Last updated:

April 19, 2024


 min read

Healing Hearts: Dealing with Breakup

Navigate the complexities of breakup with helpful insights and coping strategies. Discover the stages, predictors, psychological impacts, and how online therapy from Rocket Health India can aid healing.

“Hearts will never be practical until they are made unbreakable”. - The Wizard of Oz


Going through a breakup can be one of the most challenging experiences, given the changing society and the fast advancements where the individual tries to balance their career, personal and professional lives. Breakup brings intense emotions, sense of loss and grief; and even for some it may look like a relief and another chance to re-experience love. But it is important to first deal with and navigate the breakup for one’s emotional well-being. 

It is important to understand that breakup or termination of a romantic relationship is different from taking a break in the relationship. When one takes a break, the individuals try to figure out their individual stance in the relationship and it is about the reset in the relationship. In this article we will try to understand how one can help their broken self to deal with the breakup. 

The two possible ways of experiencing the termination of the relationship can be either unchosen or chosen. The unchosen breakup is only experienced by one of the partners, while the chosen is experienced either by one or by both. In the chosen breakup the couple either no longer wants to be in the relationship, or they take a break to work on some other area of life and get back together later.

3 stages of romantic relationships-

1. Romantic love- It is also known as the honeymoon period, there is romance, love, attraction, compatibility.

2. Discouragement and distraction- In this stage due to the responsibilities like career, the love and compatibility are ignored and taken place by arguments, less excitement and discouraged.

3. Separation, adjustment with resignation, or adjustment with contentment- Admits the issues, if some chose to stay together, they try to live a healthy life together; or the couple parts ways.

Predictors of Breakup-

Individual factors- it includes low self-esteem, incompatibility, toxicity, attachment issues, unhealed trauma and many more.

Relationship factors- it includes instability, poor relational quality, poor interactions with each other, unhealthy experiences in the relationships and many more.

External factors- it includes common relational strains, financial struggles, differences in ideologies, long-distance, lack of quality time, career related issues and many more.

According to the investment model by Rusbult (1980), the higher the commitment into a relationship, there are less chances of breakup. According to the interdependence theory, a successful relationship involves the needs, goals, motivations met and fulfilled by both the partners in the relationship; and if the needs are not met, there is less satisfaction experienced by both. This also means that the more time spent together, more the memories formed, more activities shared with each other and together, intimacy shared, sharing of friends – leading to difficulty in the time taken for dealing with the breakup.

Breakup Model-

Steve Duck proposed a breakup model in 1982 and that was updated in 2005. The model requires a person to be prepared for change when they think of breakup. It has following 5 processes-

1. Intrapsychic Phase – One partner feels pressured and doesn’t feel benefitted from the relationship. This leads to the individual being socially withdrawn.

2. Dyadic Phase – One of the partners communicates with the other about their unhappiness perceived in or due to the relationship, making room for termination or working on the relationship.

3. Social Phase – The distress between the couple is shared with the other people and this makes things difficult to work out for the betterment.

4. Grave-dressing Phase – Post the breakup, the individuals speak ill of their ex-partners to move on from the previous relationship.

5. Resurrection Phase – The individuals try to be aware of their mistakes in past relationships, making changes in themselves before they enter another, a new relationship.

Psychological Impacts of breakup-

Depressive symptoms- dysphoric mood, loss of motivation, loss of interest.

Anxiety- symptoms of nervousness, tension, panic attacks, threat.

Attachment Anxiety- negative self-image, low self-worth, fear of abandonment, fear of getting emotionally intimate with someone, avoidance.

Coping with Breakup

To be with the emotions

One can try to sit with the heavy emotions instead of ignoring or suppressing them - talk them out to someone they trust or write down. The more the body stays with the disturbing or an overwhelming emotion, it increases with the intensity and the disturbance lasts for long. It also leads to the emotional experience interfering in other relationships or in the new romantic relationship.  It is important to be with the emotion, increase space to reduce the disturbance, and understand and accept that loss is inevitable. 

Self- growth

One can try to focus on their needs, reframe their routine, and avoid defence mechanisms. Instead of having a revenge intention, one can try to work on themselves by learning from their mistakes, nurturing the hope and love within themselves, and getting closure for self.

Work in progress

Due to the difficulty of breaking bad habits, many couples who split up once because of past behaviours then reconcile before the coping process is finished and end up in an intermittent relationship. The expectation is that after every split, the couple would either renegotiate or redefine the parameters of the relationship to prevent breaking up again. This results in a constantly changing agreement over the terms of the partnership. While this does give both partners the space to communicate their needs and comply with each other's requests, which increase the likelihood that a breakup won't occur, communication issues are typically one of the biggest signs of a breakup and serve to further isolate the two partners.

Time and space to heal

The problem with intermittent partnerships is that they frequently don't give themselves the time and space necessary following a breakup to deal, heal, and accept the reasons for the split and the adjustments each partner needs to make before attempting a new partnership. Giving the other person space, cutting off all communication, growing as different people, learning from past mistakes, and perhaps trying again when both partners feel ready are all necessary to prevent the ongoing heartbreaks and emotional exhaustion that an on-off relationship brings. That being said, it's quite normal that not all relationships are designed to last. 


Breakups can trigger a range of emotions, from sadness and anger to confusion and even relief. It's important to allow yourself to grieve the loss of the relationship and to process these emotions in a healthy way. Seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist can provide you with the necessary emotional support during this time. Additionally, taking care of yourself through proper nutrition, exercise, and self-care can help you cope better with the emotional turmoil.

Healing from a breakup needs time and patience. By allowing yourself to grieve, seeking support, and taking care of your mental and physical health, you can navigate this challenging period more effectively. Also, let’s normalise seeking professional help to heal from a breakup. With the right support and resources, you can heal from your breakup and emerge stronger than before.

Online therapy can be particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with breakup. It offers convenience and accessibility, allowing you to receive professional support from the comfort of your home. If you're struggling to cope with a breakup, consider seeking support from Rocket Health India. Our experienced therapists and counsellors are here to help you navigate this challenging time. Schedule  your session today, taking the first step towards healing.


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Lopez-Cantero, P. (2018). The Break-Up Check: Exploring Romantic Love through Relationship Terminations. Philosophia 46, 689–703.

Salzwedel, E. (2021). "The Art of Breaking Up: Ending Romantic Relationships". Honors Thesis. 223.