How long does it take to get over someone?

I often get asked what is a ‘normal’ time to be grieving and recovering after a breakup. We all want to know – when will I be feeling OK again? Is it better to consciously try to move on as quickly as possible, or wait until the emotions die on their own? Am I lingering too long? Did I go back to dating too fast?

It’s really hard to give universal answers to those questions. Every person is different, and every relationship is different in length and substance, so our recovery periods tend to be naturally different too.

But there are signs you can look for to determine whether you are taking things at the right pace, pointers to what I believe is a healthy and not-so-healthy way for moving on with your heart and your life.

Here are some guidelines on that in this video blog:



Do you tend to be on the too-short or too-long side when it comes to getting over a breakup?
What do you think is a healthy way to move on from a relationship?

Please share your thoughts in the comments.


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4 Responses

  1. Anjali shah says:

    Hey. There was this one post of yours… it was meant to be but it’s not possible. I wanted to share on it.
    My boyfriend and I have been together for a few months.. and we had broken up once before too. In that case I m on the other part of the story. My family doesn’t approve of him nor do my friends & it being a long distance relationship has becoming very crushing for me to live in. He is the best and that special connection and all the love is all magical. I m just 17 and my family is obviously my first priority. But I can’t see him hurt. Every time I leave him he becomes all depressed. Not eating no sleeping no smiling. And I can’t take it. Circumstances were not under my control but still I hold myself responsible for causing him hurt. He asks me to never leave him. I don’t know what to do? How should I handle this situation? How would he go without hurting himself? Should I stop talking to him or should I still try to be friends with him ? Which way will he be more happy? I love him a lot. Please help!

    • Petra says:

      You cannot NOT hurt him. You are leaving him, and he doesn’t want that – he will suffer whichever way you do it. I would explain to him that it’s over and leave it at that. And stop all contact so he can start to move on. It will be intense for a while but he will get better faster.

  2. mione says:

    Hi Petra, i’m in this situation and it’s been two months. I have the help of my closest friends and has seen a counsellor. While I have mostly accepted things, i can’t totally move on. I learned that I have abandonment issues from when I was young. I don’t like how things ended in a bad way, and i associate this with a childhood trauma. Now I wanted to start the healing so I’ve been thinking about contacting my ex, hoping that he will be accommodating to talk. I believe resolving conflict is something i needed to do to give it an end. I am more resolved to move forward, but I’m afraid i’ll carry this burden deep if i don’t take action now. What can you advise? Thanks.

    • Petra says:

      If you feel a talk would help, talk to him. Even if he doesn’t want to, it will help you let go of the feelings and make peace with reality. But the abandonment issues might need more work, it’s not a bad idea to continue your counselling and work on that topic, so you get into similar situations in the future.

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