Getting Over an Ex: How Long Does It Take?

Though we all wish for it, there is no single answer when it comes to how long it will take to be totally over an ex and feel happy again. Your heart has been shattered, destroyed, and then stomped on a bit more. There are theories, such as half the time of the relationship or a few weeks if you allow for total grieving in the moment and then deciding to consciously move on. In actuality, there is no right or wrong answer. People are all different.

That being said, as you are getting over someone there are a few things to remember. These will not determine when you will be happy again, but will help you move forward.

It Takes Time

Though there is no exact answer to how long it takes to actually get over an ex, the range probably hits on the shorter end of a spectrum for most. One study showed three months was an average for feeling better though a more recent one found six months to be the average. That being said, getting over a divorce was closer to 18 months, but this is understandable.

The intensity of the relationship can affect the timeline. If you are totally invested in one another, you may never truly get over an ex, but a casual relationship can take just a couple weeks. IT depends on you and the relationship, not some mathematical formula.

Emotional Attachment Adds Time

Being strongly emotionally attached to someone will add time to getting over them. Even if you were only together short amount of time, a deep attachment will make it harder to get over someone. The heightened attachment leaves you devasted when it ends. This can lower your self-esteem and leave you longing for what is now gone. This is in part because a strong attachment means your identity was probably tied up in the relationship. It feels like a part of your being is missing after the breakup. On the other side of that, if you adapt well to change, then you will probably be able to rebuild quickly and move on.

Use Self-Care

As you start the process of healing, however long it happens to take for you, try to remember that each person is different and will grieve the loss in their own way. Accept your feelings for what they are so that when you are ready you can move on. Beyond that, do whatever you need to heal yourself.

Start with keeping people close who make you feel valued and that can give you good feedback as you heal. These are the people that will remind you of the inner good when you are beating yourself up over mistakes. Also, take time to work on yourself with yoga, a quick trip, or something else that makes you happy.

New Identity

While this does not mean joining witness protection and changing your name, doing something you want, but have avoided because of your partner can be helpful. Cut your hair, try a new color, get a piercing or tattoo if you want. Getting a physical makeover or some noticeable change, can help you heal inside. You are stepping outside of what was and into something new. This is both freeing and empowering.

Stay Busy

Your life was likely centered on the previous relationship, so find a replacement for that time and energy. This does not mean a new partner, but activity. Staying busy can help take your mind off the heartbreak. Take a class, start working out, or take up a hobby to put yourself out there again. Who knows, you may meet someone new along the way. Just remember, if you do find someone new, do not compare them to your ex or it will end badly.

Set Your Pace

While it is important to take steps to feel better after a breakup, do so at your pace. This is a process that will take different amounts of time for different people. Give yourself a break and simply allow the process to take place as you care for yourself and work on healing. Accept what comes, but try to remain positive. An optimistic mindset can help more than you ever imagined. It is part of the healing you have power over.

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