Breakups suck. Big time. There is no doubt about it. The heartbreak feels like it will never end. You will be asking ‘how long does it take to get over a breakup?’
It doesn’t matter if you were together for six months or six years. It doesn’t matter whether you parted on good terms or hate each other’s guts. No one finds it easy to call it a day on a relationship. It can be something akin to grief – grieving for something that you no longer have or dreamed of having. We live in a culture that focuses on happy endings and forever love. When that is going to happen to you, you can feel like a failure.
The Excruciating Break-Up Feelings!
It is not unusual to feel all sorts of emotions: sadness, rejection, anger, embarrassment, elation, anxiety, excitement, guilt, remorse – or pretty much all of these at the same time.
What we can tell you though is that you will get over it. It might not feel that way at the moment. It may take weeks or even months to feel less heartbroken. Eventually, though, you will be able to move on. You will get to a point where you look back on the relationship with fondness or ‘Urgh, what was I thinking?’.
It is easy for us to say though. When you are in the midst of a relationship breakup, it can sometimes feel like the bottom of your entire world has fallen out. You might find yourself turning to friends and family and asking them ‘how long does it take to get over a breakup?’. The answer is there is no set time. Some people bounce back quickly and others take longer. We will cover that a bit further on.
Here, we look at some tried and tested tips to help you get through the end of a relationship.
Give yourself time to grieve
As we mentioned above, the feelings that you experience at the end of a relationship can be very similar to grief. Grief is being upset about losing someone – and that’s exactly what a relationship is.
You are losing a significant part of your life. They are your lover, your friend, someone that you confide in and perhaps someone you live with. Even if you haven’t been together for long, they will have been a part of your daily life and suddenly, they aren’t. You need to give yourself time to grieve over that loss in the same way you would grieve over a death.
It is absolutely fine to experience mixed emotions too. Just because you feel great and ‘over it’ one day and then sadness the next, it does not mean you are going backward. It is an entirely normal process.
Delete your ex’s number
You might have separated amicably and declared you are going to remain friends – but let’s face it, in most breakups, it just doesn’t happen like that. In some cases, you may be friends, but the transition from a romantic and sexual partner into friendship does not happen overnight. It takes time. You also need to consider that if you do stay in contact as friends how you feel and how you will react if they meet someone new.
Delete their number; for now, anyway. You can also get hold of it and add it again later. By deleting their number, you won’t be as likely to send them that late-night drunken text that you will regret the next day. And you ALWAYS regret it.
Have a social media purge
If you have photos or other mementos of your ex around the house, you have probably taken them down and put them away. But what about your social media? Facebook Memories might throw up all the photos of you during happier and more loved up times, and you may find yourself anxiously refreshing your ex’s page to see what they are up to. While normal, it’s not healthy and it is not going to help you get over them. It is absolutely fine to unfriend, unfollow or hide them, for as long as you need to.
Make Plans with Friends
When it comes to getting over the end of a relationship, you have two choices. You can stay at home moping or get on with life as best as you can. You do need to give yourself time to grieve. However, staying in, drinking too much alcohol and sobbing away is not going to help you to move on. Instead, keep busy.
If you used to spend Saturday nights snuggled watching a film together, make plans to go out with your friend for a cocktail. Dress up, put on a brave face and have some fun. Many of us also tend to neglect friendships when we are in a relationship. This can be a great chance to reconnect. Make sure that you only spend time with people who make you feel the best version of you though. Stay away from soul suckers!
Don’t go anywhere near the hairdressers
Or, if you do, think very carefully before you do anything drastic!
As Coco Chanel famously said, “a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life“. For many women and men, cutting hair after a breakup can feel cathartic, like you are shedding dead weight. If you are experiencing the huge adjustments and changes that often accompany a separation, cutting or doing something drastically different to your hair can make you feel like you have some control back.
However, while the hair does grow back, it can take a long time. When you are emotionally vulnerable, you can make decisions that are not always the most sensible. Your pixie cut or shaved head might feel great for a short time, but as your emotions begin to even out, you could come to regret it.
How long does it take to get over a breakup?
So, now you know some of the things that you can do to help you get over tour broken heart, you may be wondering how long it will be before you feel ok when you feel like you can begin to move on.
There’s no real answer to this as it differs for everyone. It depends on why you broke up, how long you have been together, whether you have children together and so on.
Generally speaking, most people start to adjust to life without their ex after about three months. [Lewandowski Jr, 2007]. It can be more, it can be less, and it doesn’t mean you will be over it. However, at this point, the grief will usually have started to lessen. It is also the point where many people feel ready to dip their toes back into the world of dating again. It is important to not set yourself a deadline to be over it. Not meeting this can set you back even further.
When it comes to getting over the end of a relationship, whether it is how to coper or questioning how long does it take to get over a breakup, there are no right or wrong answers. There’s no magic wand that can be waved to make you feel better straight away. Take your time and allow yourself time to grieve. When you are ready, take steps towards the rest of your life.