When I lost my husband seven years ago, I had a very good friend who told me on a continual basis, “I don’t think that you have ever taken the time to grieve.” I remember considering what she said and thinking there was no magic timeline. Or really a time when you wake up one day, and it is gone. There is no true answer to how long does it take to get over someone.
A loss is something permanent, not something you go through. Then, one day it is erased. Depending on the relationship, the amount of time you spend with someone, and the commitment you make, there may never be a time when you “get over” them.
There comes a time when you will be able to move forward and not melt anytime you see them or hear their name. Like a scar, it is always there, but the pain will be gone from it. [Read: 20 ways to get over someone without falling apart]
How to keep moving forward after losing someone
The hardest part of moving on from a relationship is the roller coaster you go through. One day you can be strong and stand on your own two feet. Then the next you are a puddle on the floor rehashing all the same trauma you thought you were over.
The good news, over time the roller coaster comes to an end, and you can get off the ride. So, unfortunately, I would love to tell you after six weeks you will not even consider your ex, but I wouldn’t be doing you any favors. It isn’t that it won’t happen, it’s just that no one determines that but you. Instead of focusing on a concrete amount of time, focus on those things you can do to help get over someone.
These 20 things may help you to get over your ex more quickly.
#1 Don’t ruminate over the good. When something ends and we didn’t want it to, the loss is usually experienced greater than if we end it ourselves. We focus only on those things really good about the relationship and negate all those things that were not.
There were likely many things you didn’t like about your partner and many times you fought. You just choose not to acknowledge those times. Be realistic about what it was and what it was not. [Read: Letting go of your ex: 15 ways to make it easier]
#2 Get back on the horse. The last thing people want to do when they get over a relationship is to start a new one. That doesn’t mean you can’t date around or go out with other people. Sometimes having new prospects, and even new connections makes you feel less alone.
#3 Stop talking about it. If you didn’t get the closure you were expecting, it is not unusual to rehash things over and again. No matter what conclusion you come to, it is over. Talking it through continually does nothing but keep you stuck.
If you want to move on, stop consuming your conversations with others going over the logistics, trying to find meaning and get your questions answered. Sometimes there just aren’t any answers. Or the ones you have are the ones you have to live with. [Read: Unpopular opinion – Why you shouldn’t seek closure after a breakup]
#4 Erase their contact. Don’t keep their messages sitting around, or risk seeing their contact pop up all the time. When a relationship ends, the best way to move on is to erase the potential you are going to fall into the trap of contacting them when drunk or really sad.
If you erase their contact info, you won’t be tempted to reach out and try to get them back. Begging is only going to leave you hanging on and wishing for something that isn’t to be. [Read: 12 reasons why the no contact rule always works]
#5 Put away memories for the time being. If you were together for a significant amount of time, you might have a trail of memories sitting around your house or apartment. Seeing memorabilia every day is doing nothing but bringing up memories and keeping you stuck.
You don’t have to burn the pictures, rip them up, or even throw them out. Put them in a box somewhere for a time when you can see them, and it won’t hurt anymore. You can’t erase them from your life, but it isn’t healthy to upset yourself continually either by seeing your ex everywhere you go. [Read: 8 post-breakup questions you should be thinking about]
#6 Take a trip. Immersing yourself in other things is a great way to help you get over someone. Idle time is your worst enemy. If you have saved up some vacation days, take the time to do something you love. If your ex wasn’t into spas, now you can go.
If they were a beach dweller instead of a mountain hiker, take that vacation you knew they wouldn’t go with you and enjoy!
#7 Throw yourself into a goal. Nothing distracts you from a broken heart more than having a goal and working toward it.
If you want to further your career, or run a marathon, consume yourself with keeping your eyes on the prize. It is a much better way to blow off steam than drinking someone away. In the end, it helps you feel much more accomplished and a boost to your self-esteem to boot. [Read: 15 ways to be someone who always says: I love my life!]
#8 Reconnect with old friends. When we are in a relationship, we often lose touch with those people in our lives from before we fell in love. Even if you think they would not want to hear from you, give it a try. There are always those friends who you can pick up with after not talking to for years as if no time passed at all.
#9 Stay off the social media sites. The worst thing to do is to try to follow what your ex is doing on social media sites. Don’t be a creeper and stalk them via the internet. It is best to quietly unfriend them and stay off of the circuit.Seeing what they are up to does nothing but make you feel isolated and alone. Instead of following someone online, follow a friend out for dinner.
#10 Don’t try to get information about them. When you are with mutual friends, don’t talk about them or inadvertently try to get information about them. Likely, your friends don’t want to get in the middle of it and won’t bring them up if you don’t.
You don’t need to know what they are up to or if they have moved on. Finding out that they are in another relationship will not make you feel anything but more sadness and like you are missing something.
#11 Avoid your old hangouts. If you think going to the same old hangouts is a good idea or want to bump accidentally into them, that isn’t a good idea. Seeing them is only going to set back any progress you made. You can’t live in the past. It is behind you.
Find a new hangout, let your ex have the old one. Hope that when you are out, you meet new people and enjoy new experiences instead of reliving the past. [Read: 8 most common post-breakup mistakes most people do]
#12 Go out on a ton of dates. Don’t jump into another relationship before you are over your previous one. That does not mean, however, that you can’t date around. The more people you go out with the better. You may discover dating is far more fun than you remember. And also far more fun than being in your committed relationship was.
#13 Work on yourself. Instead of wallowing in what is lost, focus on yourself. The best way to get over someone is to do something to make yourself feel good. Work out, try meditation, practice saying “no,” or just do something for yourself that makes you a better person and feel better about yourself.
#14 Exercise. It is not uncommon, when you lose someone, to become depressed. The best way to fight the blues is to exercise. Even if you don’t feel like it, strap on those shoes and hit the gym. Not only will you feel better, but you also look better.
And who knows, you may find the new love of your life at the fitness club.
#15 Don’t sit alone. Being alone is going to be your new enemy. If you keep yourself entertained and have people around you to lift you out of your fog, then you will find that it won’t hurt nearly as much. Keeping busy takes the sting out of your experience. Soon you won’t even remember how hard things are. [Read: Is going anti-love the perfect answer to heartbreak?]
#16 Don’t bash them. It is hard to do, but go out with class. When you talk badly about someone, it only prolongsyour own agony. There is no sense in carrying on about what they did to you or what a jerk they were.In the end, it only makes you look vengeful and weak. If anyone asks you what happened, simply say “it didn’t work” and leave it at that. That way they won’t ask again, and you won’t find yourself talking about it over and again.
#17 Make a list of the things you won’t miss. Surely there are a ton of things you won’t miss. Make a list of the mean things they said, how they left their socks in the middle of the room, and how bad their morning breath was. There are many things you didn’t “love” about them, make a list to have it in writing when you begin to miss their perfect self.
#18 Do all those things they wouldn’t do with you. If you gave up watching “The Bachelor” or stopped going shopping at the mall, engage in those things. Rejoin guys night; there is no one to stop you or make you feel bad about doing the things you love to do. Find the time to partake in all those things that you used to love, but you gave up for them. [Read: Letting go of someone you love – Minus the bitterness]
#19 Don’t contact their family. If you and their mom were friends, you have other friends. It is not healthy to continue to date your ex’s family once you have broken up. If you are convincing yourself it is a good thing, it isn’t. You are not only inserting yourself back into a situation that keeps you stuck; you interfere with your ex’s family relationships, which is not fair either. [Read: 10 stages of a breakup and how to get through each of them]
#20 Listen to the advice of those around you. It is not uncommon for people to come out of the woodwork and come clean about how they felt about your ex. Now is the time to listen to them. If they say they were no good for you, or that they weren’t good enough for you, go with it.
Your friends are there for honesty so take it and be rational about what you really lost and what you thought you did.Losing someone is one of the hardest things we experience in life, no matter the reason. There is no magic time limit where you wake up one day feeling like the loss is over, and they are erased from your heart.
[Read: How to get over someone when your heart does not want to]
So how long does it take to get over someone? Well, really, there is no magic time and it’s all up to you and how you can handle your own emotions.
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A writer isn’t born, but created out of experiences. No lack of subject matter, my life reads more like fiction than anything that could have been imagined...
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