Ending a relationship is never easy – and it can be even harder if the love is still shared.
But just because heartbreak can seem like the end of the world, the good news is that the pain won’t last forever—and it certainly won’t stop you from falling in love again.
According to research published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, it takes 11 weeks to feel better after the end of a relationship. But a separate study found that it takes about 18 months to recover from the end of a marriage.
In fact, heartbreak is a sad process – and it looks completely different for everyone.
Because love is a messy feeling, and every relationship comes with its own memories and feelings, the end of any relationship will be a unique experience.
And there’s no set time frame for healing—because factors including the length of the relationship, shared experiences and memories, whether you’ve had children, betrayal, and depth of feelings all play a part in the healing process.
A break-up can be worse or more painful if you don’t want the relationship to end.
Fortunately, although it may not seem like it at the moment, millions of other people are experiencing similar feelings – and millions of others have.
Humans are meant to build relationships and fall in love. And just as most people will experience love at least once in their lifetime, many will also experience heartbreak. It’s natural and expected to feel upset and devastated at the end of a relationship – even when the relationship hasn’t been a positive thing. After all, love is blind and it has the ability to make people ignore the shortcomings of their partner. This is most true at the end of a relationship, when bad memories often override good memories, which makes us question why we broke up in the first place.
But, like any other wound, a heartbreak heals with time, self-care, and a positive attitude—and it’s possible to move on.
And while no two relationships are alike, there are things that everyone suffering from heartbreak can do to move on.
According to Relationship Experts Ammanda MajorThere are four steps that will help you get over someone.
take time to mourn your loss
For some, losing a significant other because of a break-up can feel as painful as if they were dead. From seeing or talking to the person you love every day, it can seem impossibly difficult to imagine your life without them. But before you can move on, it’s important to come to terms with this new reality and accept it. While it may seem tempting to move on fast during this period of sadness by being busy with other things and people, the reality is that the end of a relationship requires a sad period where we can let go of what has happened. process. This is a time when heartbroken people can reflect on the relationship and their behavior. Rather than trying to suppress these feelings, allowing yourself to feel them is an integral part of the healing process.
And when you’re considering your feelings related to the relationship and the break-up, you might learn a thing or two about yourself and what you want from a future relationship.
reconnect with yourself
In many relationships, the primary focus is on “we” rather than “I” or “I”. But the end of a relationship provides a unique opportunity – to take stock of where you are in life and then do something for yourself. Although it may seem overwhelming, the end of a relationship gives you a chance to reconnect with yourself. This could mean taking up a new hobby or reconnecting with friends. Taking time to do things that make you feel good, like seeing family, finding a new talent, or going on vacation will all help boost your mood after a break-up. This focus on yourself also means that you can enter your next relationship with a self-awareness of what you have lost. Instead of rushing into a new relationship, take the time to focus on your relationship with yourself.
don’t be afraid to ask for help
Rarely do people decide to end a relationship together. When this happens, one party is usually shocked or shocked – which will only extend the grieving process. In addition to these feelings of shock, feelings of rejection can also become evident when one partner ends a relationship out of the blue.
If the end of your relationship came as a shock, it’s normal to feel rejected or to question your self-worth. But if your partner has made it clear that they no longer want a relationship with you, and there is no chance of reconciliation – accept what they are saying and focus on themselves.
Just because one partner has ended the relationship doesn’t mean you don’t deserve their love. Instead of focusing on what you did wrong, focus on what you can do to make yourself feel better in that moment.
If you think blocking your ex on social media will help you feel less depressed, it’s the right thing to do — because limiting exposure can often help take our mind off the pain.
Talking helps too – but just be sure to set boundaries with your friends and family about what you feel comfortable discussing. While you may be ready to talk about your ex, you might not feel completely comfortable talking to them badly about your ex or your relationship. However, talking through your feelings can be beneficial and often an outside perspective can be helpful. The same is true when and if you decide to get rid of physical reminders of your relationship. While photos and other memorabilia are perfectly fine, it’s also okay to throw this stuff away if it only hurts you.
And if you have things that you need to return to your ex, a friend or family member has given them for you, can ease some of the pressure and sadness associated with seeing them again.
During a break-up, and in the times to come, it’s essential to rely on your support system for healing.
time really heals everything
You may not realize it at the moment, but as time goes on, the feelings of hurt and betrayal will subside. The memories of your relationship won’t be as painful and one day, whether it’s a month or a year later, thinking about that person won’t bring up the same feelings of sadness and hurt.
Although time is relative to each relationship, letting go of these negative feelings in the times when we feel we need them is important. It’s okay to ignore specific deadlines if that means dealing with heartbreak.
However, if our negative feelings are not healing in time, it can be beneficial to seek professional help in coming to terms with these feelings. As negative or painful thoughts can be harmful to us and to future relationships, it is important to get back into a positive mindset.
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The first year will be the hardest – and it’s important to understand it. You will have moments of sadness and nostalgia, but as long as you remind yourself that the end of the relationship wasn’t entirely your fault, they should pass.
Don’t take all the blame for the break-up – but at the same time, try to reflect on what you could have done differently. Relationships involve two people, and a break-up is never entirely one person’s fault.
But if you’re still having trouble moving on or you feel that your feelings related to the break-up are affecting your ability to enjoy life, having someone to talk to can help.
If you want to move on successfully with your life after a heartbreak, drop the negative and focus only on the positive and the future.
That way, when you find love again, you’ll enter the relationship as the best version of yourself.
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Being able to love deeply is an incredible ability – and it is one that will benefit you as you move on with your life after a heartbreak.
This article has been updated. This was originally published in February 2020.