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    STAGE 3 – BARGAINING / NEGOTIATION! (The 5 Stages of Breakup Grief and How to Get Through Them Series)

    Stage 2 – Bargaining / Negotiation … the Sneaky Decoy!

    Stage 3 – Negotiation

    “Moving on is easy. It’s staying moved on that’s trickier.”

    ~Katerina Stoykova Klemer

    This can be the most dangerous breakup stage of all.


    Because it’s the most tempting time for you to abandon yourself.

    You pretended this isn’t really happening and that you didn’t care anyway in Stage 1. (Denial) You stomped around, being mighty angry about everything that happened during the relationship, the breakup, and maybe even after the breakup in Stage 2. (Anger) Now you may find yourself wondering ‘what if?’

    Usually those two beautiful little words are full of possibilities. However, during this stage the words ‘what if?’ can be a sneaky decoy. that lures you off course. Because most breakups, as hard as it may be, are something that brings you back on course in your life. If it wasn’t working, then staying with this person would just have kept you anchored and stuck in port, instead of flowing along the mighty river of your life.

    (This is the end of the water and sailing metaphors. For now!)

    ‘What if we didn’t live together?’

    ‘What if we took some time away, just the two of us? If we just got away from his work/my work/her friends/my friends/anything external, we may find that we’re meant to be after all.

    ‘What if I forgave them for cheating? Or they forgave me?’

    Like anything that’s broken, you feel that finding a way to fix it, is the right thing to do. It’s the logical thing to do.

    The list obviously becomes more and more extreme as you go on. And that is because right about now you feel powerless. You’re feeling not only the loss but the inability to fix it and anything has to feel better than this pain. Surely you can’t throw away something so special, so full of potential, this deep connection you two have … just like that?

    Here’s the thing though. A relationship is not a car that needs new brakes. It’s a meeting and blending of lives, hearts, minds, souls, and bodies of two people. And you can’t find the Super Glue for love in your local DIY shop of relationship quick fixes.

    ‘You can’t find the cosmic Super Glue for Love in your local DIY shop of relationship quick fixes.’

    ~Christina A Caeliss

    This isn’t to say that some relationships aren’t worth saving. Even if you’re meant to work it out someday, get married and have 100 fat babies, this negotiation stage is not the time to start on that path. You can do that later, after you are both emotionally strong and healthy again. From that healthy place it’s a healthy reunion. Whereas this kind of bargaining during Breakup Grief is all about easing the pain and not feeling so powerless.

    It has … dare I say it?

    (Of course I dare.)

    It has a sense of desperation around it, my friend.

    This is the time you may find yourself perusing the net, pulling out your credit card to buy programs with such distinguished names such as ‘How to Get Your Ex Back and Down on One Knee So He Proposes Within a Week!’ Or ‘Drive Your Ex Crazy With Jealousy and Watch Them Claim You and Never Let You Go!’

    Or even ‘How to Make Them Sorry They Ever Let You Go and Get THEM to Propose to YOU!’

    If you have co-dependent tendencies and/or an anxious attachment style, this stage of breakup grief will be especially hard for you. It may feel like trying to break an addiction. But break it you must and commit to your own wellbeing instead.

    I’m going to take a moment to remind you about the NO Contact rule. Once it’s done, no matter what the reason, commit to NO CONTACT if you can. If you are not in contact, then you can’t be tempted to make suggestions that you’ll regret later.

    As if that wasn’t enough, you may also find yourself negotiating with the Universe or the Powers That Be. That conversation may go along the lines of ‘If I promise to be a better girlfriend and not complain about his furtive text messaging, will you please bring us back together?’

    It’s not unusual to think like that. You’re trying to gain some control over the situation because you believe that will make you feel better.

    But here’s the truth. You don’t need to negotiate with the Universe. What is yours, is yours. You can ask for anything you want and if your energy is clear and allowing, you will get it. But when you ask for WHO you want … you’ll only get them if they are willing too.

    So if you can’t wheedle and bargain with them and you can’t hammer out a deal with the Universe, what can you do?

    If you connect and talk to the deepest you of you, what you’re really wanting, first and foremost, is not for them to come back.

    What your heart is yearning for … is for YOUR OWN SELF to come back. The scattered pieces of your heart that you gave away to someone who couldn’t treasure them.

    That is why this stage in Breakup Grief is so critical. It’s right here and right now, in the middle of all this bargaining energy, that the opportunity to see what you’re really grieving for appears: the lost pieces of yourself that were taken away or that you abandoned. Or that you gave to someone who didn’t really want them and didn’t cherish them.

    Now is the time to protect those pieces of your heart and allow them to heal back into wholeness again.


    Final Thoughts

    The Negotiation Stage can be the hardest one to go through, because this is where hope can start to blossom again. After all the pain and anger, it’s a relief to feel hope again. And it’s a relief to be able to do something about this mess!

    However that hope is likely borne out of desperation and fear. Those actions you want to take to fix this not only are disempowering, but wasted.

    You don’t have to negotiate for love. The finer points of a relationship are open to compromise, yes, but not the love itself.

    And you don’t have to negotiate with the Universe or Source, your ultimate co-creator, either.

    Someday you will get through this stage. In order to do it without feeling mortified or disappointed in yourself or even worse, back in an unhealthy relationship, remember the Golden Rule – NO CONTACT!

    Stay tuned for how to drive through the next stage – the Doldrums of Depression.

    Click here for the Intro to the series

    Click here for Stage 1 – Denial

    Click here for Stage 2 – Anger