Blog
June 18, 2024

How Long Does It Take To Get Over A Breakup?

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There’s no denying that breakups hurt. A bad breakup can leave you in pieces, wrapped up in rejection, self-doubt, and loss. While breakups are a universal experience, they can pack a powerful emotional punch. The good news is that research suggests that most people get over a breakup in time and can even reflect and grow from the experience. 

Factors That Affect Recovery Timeline

According to a survey, the average American experiences three major breakups in their lifetime. After a breakup, the average adult spends about four days wallowing in sadness. This is followed by a healing process that typically lasts just over six months for a serious relationship. 

Breakups can bring up strong emotional responses, including sadness, depression, anxiety, and loneliness. These types of emotions can have a huge impact on daily function and well-being. 

So, how long does it take to heal a broken heart?

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, and the amount of time it takes to heal can greatly vary depending on a number of factors: 

  • Length of the relationship 
  • Reasons for the breakup 
  • Intensity of the connection 
  • Individual coping mechanisms 

Begin Healing Process

Some studies suggest a three-month healing process, while others say six months. The reality is that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ timeline for breakup recovery. It’s a deeply personal journey, and your healing process may differ from others. Both partners mutually agreeing to end a relationship with respect feels different from being cheated on. 

Moving on after a breakup is not easy, and there can be tough times ahead, but there is a positive future ahead for you. Here are some tips to help you begin and navigate the healing process: 

  • Let yourself feel every emotion, and try not to bottle it up. 
  • Don’t rush the process; give yourself time to heal and grieve the relationship. 
  • Look after yourself physically and emotionally. 
  • Lean on your friends and your family. 
  • Limit contact with your ex, whether it’s in person or on social media. 
  • Focus on yourself and try new things. 

Don’t Hold Yourself to a Deadline

Everyone heals at their own pace and no matter your situation, try to avoid holding yourself to a deadline. It can add pressure to an already hard experience and get in the way of your healing process. 

Breakups are an emotional rollercoaster, and if you feel like there’s a date on when you should start to feel sad, happy, or hopeful, it can make your healing feel forced. Focus on progress, not perfection. Post-breakup healing is not linear; you will have good and bad days. Instead, focus on coping healthily, like practicing self-care, speaking with friends, and, if needed, going to therapy. 

Past History Plays a Part

Another element that can play a role in how long it takes you to move on is your history. This can be for several reasons: 

  • Attachment Style: Your attachment style influences how you form and maintain relationships. Certain attachment styles can make breakups harder to navigate. For instance, someone with an anxious attachment style can fear abandonment, and a breakup can trigger feelings of insecurity, making it hard to move forward. 
  • Past Trauma: A breakup can trigger a lot of emotions, and it may bring up past unresolved trauma. 
  • Past Relationships: A rough breakup in the past may make you feel even more apprehensive about the possibility of future love and take you longer to get over it. 
  • Self-Esteem: Previous experiences can influence your self-esteem and affect how you handle a breakup. 

While history can influence your healing journey, there are ways to navigate your individual situation and heal from it. 

Ready to choose your therapist?

Self-Care

Breakups aren’t all bad; research shows positive emotions can also happen following a breakup. Breakups can also lead to personal growth and finding out things about yourself you didn’t even know. 

A bad breakup can swallow you whole and leave you emotionally devastated and feeling lost. Practicing self-care is important to help you manage difficult emotions and support and boost your physical health. Self-care, like spending time with loved ones and engaging in hobbies, can help you rebuild a positive self-image. 

Here are some examples of self-care practices to include in your day: 

  • Getting enough sleep 
  • Eating healthy meals 
  • Drinking plenty of water 
  • Trying relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation 
  • Practicing gratitude
  • Speaking to a therapist 
  • Reconnecting with friends 
  • Joining support groups 

Talk to Someone You Trust

Research highlights just how important social support is during breakups. Studies suggest that social support can help buffer against the negative psychological effects of a breakup, helping to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety associated with breakups. 

Another study on young adults found that both emotional (validation and empathy) and information support (advice and guidance) play a positive role in breakup recovery. Social support can help in a few ways: 

  • Emotional Outlet: Speaking to someone you trust can provide a safe space to explore how you feel and open up. Speaking to a loved one can help you to feel less alone. 
  • Practical Help: A strong support system can help with running errands, cleaning, and other day-to-day tasks. 
  • Positive Influence: Spending time with loved ones can be a positive distraction and help distract you from negative thoughts, encouraging a more positive outlook. 

While friends and family can be a fantastic source of support during a breakup, speaking to a therapist can offer several unique benefits that can make them a valuable part of the healing journey: 

  • Confidential: Everything you say to your therapist remains private, which can help you speak more freely and honestly without judgment. A therapist can offer an objective view of a situation, which can be helpful when dealing with complex emotions. 
  • Expertise: Therapists are trained professionals with experience helping people in your situation. They have a toolkit of strategies and techniques to help you process emotions and develop healthy coping mechanisms. 
  • Growth: A therapist can help you to identify underlying issues that may have contributed to the relationship breakdown and work with you to develop healthier patterns for future relationships and partners. They can also work with you to rebuild and improve self-esteem and confidence. 

A supportive friend network can be invaluable during a breakup, but a therapist can be a complementary resource. They can help you work through a difficult time, explore thoughts and feelings more deeply, and pursue growth and recovery. 

Contact Thriving Center of Psych

Feeling heartbroken and lost after a breakup? You don’t have to through this alone. One of the therapists at Thriving Center of Psych can help. Our trained relationship experts provide a safe space to express your emotions and help you navigate through a difficult time, equipping you with healthy coping mechanisms. 

Contact Thriving Center of Psych today to schedule your appointment. We have offices throughout the country, including California, New York, and Florida

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