Breaking up
The eye of the storm: in the middle of a break up
Breaking up means going through lots of emotions and upheavals
  • Pain
  • Feelings of abandonment, fear, and emptiness
  • Loss of concentration, hope, motivation and energy
  • Changes in appetite and sleep
  • Fatigue
"Is it normal that I feel okay?" Everyone reacts differently, and breaking up may be a relief. Or maybe it’s a joint decision that makes the whole thing less dramatic.

Breaking up means mourning for…
  • what you loved about your partner (for example, “She was sooo nice”)
  • your projects, and dreams (for example, “We were supposed to go travelling together this summer…”)
  • your group of friends (for example, "I’m going to lose the friends I liked.”)
  • certain habits (for example, “I used to call him every night!”)
  • your ideals (for example, “I wanted to only ever sleep with one girl.”)


Take your time! Everyone recovers from a break up in their own way. Like a broken leg, your broken heart may take time to heal.

The process of mourning for a lost love comprises several stages; you might experience all of them or only some of them, in any order.

Denial: “It’s impossible!”.
You deny or do not understand what’s happening, or do not understand why it’s happening. You're in a state of shock. Your heart and your head are all mixed up.

Anger: “I’m furious with her!”. Once the shock has passed, you may feel lots of anger, frustration, outrage, and confusion. You may even see the break-up as a betrayal or abandonment. Anger may help you let go.

Guilt and bargaining: “I’ll change in any way you want!”. You may be tempted to do anything to not lose your partner's love, but in the long run this may be a bad idea. You may end up regretting many things, believing everything was your fault, and idealizing your ex. Keeping your hopes up can really hurt.

Sadness: “It's really over, and I feel so low!” Crying is often part of heartbreak. It’s okay, you have that right. Often, you have to go through these feelings of loss to realize that it's really over. Are you giving yourself enough downtime to do the things you love and see your friends.

Acceptance: “I still think about it sometimes, but I’m moving on!”.
It’s hard to believe, but we all learn to live with a break-up. You'll begin to have more confidence in yourself and to feel better, and the future won’t seem as gloomy. With time, you'll have new dreams...


Separate lives. You're taking back your life — your ex has a right to take back theirs!

"I’m nothing without you!" Guilt won’t bring your partner back.

Surround yourself with friends or family, or call Tel-jeunes.

A question of time. Time heals all wounds.

Life goes on. Get on with your regular life, especially with activities you really enjoy.

False comfort?
Alcohol and drugs rarely help anyone get through this kind of challenge. In fact, they often just amplify the pain.
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