Getting over an ex is hard. It doesn't matter whether you were with them for a few months or married with children, moving past the crying in your pyjamas phase is tough. It makes sense then that we want to know how long we will have to endure the heartbreak for - is it going to be days, months or years? Is there an answer to the age old question that might help us see a way through?
There are lots of theories floating around on how long it should take to get over an ex, some say it takes double the length of the relationship to really get over someone, others believe that it only happens when you meet someone else, and Charlotte from Sex and the City is adamant that it takes half as long as a relationship lasted to truly move on after a breakup.
Though there is no one definitive answer to this question - we're all different and deal with breakups differently — a recent study found that we all spend an average of 18 months of our lives getting over a breakup. This 18 month period are based on three major breakups and the six months, on average, it takes to recover from them.
The survey, carried out by OnePoll, explains that the reason we find ourselves struggling for such large chunks of time is that a breakup throws our life out of sync. We suddenly have to get used to doing things alone, we might have to change living arrangements, friendship groups, and begin to forge an identity that is based on us as single, and not part of a couple.
Relationships are a key part of our identity and so remoulding it can take time, thus it drags out the length of time it can take to get over some one. Ever heard the phrase, 'I'm over them, I'm just not over the relationship'? Yeah, that's often the case.
If you are going through a breakup though it's important to give yourself space, time and compassion as you go through the ups and downs. It's totally normal to take several months to get over a relationship and it's important to process the feelings as you go and accept the highs and lows. It's a part of life that most of us have to go through and there is no 'one size fits all' for when that moment of epiphany, that 'I'm finally over it' will come.
What we do know is that it's better to have loved and lost then never have loved at all.
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