Stages of a Breakup for the Dumper (11 Vital Stages)

Last updated on July 4, 2022 by April Maccario

Have you ever initiated a breakup before? What did it feel like? Or were you on the receiving end? 

That must have hurt so much too. Like grief, when people break up they have to go through different stages before they finally move on to a new person. 

For example, if you’re the dumpee, the common opinion is that you’re the only one suffering after the breakup. You are in pain, denial, and sorrow over the wasted time you invested in the relationship. In your mind, your ex-boyfriend is having a swell time with someone else now that he’s free from any commitment to you.

You’re probably far from the truth because just like you, your ex-boyfriend is also going through the motions of the breakup. Depending on how things were in your relationship, you probably still care about him and wouldn't be happy to see him in pain either.

Also, there’s a probability that he never wanted to break up with you but just felt like he didn’t have a better choice at the time. Either way, you’ve both made some decisions and need to work through each stage to heal and move on.

This article gives insight into the stages of a breakup a dumper goes through after breaking up with you. 

11 Vital Stages of a Breakup for the Dumper

1. The unbelief phase 

This is the first stage of grief for the dumper. He finds what you have done or what he thought you did unbelievable because he trusted you so much. For example, if someone had told him you were somewhere cheating on him with another guy, he would either argue or get angry with the person. But catching you himself is sure to leave you in great anguish

At the same time, he won’t be able to believe you could do such a thing. He’d end up wondering what he did wrong, and if it’s because he was a bad boyfriend. Even if it was a simple case of misunderstanding and he's wrong in his assumption, he won’t want to see you at that moment. That’s where the no contact rule comes in. 

2. The anger phase

At this stage, the betrayal really sinks in. After berating himself for what he didn’t do or what he could have done, he will become angry at you for not communicating with him what you needed. He will also channel some of the anger inwards for failing to be the best boyfriend. 

He will get angry because all his efforts to make the relationship work didn’t pan out. He will equally be mad that he can no longer call or text you at will. If he breaks the no contact rule and calls you, it will be to express his anger and pain. Nothing you say at that point will get through to him, and he doesn’t care that you’re hurting too.

3. The worry phase

At this point, your ex-boyfriend will be wondering if he was in too much of a hurry to end the relationship. He will think back on how faithful you were and wonder why you would stab him in the back.

At this stage, he still cares for you and so, he will get worried about how you may be feeling too. If he has the means, he will carry out his investigation into what he reckoned you did wrong. If he finds out that you’re innocent, the stages of breakup grief will end here and he will break the no contact rule. If it turns out that you’re guilty, he’ll go back to square one and start the grieving stage all over again. 

4. The anxiety phase

At this stage, he has either found you completely guilty or innocent. If you’re innocent, he will be anxious to talk to you. Due to the no contact rule, he probably hadn’t been talking to you for days or weeks so, he isn’t sure how you’ll receive him. He’s probably a wreck who feels awful for not giving you the benefit of a doubt. He will eventually contact you and try to get back together. 

If he finds you guilty though, his anxiety will stem from his worry about the future. He would be anxious about how to move on from you and if he can start all over again with someone new.

5. The relief phase

the relief phase

At the relief stage, the dumper starts thinking he is better off without you and it’s a good thing the truth surfaced before the relationship progressed in a more permanent direction. 

He is probably getting accustomed to the single life and would probably start dating again. However, he might be sincere with himself that he needs a rebound relationship to test if he’s forever broken or he still has the boy magic.

6. The pity phase

If the dating scene doesn’t appeal to your ex-boyfriend, he will fall back to feeling sorry for himself. He will wonder what he’s doing and why the relationship with you had to end. This is also a shaky time in terms of the no contact rule, he may reach out.

It’s not that easy to build up a new romantic relationship. Most times, it is exhausting and so, a lot of men end up going for casual hook-ups instead of investing their emotions and time in a new relationship. Your ex might go for the casual sex option or stay miserably single for a while.

7. The reminiscing phase

This is the bittersweet stage where he will mentally and physically open up memories he shared with you. If he has a photo album, he will go through it constantly. He will equally mentally walk through the happy times, the mini breakup and makeup moments, and unforgettable experiences that will take a while to leave him. 

Don’t get it wrong, this stage doesn’t mean he will come running to take you back but, it’s a necessary process he has to go through to heal.

8. The confusion phase

At this stage, he wants to give it a go with someone new but isn’t sure he can do it. He thinks he is over you but, memories from your relationship plague him even though there are a few alternatives to take your place.

His confusion will make him seek help in terms of therapy, talking to friends and family, or simply taking time off work to regroup. 

9. The doubt phase

This is similar to the confusion phase, except he isn’t confused about who made what happen. Nevertheless, he’s in doubt about what to do since everything is out in the open. If he feels like he played a part in the breakup and wants to be a better man in his next relationship, he’ll try out self-improvement lessons, or retreat from his regular routine. 

If he loved you so much that the breakup did a number on his self-esteem, he will want to be somewhat whole before attempting to love another person. 

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10. The conceding phase

the conceding phase

This is the stage where things get better for him. He has gone through the more painful stages of breakup and deserves a break too. You will also get to this stage of accepting you need to get back to life and live again.

Your ex-boyfriend might even break the no contact rule at this point to express his unhappiness to you. This time around, he might sound sad but, he won’t be bitter or angry at you anymore. He has accepted that these things happen in every relationship, and everyone has to move on eventually. 

11. The ‘next decision' phase

Every good thing comes to an end but, there’s always a fresh beginning too. Your ex has experienced different stages of pain, grief, and realization, and so have you. After much consideration and discussion, you can decide if getting back together will be worth it or if moving on from each other will be the best option.

Whatever decision he makes will be for his benefit, so, make a decision that will serve you in the long term too.


How do guys deal with breakups when they are the dumper?

Believe it or not, a guy can cry and hurt after a breakup even if he did the dumping. However, unlike girls, guys can easily move on to date another person, even if it’s to temporarily numb the pain of the recent breakup. 

What does the dumper feel after a breakup?

He passes through different stages of emotions. One such emotion is anger at himself and his ex-girlfriend. One other thing he feels is insecurity in his ability to keep a relationship steady. His ego has been bruised and so he’ll feel the need to build it up.

Are breakups hard for the dumper?

Contrary to popular opinion that the dumper feels relief after all stages of a breakup, he feels awful. The only thing that makes him appear okay is the fact that he doesn’t want to break down and look like a wimp.

What goes through his mind during no contact?

During the no contact period, the dumper starts wondering if he made a hasty decision by breaking up with his ex. He will also be worried that his ex has started dating another person.

Will a dumper ever come back?

A dumper can come back if he realizes how empty he feels without his other half. Also, if he was wrong to break up with you in the first place, he will try to get back together.

In Conclusion 

It is easy to think a dumper just dusts himself off and moves on without a worry but he hurts too. If you’ve ever wondered how your ex-boyfriend felt after breaking up with you, hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding.

Please leave your thoughts in the comment section and share this article widely with friends. 

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April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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