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The despair phase

Jesse Martin

June 09, 2016

Academic psychologists and neuroscientists frequently use the distinction between the “Protest” phase of romantic rejection and the “Despair” phase.

During the protest phase, deserted lovers obsessively try harder to win back their beloveds. As resignation sets in, they give up entirely and slip into despair.

Once you transition from the protest phase to the despair phase, life can feel meaningless. Your ex-girlfriend gave meaning to your life and without her it can seem dull, or even empty

Here's a poem I wrote while going through my breakup when I was feeling despair:

No one understands me anymore, the world around me loses its depth, that depth I experienced only with and you, I no longer have

The despair phase is where you reach your rock bottom, but it is also your your launch pad to a new chapter of your life.

Eventually the disappointed lover gives up. Their beloved is gone forever and they are spent. Many plummet into hopelessness. They toss in bed and cry. Drugged by the potent liquor of sorrow, some just woodenly sit and gaze into a void. They hardly work or eat. Perhaps they feel an occasional urge to renew pursuit of their lost love or a passing flash of anger. Generally, they feel deep melancholy. Nothing pries them from their anguish--except time. -- Why We Love

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