"You're grieving; it's a process," my friend said to me last week.
Out of curiosity, I googled the five stages of grieving for relationships. I found several articles, all agreeing that after a breakup, you go through the following in one order or another:
My friend says he thinks acceptance is the hardest, because it means finally admitting that the relationship is over. During the other stages, you're dealing with your own feelings - or not dealing, as the case may be.
I've flirted with acceptance on this breakup. I'm not totally there yet, but I am closer. Along the way I've gotten to know the other stages quite well. It occurred to me that knowing what to expect was helpful. Being able to identify the feelings and assign them a label helped me manage my way through.
It was also a helpful reminder that each stage is temporary, and that if you just hold on, acceptance is on its way.