The five stages of break-up grief

Picture courtesy of my son who keeps hugging me and saying how much he loves me. No, really, he does. And no, he's not for sale, he would be too expensive to ship anyway.


I have in fact undeniably felt Mr Nice’s withdrawal from the relationship over the last couple of weeks, as documented in some of my latest posts.

Abandonment is my biggest fear (well, apart from running out of chocolate, let’s be real), so I was unable to truly face the possibility.

Besides, it was a mixture, and Mr Nice was genuinely having hard times unrelated to us.ย  Things are messy, and complicated in our human minds, so there must have been a bit of everything going on, before the balance finally tipped the wrong way.


The plumber hasn’t come, we have ran out of milk, I have to fill in my last joint tax declaration with T (oh the special joy of having to mourn for two relationships at once- do you think they could cancel each other out?), arrange the children’s Summer holiday schedule, get the winter tyres swapped (preferably before next Winter), fix the broken kitchen skirting board, dig a trench in the garden, deal with a tense situation at work, and find a speech therapy appointment for my son (they seem to be rarer than polite French taxi drivers, a species itself on the brink of extinction).

What I really need, is to hide in Mr Nice’s arms… And the bastard takes away my number one make-the-world-better remedy? How dare he not have the decency to at least leave his arms behind?!


I like Mr Nice as a person, and among all other things to grieve for, I would find it tragic to see him vanish entirely from my life. I cannot remember who suggested first that we try for friendship, but we are supposed to give it a go after an unspecified cooling off period (ghosh, it almost sounds as though we brainstormed and Gantt charted it all, doesn’t it?).

It is a worn old clichรฉ, and I have no idea how this may function in practice, but there is no denying that part of me hopes he will miss us enough to pine for his boyfriend status. On a less soul-destroying level, I genuinely would rather feel the inevitable pain of being relegated to friends’ zone, than not be able to count him as my friend. Let’s see how this plays out… I reserve the right to reconsider this statement (and poke his eyes out) when he introduces me to his 6ft blond girlfriend in a couple of weeks.


This morning, seeing a cheery article about love on the juice carton made me cry. In barely four months, I have not had the time to properly fall in love, but still, I am sooooo disappointed… That despite all the good things he had to say about our relationship, despite the fact that he knows he will miss me, our closeness, our intimacy, things had to end. And I know that as well as his arms, I am going to frightfully miss our daily catch-ups, the way my heart skips a few beats when he smiles, and the million little perks of having someone in your life.


Well, in spite of everything great about him, he obviously wasn’t the man for me. And of course, someone better will eventually come along.

Right, scratch that: For once that I had met a single, lovely, grown-up man I get on with and fancy rotten, how dare he be scared of responsibilities, and thus fall short of my standard for being Mr Perfect? Does he know how hard men like him are to come by, and how long I had been tapping my foot, waiting for him to turn up?

Mneh…, bollocks to acceptance is what I say.

18 thoughts on “The five stages of break-up grief

  1. I’ve been dealing with a family crisis for the past week, so I just caught up today on your past three posts. Sorry! Sending you lots of love from this side of the world. On a positive note – your break-up with Mr. Nice is making for some cleverly written blog posts. I think you should focus on what you want for you (perhaps, writing a short, funny guidebook on dating after divorce) that doesn’t involve a man. I genuinely believe that the best relationships are formed when we are making ourselves happy; not as an accident of fate, but because we believe we deserve the best because we are expecting the best from our self.

    • Hey Worrywart, I hope your family crisis is on its way to some kind of resolution…Thanks for the love and the suggestion that I write. You’re right, I do need some personal projects, some stuff to get me moving again as I feel a bit lost without a compass.
      Something else resonates in what you said: That the best relationships form when we believe we deserve the best. I am still lugging round my unconscious fear of being unlovable, which means that deep down I find it dificult to believe I deserve the best… It is ridiculous, but hard to uproot.

  2. Well, full marks for lucidity and analytic prowess in a difficult situation. Given the qualities that shine out in your Blog his decision is hard to understand. I suppose we all wait for someone who truely knows our worth and is willing to fight through any difficulties in order to cherish it but such people are hard to find, in both sexes. I loved your final comment. Its almost better than chocolate

    • Hello Counting Ducks, and thanks for the compliment. I find things hard to believe too, it’s almost as though there are some missing pieces in this puzzle too.
      I guess what is hard is the dent this is making in my already bruised faith that I can find someone who as you put it will truly know my worth and fight through any difficlties to cherish it… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  3. Oh, E, I’m feeling at least some of your pain for you. You describe perfectly how life goes on–it’s our greatest pain in the a$$ and at the same time our greatest gift.

    • Dear Pat, I know, you’re right and I will eventually move on, but I feel as though every time, a little bit of my faith in people, my ability to believe in myself and my right to be loved gets eroded…
      Life goes on, but I’m a little bit less confident.

    • Dear Pat,

      You’re right, life goes on and this is not a huge disaster on any scale, but I feel that ever time a little bit of my faith in people, and in my ability to form a sustainable relationship gets eroded…
      I’m not sure how to recover from those disappointments. x

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  5. Ain’t that the truth! The worst part is that you don’t even get to progress through them in a linear fashion. You get to dip in and out of each one based on the circumstances you face. So unfair.

  6. Well, whatever you do right now DO NOT CONTACT HIM.
    (he’ll be waiting for it)
    Look, don’t give up hope and feel sad, Here’s why: He will come back. And next time around don’t screw up.
    I can show you what to do and say for when he next contacts you…. he will. Trust me!

  7. Once again I’ve been following your posts and just haven’t got around to putting “pen to paper” (it’s Emma T by the way). I am so sorry that things didn’t work out with Mr Nice…I can clearly recall that sinking feeling when you just instinctively know that things are coming to an end and it’s not nice…more like devastating. I probably can’t say anything to make it better but what I do know is that every experience we have in life and relationships makes us stronger. You have come such a long way since you started this blog and every hurdle you jump over makes you that little bit stronger- whether you clear the hurdle, or trip over it at first, you ultimately get back up and carry on- that’s the way we women are built. You are a beautiful, strong woman and Mr Right-for-you will find you eventually. In the meantime, take care of your heart, your family and take each day one step at a time. Sending much much love xxxx

    • Dear Emma, it is lovely to hear from you (as always). You’re right, ultimately, I will pick myself up and carry on, it’s just tough to keep the faith that Mr Right-for-me will turn up right now, after all these years and all the heartache.
      PS. I love your new blog…What a great idea! ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

  8. It IS tough and I can’t begin to imagine how you feel after everything you’ve been through, but that’s why I say you’re a strong woman because through it all you’re still standing and don’t forget that!! xx (As for the blog- I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to certain “green” issues and need to get all the info out of my head before it explodes ๐Ÿ˜€ – only a work in progress for now and dipping in now and then but I’m enjoying having a waffle – hopefully someone will read it at some point but for now it’s making Emilie proud at least ;-)) xxx

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