Reflections of a Recently Dumped Woman Who’s Stuck in Stage 1 of a Breakup

Broken heartFor the past month and a half, I’ve been embroiled in what feels like the longest breakup in romantic history. According to the five stages of grief, I should be well into the anger portion of the process or, at the very least, in a place that makes me stare the realization down and accept it. Heaven only knows where the point I’m at is called but it’s surely not cut and dried enough to be listed on anyone’s step-by-step timeline. All I know is that I very much do not feel like myself and even I don’t recognize this person slouching around in a bubble of sadness.

Typically, I’m chipper, carefree, full of laughs and giggles. But I feel the heaviness of this split from my man of two-and-a-half years as soon as I wake up in the morning and “The Crash,” as I’m now calling it, consumes my thoughts throughout the day, toppling even my frequent daydreams and random food cravings. 


When you spend the bulk of your time in front of a computer writing and editing, it makes it so much easier to overanalyze and overthink the arguments and issues that led to this point. Of course, I give in to the temptation to text or email and share my revelations with him. Just in case he’s interested in hearing them. (And he, to his end, has been kind enough to humor my multi-message emotional outbursts.) I think he must be at, like, stage 5 already. That doesn’t help.

In my innermost thoughts, I’m frustrated with myself, with the now-ex, even with God because I can’t shake the feeling that I wasted my time. The desire of my heart was to be a mother again and a wife for the first time, to have an opportunity to do it the right way in a little nuclear family setup. I’ve fought on the frontlines of single motherhood for 13 years now and I don’t regret or bemoan the life Girl Child and I have together. Still, I’ve always envisioned myself eventually becoming the happy-go-lucky half of a solid, stable, long-loving couple and having two, maybe even three more little ones.

More from The Stir: 21 Ways to Get Over a Bad Breakup

But this third strike at romance and failed investment of years has me thinking I’m officially over this whole relationship thing. That’s not the bitterness talking. That’s reality.

To top it all off, my birthday passed on Monday, reminding me that biologically, I only have a certain number of remaining years to make this conception magic happen. I am so not trying to be some miracle of modern science or Sarah-and-Abraham success story who managed to defy the odds of time to produce a child. No thank you very much. That, above all else, is not how I want it to happen. So as my born day passed unceremoniously, I’m conflicted about where the desires of my heart and God’s intention for my life intersect. My prayed question to the Lord today is: Why allow me to want these things if they’re not going to manifest?

Now I’m trying to retrain my heart to not even be bothered, to play reverse psychology on my brain and convince myself that I’m cool with neither one of them happening. I can believe that what God has for me is for me when it comes to my career or my side hustles or my bullheaded desire to buy a historic home and fix it up. But this dream deferred is a little harder to let go, even with the power of prayer.

In my personal mourning of the man I thought was The One, I can’t just crumple and sob and sulk the way I really want to because I’m a mother. And my daughter needs me at my best but she also is watching me and ever-so-inadvertently picking up how to react to situations like this by my example. So for now, I’m trying to distract myself from my broken heart—busying myself with her and with work. The more of that I can take on, the better because being well-to-do and successful isn’t the same feeling as being in love, but at least I’ll feel accomplished. Eventually, maybe I’ll take a trip or write a book. But for now, this goodbye has me feeling stuck in stage number 1. Whatever that is.

How have you gotten over a broken heart?

Image via CarbonNYC/Flickr

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