“How long does it take to get over someone?” This is one of those questions I’ve asked Google so many times, I can type it at warp speed without even looking at my keyboard.
I talk to men and women every day who have gone through a painful breakup. Many of them are still trying to figure out how to get over their ex while dating a new person, who, although seems to check every box, does nothing but highlight the absence of their ex.
And we all know… the more you look for an eraser, the more highlighters you will find.
I’ve gone through breakups where I felt suicidal. I was convinced that I’d never love again and that life as I knew it was over.
And in a way, it was.
The only thing that I based all of my worth and happiness on was gone.
I don’t want to sugarcoat it and give this cliche answer that life wasn’t really over and I soon reclaimed my power, lived Happily Ever After, The End.
I didn’t. Life as I knew it was definitely over.
And just like with the death of a loved one, the death of each relationship took something out of me that to this day, hasn’t ever come back quite the same as it was before.
How long does it take to get over someone? I don’t think that there’s any set time. I’ve been in long-term relationships that were easier to get over than relationships I was in for a few months and… a YEAR later, I would still be doing my best to put one foot in front of the other. All from a three-month relationship.
How do you forget someone who’s seen your soul?
Is there a way to undo the undoable?
How are you supposed to authentically go about living your life in total contradiction to the reality of your heartbreak?
Today, as removed and moved on as I am from past relationships and friendships that ended in a painful break, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t still haunted at times by the most random things. You never know when the ghost from friendships and relationships past is going to pay you a visit.
As time goes by though, you realize these hauntings are really just that – aftershocks from an emotional earthquake that fractured the foundation your relational house was built on.
These aftershocks can be so much easier to experience once you know that they won’t ever take your house down again.
So, how do you secure that knowingness?
How long does it take to get over someone?
It doesn’t matter how much you know that you need to get over your breakup – You first need to ask yourself if you want to get over it right now.
Remember, as humans we are not going to electively engage in anything that we are not getting satisfaction from – even if that satisfaction is the comfort we get from the familiarity of our own heartbreak, stalking, obsessive thoughts, self-blame, misery, what if’s, coulda/woulda/shoulda’s, and abandonment issues. Les Brown taught me that.
How long does it take to get over someone after a breakup? Obviously, everyone is different but this will help…
Here are the 5 main things that prevented me from moving on and being The One That Got Away…
If you understand and apply the lessons, you will be bounced back and living your best life much sooner than your heart can believe right now.
- HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET OVER SOMEONE? KILLER #1: Unhealthy is the hardest.
Understand that the worst relationships have the best moments. That’s all they are though – MOMENTS.
And the value of those individual moments gets massively inflated. This is not due to their ACTUAL quality, but due to the literal LACK of relational quality surrounding them.
Unhealthy relationships are the hardest to get over because there are always these little mind f*cking seeds of ambiguity, what if’s, and a lack of understanding/closure which creates a lot of anxiety (and what feels like an unbearable amount of “unfinished business”). Fear that your ex will move on and change back to who they were in the begging takes over.
The only way out: Make the decision to unsubscribe from the fake news of your insecurities.
Emotionally Available, empathetic, responsible, and mature adults don’t just all of a sudden, combust into disconnected, empathetically bankrupt, dishonest, and toxic people just because of anything that you are/aren’t, did/didn’t do.
No matter how poorly or amazingly I am ever treated, no one has the power to ignite a total moral and personality transplant in me.
You don’t have that power either.
You are not a toxicity whisperer. You are someone who commands respect by speaking with your actions and lets people own their own behavior.
Missing relational junk food that was good at the moment is normal. Pulling the wool over your eyes to the extent of labeling it as caviar does nothing but de-pedestal YOU into being your own emotional junk food manufacturer.
- HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET OVER SOMEONE? KILLER #2: Fear disabling relief.
Looking back, I was more scared of letting go of my hopes, dreams, plans, and “our routine” (even if it was destructive/draining/toxic), than I ever was of losing my ex.
Do not ever be scared of losing a toxic person. If someone has proven to have the capacity to devalue, deceive, and be hot/cold, shifty/shady with you, trust me when I say they were already lost when you found them.
Hold onto the parts of you that feel relieved. They ARE there.
I’ve learned through yoga that when you stretch a tight muscle, yes, it will feel uncomfortable, sometimes painful, but there are also other muscles that actually experience relief during that stretch because they’re always working harder than the others.
Be relieved that you don’t have anyone cheating on you, lying to you, pulling the wool over your eyes, potentially giving you an STD, mind f*cking you, mixed-signaling you, drunk/high texting you, keeping online dating profiles open, or deflecting blame.
If you allow fear to infiltrate, it will disable your innate ability to experience emotional exhalation and relief.
Making the decision to stop arguing with and denying reality is so.much.easier than believing bullsh*t to the point of blindness.
You already did enough of that in your relationship. Why continue?
- HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET OVER SOMEONE? KILLER #3: Blinders. You can’t accept what is until you recognize what isn’t.
Looking back, the hardest thing for me wasn’t letting go of the only shot I got at Happily Ever After. The hardest thing for me was accepting who my ex revealed himself to be and THEN, letting go of everything he represented.
If you’re scared that your ex is going to move on to be consistently consistent, empathetic, and in a better relationship with a better partner, ask yourself: “Where am I giving this person credit that they haven’t yet (or ever) earned?”
If it takes YOU having to shine YOUR LIGHT on a relationship/partner to only THEN be able to marvel at their illumination, trust me when I say, they won’t continue to glow once the light has left the building.
YOU created the happiness that you felt in your relationship.
- HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET OVER SOMEONE? KILLER #4: Prioritizing safety at all costs.
No matter what happened in your breakup, most breakups are traumatizing to an extent. Because of this, we moth-to-a-flame STICK to what makes us feel the safest.
The moment I would think about starting over – putting myself back out there, dating someone new, getting out of my comfort zone and taking action… It was all too much.
So, I’d retreat back to my emotional pacifier of feeling defective and like I deserved what I got. This lead to serious delusion and denial about my ex because I couldn’t separate what he did/didn’t do from my own feelings of worthlessness.
And just like you can’t be in a state of denial and acceptance simultaneously, you can’t be avoidant and accountable at the same time either. I was unable to let go.
Holding onto your ex in any way will lengthen the time that it will take you to get over your breakup.
You need to deactivate the part of you that believes it can’t be happy without a toxic person. Not strengthen it by avoiding the responsibility that you have for your own experiences in this life.
I’ve caused so much unnecessary pain for myself and others by giving a false narrative to a breakup just because it conveniently catered to pain in my childhood. This accomplished nothing but a massive dependence on validation from others and tying all my worth to getting cats (toxic people) to bark.
- HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET OVER SOMEONE? KILLER #5: Resistance, shutting off, and being okay with your own death.
Surrender to the pain and feel your way through it because it is here to pass, not to stay.
How long does it take to get over someone? My best answer: Forget time. Focus on creating space. Don’t listen to anyone who says that you should be over it by now or has any opinion as to set amounts of time – there aren’t any because no one else is YOU.
We all process pain on our own time.
If you can’t stop social media stalking, you don’t have to right now. It’s okay. As long as you are going through your process with the filter of reality and understanding that the person in those photos is someone you don’t know, you will be okay. Mourn the death of the person you thought you knew.
If you don’t, you’re just breathing life into a fictional character fueled by your own feelings of inadequacy.
Even after the breakups where I felt like there was no way I’d ever be okay again, guess what? I lived. I lived in spite of what died in me. I realized the parts of me that died were never meant to live – insecurity, self-doubt, and an inability to call it a duck when it was quacking with feathers in a pond.
I didn’t take it day by day or hour by hour. I took it minute by minute.
Slowly, time passed and I realized that I hadn’t felt a pain contraction in a while.
I heard our song, walked past THAT street intersection, thought of us… and it wasn’t as painful or as “close,” as it used to be. There was space around it all.
Not because I woke up one day, read an article, and space was suddenly created. It was because, little by little, I stumbled, crawled, fell again, got back up, and ultimately… stepped away from it.
Don’t ever insult your pain and process by reducing it to a timestamp. Lean on the truth, lean on me, and lean on each other.
Written by: Natasha Adamo