it Applies: This may be the catalyst that tips the dumper over the edge, causing them to decide to end the relationship. This stage may not apply to everyone, but it’s relevant if they caught you cheating or betraying them. This is usually the tipping point, the last straw that will take him over the edge, causing him to end the relationship.

What to Expect: If you got caught in an affair, you could expect an outburst or the silent treatment. They may just not want to talk to you about it. Often, the “ignoring stage” isn’t meant as punishment, but rather, they’re just tired of hashing it out and they don’t want to discuss anything further with you. If they have a temper, you can expect them to show anger.

2. Worry

How it Applies: During this stage, the dumper may feel concerned as they try to come up with the best way to end the relationship. They may feel depressed just thinking about having you out of their life and worried about how the breakup may affect your friendship. They may think and feel like your hurt will be their fault.

What to Expect: If they take their time dumping you, it’s probably part of their long breakup process. In this stage, they may act sweeter than usual. They are trying to find the best way to soften the blow. If you suspect your relationship is about to end and you understand why then you may want to think ahead of the game and end things yourself.

3. Anxiety

How it Applies: Have you been asking, “When does the break up hit the dumper?” This is pretty close to when the dumper will feel the impact of the end of the relationship. As the dumper starts to formulate a breakup plan, he probably feels anxious. He’s probably analyzing the best way to do this, when the best time to do it is, and what he should say. 

What to Expect: You may find your partner to be nervous, upset, or strange. They may act unusual as they try to find the right time to have “the big talk” with you. If you foresee this stage coming, you can expect a breakup in the upcoming future. Again, if possible, beat him to the punch and become the dumper yourself.

4. Relief

How it Applies: During this stage, the breakup is over; your ex feels glad it’s over with, even if it does sting. He may feel like a weight has lifted off his shoulders right now. That doesn’t mean he’s happy; he’s just glad he doesn’t have to walk around with dread and anxiety anymore.

What to Expect: You are the dumpee now. It sucks, I know. Focus on what you can do next. Make him realize he’s missing out on something great, that breaking up with you is a mistake. Maybe he’ll change his mind. The best thing you can do is move on; then, after having some space, contemplate the many ways you can get him back.

5. Sympathy

How it Applies: This stage usually involves compassion. He feels sad for you; he thinks he’s made the right choice in dumping you, but he still feels terrible about the whole thing. He’s probably wishing things could have gone down a little differently, depending on the reaction you have to the breakup.

What to Expect: He will probably want to talk to you to make sure you are okay. During this stage, he may feel guilty. You may find that he wants to talk about the relationship and how things could have been different. If you don’t want his sympathy or to hear him justify his decision, give him the (no contact) silent treatment. 

6. Nostalgia

How it Applies: Have you been wondering, “When does the dumper start missing the dumpee?” Well, you’ve finally reached the right stage. This is when it all hits him. He sees a squirrel, thinks of your little inside joke about squirrels, and starts to miss you. He may not contact you, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t thinking of you.

What to Expect: You may be feeling the same feelings of love and loss, but realize that he probably misses you too - even if he doesn’t call or text you to tell you so. Don’t take the first step and call or text him; let him do the work. If he still loves you, he’ll let you know.

7. Confusion

How it Applies: So, you have practiced the No Contact stage, right? This means you have deleted him from social media, you haven’t contacted him in any way, and you’ve deleted his phone number, so you aren’t tempted to contact him. He may find he still loves you and will want to get back together during this stage. 

What to Expect: He may be thinking: Why hasn’t she contacted me? I figured she’d be wanting to get back together by now. Has she moved on? I wonder what she’s up to. He may even contact you during this stage, because he’s curious, misses you, or wants you back. The best thing you can do is leave him alone to stew in his feelings.

8. Doubt

How it Applies: This stage is when dumpers regret their decision or wonder if they made the right one. You’ve given him no contact, even if you secretly miss him like crazy. He doesn’t know what you think or feel and is maybe thinking he made the wrong choice in breaking up.

What to Expect: He may reach out now. He’s wondering why you haven’t begged him to reconcile. Let him make the first move towards a reunion. If he’s shady in his approach, don’t give in. For example, if he texts you, but then ignores your reply, he may just be testing the waters; don’t give him the satisfaction. Be nonchalant in your answer.

9. Acceptance

How it Applies: Just like the stages of grief, acceptance is a necessary stage in the stages a dumper goes through. In the end, if the two of you don’t reconcile the relationship, you will both need to move on. Often, the end of a relationship is hard to accept, but once you do, you have a greater chance of finding someone better.

What to Expect: If your ex has reached the acceptance stage, it’s time for you to find a relationship with someone new. Of course, wait until you’ve healed from the last relationship before you jump into a new one with someone else. Take your time to get over the relationship, because you don’t want to carry a lot of baggage.

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

How To Restore The Relationship After A Break-Up

After going through the stages of a breakup, you may feel ready to try to win your ex back instead of finding someone new. If you are looking to renew your relationship with your ex, you should follow these steps. 

Step 1 - Take time for self-improvement. Why did the two of you break up? Think about the flaws you may have, what your part in the break up was, and do some self-reflection in an attempt to improve yourself. Have you changed? Take stock in yourself and give it time before trying to get into a new relationship with an ex.

Step 2 - Have a quality No Contact period, a time where you cease all contact with your ex. This is an excellent time for you to think about what went wrong in the relationship. Think about how you want things to be in the future. Do you really want to be with your ex, or would you be better off starting out with someone new?

Step 3 - Get a feel for how your ex is doing. Tread carefully here, because you don’t want to come across as desperate. If you need closure or just want to let him know you’ve changed as a person, thank him for helping you improve yourself by writing him a letter or email. Let him casually know how you are, what you’ve been up to, and see what’s new with him.

How To Move On After A Break-Up

If you’re the dumpee, it may be time for you to move on. Here’s a 10-step process on how to do just that. Go through each step and apply them to your life. 

Let Your Emotions Out.

Have a good cry. Find closure by journaling your feelings or consider writing a letter to ex; just don’t send it. Use it as a therapeutic tool instead.

Accept That The Relationship Is Over.

Don’t return to your ex. If it’s meant to be, somehow in the future, it will be. Focus on the future, and let this one go. 

Distance Yourself From Your Ex. 

Practice no contact for at least 2 weeks. Block him from social media; take his number out of your phone if you need to.

Purge Yourself Of All His Belongings Or Anything That Reminds You Of Him. 

Yes, stop wearing his old college sweatshirt, and instead, wear something else to sleep in.

Work On Yourself. 

Use this time for self-improvement and self-reflection. Consider why the two of you ended things. How can you become a better person and grow from the experience?

Lean On Your Support Group To Help You Through This Tough Time. 

Reach out to your family and friends; let them know you are hurting and find comfort in their company.

Make New Friends And Start Dating Around. 

Are your friends, his friends? Don’t confide your problems with people who will talk to him about what you said.

Forgive Him.

Forgive him (in your head) and yourself for the part you played in the breakup. Don’t hold a grudge; it will do you no good as you try to improve upon yourself. 

Focus On Your Career. 

Find something else to motivate you in life. If you zero in and become career-oriented, you won’t have time to miss him!

Someone Is Out There For You.

Realize there is someone else out there for you - someone better!

FAQs

How Long Does The Relief Stage Last For The Dumper?

It depends on how long you were in a relationship. How long was the breakup? Did it take him months to finally break things off? If so, the breakup time will be relative to the time of the relief stage. It could take a few weeks or a month.

What Does The Dumper Feel After A Breakup?

He probably has similar feelings to the dumpee. He may be feeling like his world’s shattered now that the relationship is over, but he may still think he made the right call in ending the relationship. There’s a good chance that he regrets the decision, though.

Do Breakups Hurt The Dumper?

It depends on why the relationship ended. If the dumper left because of cheating or mistreatment, he might have a feeling of relief that he is finally out of the dysfunctional relationship. If it was more amicable, he may really be feeling hurt, just like the dumpee.

Will A Dumper Come Back?

There’s almost a 50% chance that he will. It often depends on why you broke up, how much time has passed, whether you were madly in love, or if he has a feeling of relief now that the relationship is over. There’s a good chance he’ll miss you over time.

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

What Goes Through His Mind During No Contact?

Why hasn’t she contacted me? I figured she’d beg me to come back. What is she really up to? Why hasn’t she texted me? Did I let “the one” get away? I think I may have made a mistake. I’m feeling regret at this time. Has she met someone new?

To Sum Things Up…

Remember, the dumper may be going through a tough time, too; don’t be desperate if you want them back. Try having No Contact first.

Have you dumped someone before? Did you go through these stages? Please share your experience in the comments! We’d love to hear from you.

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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