Breakups are awful, but find out how to get over a breakup and heal your broken heart faster than you ever thought possible.
Unless you were fortunate enough to fall in love with your first boyfriend or girlfriend, got married and lived a life full of love with them, you’ve probably suffered several breakups during your dating life, both as the person doing the breaking up and the person being dumped.
Whether dumper or dump-ee, it’s always a struggle to figure out how to get over a breakup.
We really feel sorry for your situation. But don’t worry, we are here to help.
For dumper steps are just below and for people who got dumped (sorry again), it’s here.
It’s often assumed that the person doing the breaking up suffers no hardship from going through with ending a relationship. And sure, in some cases, the other person is miserable, crazy, or a jerk, and it’s a pretty easy decision to make.
But then there are the tougher ones. The ones where you’re completely in love, but for some reason, you know deep down it’s not going to work. Maybe it’s for religious reasons, family issues, sex-related, money-related, or kids-related.
It can be absolutely devastating to walk away from something that’s almost perfect because you just know you won’t be happy living your life with this person.
There’s only one real principle you have to apply so that you can deal with the breakup and move on with your life:
Be direct, be final, and be gone for good.
It’s in our nature to want to protect those we care about from being hurt. To that end we might try to let the person down easily, which is code for being unclear about what you want and hinting that things could work out in the future.
This usually sounds something like “I’m just in a really weird place right now and I don’t know if I can give you what you need. I still love you and care about you and I hope we can still be friends, I just need some time to figure things out…”
For someone who’s still in love with you, there are WAY too many openings for them to use to believe there’s still a chance.
For both of your sakes, you have to be DIRECT. Not a jerk of course, just direct and certain. This relationship isn’t working for whatever reason. It’s beyond fixing, and you have to break up.
Now come to the crucial part. It’s not just over now – the relationship is over for good, and you’re not going to have contact after this. Delete them from Facebook, your phone, etc.
Keeping in touch will just rekindle confusing feelings, lead the other person on, and challenge your resolve.
In this situation it’s all too common for you to get together ‘just to chat’, end up having some wine and screwing like bunnies on your coffee table. Now you have to figure out what happened and what’s going to happen now. It’s the breakup all over again.
Remember, as the dumper, you’re also breaking someone’s heart, and teasing them with casual contact will only delay their own healing.
Your life comes crashing down around you. All of your hopes and dreams for the future lie in ruins as you process what you just heard. Your partner, the love of your life, doesn’t love you anymore. You didn’t see it coming. You thought you were both happy. How could this have happened?
As the door closes for the last time, you’re going to do some long and hard reflecting. Maybe you could have done something differently. Maybe they should have talked about the problem more. Maybe if they hadn’t spent so much time at work. Maybe maybe maybe…
As your head spirals out of control, you’ll think of everything under the sun that worked, didn’t work, could have worked. You’ll go through every emotion, from sadness, anger, rage, pity, hopelessness, and more.
Your heart is good and broken, and it’s time to get on with healing it.
Step 1 – Separate the fact from the emotion
Your head is a mess partly because, in your emotional state, you don’t know how to even START getting over the breakup. One helpful technique is to come to a full stop. Look at just the fact of what happened: You were in love, you got dumped and it’s over.
Now look at the emotion: You’re hurt, betrayed, disappointed, sad, angry, surprised, etc.
Realize now that you can’t change the facts of what happened. Think it, speak it to the mirror, tell a friend, whatever you want. “I was dumped. I had my heart broken. Our relationship is over.”
Step 2 – Accept it
Let that sink in – accept it. Don’t fight it, because there’s nothing to fight – these are the facts of what happened. It. Is. Over. Life as you knew it and as you thought it would be was destroyed in an instant. But you have your whole life ahead of you, and now it’s time to figure out what to do with it. Now you’re ready to deal with the emotion.
Step 3 – Take Action and wipe the slate clean
You know those romantic comedies where someone gets dumped and the character ends up sitting in their flannel pants on the couch eating ice-cream and watching TV all day? Don’t be that person.
You’ve accepted your situation, now it’s time to take action and start dealing with the breakup head-on.
There are a lot of ways you can get started on this. First, wipe the slate clean:
- Get rid of stuff that either belonged to them or that reminds you of them – now is not the time to be sentimental. If you’re not quite ready to get rid of it completely, pack it in a box and store it somewhere. The key is out of sight out of mind.
- Eliminate potential sources of contact – as much as you might miss the person, seeing them and talking them will only open old wounds and delay the healing. Delete them from Facebook, don’t text them, and if possible avoid being in social situations where you’ll see them.
- No news updates – if you have overlapping friends, some of them may want to let you know how your ex is doing. Do they have a new partner, are they moping around, do they talk about you? Doesn’t matter. Make it clear to them that you don’t want to know.
- Read 30 Cool Things To Do After a Breakup for more tips
Step 4 – Continue taking action and get on with your life
You’ve removed reminders from your life, a great first step. But there’s a big hole in your life now. No more dates, phone calls, texting, etc. All of a sudden it feels like you have too much time.
You have to fill that time with meaningful activities (NOT E: Sitting on the couch in your flannel pants and feeling sorry for yourself is NOT a meaningful activity).
This is the important part of taking action. You could:
- Take some classes – this is a great time to do something you’ve always wanted to do. Sign up for a cooking, singing, painting, or acting class. Start going to gym and lose some weight if you are overweight.
- Join a team – sports are a great way to stay active, meet new people, and kick some butt. Having joint goals with teammates can be a great focus and distraction.
- Redecorate – this is a great time to turn your life upside-down. Move furniture, paint, tear down a wall. Make coming home something NEW and exciting and it’ll help you separate the old you and the new you.
Step 5 – Get back in the game
It might take a while, but eventually you’ll be ready to go out looking for love again. If you’ve been with your partner for a long time, it might be scary and awkward at first. Don’t worry about it. Dating is a numbers game, so start the count and get going.
Try not to compare your dates to your ex – treat each new date as a new and great experience. Sure, most won’t work out, but one will, and you have to be emotionally ready to accept and embrace that.
Congratulations – you’ve learned how to heal a broken heart. Life truly does go on.
You’ll notice there are no time references in this article. If everyone knew how long each stage took, life would be so easy wouldn’t it?
The truth is, everyone is different, and everyone deals with things in their own way. There seems to be a generalized common wisdom that says it takes half as long as you were with someone to get over them.
So if you were with someone for two years, according to this, it will take a year to get over them.
What do you think about that? It’s an interesting theory, but really seems as if that would be the absolute longest it should take. As in, if you were doing none of the steps listed above and mostly focusing on your couch and the ice-cream and how comfortable your flannel pants are, this might end up being true.
But that’s not how you’re going to live YOUR life, is it? Take a week, maybe two, and feel as absolutely terrible as you possibly can. Then shake your head and get on with it. Look in the mirror and get a bit angry with yourself.
Then jump into step 1 above. Take back control of your life and move forward with what’s best for you.
So how long does it take to get over a breakup? As long as you let it takes.
Luckily you’ve read our guide here – and our readers aren’t big fans of living in flannel.