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How long does it take to get over a relationship?

(22 Posts)
MechanicalTheatre Sat 30-Mar-13 13:26:19

I was with my partner for 5 years. We lived together for 2 and a half, currently living in different cities because of his job. It was me who ended it, he wasn't giving me any attention and I was sick of being made to feel second best to his job/his family/his friends.

What makes me feel worst is that I have never met anyone who I can talk to so easily. From the very beginning of our relationship, we were able to chat away for hours about anything, and I will really miss that. Also, the sex was perfect, straight away, and I will miss that too. I have never felt that kind of connection with anybody. I can't stay friends with him - the thought of hearing about new girlfriends/holidays with others/parties I'm not invited to just makes me feel too sad. I really thought at one time that we'd be together forever.

I have mental health problems and not a great support network although I am trying to build that up. I am on anti-depressants and starting therapy soon (I hope.)

I know it's a bit "how long is a piece of string" but I wondered how long it took people to get over the hurt and the longing? Every minute, I am struggling not to call/text/email and tell him I've changed my mind. He says he's sorry, but everything is words with him - he's very good at the "I love yous" and the "I'm so sad you've gones" but less good with actual action and I don't need that any more. I just don't know how long I can deal with feeling so sad about losing my best friend.

Bedtime1 Sat 30-Mar-13 13:33:24

I think it depends how much you liked a person. Sometimes you only realise just how much you did like or didn't when you have split up. If its a not liked much it's quick. If you liked/ loved a lot then it takes time. I suppose if you have split up pretty recently then you won't know. I mean everyone generally feels sad at the ending of a relationship. So basically I guess it's a matter of time. Time is a healer. It will heal pain but as for when that's like the piece of string thing question but it will Definatley happen, just a matter of when.

AlfalfaMum Sat 30-Mar-13 13:59:26

If you have a broken heart, it takes at least 2 years. Even for a relatively short relationship (6 months), it took me 2 years to heal because I had been in love with him.
It gradually gets better all through that time though.

ClippedPhoenix Sat 30-Mar-13 14:59:06

Hi OP I'm 3 weeks out of a 3.5 year relationship. It wasn't right for a long time but I miss the being in a couple thing as I'm sure you do. It's like having that part of your life "sewn up" so when that's taken away it's hard. I was with a very dutiful cold man.

I think we grieve just as much for what might have been than we do for what has happened if you get what I mean.

I see it as having good and bad days. One day I'm relieved, one day I'm sad. But I know the sad ones will get less and less.

As for how long, I don't know either. But am going with the flow.

Lot's of hugs for you.

onefewernow Sat 30-Mar-13 15:07:18

I think that one of the factors which affects how quickly you get over it, is how much else you have in your life, or what else you do to rebuilt it.

BicBiro Sat 30-Mar-13 15:27:16

I split up with my DP nearly 3 months ago now. I still have the pain and the longing, but I do feel as though I have some more perspective on these feelings now which allows me to think about the relationship with more clarity and why it ended and what I need in my life to heal.

My advice would be to make sure you really allow yourself to feel those painful feelings, don't block them or they will sit inside you. Make time for this and let yourself wail and cry and long for him. Write down all your feelings and thoughts in a journal, or do what i do which is write emails and then then save them in a folder. I have found that gradually memories have come back about why I wasnt so happy and also a bit of understanding about why I stayed in a relationship which wasnt right for me for longer than I should.

Be kind to yourself, eat the food you like, hang out with people who will let you talk, find something to do which you can look forward to. Think about the things you can do now without having to consider him. Believe that you will get through this and that ultimately going through this pain head on will help you be a stronger person.

dandilionsareforever Sat 30-Mar-13 16:15:14

I'm 3 months into the end of a 9 year relationship. He ended it in a not very nice way, but it could just as easily have been me that finishd it. I was fed up with hearing him talk about himself and play second third, fourth, fifth fiddle to his hobbies/work/friends etc.

I'm glad its over I wouldn't want him back, but I miss being part of a couple, the sex, having someone who I could call my own (after he'd finished his business with his hobbies/work/friends/etc, obviously).

Whats helping me get over him and move on wth my life are: getting involved in some new activities; looking up some old friends; staying off Facebook; resisiting totally the urge to check on his whereabouts/find out what he's up to through mutual acquaintances; not going past his home and work; not loooking out for his car whenever I'm driving around (strangely, that one is really difficult); clearing out any junk/paperwork that related to him; stop saying phrases/words etc that related to us or other niff naff that was once part of 'us'.

Initially I thought the answer to how I was feeling was to get a new man, but I now think this is an opportunity to be single for a while and just be me.
I still think of him, but considering how long we were together I'm not heartbroken, more extremely peeved with the rude manner he ended our relationship wanker

Keep busy, all will be well. A time will come when you'll barely think of him.

Dahlen Sat 30-Mar-13 16:26:33

As the person who's ended all the relationships I've been in, I can honestly say I've been over the person almost immediately. However, it's taken me much longer to process the lessons I needed to learn from the breakdown of the relationship to ensure I don't repeat the same patterns/choices in the future. There is no set time, but I'd say any serious relationship would take a minimum of six months to get over properly and learn from.

Someone upthread said the process is a lot quicker if you fill your life with other non-relationship-based things, such as really following up hobbies, etc., and I'd say that's great advice. One of the reasons I've never been truly devastated by the loss of a relationship is because it only occupies a part of my life.

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 30-Mar-13 17:04:54

It's hard isn't it, same boat ish here mine was a proper bellend with a nice mask he sometimes bothered to put on.

Feel really quite lonely but am planning a holiday for me and the dc and what we're going to do there and if I can muster up any enthusiasm I will finally gloss my hallway skirting and doors tonight. Have been busy and out and about and do have plans tomorrow and monday before back to work it's just the evenings I need to fill...

OneMoreGo Sat 30-Mar-13 17:14:06

For me it has generally taken around a year to 18 months if I have been in love with them. Much less time if not. I went no contact with my last ex and it has helped me get over them faster than I would have otherwise. I think all you can do is fill your life with other stuff and accept that it WILL hurt for some while yet, and maybe have someone to be your go-to person to call if you are feeling weak and like going back to them.

I also found having a blog where I recalled all the emotions I felt when they were being mean to me was helpful; both as catharsis, and also as a record to read back when I was telling myself crap like we were 'meant to be together' even though they were patently wrong for me and treated me in a less-than-awesome manner.
Good luck.

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 30-Mar-13 17:18:47

Oh I also tell myself well shout that life goes on, nothing stays the same, if you don't throw away the trash you don't make any room for someone decent, plenty of fish in the sea there really is, and being single is fine, and a whole heap of other crap.

VelvetSpoon Sat 30-Mar-13 17:22:30

It's one of those how long is a piece of string questions.

It took me literally no time to get over an 8 year relationship, because I never loved him, hated him for a bit, and then spent years feeling utterly indifferent. So any getting over it was probably done long before we split up.

Conversely, I ended a brief relationship (of less than a year) over 4 years ago, I'm not sure I will ever really be over it, he's the only man I've ever loved, I still think of him at least once a week, and from time to time have dreams about him where I wake up in tears because it's not real. And as I've not met anyone since who is in any way interested in me (beyond meaningless one-off sex) I don't see that changing.

ReturnofSaturn Sat 30-Mar-13 17:58:08

Your second paragraph is exactly how my relationship was.

I was with my partner just over 4 years, we split end of August last year and I will be honest, I'am still not over it, and think about it and him every day still. But the pain is nowhere near as bad as what it was when it first happened.

I too couldn't be friends as it ended very badly (his fault) I literally had to go from someone being my best friend/love of my life one day, to the next day suddenly never being able to speak to him ever again.
And that was extremely hard, almost impossible for me to comprehend at the time.
Time really is the only healer sad

BernadetteRostenkowskiWolowitz Sat 30-Mar-13 18:12:15

It depends really. I was talking about being dumped with a character assasination in therapy last year. (dumped 1999). He called me racist and then dumped me and we had lots of mutual friends. It came up in therapy years later. How it had made me feel so worthless that I accepted an abusive relationship next. Logically I knew the way the abusive man treated me was hideous but I was so damaged by the dumping that I accepted it for 7 or 8 years, and even though I functioned outwardly my self-esteem became lower and lower during this time. Only actively working on raising my self-esteem now. So, in my case, I can honestly say that 14 years later I'm getting over a relationship i had in 1999. Not him, but the damage he did. It is not the time though. I am going to have to work at raising my self-esteem. And I'm only getting to that about now.

MechanicalTheatre Sat 30-Mar-13 19:58:27

Thank you all for sharing experiences. It's really helpful. I keep reminding myself of the bad times, of all the times I couldn't rely on him, all the times I compromised when he never did.

The thing that is making me feel weird is that, even though I miss him, I am feeling ok. I feel free. Yes, I want him to call, I want him to beg me to take him back and promise everything will be different. But I don't want the relationship as it was, I want what could have been.

I am trying to look at things to fill my life up as much as possible. It's hard, but doable.

delilah88 Sat 30-Mar-13 20:12:47

I read somewhere about exes: you have to remember what you knew about them then, not what you think about them now (i.e. rose tinted specs).

If not that than a joke:

I still miss my ex. But my aim's getting better.


OneMoreGo Sat 30-Mar-13 20:24:05

Totally empathise with wanting what could have been. Most of my grieving over the last one has been in that vein. And sure it's a nice ego boost to think of them coming grovelling back, to be wanted. But that doesn't change that you have done the right thing - the missing/thinking of them loads is a habit in some ways, and it will fade with time.

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 30-Mar-13 20:55:57

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Sun 31-Mar-13 09:35:25

You are stronger than you think.
Breaking up with someone you were truly in love with for 5 years takes a great deal of strength.
You are in mourning now, so cry as much as you want to because it is part of the healing process.
If you can keep busy and see good friends for support.
Best of luck.

MechanicalTheatre Sun 31-Mar-13 14:22:01

The thing is I'm NOT crying. I'm not even feeling really sad. I feel finer than I have done in ages. And I'm worried that it's going to come and bite me on the ass at some horrible moment and I'll be a wreck.

Yes, I want him back, but him as he could have been, as we could have been. I know that that's impossible.

All I keep getting are flashes of times I was so unhappy. He dumped me once when my sister had cancer, right when she was being operated on and had a 50/50 chance.

He came to see me when I was living abroad and then told me he was still with his ex. We had a big tragic weeping-fest about how sad it was we couldn't be together - and then he went back to his ex and kept going out with her.

He has never once come to pick me up or drop me off to a station/airport with my bags, even though I have done so much going to and coming back from other countries.

Once, I self-harmed really badly (still have the scars) and he just left me bleeding on the kitchen floor and went to bed after telling me what a stupid thing it was to do. I had to clean myself up and put a bandage on, but I should have had stitches really.

At the time, it all seemed sort of tragic and dramatic but now it just seems like he's a bit of a selfish knob. He'll just find some other dozy mare to take advantage of.

All those late night chats and "you're the most interesting person I have ever met" and "I've never met anyone like you" just seem so cheap and hollow right now when I think about all of that stuff.

CartedOff Sun 31-Mar-13 14:31:50

Sometimes it's not only a matter of time but what happens during that time, if you see what I mean? A certain event or conversation can bring huge clarity or release and you can find yourself feeling completely differently afterwards.

If I were you I would keep those bad memories written down somewhere or have this thread bookmarked- there may be a time when the memories fade and you have a low moment and start thinking about him again. That's what happened with my most recent ex. We were together for two years and there were so many moments where I needed support or encouragement and was left in the cold...but after we'd been broken up for five or six months I couldn't remember them as clearly and my thoughts would linger on all of the positives.

I think what helps stop those feelings from returning and biting you in the ass is staying busy and making plans. When you feel bad about yourself and how you're life is going then you're more likely to think about him and mull things over. Challenge yourself with new things and look towards the future and you'll be okay smile

cjel Sun 31-Mar-13 14:40:24

I am 18months from a 30yr marriage. Some times I drive home(to my new house) and find I'm crying because it'll be empty and no one to share with when I get in but. I think it was only afew months before I started to have more good days than bad. I realised quite early on that I am missing a myth, Like you OP what I had wasn't what I wanted or deserved but somehow its that whole image of the family and friends and social stuff we did together. Now though I only have a couple of friends that were 'ours', He wouldn't know most of the people I mix with now and I find that works for me!! I also haven't been out with anyone else yet and am enjoying finding out who I am and what I like!!

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