Sure, time heals all wounds, but when you’re going through a painful breakup, you just want time to move as quickly as it needs to for the heartbreak to be over.
But as difficult as it can be, healing from the end of a relationship is essential. Susan Bartell, PsyD, a psychologist who works with couples, says that giving yourself time to get over a breakup helps you figure out what you want from your next relationship.
“The grieving helps you recenter yourself as someone without that other person, so you can go to the next relationship feeling good about looking for someone who’s healthy for you,” Dr. Bartell says.
While there’s no timeline for how long it can take to get over someone, Dr. Bartell says it can definitely depend on how long you were dating, and how you broke up.
“If you’re going out with someone for years and they break up with you very suddenly with no warning at all, that’s going to be much harder to get over than if you’ve been arguing and discussing breaking up, and that was already on your radar,” she says. “If you’re the one doing the breaking up, it’s easier to get over than if you’re the one broken up with.”
Whether or not you lived with your ex, if you had them over in your home fairly often, seeing things like framed photos or even certain areas of your space might remind you of the time you had a movie night at your place, or had a home-cooked meal at your dining table.
“Change the paint, the walls, bedding,” she says. “Hang up new pictures. Do something to change your living space up so that it’s not such a reminder of the other person.”
But no matter what, it’s important not to rush yourself into getting over it.
“Don’t expect yourself to get over it quickly — you need to expect that it’s going to take time to happen,” Dr. Bartell says.
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