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58 Life-Changing Secrets to Get Over a Breakup & Heal Your Broken Heart

Learning to get over a breakup, heal your heartbreak, and reconnect with yourself may seem hard. But these secrets will help you move on and start feeling better!

how to get over a breakup and heal your heart

When a relationship comes to an end it feels like your world ended too. That’s why you need to know how to get over a breakup, so you don’t stay stuck.

Whether you dated only for a few months, or you’ve been in a long-term relationship, saying goodbye and cutting those ties can be emotionally draining, and heartbreaking, and makes you feel as though you will never be happy again. 

Understanding how to get over a breakup is easier said than done. It isn’t just the shock, the adjustment, or the pain, but the idea that so much of your life has changed in one instant.

Most of us don’t like change, and a breakup from a serious relationship is a huge change. Your daily routine, habits, where you eat, where you shop – so much of that have been ripped away.

Dealing with all that while facing the emotions that go along with a breakup makes picking up the pieces and moving forward unbearable.

So, you need to know how to get over a breakup and enjoy life again.

Why relationships end

Relationships end for a number of reasons. It could be because one of you did something wrong, one person decided the relationship no longer works for them, you argued all the time, or perhaps, you simply drifted apart. [Read: How to get over someone when your heart does not want to]

Even the most amicable relationship endings hurt, and the worst pain comes when you finally agree it’s over. Sometimes a clean break is harder, because you can’t turn the sadness into anger – which is actually pretty cathartic!

If you’ve been hurt or betrayed by your partner, this leaves lasting damage and makes it hard for you to trust someone else again. If you get dumped unexpectedly, it leaves you reeling and utterly confused as to where it all went wrong. 

Even if it was your decision or you were the one who made the mistake, it still hurts and takes time to mend. [Read: Letting go of your ex – 15 ways to make it easier]

What happens in our brain when we go through a breakup

You might think that your inability to let go of your ex and move on is all in your imagination. But that’s not true. There are some real biological reasons that breakups are so difficult. There are a lot of things that are happening in your brain.

1. Your brain is going through withdrawals

When you break up with someone, you might think about them all the time – maybe even more than when you were together. Well, the reason that’s true is that your brain waves are acting in the same way that your brain would function if you were withdrawing from cocaine. 

So, a breakup is literally like a drug addict going through withdrawals. That’s one of the reasons it feels so awful. [Read: The most resolute ways to resist the urge to call your ex]

2. Your brain’s neurons might be making you obsessed

If you feel like you can’t stop yourself from engaging in some foolish behavior after a breakup, there’s also a reason for that. It’s because the ventral tegmental area in the stem of your brain is still unconsciously in love with your ex. 

This is the part of the brain that controls unconscious acts like breathing, pleasure, reward, and the act of falling in love.

So, the brain turns on the reward neurons and that releases a rush of the neurotransmitter, dopamine. And this activates circuits inside your brain that make you “crave for more.” [Read: How to stop obsessing over an ex and free your mind for something new]

This craving encourages you to have some behaviors that will help you get more of whatever it is you need. And in the case of a breakup, it’s your ex.

3. Your brain processes emotional pain the same way it does physical pain

Research shows that the part of the brain that processes anxiety about physical pain becomes active right after a breakup too. It’s the part that gets nervous about breaking a rib when you are jet skiing, or worried about some other physical pain that could be impending. 

So, when you feel heartache, your brain is literally processing the pain as if it’s physical and not emotional. [Read: I miss my ex – Why you miss them and 20 ways to forget them for good]

4. Your brain eventually will calm down and return to normal

Although you may think that you will feel this way forever, you won’t. Even though parts of your brain seem like they’re working against you right after a breakup, there are other parts that are actually working to help you get over it. 

The ventrolateral prefrontal cortex is the part of your brain that processes emotional reassessment, and tries to imagine a better future without your ex. It is trying to create a new ending to the story of your relationship – where you’ll be happy again and start over.

The struggle with getting over a breakup

One of the hardest parts of facing a breakup head-on is explaining things to your support system. No matter how understanding they are, or how much advice they have to give, they aren’t feeling your pain. They don’t see the situation from your perspective. [Read: 15 ways to make letting go of your ex a little easier]

It isn’t their fault. They aren’t bad friends for wanting you to move on and be happy. They want what’s best for you, and wallowing in your pain isn’t that. You know that too, or else you wouldn’t be here searching for answers!

When you first experience a breakup, you’re in shock. You may cry, or be angry, and you definitely vent to those who will listen. You’re wondering how to get over these feelings because you can’t bear them anymore.

Where you go wrong and start taking steps backward

You overanalyze your last conversation in the weeks or even months leading up to the end. Your friends and family listen and sympathize. But after some amount of time, you repeat yourself. [Read: How to survive the first 168 hours after a breakup

Your theories and questions aren’t solving anything. That venting goes from being therapeutic to obsessive. That is when you set yourself back from getting over a breakup.

Instead of moving forward, you’re moving backward. You’re focusing more on what was, than on what can be.

This is what makes the struggle so much worse. When you focus on all that went wrong or why it went wrong, you lose focus on other things like work, friendships, and your future. [Read: How to stop thinking about your ex before it ruins your future]

These things become less important and figuring out the breakup becomes your priority. Does this sound familiar? It probably does.

How to get over a breakup and feel better

Moving on from a breakup and recovering from heartbreak feels impossible, especially in the beginning. You wonder how you can go from being so in love to being single and on your own.

It is a big change. You get that. It is true. 

There is nothing easy about getting over a breakup. But, even so, it is possible and you will do it! [Read: 15 lessons you can learn from your own breakup]

There are some things you can do to help you get over a breakup, and some things you need to learn to accept and work on internally. But you will pick up the pieces and be stronger than ever. There’s no hard and fast rule for getting over a breakup but many experts advise trying these things:

1. Grieve

This is something so many people are ashamed of. Grieving the loss of a relationship – whether it was a good one or not – is totally justified. You need to let yourself cry!

Even if you were unhappy in the relationship, this is a loss and adjustment, and you have to reconfigure your life around it. [Read: 5 stages of grief in divorce and everything else in between]

Taking time to cry, vent, and just be sad is perfectly healthy. You may have friends that urge you to go out or move on quickly, likely because they aren’t comfortable with your discomfort. 

It isn’t their fault, but do what feels right to you. If you grieve by taking the weekend to cry it out or by re-organizing your closet, do whatever you need. 

This is the shock period. After that, it is time to try to regain control of your life and get back to your responsibilities. [Read: The five stages of grief in a breakup and everything in between]

2. Get angry

Your first instinct is to probably be sad, so that’s why you should grieve first. But after you get your sadness out, it’s okay to get angry too!

If you were cheated on or betrayed, then you have every right to be mad at your ex. You shouldn’t just wallow in your grief, you should get your frustration out too. This is actually an important stage of the grieving process.

3. Let go of the idea of “closure”

If you were blindsided by your breakup, then you are probably just consumed with trying to understand what happened. You are going over and over it in your mind trying to figure out what went wrong. [Read: Unpopular opinion – Why you shouldn’t seek closure after a breakup]

You might even wonder if you did something wrong and want to read your ex’s mind. Maybe you’ve asked them to give you reasons, but the person isn’t cooperating.

Or maybe they won’t even talk to you. So, at some point, you need to let go of the hope that you might get closure. Just accept that you probably won’t.

4. Don’t seek revenge

Once again, if your ex broke up with you and/or they did something to betray you, then you probably are focused on thoughts of getting revenge.

You are hurting deeply, and you want them to hurt just as badly as you do. [Read: He cheated on you? How to get over a guy without seeking revenge]

But don’t do it. That is very immature, and it won’t make you any happier. In fact, it will just make you feel worse in the long run. It will compromise your self-esteem and make you feel foolish after you get revenge. Plus you might earn the title of “crazy ex” too.

Instead, be the bigger person and take the high road. Don’t give your ex the satisfaction of you going off the deep end and going crazy on them. That will just reinforce the fact that they did the right thing by breaking up with you.

5. Accept it

The relationship as we know it is over. Now, they could come back after a couple of months, begging you to take them back or not. [Read: 8 post-breakup questions you should be thinking about]

But, for your own peace of mind, it’s best that you believe that this breakup is an actual breakup. There is no chance of getting back together. That hope only prevents you from moving on.

6. Do not suppress your emotions

The worst thing to do is to suppress your emotions. Both men and women are known to do this, usually more for men. So, fellas, don’t fall into that trap of “boys don’t cry.” 

You need to get all your emotions out. If you feel like crying, cry. If you want to scream, then yell *try yelling into a pillow so you don’t scare your neighbors!*. Point is, show your emotions – because it’s natural. [Read: What should you do after a breakup to feel awesome?]

7. Stay away from the booze

Yeah, you may think getting wasted helps you heal your broken heart but it won’t. Sure, drink and get tipsy on a Saturday night, but getting drunk every night isn’t going to help you get over the breakup. 

It’s just a mask. Remember, don’t suppress your emotions. Alcohol and drugs are really good at making it look like you’re emotionally and mentally okay. [Read: How to avoid the drama of drunk texting]

8. Use your friends and family for support

That’s literally what friends and family are for. They’re supposed to be your rock when you’re in a vulnerable moment. They’re supposed to sit with you and talk about it to help you heal. 

If you don’t have well-meaning friends like that, then talk to your family. If neither is supportive of you, then go talk to a therapist and ask relationship experts for advice. They’ll help you out.

9. Don’t stalk them on social media

Do not fall into the trap of stalking them or your mutual friends on their social media: their Facebook and Instagram. You might know exactly how many followers your ex has on Instagram, and how many photos they have posted.

Is that healthy? No, it’s not. [Read: How to stop obsessing over someone – The 22 things you MUST do]

Don’t obsess over it because that only makes it worse. It can be really challenging, but you need to do whatever you can to not go on their social media accounts.

Instead, have a social media detox or consider unfollowing them. Knowing where they went last night or if they’re dating someone new doesn’t change the fact that you two are no longer together.

10. Understand you’re going to feel empty

You might also feel like someone took your heart, and then took a shit on it. In fact, you might feel completely empty, almost as if you lost your soul. This tends to happen to anyone going through the loss of a romantic partner and you’re going to feel like that for a little bit. 

You’re not going to laugh or smile. You’re not really going to feel anything. But you’re grieving right now, so this is perfectly normal. What you need to do is make sure you don’t get stuck in this phase and try to focus on positive emotions. That will bring you one step further to beginning the process of healing. [Read: I miss my ex-boyfriend but he doesn’t miss me]

11. Don’t neglect any responsibilities

It’s easy to get depressed when someone breaks up with you. This is especially true if you were blindsided, or you simply didn’t want to break up. Your emotions can start to overwhelm you and you might just want to stay in bed all day.

But life goes on. You probably have a job, school, family responsibilities, bills to pay, and other things you need to keep doing.

So, you can’t afford to just crawl into bed and stay there forever. Life will go on with or without you, so you need to keep up with everything.

12. Don’t start bashing them

When you get together with your friends, you might want to bash your ex. It’s understandable because you’re hurt. But, in all honesty, you shouldn’t do this. [Read: I hate my ex – 12 ways to handle the struggle and move on]

You chose to be with that person, and take the risk that maybe things won’t work out in the end. Because you chose your ex, you know the positive qualities that they have. Talking shit about them doesn’t change anything, so take the high road.

13. Beware of the rebound

Sex with someone else may not be the best form of therapy. 

Everyone always suggests having a rebound. Well, that’s been done. It doesn’t really change how you feel. If anything, you probably end up thinking about your ex more and how you miss the connection you had with them in bed. 

So, take it easy on trying to get laid. This isn’t a competition. Do it when you feel ready. [Read: Rebound relationship rules you need to follow]

14. Get off the couch

Do not sit on the couch watching depressing reality TV. Instead, get outside. Keep your mind focused on the things around you. Go for a walk, eat ice cream, volunteer at a shelter, or do something that makes you interact with your community. 

When you give back, you feel better about yourself. So, this may help you work on gratitude.

15. Don’t forget the problems you had 

Don’t completely forget any argument or red flag he showed, or only think of the perfect moments you had together.

You probably had amazing moments with your ex, but remember, you also had shitty ones. [Read: Why can’t I get over my ex when I want to move on and forget them?]

No one is perfect, so don’t get yourself caught up in the whole “I’ll never find someone like them” mentality.

16. Think of the good things *in moderation*

When you’re trying to figure out how to get through a breakup, it’s still completely okay to remember the good things in your relationship as well as the bad. Don’t pine for them, just be thankful for the time you had.

17. Don’t force yourself to get over it

There’s no deadline when it comes to recovering from a breakup. Sure, many people try to calculate how much time it takes to get over someone, but that’s all crap. [Read: The 7 stages of heartbreak when you become someone’s ex]

Everyone is different and your relationship is not comparable to anyone else’s. So, take your time, you’re in no rush. If it takes you two months, great. If it takes you two years, also great.

18. Remember to practice self-love

This is actually the most important thing you can do post-breakup. Instead of blaming yourself for everything and calling yourself useless and unlovable, practice loving yourself.

Look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Yes, I am flawed. Yes, I make mistakes. I am human. I am beautiful.” You acknowledge your flaws, but you also acknowledge that you are a good person worthy of love. [Read: How to stop loving someone else… and love yourself more]

19. Try something new 

Your routine is being scrambled during a breakup, so trying new things can get you excited about these changes. When you are dreading going to your laundromat because your ex goes there, getting excited about something new can balance that out.

Try a new coffee shop and grocery store. This will give you something to get used to in a good way and help you avoid too many fresh memories.

20. Don’t be a broken record

Venting to friends and family is a part of any breakup. You tell them how much your ex sucks or how much you miss them. [Read: How to stop caring about someone who once meant the world to you]

But after so much time you become a broken record. This isn’t about annoying your friends but about your state of mind.

When your friends try to change the subject away from your breakup, they may be a little sick of hearing about it. But mostly they know you should be further along in getting over it. When your friends are trying to avoid talking about your breakup, it is a good time to reestablish where your feelings are.

Are you still not over the breakup or are you just stuck? [Read: How to come out of a relationship fast and stronger than ever when it ends]

21. Do something for yourself

Breakups shrivel your self-esteem. They ignite feelings of failure. Rebuilding takes time, but focusing on the breakup and your ex won’t help. Instead, do things for yourself. 

Rekindle a past talent or hobby. Start painting, singing, or building.

Take time to pamper yourself or get a massage. These self-care treatments remind you that you’re worth that extra time. [Read: How to be kind to yourself and others and love life instead of hating it]

22. Don’t replace them

Clinging to human connection is normal. When we lose someone we relied on so heavily for reassurance, support, comfort, and simple company, we can look for that somewhere else through another person’s presence.

But, doing this before you’re ready to make a new connection can be unfair.

Don’t replace your ex with a rebound or a friend. We tend to cling to a friend or family member after a breakup but it doesn’t necessarily mean you should talk to them 24/7. [Read: 20 Non-clingy ways to stop being a possessive friend and give space]

It is wonderful to have that support but remember your friends still have their own life, friends, relationship, and more. They cannot fill the space the breakup left.

23. Reconnect with friends

Reconnecting with old friends can be one of the healthiest ways to get over a breakup. By nurturing a new bond, you can feel supported and comforted without the breakup being the main cause.

When you rekindle old friendships for the right reasons, you reform an old bond that was based on a shared sense of humor, a fandom, or something else.

They are not from the time in your life when this breakup took over. [Read: How to reconnect with old friends and rebuild your lost friendships]

24. Don’t stay friends with your ex

This is the age-old question – should I stay friends with my ex? Usually, it’s not a good idea – at least until you’ve fully moved on. If you stay friends before you have completely healed and gotten over them, then that is a dangerous emotional place to be in.

Seeing them will just perpetuate and prolong your grieving. It might not seem like it, but it will. You will long for what could have been and want to bait them back into a relationship with you. But don’t do it. Just try to move on without them.

25. Distance yourself

Since you have to move on without them, then you should distance yourself from them. [Read: What are the signs your ex has moved on? 15 clues to know for sure]

Once you feel a bit more positive, the breakup will seem less fresh. It’ll seem to be drifting from your mind a bit. That is a good sign, but what could immediately draw you back is contacting your ex, reading their old texts, or seeing them on social media.

You don’t have to block or unfriend them if you see a friendship or even acquaintanceship somewhere down the line, but do hide their notifications. This isn’t avoidance. It is about putting your health and mental state before social media manners.

26. Or cut off all contact

If you don’t have enough distance between you and your ex, you might need to cut off all contact or even block them if you have to.

If they text you and ask you how you are, tell them to stop. Yes, it’s going to be hard, but you need your own time to get over the breakup. [Read: Really letting go of someone you love]

If you’re talking to them, you’ll have this small shred of hope that they want to be with you. That’s probably not the case. Take a couple of months and just be on your own.

27. Refocus your energy

All the energy that went into sustaining your relationship and then all the energy that went into mourning is still inside of you – but without a proper outlet. Take that energy and focus it on something productive.

Donate your time by volunteering, reorganize your space, or even plan a vacation. Find something to occupy your time that is good for you. [Read: The psychology of deleting pictures of your ex and what it says about you]

[Read: Your one and only guide for how to get over a broken heart]

28. Write down what you’ve learned

Learning from relationships is a great way to appreciate the time you shared without bitterness. Taking lessons from the relationship or the breakup moves you forward in life. It keeps that relationship in your mind, as constructive memories that you can carry with you but not depend on.

Relationship experts recommend trying a self-reflection journal as an effective coping mechanism; you may be able to learn some important lessons from your previous relationship.

29. Distract yourself

There is nothing better for a breakup than distracting yourself by keeping busy. If you don’t, you end up focusing all your energies on your breakup. 

Realizing you have gone a few hours – or even days without – thinking about it helps you understand your progress. [Read: 12 ways to finally start living for yourself]

30. Get a pet

If you’re an animal person, then get a pet to keep you company. The great thing about pets is that they give you unconditional love, and never reject you. And if you want, you can have them cuddle with you in bed or on the couch. This will help fill the void of the person who just left your life.

31. Stop blaming yourself

It can be all too easy to get into the blame game and start thinking the reason your relationship ended was because of things you did. It’s done now, so it’s time to forgive yourself and your ex and just move on.

32. Be honest about what went wrong

At the same time, be honest about what went wrong in your relationship. Sugar-coating it only makes it harder to get over. [Read: The 18 critical signs of an unhealthy relationship]

33. Write down the reasons the relationship wasn’t working

Writing down the reasons why the relationship didn’t work can be really helpful. Keep them with you so when you’re feeling sad or get the urge to go running back to your ex, you remind yourself why it’s a good thing it’s over.

34. Get a makeover

Get your hair done, go shopping, or get a spray tan. Whatever makes you feel good about yourself, do it. A bit of pampering and relaxation helps you feel so much better.

Getting a new look always makes you feel like a new person. You have a new life, so why not get a new style? It’s something you can get excited about. [Read: How to change your life – 12 easy steps for a dramatic life makeover]

35. Exercise

Exercise releases feel-good endorphins, and you begin to experience more energy. You’ll feel great about your body, too. Even if you don’t like to exercise, maybe now is the time to try it.

Grab a friend to do it with you, so you have companionship while you exercise. Or join a class at the gym so you can be surrounded by other people. However, you do it, just start moving your body.

36. Eat, sleep, and be healthy

It can be easy to stop taking care of yourself when going through a breakup—eating tubs of ice cream, drinking too much, not getting enough sleep, etc. [Read: How to be thankful when life isn’t easy]

But while it’s fine to indulge occasionally, too much and you only end up feeling worse. So, try to stay healthy if you can.

37. Have a wild night out

Something that always works when you’re trying to figure out how to get through a breakup is a night out with good friends. Let your hair down and go crazy with your friends on a wild night out!

Meet new people, dance the night away, drink some cocktails, and forget about your ex. Talk to attractive new strangers and even kiss them if you want. Either way, go crazy and have a lot of fun! [Read: 50 Crazy and impulsive things to do with friends you won’t ever forget]

38. Have a cozy night in

If you’re more of an introvert or homebody, then you don’t have to go out for a wild and crazy night. Instead, you can get in your pajamas and have a sleepover and cheesy movie night with your friends.

Being surrounded by people you love and having a meaningful night at home will make you feel better, if you are more interested in a quiet night than a crazy one.

39. Get rid of their stuff

Having painful reminders of your ex dotted about your place will not help you stop ruminating about your former partner. Throw out, return, or at the very least pack away their stuff until you are sure you’ve moved on. [Read: Deleting pictures of an ex the psychology behind it and why we do it]

Sure, you might want to keep them. You might even think that will help you feel better. But it definitely won’t. So, just give them back all the stuff they have at your place.

40. Enjoy the single life

Being single is far, far better than being in a relationship that isn’t making you happy. It might not feel like that’s true, but it really is.

Being single gets a bad rap from most people, because they don’t like being alone. But think about it. When you’re single, you can do anything you want at any time and not have to consult with another person! How great is that? [Read: How to be single again after a relationship]

41. Reorganize your space

Get a new start by giving your house a makeover. Get some new sheets, a picture, a plant, or move your furniture around. This gives you a fresh perspective and makes you feel readier to move on.

42. Meet new people

Don’t spend your time wallowing around inside. Meet new people and new doors will open. You can go out to bars, bookstores, or take up a new hobby.

Regardless of how you meet new people, just get out there and do it. There is no point in sulking at home alone. [Read: How to meet new people – 16 exciting ways to find a new crowd]

43. Write down how you feel

Writing your emotions down can actually be very cathartic. Sometimes when you get your thoughts and emotions down on paper, you can be more objective and rational about them.

Being objective about your emotions will help you move past them too. So, why not give it a try? [Read: How to write a heartfelt, touching, goodbye letter and make someone cry]

44. Put on some loud music

Music can be a wonderful healer. Try to avoid anything too soppy or romantic. Instead put on happy, uplifting tunes and dance around your living room!

Try dancing around your place and singing at the top of your lungs. This will help you feel better instantly. [Read: 12 awesome breakup songs to lift your sagging spirits]

45. Make peace

At the end of the day, you need to make peace with your former flame and the breakup – and forget. Make sure you make peace with what happened and let it go.

Eventually, that’s the only thing you can do. It’s not always easy, but it’s necessary in order to move past the breakup and go forward with your life.

46. Talk to a therapist

If you’re really looking for some form of therapy and aren’t interested in working out or meditating, then go to a therapist. [Read: Emotionally damaged – How people get that way, 26 signs, and how to heal from it]

Therapists add a great perspective because they know absolutely nothing about you, or your situation. So, they give you an outsider’s perspective, which you might need.

47. Give it time

Time is the greatest healer. Don’t expect a miracle cure. You will get there eventually—honest! Instead, give yourself permission to feel your feelings and all the emotions that come along with them. After all, they’re all part of the healing process that will help you move forward from the relationship you’ve lost.

These tips help soothe your emotional pain, reflect on your past relationship, learn, grow, and become confident in who you are and what you want.

48. Start dating again

When you are ready, get back out there and into the dating game. It might seem scary, but once you take those first few steps it can actually be really fun! [Read: 9 steps to get back out in the dating game]

Always have the right attitude. Don’t go into dates thinking, “Gosh, I hope they like me!” Instead, have the attitude of “Gosh, I hope I like them!” That way, you will project an aura of confidence.

49. Believe there is someone better for you out there

Your previous relationship ended for a reason. Even if you didn’t want it to, you wouldn’t want to be with someone who doesn’t want you, so just keep that in mind. Know there are many fishes in the sea and someone else out there is perfect for you. Use this experience to gain personal growth that will in turn benefit your next relationship.

50. Find a new normal

Whether you were together for six years or six months, there are things you need to adjust to. Maybe there are no more morning texts or no one to endure your family dinners with.

You need to stop focusing on what you’re missing and think about what you’re gaining. [Read: The things everyone should know to live a happy life]

Can you learn how to handle your family alone? Can you boost your own mood in the morning with a fun playlist or favorite TV show?

51. Finally, when you’re ready… forgive

You might think that forgiveness is something you do for the other person, but that’s not how you should think of it. Instead, you should forgive your ex for yourself. 

Although that might sound strange, here’s why it’s true. Holding on to resentment and negativity is only hurting yourself and your emotions.

As the quote from Buddha says: “holding on to resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” It’s true. [Read: How to forgive someone who hurt you and release the negativity inside]

So, when you’re ready, forgive your ex. Do it for yourself.

How long does it take to get over a breakup? 

There have been a lot of studies that have tried to put an exact timeline on how long it takes to get over a breakup. While there were differing results, the average seems to be that people start to feel better after around 10-11 weeks post-breakup.

With that said, there are a lot of factors involved in how long it takes an individual. Some recover quite quickly, while others seemingly take forever to get over it.

Here are the factors that determine how quickly you will get over a breakup. [Read: How long does it take to get over a breakup – 3 months and more timelines]

1. Your commitment

A “breakup” can happen even if two people weren’t formally committed to each other.

For example, you might have only been friends with benefits, casually dating, or together without an official relationship label. In that case, it will probably be easier to get over the end of the relationship.

However, the longer the relationship is and the more intertwined your two lives are, the more difficult it is to move on. If you have been married for decades, you hardly remember life without your spouse. So, in that case, it will take a long time to get over it.

2. Betrayal or infidelity

If the relationship ended because someone cheated, then the recovery will probably take a long time too.

In this situation, not only is a person dealing with the shock and the trauma of a breach of trust, but there are also other complicated emotions that happen too. [Read: How to get over someone cheating on you and repair the damage]

The trauma of betrayal can bring up other feelings of insecurity. Not thinking you’re good enough for your romantic partner is a common thought. Anger and resentment can also fester for a long time, which could be why you’re struggling to move on.

3. Quality of the relationship

If a relationship is bad and not making you happy, then you might be very relieved when it ends. If this is the case, then the time it takes to get over a breakup will be a lot shorter. Sure, you’re still in an adjustment period, but you will most likely be happier without your ex.

On the other hand, if you perceived your relationship as happy, then it will be more difficult to move on. Maybe you were even blindsided by the breakup.

Then, you will be very distraught and take more time to heal. [Read: 20 Real ways to get over being dumped, nurse your ego, and find closure]

4. Who ended the relationship

If you were the one who decided to break up with your ex, then you obviously thought it was a good idea. Because of that, you will move on quicker than they will – unless the breakup was mutual. 

But if you are the one who was dumped, then you will have lingering negative feelings about the breakup for longer than the one who dumped you. It’s just human nature, and it makes sense.

Why is it hard to get over a breakup? 

No one likes going through a breakup. It’s usually very difficult for most people. So, why is it so hard to get over a breakup? Here are the reasons. [Read: Letting go of someone you love minus the bitterness]

1. People don’t like change

If you have been together with a person for a decent amount of time, then they become a part of your life. They are part of your everyday routine and you have become used to and comfortable with them.

So, when that person has been ripped away, then there is a void. Suddenly, you don’t have that person to hang out with on weekends. You have the bed all to yourself. And you might have even had to move out of your own home. Your whole life changes. [Read: 14 powerful ways to do the impossible and unlove someone]

A lot of people don’t like change because it’s not always easy. Whether you were happy or miserable in your relationship, it’s still a change. And getting used to any change takes time.

2. Lingering feelings

Another reason why it’s hard to get over a breakup is because of your feelings. You might still be in love with your ex, so that makes it incredibly difficult. 

Even if you’re not in love with them, there was a time when you were. You might still love them as a person and have some attachment to them. [Read: Still attached to your ex? 26 signs, why it happens, and how to break free]

3. Death of a dream

The final reason it’s hard to get over a breakup is that it’s the death of a dream. You probably thought you would live happily ever after with this person, and that didn’t happen. 

So, not only are you grieving the loss of a person, you’re grieving the loss of the fantasy that you had of the two of you together for the rest of your lives.

[Read: 15 tips to help you move on from your breakup faster]

You can learn how to get over a break and pick up the pieces with time and mindfulness. Start small. Even if they seem insignificant at first, those small steps will lead you to the point where you don’t feel an emotional tug in your heart each time you think of your ex. 

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...