One person becomes dissatisfied and weighs up the pros and cons and evaluate these against the alternatives. They think about the reasons for their unhappiness, and focus mostly on partner's shortcomings. They start to plan their future.
Grave dressing stage (moving on)
The dissatisfaction is now shared with their partner. A series of confrontations and dissatisfactions happen. There could be two possible outcomes: determination to continue breaking up or a desire to repair the relationship.
The break-up is now public. Partners seek support from others outside the relationship. Friends react differently: some provide reassurance, some are judgemental and blame one person or the other, some push the relationship towards its end by providing new information, others try to help repair the relationship.
When the relationship is over individuals need to come to terms with it. Partners create a story that enables them to maintain their reputation. They may 're-write history' to try to lessen feelings of loss.