How Long Does It Take to Get over a Break Up?

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Going through a break up isn’t easy. A process has to happen for you to move forward and fully heal wounds that may come from your relationship. 

The question you’ll ask is: “How long will it take to get over it?” 

The answer isn’t a straightforward one. But we want to explore the question in detail and give you some understanding of the path you have ahead.

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How to Grieve After a Breakup

If you’ve just come out of a relationship, then you’re likely going through a range of emotions. A grieving process has started, and you now have to find a way to live life with your significant other no longer being a part of it.

Phycologists break grief down to seven stages. Each stage doesn’t necessarily follow the other, and you may find yourself jumping between them in no particular order.

The 7 Stages of Grief After a Breakup

Desperate for answers: This stage involves searching for why your relationship has come to an end.

Denial: During the stage of denial you will find yourself refusing to accept the relationship is truly over.

Bargaining: When bargaining, you’re looking for a way you could change with the hope it gives new reasons to re-enter the relationship.

Relapse: A relapse means anything from contacting your ex or searching for them on social media.

Anger: During stages of anger, you may become angry at your ex, the situation, and even yourself.

Initial Acceptance:  This stage offers some light relief. It’s a time where you accept the relationship has ended, and you need to move forward.

Redirected Hope: At this point, you start to have thoughts of a bright future. You are looking for new ways to take your life to the next stage with the idea of being happy.

Experts suggest that the average time it takes to get over a break up is half the time that the relationship lasted. 

So if you were together for two years, it should take one year to move on. But there’s no substantial evidence to support this claim, and it’s more likely designed to give people peace of mind.

You Need to Be Proactive

The reality is that getting over a break up isn’t a passive action. You have to be active and take essential steps that allow you to heal. 

Doing things like hiding/deleting images of your ex, blocking them on social media, and deleting their number helps build the foundations of your future without them. 

These steps may seem cold-hearted, but having a constant reminder of them in your life is only going to prolong the difficulty of trying to move on.

Accepting someone is no longer in your life is half the battle. There’s also another side of a breakup, that’s arguably more important. And that includes the journey of yourself. 

There’s a reason your relationship ended and whether you like it or not you, in some way, have contributed to it not continuing further.

So, while trying to get over a breakup, you need to be prepared to do some deep soul searching. 

You have to take extreme ownership of your actions, and look at what areas of your life and mentality you need to work through. You could say this is the hardest part of a breakup. It’s not easy to look in the mirror and identify your areas of improvement. 

Here are some points you should consider:

Who You Were: 

What version of yourself were you in the relationship? Did you bring the best version of yourself, or did you allow your more negative traits to drive the relationship?

Why Did You Start: 

You may not have entered a relationship because they were the right person for long term happiness. 

You may have unknowingly needed that relationship to identify your true worth in life. Understanding your motives can help with the next point…

How to Avoid: 

If your relationship was overall a negative one, then you don’t want to find yourself in the same position with someone else. Look at what you can do differently to avoid a similar pattern of toxic energy.

Become High Value: 

Were you a low-value partner who attracted someone of the same status? What can you do to become a high-value person in order to enter a more stable, successful relationship in the future? Some tips to become high value are: working on confidence, being active and healthy, improving your career, and being more assured and content in who you are.

Breakups Are an Exciting Time in Life

Do the stages of grief and self-improvement feel overwhelming? If they do, that’s normal because the process of a breakup is hard work. But the good news is, that although painful, a breakup can be one of the most exciting periods of your life.

You’ve heard the term “I lost myself in that relationship.” As we connect our bodies and minds with someone, we often lose our sense of direction and self. This is particularly harmful if both parties are on different paths. 

One of you may sacrifice for the other, and while sacrifice is part of a relationship, if not done in a balanced way, it can lead to anger and resentment

Embrace Your Breakup

Coming out of the environment allows you to rediscover yourself. This is one of the most powerful experiences a human can have. 

Reconnecting with your values, motivations, dreams, and direction will make you feel whole again. You can transmute the pain you feel from your breakup into positive, powerful energy that drives you.

We don’t want to push you away with a random number of how long it takes to get over a breakup. That’s dismissive to what you’re experiencing right now. We do understand the discomfort means you want it to be over as soon as possible.  But we want to promote a different mindset.

Do not fear all that comes with a breakup. Rather, embrace it and see the opportunities that come out of it. It’s your chance for self-growth and personal development. It’s a time to learn about yourself and deeper parts of your psyche.

Don’t look to run away, instead, face it head-on. A breakup is your time to regroup, check-in with yourself, and build a better experience for your future. That takes as long as it needs to and you should not fear it, but rather, enjoy it.

Additional Resources

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About the author

Dan Ginn
Dan Ginn is an experienced feature writer and content creator with a background in photography, health and wellbeing and cultural topics.

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