Charlotte Tilbury (UK)

The First Heartbreak; In Stages

The first love is sweet. It’s new. It’s exciting. Everything seems right. Everything seems perfect. That’s because you haven’t felt the bitter side, yet. That’s because you haven’t felt heartbreak, yet.

So, cherish your first love because each love after your first heartbreak will never be as sweet. By all means there will be stronger loves. There will be better loves, but no love is as sweet as your first.

If you’ve found yourself having to deal with your first heartbreak here are the various stages and subsequent ways to start recovering from it. 

Stage 1: The Break 


The first heartbreak is different for everyone, but there are usually the same set of emotions and feelings people go through. So, whether the first heartbreak has come from the end of a relationship, a love being lost or trust being broken; the first stage comes with a break. And while it is a metaphorical break, there is still a physical crack to be felt and it can be awful. 

In this stage; Make it a clean break. If it’s broken, let it break and separate yourself from the person. You can’t start to heal while the person is still in the picture. Stop looking at their socials or block them if it feels necessary and let yourself be alone. 

Stage 2: Sadness 


When the dust settles you have time to think. And time to think means that you feel everything.

This is usually the stage where you begin to notice their absence and this can sting. It can hurt and not just mentally. You can feel this hurt in your chest, in your throat when you try to speak about them. But know that this is okay.

In this stage; Let yourself feel. Allow yourself to cry, to wallow, to feel sad. Whatever you do don’t act brave or try to become numb to the pain. This is the worst thing you can do because you will only bottle the feelings up until they come back on an unsuspecting day to get you. 

Stage 3: Loneliness


When the sadness has been felt you start to feel their absence. You may have felt it already or barely noticed it, but this stage can come a few weeks later when you really begin to feel a missing presence in your life.

In this stage; It’s reaching out time. Don’t allow yourself to deal with it alone. Find your friends, go out for food, find other things that fill you up. Also don’t text your ex. You need a clean break here. 

Stage 4: Anger 


Possibly the worst stage of all because you can find yourself feeling angry at a person who maybe only a short while ago you would’ve never have thought about in such a way. It may feel weird and it may not always be right, but it is part of the healing. Feel the anger, but don’t let it consume you. 

In this stage; Talk to people. Write these feelings down. Get all the anger you need out about them and don’t feel like a bad person doing it. It is normal. 

Stage 5: (I Hope You Don’t Have This Stage) The Go Back 


The go back is something that happens to far too many people. It’s when you smudge the clean break. You may text them or unblock them or even go back to them. And sometimes there are magical stories about people who get back together and live happily ever after, but for most it’s only a short-term solution to a bigger scale problem. Don’t give in to the loneliness. 

In this stage; Give your phone to your friends if you feel like you are about to give in. Avoid things that remind you of them. Cry some more if needed. 

Stage 5: Light At The End of The Tunnel


You haven’t gotten over it, you may not even be near it, but you’re starting to feel like you’re coming out the other side of it. You don’t cry as much, or at all. And you can maybe think about them without getting mad or crying. You can start to feel better, more yourself. You’re starting to grow accustomed to their absence. 

In this stage; three words. TREAT YO’ SELF. It’s time for some self indulgence. It’s time for some retail therapy, time at the gym or chocolate. Give yourself a treat, you’re getting over them, so you deserve it!

Stage 6: Getting Over Them 


It will come with time; and lots of it. But it will come.

There will be times when you question if you will ever find someone again and believe me, you will. Time will make you stronger. 

In this stage; You can begin to get out there again. Or if you would rather stay on your own, learn to be alone, to rely on yourself, to have fun by yourself. Alone is not the same as lonely. 

The bottom line is that each heartbreak will be different and you might not experience all of these stages or they will come at different times, but know that love only gets better and stronger and eventually you’ll forget about your first heartbreak. 

Alannah Murray
Alannah Murray

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