The end of a relationship can be challenging for anyone, no matter how long the relationship lasted. It’s a source of pain, and you’ll likely experience lingering grief as you work to get over a breakup. You might wonder how long the heartbreak will last and, while there’s no definitive answer, there are a few guidelines.
Sometimes it only takes someone a few weeks to get over a breakup. For others, it could take months or years to heal fully. Everyone recovers at a different pace, and many factors contribute to the speed of the healing process.
While there is no definitive answer, scientists have researched how long it takes to get over a breakup. Their guidelines can help you understand your timeframe, and then you can use the tips below to help you get through it.
How Long It Takes to Get Over a Breakup
Many people have tried to figure out how long it takes to get over a breakup. However, there is still no concrete answer for the average time it takes.
Some people say that a breakup recovery takes half the time you were in the relationship, but it isn’t accurate. The length of your relationship is only one determining factor.
People together for a decade can move on within months of breaking up. On the other hand, people who were together for a few months could take a year to get over it. As researchers worked to find answers, they utilized a few research methods.
Scientific Research on How to Get Over a Breakup
Scientists have researched the average time it takes to get over a breakup. In one study, researchers surveyed college students that had recently gone through a breakup. The results showed that people who, on average, experienced the loss of love 11 weeks before felt empowered, confident, and happy.
Another study focused on people who went through a breakup within the past six months. The participants filled out a questionnaire every two weeks, rating their levels of distress. Their levels declined steadily; on average, they felt better around ten weeks after the breakup.
The results of these two studies were based on the average timeframe, so remember that it might be different for you. What you can take away from the information is that you can start feeling better quickly.
Market researchers used online polls to ask individuals how long it took them to heal from a breakup. The results showed that it took unmarried people an average of three and a half months to get over a relationship. Those going through a divorce took about one and a half years to move on.
Although this information provided an average timeframe, yours could vary significantly. It all depends on other determining factors, as explained below.
The Factors That Contribute to the Timeframe it Takes to Get Over a Breakup
You must consider many things before estimating a timeline for your healing process. Everyone heals at a different rate, and the timeframe varies because of these factors.
Your Level of Commitment
The more invested you were in the relationship, the harder it’ll be to get over. If you are heavily committed, you’ll experience more distress, and the grief will likely last longer than it would for someone else. However, it’ll be more manageable if you both decide you don’t see a future together and want to look for something else.
Your Living Arrangement
If you lived with your ex, it might be harder to separate your lives, prolonging your healing time. Not only will you have connected your lives, but you might also have combined your finances. Plus, if you had shared friendships because of living together, that could also shorten the healing process.
When a partner cheats, the recovery time might be more difficult. You’ll have to process more than the breakup; you’ll have to overcome the infidelity. An unfaithful partner breaks your trust, making your healing process much different.
The Quality of Your Relationship
Healthy relationships are beneficial to your overall well-being. When they end, you’ll likely take longer to get over it than if you were in an unhealthy relationship.
You might feel differently if you were in an unhealthy relationship involving communication problems or other issues. In these cases, you might feel more relieved once you have time to reflect. Your healing process might be a little quicker in this situation.
Who Initiated the Breakup
You might be sad when you choose to end a relationship, but it won’t be as bad as it would be if you got dumped. Deciding to end things might even bring a sense of relief that feels fulfilling. However, this isn’t always the case because you might have to leave a relationship you didn’t want to.
Even if you weren’t overly committed, getting dumped hurts a bit. It can make you feel inadequate and diminish your sense of self-worth.
Your Childhood Experiences
You might take longer to get over a breakup if you experienced losses and trauma as a child. Likewise, if you didn’t have stability or independence in your childhood, it could cause a lack of self-confidence now. You might feel like you’ll never heal and move on, but remember that you will.
Six Tips to Help Get Over a Breakup
You will get through this time in your life, even if it takes longer than you expected. You might have trouble sleeping, have no appetite, or see constant reminders of your ex.
When it seems like your pain will never disappear, you might want to know how long this feeling will last. However, you can’t control the timeframe as you work to get over a breakup, but there are things you can do to help.
1 – Give Yourself Time to Grieve
Accepting the end of your relationship and allowing yourself to grieve is essential to getting over it. You can’t recover from losing love if you suppress your feelings. Experiencing all the feelings might be hard at first, but it’ll make it easier to get through it.
2 – Spend Time with People You Love
Social support is one of the best ways to get over a breakup. Your loved ones can give emotional support, help distract you, and offer company when you feel lonely. Not only will your time with your loved ones make you happier, but it’ll also remind you of all the love you still have.
3 – Prioritize Self-Care When You Must Get Over a Breakup
When you go through a breakup, you might not feel like taking care of yourself. The easier option is to stay in bed and avoid doing anything. However, getting out of bed, showering, and leaving the house can make all the difference.
Giving yourself some time is okay, but you must return to your routine as soon as possible. Make sure you eat healthy meals and drink plenty of water to take care of yourself. Plus, do things to make you feel good about yourself throughout the day.
4 – Give Yourself a Clean Break
You likely won’t get a clean break if you have kids together or share assets. However, if possible, give yourself a clean break from your ex. Talking to them regularly won’t help you get over them and will make you question what went wrong. It’ll also decrease your self-esteem and make you feel inadequate.
5 – Work On Finding Yourself Again
If you get out there and rediscover who you are and what you like, you’ll have an easier time getting over a breakup. You can rethink what you want for your life and chase your goals without worrying about anyone.
6 – Spend Time Volunteering
When you aren’t feeling great emotionally, you can help yourself heal by helping others. When you help people who are less privileged than you, it’ll give you a sense of life satisfaction. It’ll also boost your self-confidence, empowering you to move on.
How to Know When You’re Over a Breakup
There’s no sure indication that you’re over a breakup, but there are signs you can watch for. You are likely over it when you:
- No longer feel pain thinking back on the good times with your ex
- Feel complete on your own
- Stop avoiding shared activities or favorite places
- Feel ready to date again
Final Thoughts on Scientist Explains How Long It Takes to Get Over a Breakup
While experts have tried to pinpoint a specific time frame for getting over a breakup, there is no way to know for sure. One thing is for sure, though, that you will heal from your loss of love. The recovery process differs for everyone, so be patient as you work to overcome the heartache.
It might seem like it’ll never go away when you are in pain, but it will. Follow the tips discussed above to help yourself heal; you’ll be there before you know it. Remember that the process is different for everyone, so give yourself all the time you need.