Phase 1: Realizing you can use your grease-stained sweatshirt sleeve as a tissue when you cry.

Breakups always have definitive characteristics, and nowhere are these more identifiable than when they happen in your 20s. Heartache during this life phase is marred by distinctly millennial activities such as paranoid Facebook stalking, selfies of you crying into a double whiskey coke accompanied by Kendrick Lamar lyrics, and maliciously changing your Hulu password so your ex can no longer watch The Mindy Project on your dime. 

“Truly disgusting,” – Rest of world.

But, we all go through it. So, to make you feel a little less alone, we’ve compiled a list of the five stages all 20-somethings will experience during a breakup so you can at least feel better that others are suffering too.

1. Sadness: Crying to the barista in your leopard Snuggie

Phase one begins with you waking up hungover, puffy-eyed and spooning a two-day old Illegal Pete’s burrito because it has the same sink and bounce your ex’s back did. During the next 1-4 weeks, you’ll become a hermetic and smelly shut-in, relying on streaming television services and the automated GrubHub texts for human interaction. You’re prone to crying to service industry workers with kind eyes, the mail man (he’s so reliable), and pretty much anyone who asks “How are you?” — which is everyone.

Your outfits will include grease-stained sweatpants, an oversized cable knit sweater you chose for its tear-absorbing ability, and any bedclothes you grab on your way out the door that you pretend to count as a ‘jacket' because wearing an actual jacket would mean you're emotionally stable enough to plan for your own comfort.

When you need a shoulder to cry on, you discover both Ben and Jerry have soft, sweet shoulders.

2. Anger: Because now you have to inspect moles/weird bodily growths by your lonesome

The most fulfilling reward of a long-term relationship isn’t love or regular sex: it’s having someone around who’ll force you to see a dermatologist when that thing on you starts its own westward expansion.

It’s not like you have health insurance to deal with this by yourself. You’re too ancient to be on your parent’s plan, but too young to afford Affordable Care. Now that you’re flying solo, your only option is self-diagnosis. This pisses you right off.

Because of this, you’re liable to throw some emo tirades which may or may not culminate in you dumping your ex’s shit on the lawn to rot. If there is no lawn because you’re too poor to afford peripheral greenery, donate the remnants of said ex to Goodwill and claim months later that you have no idea where those Sorel boots and Macbook charger went.

3. Bargaining: Just the tip for old time’s sake?

You’ll apologize for the ‘shit on the lawn phase’ because you miss that person. You thought they were the one (you both traveled to Southeast Asia after undergrad, so soulmates) and they became your best friend over the course of your lengthy 1.5 year relationship … or at least they watched your dog when you went out of town.  So, if you can’t have it all, can you have some of it?

You’ll request 'Friends with Benefits' status. Who else will suck on your big toe while caressing your left ball? If you can’t hook up anymore, maybe you can meet for a pompous craft beer just to see how each other is doing? No? What about sustainably farmed local wine? Not even that? Okay, um … a pour-over and a gluten-free paleo biscuit? FUCK.

4. Depression: Too sad to even recycle

You’re so lethargic and emotionally preoccupied that you put cardboard in the trash just so you can inflict pain on others. It doesn’t matter that your misplaced recyclables are sure to choke a baby seal, because life is pain, and you want the world to feel yours. You even leave the water running while you brush your teeth for the first time in weeks because if your landfill cardboard doesn’t get that seal, then you draining the world’s water supply will.

In other news, you’ll develop a habit of watching sad movies in the bathtub with the laptop plugged in and perched dangerously close to the water while eating Indian takeout. You might even buy one of those bamboo things Chinese torture chambers use to hold people’s eyelids open to adorn your bedside table. This is the time to write positive mantras on your mirror, vow to step outside at least once a day, and to allow yourself to do a terrible job at work.

5. Acceptance: Realizing a break up is the easiest way to lose 150 pounds

After days, weeks, or even months, the light will begin to break through those black out curtains you bought together to encourage lazy Sundays. Looks like you’ve made it through with only a slight water weight problem and minor alcohol dependency. You’ll kick both of these things within a week thanks to the fitness goals tacked importantly on your new bulletin board. Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” plays loud and proud from your stereo and you congratulate yourself for your taste in vintage music. You’ve started blogging about “millennial heartbreak” and even gone on a few dates with people who accidentally swiped right on you. Your new-and-improved Instagram, highlighting your metamorphosis, is gaining two followers a week and counting!