I love how people try to create equations to solve relationship dilemmas i.e ‘It should take half the time you were in a relationship to fully ‘get over’ your ex’. As if feelings are as rational as math. Knowing how long you should wait to move on is like watching the season finale of Game of Thrones – unpredictable and emotionally charged. So is there a formula to help you calculate when you should move on from a relationship? It’s been month 2 since the end my long term relationship and the idea of going on dates is as equally off putting as a trip to the dentist (no offence to dentists).
Friends have encouraged me to date just to ‘have some fun’ but I think how long it takes depends on the type of breakup you had. We don’t believe in having a formula but here’s what we’ve found from experience. Let’s break it down.
The Mutual Breakup
The mutual breakup may come when two people have been together for ages and have lost the passion. They realise things haven’t been the same for awhile and feel they are more like brother and sister. Both decide it’s time to end the relationship and see other people. It’s likely that they’ve prepared for the breakup long before they decided to end the relationship before they hit their early 30s. If it’s an amicable end (which it often is), 3-6 months should put you back in the game. You both have had time to grieve before the breakup.
The One Sided Breakup
This is never easy when you’re the dumpee. You may not have seen it coming. Either way, you didn’t want the break up and the news that your partner has decided to call it quits was a decision he made without you. We feel your pain. Sad to say, it will take you much longer than the dumper to get over the break up. How long it takes depends on your resilience and your support network. It could take anywhere from 3-12 months to accept the breakup and heal. The fastest way to heal is accept that you had little to no control over the decision. You wouldn’t want to be with someone who isn’t committed to you so don’t over analyse the situation because you’ll never fully know why he broke up with you (he may not even know why). If you’re the dumper, you’ve been dealing with the break up long before it happened. It might take you some time to get over the guilt of breaking up with your significant other but we give it 1-3 months.
The Blind Side Breakup
Firstly, we’re so sorry if this has happened to you. The blind side breakups are probably the most difficult because it was so unpredictable- broken engagements, affairs, secret families…the unexpected. These blind side breakups are the hardest to deal with because they are stories you hear about but think it could never happen to you. When you become that ‘story’, it’s overwhelming and surreal. Take as long as you need and try to find peace. Take the time to grieve before you can finally accept what has happened and move on.
The Fledging Breakup
The fledging breakups often come without closure. The guy/girl does a runner and leaves no explanation. You’d be surprised the number of people who end relationships like this. If this has happened, you could spend months and years trying to find out what happened. To move on from this quickly, we suggest our tried and tested method. Find the closure within yourself. Do you really want to be with someone who runs at the sign of any uncertainty or doubt? Timeline to move on: 6 months to indefinite depending on your attitude
The Breakup of Many Breakups
You and your partner breakup and get back together…all the time. There is no timeline for this because both of you will be back together before you’ve had time to assess why you broke up in the first place. If this describes your relationship, it might be better to question why they happen in the first place. Are they breakups disguised as ‘fights’? Or are you always breaking up because the relationship is broken?
Regardless of which breakup you’re going through, we’ve all been through it. Cliche as it may sound, it’ll get better in time.
Written by Amy B
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Iona is a Wellness Coach specialising in relationships and dating. She works with single women to write their own love stories.