5 Stages of a Break Up for the Dumpee

Here are the 5 stages of a break up for the dumpee. They are truly the worst thing human beings have to experience.

Separation anxiety is tough for most people, especially for those who tend to seek validation through others. It stems from childhood when we started developing different styles of attachment.

The order of the 5 stages of a break up can sometimes vary and jump back and forth. Just when we think we are passed a certain stage, we slip back into the previous one.

Please note that this is completely normal. There are days when certain events remind us of our ex-partner and bring out all sorts of emotions.

Stages of a breakup for the dumpee


This initial stage after the break up comes as a shock to the dumpees because dumpees refuse to accept reality for what it is. This stage can last anywhere from one day to a week.

During this time dumpees keep telling themselves, “She didn’t mean it, she’ll be back, she’s just having a bad day…” They enter this state of denial in which they protect themselves from future pain and sorrow.

After the dumpees have come to the conclusion that the break up is indeed happening, emotions take over, and they often lower their self-esteem by begging and pleading.

The dumpees then use logic and reasoning to win back the hearts of their loved onesโ€”but to no avail.

The dumpers have already made up their mind days, weeks or even months before the break-up, but never found the courage or the right time to pull the trigger.

5 stages of a break up for the dumpee - denial

They intend to stick to their decision which makes it impossible to talk them out of it.

In fact, the more the dumpees attempt to reconcile at this stage, the angrier and frustrated the dumpers become.

Ideally, this is the time to tell them that you accept the break-up and never look back.

You should also consider removing any reminders of your ex by storing them in a box and moving them out of your reach.


One of the worst stages of a break up for the dumpee is the depression stage, during which dumpees experience extreme melancholia.

This stage can last from the moment they accept the break-up up until several months later. It really depends on each individual and how much they invested in the relationship.

This can be a very difficult stage for a lot of people. If you can’t break free from depression even months after the break-up, I suggest that you seek professional help.

Some of the symptoms of depression are lack of sleep, loss of appetite, no motivation, negative thoughts.

Separation anxiety can take a huge toll on the dumpee and make him say and do things out of desperation.

It’s an ugly sight to the dumper as it typically ends up repulsing the dumper further. The dumpee then starts to think about what he could and should have done differently.

During the depression stage, dumpees relive the break up a million times and ruminate about the positive aspects of the relationship.

As a result, they put their ex-partner on a pedestal and think about the dumper as the one and only. Because of such perpetuating thoughts, they raise their ex’s value and reduce their own.

Obsessing over an ex is self-destructive and will lead to a lot of anxiety.

That’s why it’s very important that you find your passion again and live life as if your ex never existed.

Now is the time to reflect on the broken relationship and identify the relationship killers that plagued your relationship. Correct your shortcomings, get out of the comfort zone and strive to become the best version of yourself.


Depression and anger sometimes go hand-to-hand. While the dumpee is going through the grief stages of a break-up, unwanted emotions can often hinder the recovery process.

There are times when the dumpee gets angry at his ex for putting her through a very difficult situation. The dumpee may directly call the dumper names or belittle him to her friends and family.

Needless to say, it’s very counter-intuitive, especially if the dumpee wants to get back together in the future.

I suggest that you implement different relaxation techniques to reduce stress and anger before impulsive actions completely destroy what’s left of the relationship.

Don’t become vengeful, plot revenge and make the dumper regret ever getting involved with you.

It might make you feel better at first, but you will without a doubt regret your actions later down the road.

Remember that karma will get your ex on its own without your intervention.


A few months after the initial stages of a break-up, the dumpee will have completely accepted the break-up and notice the negative parts of the past relationship.

He will see his ex for the person she really is. When the dumpee accepts reality, he begins to stop blaming himself for the demise of the romantic relationship.

He no longer sees his ex through rose-tinted glasses and might even be glad that the relationship has come to an end.

The dumper was the one who decided to quit on the dumpee, so the dumpee discerns that he deserves more than what the dumper did and could provide the dumpee with.


During the recovery stage, dumpees’ lives become independent of their exes’. As the negative emotions subside, dumpees think less and less of the dumpers.

Time apart allows them to heal properly and find happiness in themselves and others. They focus on their own hobbies and ambitions.

Life becomes fun and exciting again because they see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is normally the time when dumpers take notice of the dumpees’ new profound happiness and reach out.

Sometimes dumpers contact their exes just to see how they’re doing so that they can boost their ego and relieve their guilt.

There are also times when they reach out just to see whether their dumpee still loves them and if it’s safe to come out of their hiding.

Here’s what getting over the break-up time frame looks like for the dumpee.

Stages the dumpee goes through

Check out the 5 stages of a break up for the dumper.

Have you gone through these stages of a break up for the dumpee yourself? Is there anything I left out? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

14 thoughts on “5 Stages of a Break Up for the Dumpee”

  1. I am the dumpee, trying to be strong and do the NC. A couple times he’s apologized for hurting me and says he loves me. He’s just too independent and cannot get past certain things (no cheating or anything like that, to be honest I’m not sure what they are as he never brought them up). I’ve accepted the break up and just want to be the best version of myself. It just hits hard everytime I get a message. The last thing I did was wish him well. Isn’t that how it should be done for both to move on gracefully. I don’t think I can handle it if he tried to reach out again.

  2. Hey Zan,
    Thank you for this. Even though I’ll take time to get out of freshly being dumped, reading your articles make me feel less alone. All these people in the comments section make me feel like I’m not the only one going through all of this. I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel yet, but I know there is one because my hopes are reignited again ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Obviously these stages do not always happen within 1 year.. I had been married for 15 yrs when my wife up and left me out of now where. I have made many breakup mistakes, but corrected them. I am just going through these break up stages now 3 years after being on my own sharing our son back and forth…

    Evidently these stages can happen for different people at different times and not always within 1 year or a matter of months or weeks..

  4. Good afternoon

    I am male dumpee who got dumped 3 months ago just ending 4 year of relationship. We and our families arranged wedding this summer. Break-up came out of nowhere however I guess my girlfriend prepared better and since long time. Based on my observations she is now dating with some with whom I guess in relationship several months before our break up. She was having hard time since her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Initially I thought it is all my fault that I couldnt show my best during this hard time then I discovered new boyfriend was someone she knew before her mother’s sickness discovery. I appreciate your advises for removing her and memories since I cant accept even if she comes back

    Thank you in advance

    1. Boom! You absolutely nail it on all points! My wife dropped the breakup in my lap 2 months ago without warning. Met her soulmate, didn’t love me any more, doesn’t know if she ever loved me, I can’t give her what she needs, etc., and walked out on our daughter as well as me. Complete shock to me and cheating (I thought) was so for out of character for her.

      Eight weeks later, after much soul searching, learning, reading, self care (meditation, exercise, healthy eating), counseling, and church/prayer, and forward thinking on my part I feel I’ve worked through the denial, depression, and anger and am on the cusp of real acceptance of the breakup and living my life without her. The clarity is amazing! I feel sad, but solid. Btw, I love your graphic–once I was in the anger phase I was also at the summit and the view is impressive!! So freeing!

      Not sure where she is in the break stages up but I do notice she always wants to talk to me (we need to keep in touch for our daughter–I’m not a sh!tbag and encourage and help facilitate their communication) but never about the relationship. She really makes a point of speaking with me on the phone every time she’s done speaking with our daughter. I’m fine with that. I’m certain she’s no longer in relief or elation. Maybe memories? Who knows. While curious, I’m not obsessed to know more about it either. The stages you detailed are so accurate though. For both of us. I told her a while ago there will be a reckoning for her and by her. People cannot commit actions so out of their normal and have a consequence. When the weight of her actions truly hits her she will feel the crush as I did. I feel for her, but she made her bed and now it’s time to lie in it.

      But I’m not still standing where she left me. I’m not the same man she knew. I have become faster, stronger, and more capable than I thought possible! To live through the pain of betrayal and the ending of what I thought to be a beautiful marriage and come out the other side a better man is something I didn’t know I had in me. It may be a year or two from now, but I’m really looking forward to the best relationship of my life yet to come!

      Thank you again for an excellent website!!

      1. I need to let you know that I love your response to this article, I’m exactly the same as you and reading this over and over again has really shown me just how strong we both are, thanks for this, I was never married but together for 6 years, NC is proving difficult because we are next door neighbours and she has left for someone else and feels nothing for me but every day I feel a little stronger, fitter and faster and it does feel overwhelming on the relief scale, anyway, thanks again mate

  5. All these articles are so realistic and so helpful! Thank you! It is so hard to be a dumpee and more so when it was unexpected. In any case, I still go back and forth through sadness and anger stages…it has been 2.5 months since breakup. Lots of learning and growth, very very painful. I know with time I will feel 100% grateful of it all.

    1. Hi Maria.

      Thank you for your comment.

      Breakups are incredibly difficult for dumpees. And that’s the reason why we’re able to learn a lot.

      Keep healing, learning, and improving. This is your time to grow.

      Kind regards,

  6. I watched stages of dumper and dumpee….both are spot on!! Im in the new life dumpee stage with positve mindset to be the best me, dumper is texting me wanting $2,000 for a down payment after they totaled their car yesterday, probably texting while driving their new friends with all their new found freedom.. Crazy how stuff works out, Im going to give her it btw. I gave her $1000 already, she is a good person and financially carried us when i went through a very tough period that ultimately led to the breakup. If I had this motivation and look on life the breakup would have never happened in the first place

    1. Hi Chris.

      Thank you for your comment.

      The dumpee and dumper stages are basically reversed. When the dumper is enjoying his or her life, the dumpee is suffering. And when the dumpee recovers, the dumper becomes susceptible to pain, nostalgia, and regret.

      Kind regards,

      1. The information here for the dumpee and dumper is very helpful.. I am the dumpee and it is tough, however I’m in no contact and it is working wonders for me..i am so happy I am not with the women’, because she was a user. I stopped paying just in time

  7. God yeah did I ever screw those ones up. She did say if I didn’t things may have been different.
    I sent long emails as I’d been blocked 50 percent at my request not wanting to see her with someone else. The other was her just being sick of me trying to get her to see. Everything is true on here so need the warnings ok. If you’ve been savvy enough to actually research before acting you’ll massively increase your chances. I broke no contact, I disrespected her wishes and put that of my own first. I also allowed myself to direct anger at her through accusations. Which led her to finally say stay the f away from me or I’ll be involving the police. So yeah considering the start of this if I’d of shown respect and allowed the phases to grow or pass then who knows. Now guts the connection for us was immense and I mean living In the same town same block of flats, whilst in the forces always crossing paths for over 14 years but always just missing each other somehow. Painting the walls red and having cream settees and we spoke of marriage jokingly at gretna green as I literally drove past a pub 1 minute later named the gretna green inn. We mirrored each other constantly and even did the same hand gestures when we spoke. That all means nothing if you can’t show respect in separating. She’s gone now and I believe it’s for good with indefinite no contact as she told her friends and family my behaviour in our split. So I also look and accept that I was a sad pathetic mess who had no thought for how she felt only that I wanted the hurt to stop.
    We split because I was accused of trying it on with someone which I later proved I didn’t via lie detector yes I know, but it was my only option. To which she said no one gives a sh.t and that was that really.

    1. Hi Alexeo.

      Thanks for the warnings.

      It’s best if you can avoid the post-breakup mistakes if possibleโ€”as they influence your ex tremendously.

      But even if you committed a few or many, consider them a lesson. You will do better as a result in your next relationship.

      Stay strong!

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