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Heartbreak typically represents a serious source of emotional, even physical, pain. It might take a few weeks to get over a break up or a full year or two. People recover from grief at different paces, for one. You also might need more time to recover from certain relationships, particularly those that lasted longer or felt more meaningful to you. You may always carry some memory of your loss. People sometimes find themselves still grappling with pain and grief more than a year after ending a relationship that was over within months.
Others might heal and move on in a matter of weeks, even when the relationship itself lasted a year or longer. The of the poll suggest it takes an average of about 3. The breakup had happened, on average, in the 11 weeks before the study. The authors reported that a ificant of participants reported increased positive emotions — including empowerment, confidence, and happiness — following the breakup. Since the breakups happened an average of 11 weeks before the study, these findings seem to imply many people recover after about 11 weeks.
This time frame only offers an average, though. Remember, the study looked at people who had gone through breakups within a 6-month period, so it could take 6 months to see this improvement, if not longer. Another study aimed to compare the level of distress people thought they might experience after a breakup with the actual distress they experienced. Of the 69 total participants, 26 experienced a breakup within the first 6 months of the study.
These participants reported on their distress by filling out a questionnaire every 2 weeks. Their distress declined steadily over several weeks, just as they had predicted, and by the week mark, they felt better. What the participants got wrong, however, was how much distress they actually experienced.
Keep in mind that both of these studies were quite small, making it hard to draw any major conclusions from them. The truth is, breakup recovery varies so widely because so many different factors can affect the process.
Your own experiences might even emphasize this. Eventually, you mutually decide to look for something more serious elsewhere. At first you miss seeing them and feel some loneliness and regret. When you believe your relationship has lasting potential, however, you might feel ificantly more distraught when it ends.
Say you thought you and your partner were completely in love. Perhaps you just moved in together or started talking about kids. Then suddenly something happened to turn your relationship upside down. When a breakup comes as an unwelcome surprise, confusion and hurt can make it even tougher to overcome the rejection. When you live together, dividing your shared life back into two separate lives can add even more pain, especially when you also have to cope with unwanted changes in finances, living arrangements, or shared friendships.
When a relationship ends because a partner cheated , recovery might follow something of a rockier path. Along with processing the breakup and learning to cope with the loss of your partner, you also have to come to terms with the fact that they shattered your trust. The trauma of betrayal can have a lingering effect on your mental health and make it harder to move on and fully trust future partners. Healthy relationships often have a positive effect on your well-being. Lower-quality or unhealthy relationships, however, might not offer the same benefits.
If you and your partner fought a lot, had communication problems , or always seemed on the verge of calling it quits, you might feel more relieved than upset when the relationship finally ends. You stayed together since it felt comfortable and having a partner seemed more convenient than going it alone. You might even find that the breakup makes you feel better. Making the choice to end a relationship that no longer feels fulfilling will probably offer some measure of relief. It may seem like a given that the person doing the rejecting will feel less distressed.
This is often, but not always, the case. Maybe you still love your partner and wish you could maintain the relationship. Getting dumped can affect your sense of self-worth and leave you feeling vulnerable long after the breakup.
Restful sleep may be a thing of the past, or you have no appetite. You might even feel actual physical pain. Sad and miserable, you wonder how long it will take to start feeling like yourself again. While you may not be able to heal your broken heart any faster, you can still take care of yourself in the meantime. These tips can help boost your resilience and improve your outlook as you begin the recovery process.
Accepting the loss of your relationship, and all the painful feelings that come with it, is an important step toward recovering from heartbreak. Only by acknowledging that distress can you begin to let it go. Sitting with your sadness, betrayal, anger, and despair might hurt at first, but mindfulness meditation and similar approaches can help you get more comfortable recognizing and accepting these emotions.
Get more tips on processing breakup grief. Simply spending time with family and friends can remind you of the love you still have in your life. In the days immediately following the breakup, you may not particularly feel like going to bed and waking up at regular times, showering, leaving the house, or cooking. All the same, sticking to your regular routine can add structure and normalcy to your days. It could make it a little easier to cope with your grief.
Taking care of your physical needs also gives you the energy you need to heal. Encourage yourself to eat well , get some exercise , and make time for quality sleep. It really can make a difference in your mood. Find more post-breakup self-care tips. As you begin to process the breakup, try to look at the relationship — and its demise — objectively.
In fact, research suggests taking a negative view of your ex could help you get over them more quickly. But doing so also seems to increase the amount of distress you feel. Give yourself space to fully experience those emotions. A journal offers a great place to express your thoughts about the breakup and lingering feelings. If you continue to struggle with distress, a therapist can offer guidance and support with the healing process. Crystal Raypole has ly worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy. Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health.
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How Long Does It Take to Get Over a Breakup? It Depends