Getting over someone, whether it's a long-term partner or even just an intense crush, can be really difficult to manage. Understandably, the longer you're with someone and the deeper your relationship is, the harder it can be to move on from. While a drawn-out breakup that took thought, discussion, and effort might make for a smoother transition to singledom, that isn't always the case, and it's so important to remember that every relationship is different and every person is different. If you're looking for an answer for how long it takes to get over someone, the truth is there's no real finite answer. If you're struggling, though, and currently sitting in the worst part of the sadness, we spoke with Dr. Rachel Needle, licensed psychologist in West Palm Beach, FL, and codirector of Modern Sex Therapy Institutes to get her tips on what you can do to get over a breakup.
Give Yourself Time to Grieve
No matter how you look at it, losing a significant other or moving on from a crush is still a loss. And with a loss, you need to give yourself time to grieve. "Don't just try to 'get over it,'" Dr. Needle told POPSUGAR. "Instead, allow yourself to feel — be sad, angry, and whatever other emotions come up for you." Your emotions might run the gamut, and that's OK. You can feel sad about the loss, feel mad at how things turned out, and still be relieved that you're away from the relationship.
Remind Yourself Why It Didn't Work
As you're moving on, it's natural to miss the person or the relationship. There's a reason so many people fall back into bed with an ex — it's easy, and it's comfortable. But there's a reason you split up in the first place, and it's important to gently remind yourself of that when you start to question why the relationship ended.
Remove Memory Triggers
Dr. Needle recommends removing triggering objects from your life temporarily. "You don't want a constant reminder of the relationship around, but that doesn't mean you have to completely get rid of the memories," she said. "So maybe take the pictures off your wall, but don't throw them out." She also suggested changing up your routine so you can feel like you have a fresh start or different set of habits that'll bring you through the sadness. "It is normal to think about your ex from time to time," she said. "That's not necessarily a bad thing depending on what feelings come up. We are all human."
Find Coping Mechanisms
As you're getting over someone, you'll have to figure out what works and what helps you cope with the loss. This is your self-care, and it's important to prioritize it during this time, because your main focus should be yourself. Think of what you usually like to do for self-care, and try those actions here. This will hopefully help to calm your mind and your emotions and put you on the path to healing.
Ask For Help
Use your support system. Your friends and family most likely want to be by your side while you get over someone, so let them (if you feel comfortable with that). And if it all gets to be too much, Dr. Needle recommends seeking professional help. "How long it takes someone to get over a relationship often depends on how much of your life your partner was a part of, how long you were together, and what led to the breakup," she said. "Some people still think about their exes even years after breaking up. What's important is how often that happens and what feelings come up when it does. If you find yourself having difficulty coping, contact a mental health professional for help."