By Jessica Kuhnen, MSW, LCSW
Over the past couple months we’ve been discussing how to develop healthy relationships. I’ve been slacking on my writing; forgive me Chicago (know the love is there). But if you think back, one of the steps I mentioned was learning when to end a relationship in order to eventually pursue one that will be healthy and balanced. There are a lot of necessary pit stops in between finding the next and hopefully ideal partner(s). Taking time to heal and process is important. Dealing with the debris and aftermath of a break up can be one of the most challenging paths to navigate. It is somewhat like a grieving process. In fact, you are grieving the loss of a loved one. It would be insensitive to equate a break up to the death of a loved one, but I have observed that the stages of pain and acceptance following a break up appear very similar to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ 5 Stages of Grief:
Denial and or Isolation
Bargaining; If only I did this… what if I did that…..could we get back together If I do this….
These stages aren’t linear and can start or stop anywhere. Taking time to think about where you are currently at, is vital. When in fact, you may be stuck in a specific stage. Most importantly, allowing yourself to experience every stage is very helpful for the healing process. You have a lot to be angry about Chicago, it’s okay to take some time to experience that emotion (caution yourself from acting on this emotion). Chicago before you get into your next relationship, I have one question for you. Where are you at?