How Long Does it Take to Get Over a Break Up?

I have been avoiding a break up for the past ten years. Basically I never got over my very first love, who I split with by the time I was only 22. Since then I have had several long-term relationships, but I always kept my partners at arm’s length. I had a five year relationship with a man I never called my boyfriend, who never wanted to commit, and I had two on-again off-again relationships with people who were more like very close male friends.

In this way, I was able to avoid putting my heart out there and connecting with someone on a deep level. I needed to do this because I was so hurt after loss number one. When I was 22 I had few emotional reserves to deal with my grief – so I shelved it. I put the grief aside; I shoved it under the rug, held it under my pillow and disguised the pain inside me. I pretended that I wasn’t in pain and I almost convinced myself.

It’s only now after going through my first ‘real’ breakup that I have truly been able to grieve for the loss of this first relationship. I realized that I had been carrying a lot of pain inside for a very long time, and for no good reason. But now, I am having immense trouble moving on from my last relationship. It’s only been two months, but I still feel so distraught every day, I feel like I need to work out how to get over this break up once and for all.

If I can’t get over a break up, is this because I still love my ex?

How Long Does it Take to Get Over a Break Up? | The Break Up

Well the good news is: maybe no. I feel like I am pining for someone but one of the best resources I could find on this topic was from a site called Getting Past Your Breakup. I think I need to read more of this site. Here’s what they say: Know that grieving someone and missing them does not necessarily mean you want them. It means you hurt because you’ve had a loss. Perhaps that loss is the best thing but it’s still a loss. Don’t mistake grief for love.

Got that? Don’t mistake grief for love.

I am grieving, hardcore. I am an emotional wreck and still very fragile and confused. But this doesn’t actually mean I need my ex back at all. In fact, I really don’t think I want that. I really just want this pain to let go of me.

More from GPYB: ‘It’s normal and natural to grieve any loss…even if the relationship was the worst in the world. Don’t let your grief cause you to second guess your feelings. Part of the grief process is “review and relinquishment” where it is necessary to process through the relationship. Unfortunately this review comes in the form of having the ex on your mind constantly. It’s a “working through” and it doesn’t mean you’re not going to get over it, or that you still love the ex. It means your mind is doing the work it needs to do to process through it and get over it’.

Make a Top 5 Break Up list

Another interesting idea I thought might work is to make a list of the top 5 reasons I broke up with my ex and to place it somewhere where I can see it every day. It’s in this post-breakup-period that I am romanticizing the past and seeing things through rose coloured glasses. I need to remember that there were very good reasons why we split.

Lindsay Colip wrote a nice heartfelt piece on The Prysm: ‘We broke up with our partners because deep down we knew it wasn’t right for us. At some point along the way our heart and soul screamed out to us to move on and we actually listened. We are enlightened miles ahead of others who stay in relationships because they’re comfortable, or easy, or convenient’.

I could have stayed. He could have stayed. But it was not right and things had to change. I am grateful for the opportunity to move forward, even though the pain is so intense. I know this is doing me good.

The pain of destructive, abusive relationships

My ex was a rotten guy. Forgive me that statement while I grieve, because it helps me to move on. In truth, he is a very wonderful person, but the relationship was destructive, not just to both of us, but to everyone around us. My ex was fond of starting emotional fires and then running for the hills, taking the only extinguisher, but fanning the flames from his hilltop.

I found a post on splitting the good and bad traits of your partners. The good parts of my ex were so wonderfully good, but the bad elements of his personality made him impossible to be around. I have written several posts on this, including 7 Signs You Are Dating an Asshole, which has been one of my most popular posts (lots of people search that sentence, apparently!).

See things as they are, not as you would like them to be

I constantly justified my ex’s abusive behaviour towards me and others (I have seen him yell at everyone from his father to his real estate agent) and I told myself it was just a phase. I constantly ignored what was, for what I would like it to be.

Susan J. Elliott wrote a post on this too: ‘In your mind you hold onto what you HAD while ignoring what you HAVE. You tell yourself this is not the real person, the one you fell in love with is. But the person you fell in love with has not been around in a long time and the person who fell in love with you and treated you so well (as loving partners are supposed to do) is GONE. And gone for good. Even if he or she appears for a time, that’s not okay for the way they are treating you now is unacceptable. So stop holding out hope. The present person you are seeing is an ass and that is not okay’.

And now a nod to my ex

Wherever you are. He did say many lovely things to me, and here’s one which rings true:

Let’s turn this bitter harvest into something grand.

I am paraphrasing him there – and he didn’t mean together. A time of pain and growth can be an enormously fruitful time, even though it hurts. I have written a lot, I’m sure my ex is writing a lot of music, and I’m sure we have both grown and continue to grow.

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How Long Does it Take to Get Over a Break Up?
Article Name
How Long Does it Take to Get Over a Break Up?
Description
It’s time to get over a break up. If you have been pining for an ex lover now is the day to let go of your ex. Here’s how to let go of your ex.
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Alyce Vayle | Content Strategist
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11 Comments

  • I bit the bullet and took my x back in. (Yep.) Never have I ever wanted to die more than recently- without him. (And believe me- I’m a go-getter and full of life.) The pain was so intense- I pretty much lost the will to do everything. We’re not “back together”, as in “getting married next week” but we’re definitely snuggling again, etc. (All is right with the world again! Ha….I’m such a weakling.)

    In short, I suck and I threw in the towel.
    That said, I do know how freaking hard it is to endure such a breakup and I also know that two months seems like an eternity. You’re doing good to breathe without a machine. The good thing is, you’re either going to shrivel up and die without your x (and I don’t see that happening with you) or you’re going to go through enough BS that it’s going to make you a VERY strong woman. Imagine what THAT blog posting will look like. And then, that will be your most popular blog posting ever and I will be reading that and learning how you did it because by then, I’m sure my (future) X will have dumped me again. So hang in there. You’re a rock star. You can do this. xo

    • alycevayle says:

      Wow wow wow. I am so happy for you! When I read this I felt like a hit to the chest – I am so pleased you’re happy.

      I don’t know what to say. The pain of being apart is so great. I wish we could be together but I doubt this will or should happen.

      Travel on, fair soldier! Yesterday is no longer accessible. Today is all we have. I wish you the best in light, love and happiness.

      Thank you thank you for your kind words.

  • Joseph says:

    I don’t understand why I should even have a “first” if all it does is leave a wound too deep to heal. What is this? She and I communicate occasionally, but I am the one hurting over it. She has told me that she is just fine with us never being together again and never entering a covenant with each other. Why should I be the one who suffers over this? I wasn’t HER first. It was like her 14th!

    How does one get over a first? And also, why is SHE more interesting to me than most other people? Are there inter-subjectively true reasons why we find each other so interesting when we are together? Or is it just that I find her so interesting because she finds herself so interesting and I find myself so UN-interesting? Is it just her infinite self-assurance that draws me to her? Or is it her dreaminess and fascination with abstractions?

    I don’t know 🙁 And I don’t know if I should stay away or not. I felt so hurt by her so many times. That can’t be right. Can it? But I don’t think she meant any of it. Maybe the problem is all just me…

    • alycevayle says:

      Oh Joe – I know how you feel. I know. I can’t say whether you will get your sweetie back – but there is only one thing you can do – you have to move on. I can tell you – I never got over my first love. I pined for him for 10 years – never loving anyone else. He married, had a kid, still I held on. Then I met my second love – and he too broke my heart. Sometimes people DO leave. Sometimes love DOES end. That’s OK. Believe me – sometimes they don’t come back – so make sure you move on. How do you move on? Go through the pain. Face it. When it hurts, keep moving. Call friends. When you feel that you can’t go on – focus on someone other than yourself – don’t you have an elderly relative that could use a visit?
      It’s terrible when we feel more for someone than they do for us. It happens every day. During my life there have been people that loved me more than I loved them – that’s life. Be strong Joseph – but don’t do what I did – don’t hold on to your first love for ten years for no reason. Let go. Move on.

  • Michelle says:

    I’m getting over the break up with my first love. We hadn’t seen each other in 15 years & found each other via social media. We started off as friends but it eventually turned sexual. We were both in relationships, we knew it was wrong but continued anyway. I was the happiest I’ve ever been! After about 4 months he broke it off. He said he was feeling guilty because it was wrong but we could still do lunch & be friends. I was so hurt but played it cool. My beau knew something was amiss; I was moody & crying in the shower a lot. So I came clean. He was mad but eventually forgave me. Its been 3 months & I still find myself crying & missing my first love. I just want the hurt to go away! I want to be able to think of him like I did before & smile fondly. How do I get over him while trying to repair my current relationship?

    • alycevayle says:

      I have been sitting here wondering what you should do. It’s almost impossible for me to say. I have also been in love with two people at once. It can be extremely painful for everyone involved. All I can advise is to be as honest and open as possible and to treat others as you would want to be treated. Operate from your highest self. Be brave. Good luck. And thank you so much for sharing your story with me. X Alyce

  • mowell j says:

    I thought I would never get back my love, for the way he left me and went away, said there is nothing left between us anymore, but thanks to the love spells casted by LORD AZEEZ, now things are changing, last week my lover called me twice and this week twice a day, it seems as if my lover is repenting on what he did, he is begging to come back in my life,and i have accept him cause that what i have ever wanted Lord Azeez is help you need i getting your ex back the email is lordazeez1990@hotmail.com

  • ashely says:

    mowell j advice helped me get my virgo spouse back after she left me for another man, she loves me now and our relationship is working fine

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