When does the break up hit the dumper?

In this blog we will answer the question “When does the break up hit the dumper?”

We will also briefly discuss what are the stages of breakup remorse for the dumper and how each stage affects the dumper. 

When does the break up hit the dumper?

The timeline of when the break up hits the dumper differs for each individual and one cannot set a universal time period as to when dumper’s remorse hits the person who initiated the break up. 

However, according to My Joy Online, the timeline as to when the break up hits the dumper is between a month to six months after the break up. 

When the break up finally hits the dumper, we call this event dumper’s remorse which is considered part of the residual feelings that a person has from the love they shared for their ex. 

It is an emotion that is felt after the break up and is often a mix of guilt, remorse, nostalgia, and doubt. While it is something that is expected in most individuals who initiate the break up, it is not guaranteed that it will happen. 

Dumper’s remorse is at times difficult to pinpoint and it tends to unfold in different ways and at different timelines for each person. 

It has to be mentioned that this timeline is different for each individual and it depends on various external and personal factors such as:

  • The reason why the break up happened
  • The quality of social support they get
  • The consequences of the break up
  • Their adjustment to singlehood and new romantic prospects

However, according to writers at Magnet of Success, dumpers’ remorse sets in when dumpers get themselves in trouble and get hurt after the break up in a different context.

This means that a dumper’s remorse usually sets in when the dumper is having a hard time with their life after the break up- for example, meeting other people, trouble in their career or their social circle etc. 

When they face hard times, they might reflect on the support they had from their ex which leads them to feel sad or regret their choices if they discern that they were happier with their ex or  happier in the past. 

This is when the break up hits them and they experience feelings like self-doubt for the choices they have made, nostalgia about their past, and even guilt or remorse. 

Stages of breakup remorse for the dumper

According to Michele Kelsey, a contributor for HerNorm, there are distinct stages of break up for the dumper- the person who initiates the break up.

Let us take a look at the various stages of the break up the dumper goes through:


Months or weeks prior to the break up, the dumper goes through a stage of dissatisfaction within the relationship where they feel like their needs are not being met and their partner is not exactly what they expected the person to be. 

At this stage, the dumper might try to make things work and even communicate their dissatisfaction to their partner. In positive cases, the couple will have open communication and work through their problems together. 

However, if the partner does not acknowledge their concerns and there is lack of authenticity within the relationships, it is likely that the dumper will continue to feel dissatisfied in the relationship.

In some cases there may not be one big catalyst whereas in some there might be a big fall out, however the dissatisfaction that is felt tends to grow over time. 

As the dissatisfaction sets in, the dumper might stop trying to fix the problem by communicating and expressing themselves. Instead they will simply stop trying to make the relationship work and remain silent about what they are going through.


The dumper might feel like an enormous weight has been lifted off their shoulders and they might be glad that they don’t have to carry around the weight of their distress while being in this relationship any more. 


It is at this stage, that the dumper might make moves that they have been holding back for a After the break up, the dumper feels a sense of relief- that everything is over. Your ex might probably even feel lighter and happier that the relationship has ended. 


After the dumper’s elation subsides comes the stage of  comparison where they start comparing you with their dates and flings. They might even feel a sense of dissatisfaction when they are with their new partners.

At this stage they might start to become curious as to what you have been up to, how you are doing, and make some effort to check on you. 

They might also, at this stage, figure out what went wrong in the relationship and even regret that they did not make the effort to try mending the relationship or working on the problems that was giving them a sense of dissatisfaction.


After some time, maybe a month or two, after the initial shock of the break up has settled down and the changes they have made have become more evenly paced out, it is possible that the entire experience will hit them now. 

It is at this time, they will recall the times shared between the two of you- however you have to understand that there is no set time when someone will feel this way.

Your ex might take months to years before they feel a sense of nostalgia and start to miss you and this time line depends on how hurt they were during the relationship. 

For example, if the dissatisfaction was enormous to the point that they were hurt deeply by the relationship, it is possible that it might take them years to feel any sense of positive nostalgia for you or the memories that were shared.

You have to understand that even if they have some sense of nostalgia it does not mean that they still love you, it is simply the common human experience of looking back and cherishing old memories.


Depending on how you react and how they are adjusting to their new singlehood, there will be moments when the dumper will regret their decision or doubt their choice to break up. 

This often happens when they are having a hard time adjusting to a new life without you or when they face a lot of backlash as a result of the break up. For example, their friends might be an avid supporter of you or they are having a hard time in a new city and have been having a hard time making friends etc. 

During this time, they might doubt their choice to break up however, this is often fleeting. As they get acquainted with the changes it is likely that they will affirm their decision and move forward. 


The first kind of acceptance that they might feel post a break up often comes in the form of surrender and the acceptance of one’s defeat.

Here, this acceptance means that they stop engaging in the push and pull of nostalgia. They might stop going through old mail, delete photographs, start a new social media page etc. 

In this stage they will come to terms with their final decision and begin to actively make changes in their life that was once tied to you. 

At this point they might recognize that they are not meant to be with you as a partner and so, they let go of you as their partner as well as the dreams and hopes they had for the future they envisioned with you. 

Over time and with effort, their initial form of acceptance begins to develop into something more of a conscious choice as they realise that holding onto you as a romantic partner is not good for them. 

So this form of acceptance is the starting point of them moving forward and taking steps to carry on with their life, on their own terms, and for themselves- here they might start seeing other people and joining new social circles and start a new life for themselves..


In this blog we have answered the question “When does the break up hit the dumper?”

We have also briefly discussed what are the stages of breakup remorse for the dumper and how each stage affects the dumper. 

FAQ related to When does the break up hit the dumper

What percentage of exes come back?

According to psychology today, research finds that 40-50 percent of people have gone back to their exes to try and start a new relationship. However, in most cases, this does not work out.

Do breakups hit guys later?

After the initial elation of realising that one is single, the break up hits men a little later than women. While women might get into grieving the relationship within a few weeks, for men it might take months before the loss hits them. 

Who moves on faster after a breakup?

According to various studies done, women tend to move on faster after a break up compared to men. While men might appear to be unaffected by the break up in most cases, this is because they often deny their feelings. 

It is after a few months to a year when they are able to confront their feelings leading to the grieving process taking longer than women who tend to grieve almost immediately after the break up which is why they are able to move on faster. 

What makes dumper’s regret the break up?

Depending on how you react and how they are adjusting to their new singlehood, there will be moments when the dumper will regret their decision or doubt their choice to break up. 

This often happens when they are having a hard time adjusting to a new life and new relationships. 

Do exes come back when you least expect it?

Yes, exes do come back when you least expect them to, especially when you have finally started moving forwards after the break up. This usually happens when they are having a hard time adjusting to a new life and new relationships. 

How does a dumper feel during no contact?

During the no contact period, the dumper might experience a sense of relief and elation about their decision to break up; however, with radio silence, they might start to wonder what their ex is up to.


Max Jancar. The Stages And Psychology Of Dumpers Remorse. Retrieved on 3rd April 2022. https://maxjancar.com/dumpers-remorse/

How long it takes for a guy to regret breaking up with you. My joy Online. Retrieved on 3rd April 2022. https://www.myjoyonline.com/how-long-it-takes-for-a-guy-to-regret-breaking-up-with-you/

5 Stages of Dumpers’ Remorse: When Does It Set In? Magnet of Success. Retrieved on 3rd APril 2022.https://magnetofsuccess.com/5-stages-of-dumpers-remorse-when-does-it-set-in/

Kelsey. M. 9 Stages Of A Breakup For The Dumper (The Surprising Truth). Her norm. Retrieved on 3rd April 2022. https://hernorm.com/stages-of-a-breakup-for-the-dumper/

Fascinating Truth About the Breakup Stages of the Dumper — Flirtivate. Good Men Project. Retrieved on 3rd April 2022. https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/fascinating-truth-about-the-breakup-stages-of-the-dumper-flirtivate/

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