Relationships

Here’s How Long It Will Take to Get Over Your Ex

Breakups are hard, but you’re not alone. Recovering from a breakup takes time and self-care. Learn how to navigate the emotional journey with expert advice and practical tips. From cutting off contact to seeking support, empower yourself to heal and move forward. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help along the way.

Grow Therapy therapist Gregorio (Greg) Lozano III LPC By Greg Lozano, LPC

Updated on Apr 30, 2024

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Breakups are tough, no matter how long you were together or how it ended. The aftermath of a romantic relationship can leave you feeling lost, heartbroken, and wondering when or if you’ll ever feel like yourself again. Most people ask themselves, “How long will it take to get over this breakup?”

Several factors can influence how long it takes to heal and move on from a breakup. These factors can include the length and intensity of the relationship and the support available from family and friends. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, there are steps you can take toward healing and moving forward with confidence. 

Recovering From a Broken Heart

When you break up with someone who means a lot to you, it can be emotionally and physically painful. This pain is often called “heartbreak,” and it is real. It can make you feel uncomfortable, and you may experience intense emotions. You might feel like your chest is hurting, your throat is tight, or your stomach is being punched. 

This happens because the part of your brain that deals with stress is affected. When you’re under stress, your brain tells your body to release chemicals that can make your body feel very uncomfortable. Heartbreak can also make you feel sad, anxious, or depressed.

Recovering from a broken heart is a challenging and emotional journey. The time it takes to move on after losing a romantic partner can vary greatly from person to person. While some people may feel better in just a few days or weeks, for others, it may take several weeks, or even months to recover.

Many different things can influence the healing process after a breakup. The length of the relationship, why the breakup happened, and how emotionally invested you were are some of the factors that can impact your healing process. How you deal with tough situations, your personality, and the people who support you can also play a role in how long it will take for you to recover.

When a relationship ends, it can be tough to deal with the intense emotions that come with it. At first, it might feel like everything reminds you of your ex-partner, and it can be hard to find joy in anything. 

As time goes on, the strong emotions may not be as constant, but it’s normal to still feel sad or angry. Let yourself feel these emotions instead of ignoring them or trying to move on too quickly. This can help you heal faster in the long run.

One way to heal and grow after a breakup is to think about what you learned from the relationship. You can look for patterns and consider what you can do to improve yourself. This can help you move on and focus on a better future. 

How Long Does It Take to Get Over a Breakup?

Breaking up can be really hard on your emotions, and it affects different people in different ways. You may wonder how long it will take to feel better and move on after a breakup. While it’s different for everyone, research has given us some clues about the process.

Research From the Journal of Family Psychology

According to the Journal of Family Psychology, research shows that 36.5% of unmarried adults aged 18 to 35 have gone through at least one breakup within the past 20 months. 

There are several possible reasons why this age group is susceptible to breakups. One factor could be the pressure to find a suitable partner and settle down, especially as society’s expectations around relationships and marriage have shifted over time. 

With dating apps and social media making it easier to meet new people, there is a wide range of options for young adults to explore. Yet, this can also lead to a sense of overwhelm and indecision, resulting in more breakups.

Also, many people in this age group are still figuring out their identities and priorities. They may be exploring different career paths, hobbies, and interests, making it challenging to maintain a long-term relationship. Additionally, young adults may have different relationship expectations and goals, leading to conflicts and breakups.

Breakups can have a huge impact on a person’s mental health and well-being. They can lead to feelings of sadness, loneliness, and rejection, which can be challenging to overcome. But it’s important to recognize that breakups are a normal part of dating and relationships. They can provide opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery, eventually leading to finding a more compatible and loving partner. 

How to Get Over a Breakup Faster

There are several steps that you can take to help you get through a breakup. Here are some tips to help you through the healing process:

Cut Off Contact

Cutting off contact with your ex is important to help you heal from a breakup, but it can be difficult if you work or go to school together.

Establish boundaries and limit interactions, keep conversations focused on work or school-related topics, and avoid discussing personal matters or engaging in gossip about your relationship. Try to avoid being alone with your ex if possible.

Keep Busy

Focusing on activities that bring you joy can help shift your focus away from the breakup and towards positive experiences. Keeping busy can mean something other than overworking yourself or filling your schedule with obligations.

It’s important to strike a balance between staying occupied and taking time to rest and relax. Take care of yourself by scheduling activities like meditation, reading, or taking a bath. You can also explore hobbies like sports, painting, or volunteering to meet new people and build self-confidence.

It’s good to distract yourself from a painful break up to avoid getting too obsessed with the hurt. However, if done to an extreme, it can keep you from feeling the loss. People that are avoidant in nature will try their best to distract themselves to the point that they can go without processing their emotions, while individuals that are more “clingy” or anxious may ruminate too much over their loss.

Practice Self-Care

Self-care is a very important part of getting over a breakup. You can do this by prioritizing your health to help you overcome the challenges of a breakup. Getting enough sleep is crucial for both physical and mental health.

Eating well and taking part in regular physical activity can help reduce stress and boost your mood. Looking for activities that make you feel good, such as taking a relaxing bath or getting a massage, can also help you feel more relaxed and refreshed.

Avoid Negative Self-Talk

It is easy to fall into the trap of negative self-talk at the end of a relationship. You may blame yourself for the breakup or feel like you are not good enough. Try to avoid negative self-talk and focus on positive affirmations.

Set Goals

After a breakup, it can be easy to lose motivation and feel like you’re just going through the motions of life. Setting goals can help give you a sense of direction and something to work towards. These goals can be big or small, depending on what feels right for you. 

For example, you might decide to take a daily walk around your neighborhood to clear your mind and get some exercise. Or, you might choose to sign up for a course or class that will challenge you and help you learn something new.

Take Up New Hobbies

Taking up new hobbies can help you meet new people and explore new interests. This can be a great way to distract yourself from the pain of the breakup and give yourself something to look forward to.

Reflect on the Relationship

Take some time to reflect on your relationship and what went wrong. This can help you identify patterns or behaviors that you want to avoid in your future relationships.

Forgive

Forgiveness means letting go of anger, hurt, or resentment towards your ex-partner. Forgiveness can help you feel lighter and happier, and it can also improve your relationships with others. When you forgive your ex, you are not saying that what they did was OK, but rather that you are willing to move on from the situation and not hold a grudge.

Let Go

Letting go of a relationship can be extremely difficult, but it is an important step in moving on with your life. This involves accepting that the relationship is over and that it is time to focus on your happiness. 

This can be a painful realization, but it’s necessary. You may find yourself wanting to hold on to memories or hopes of getting back together, but it’s important to acknowledge that those things are in the past.

Seek Support

Finally, seeking support from a therapist, and from friends and family during this time is important. They can offer you a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or just a distraction from the emotional and physical pain of the breakup.

Mindy Hall Czech, a licensed professional counselor with Grow Therapy, says, “It’s important to be kind to yourself. Get into therapy so you have a nonjudgmental space to work through it. Take your PTO and take care of yourself. Ask yourself daily what you are needing – a day at home watching movies? A day trip somewhere that brings you joy? Make sure you’re taking care of your physical and emotional needs.”

Getting over a breakup can be a long and painful process. Still, if you remember to care for yourself, stay positive, and seek support when needed, you will get through it.

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What to Consider Throughout the Healing Process

There is no fixed timeline for getting over a breakup. Still, moving on as soon as possible is generally considered important.

Firstly, dwelling on a past relationship can prevent you from fully enjoying the present and looking toward the future. This can make you feel depressed, anxious, and hopeless, and it can impact your ability to function in other areas of your life, such as work or relationships with friends and family.

Secondly, making a conscious effort to heal can help you avoid making impulsive decisions, such as contacting your ex-partner or rebounding into a new relationship before you are ready. When you are still caught up in the emotional turmoil of a breakup, you may be more likely to make decisions based on temporary feelings rather than logic and reason.

Thirdly, holding onto negative emotions from a breakup can prevent you from experiencing personal growth and moving forward in your life. When you are ready to let go of the past and embrace the present, you are more likely to focus on your personal goals and aspirations, and less likely to be weighed down by regrets or negative emotions.

Key Takeaway

Breaking up with someone is tough, and it might take a while to start feeling better. Everyone heals in their own time, so don’t rush yourself. Taking care of your mind and body post-breakup is important. Exercising, being mindful, and spending time with people you care about can help you feel better. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Finding a therapist who can support you is easy with our help.

Visit Grow Therapy to find a therapist who can help you learn more about healthy coping mechanisms and how to focus on healing. You don’t have to go through a breakup alone. 

Frequently Asked Questions

About the author
Grow Therapy therapist Gregorio (Greg) Lozano III LPC Greg Lozano, LPC

Greg Lozano is a licensed professional counselor specializing in peer relationships, couples counseling, and grief.

This article is not meant to be a replacement for medical advice. We recommend speaking with a therapist for personalized information about your mental health. If you don’t currently have a therapist, we can connect you with one who can offer support and address any questions or concerns. If you or your child is experiencing a medical emergency, is considering harming themselves or others, or is otherwise in imminent danger, you should dial 9-1-1 and/or go to the nearest emergency room.

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