In the face of a breakup, divorce, or even the challenges of unrequited love, the road toward healing can seem long and daunting. Especially for those who have become heavily reliant on a partner or spouse, it can be hard to imagine what it might look like to have a life of joy and fulfillment without them at the end of a relationship. Despite the difficulties, bringing ourselves back to a happy, healthy place and making space for future relationships requires us to figure out how to get over someone fast. The pain of loss can manifest in many forms, but there are a few scientifically backed strategies and coping mechanisms you can use to try and alleviate it and move forward. Engaging in activities like joining a cooking class, spending time with friends, or seeking guidance from a licensed therapist can be an integral part of the healing process, ultimately helping you become a better person and establish a strong support system.
The Psychology And Physiology Of Loss
Some psychologists have dedicated their entire careers to understanding how people cope with relationship hurts and the process of moving forward after a loss. Even if that research doesn’t make our experiences any less painful, it has provided us with a much deeper understanding of why these feelings are so deeply felt and so challenging. This knowledge can allow us to take a more informed and practical approach to putting a past relationship behind us and moving forward toward new opportunities for joy and new relationships.
Most people have experienced romantic rejection of varying degrees at some point in their lives, and it’s almost always an unpleasant experience. Feelings of dejection, lowered self-esteem, and a profound sense of loss are all incredibly common in the wake of a breakup or divorce. These psychological symptoms can be very challenging to cope with alone, which is why many people find it beneficial to talk to someone about them, such as friends or a therapist. However, the psychological experience isn’t the whole story. Addressing physical reminders and spending time with new friends can also be helpful in managing the emotions and focusing on the future.
That’s why it’s not uncommon for people who have experienced a recent loss to report symptoms like stomach aches, muscle soreness, breakouts of acne, or other physical reactions.
Similarly, our bodies can become heavily dependent on the presence of a partner to create dopamine—the ‘pleasure chemical’ in the brain. One study on subjects who recently experienced an unwanted breakup shows how the loss of their partners created a state of withdrawal in their brains, similar to the kind people might experience when quitting an addictive substance. To put it another way, caring for both your body and your mind post-breakup can be important for healing.
3 Strategies For Moving On
There is no clear-cut answer for how to get over a guy or a girl because every person and relationship is unique. That said, researchers have found a number of cognitive strategies that can help decrease the emotional fallout of a relationship that has ended. Here are three, research-based approaches that may be helpful when trying to get over someone. They are not mutually exclusive, so feel free to try one or all of them.
1. Reappraise Your Relationship
The truth is that even the healthiest relationships aren’t perfect. With this in mind, it can be constructive to think about the things that were not right or that you didn’t like about your past relationship. It may feel wrong or difficult to focus on the negative, especially when you’re still full of love and care for the person. However, research shows that this may actually be a valid and practical approach for getting over someone.
In a study on negative feelings post-breakup, it became evident that people who spent time thinking about their partner’s negative traits had an easier time getting over them. So while those qualities may not always be the best thing to fixate on while in a relationship, they can actually be helpful when trying to move past your feelings for someone. However, it is important to note that while participants who used this method had an easier time getting over their former partners, they still reported it to be an emotionally challenging experience. This method isn’t a cure-all, but it can help.
2. Consider The Positives Of The Present
Getting over someone often requires us to accept a new set of circumstances in our lives. This acceptance can be complicated, but there is at least some truth to the cliche that "every cloud has a silver lining”. For example, newfound alone time may feel lonely or hard to manage, but it may also represent the chance to explore new hobbies or interests you’ve never had the time or space to try before. No longer living with a partner may mean you can move to a city you've always wanted to live in or travel to places you never could before. Even no longer having to compromise on where to get takeout food from can be a positive to add to your list, as your brain may be able to recognize the merit of even the smallest benefits.
That’s just one example of the type of thinking that can help people come to terms with post-breakup realities. A study by the American Psychological Association also found that writing can be an excellent tool for uncovering positive takeaways from otherwise negative situations. Researchers found that it doesn’t matter what kind of writing you may decide to do—as both creative writing and journaling were equally successful approaches—so long as the topic focuses on the positives of the situation’s aftermath.
3. Pick Up A New Hobby
This tip is often the most straightforward way to address the dopamine deficit many find themselves in after a relationship ends. Starting a new hobby can also serve as a healthy distraction that can help fill the time and emotional space you may find yourself with after a breakup.
The exciting thing about this approach is that there are limitless options to choose from. Depending on how much time you find yourself with, you may take up a creative activity like writing, painting, or crocheting. One study showed that just 45 minutes of a creative activity resulted in measurably improved self-esteem in the subjects, regardless of age, gender, or previous artistic experience. If the end of your relationship has you feeling down on yourself, taking up an art-based hobby may help.
For many people, starting a new exercise routine is another healthy and reliable outlet for moving past a relationship. Running, yoga, and weight training are good options, but they are far from the only ones. The endorphins released through vigorous exercise of all different kinds represent a scientifically-proven method of dealing with symptoms of depression for those who may experience this mental health condition after a breakup. Even for those who aren’t experiencing a mental health disorder as a result of a relationship that has ended, exercise can still provide mood-boosting benefits.
If you’re looking for a new hobby, you might try following your heart, your passions, or your curiosity and exploring something you’ve never had the chance to do before. Don’t forget that the point here is generally not to distract yourself from your feelings. Instead, the purpose is to find a meaningful way to manage and work through the sensation of loss. Distractions typically work best when they’re there to aid in the healing process, not to replace it.
How Therapy Can Help You Get Over Someone
While you can undertake all the options listed above by yourself, one of the most effective methods for getting over someone is to talk about it. While confiding in trusted friends and family can be helpful, it may also be beneficial to work through challenging emotions with the guidance of a licensed therapist. Studies suggest that both online and in-person therapy offer similar benefits, which means that you can choose the method that feels most comfortable for you if you decide to go this route. If you’re interested in virtual therapy, a platform like BetterHelp can match you with a licensed therapist who you can meet with via phone, video call, and/or online chat at your convenience.
Many therapists turn to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help a client who is facing the challenges of a recent breakup or divorce. CBT is centered on teaching mindfulness practices that can help individuals deal with mental distress with the aim of reframing their thinking. It can also be an effective treatment for mental health conditions like depression. CBT can be carried out in-person or online, with one recent study finding evidence for “online mindfulness-based interventions in reducing psychological distress”. This kind of therapy can help provide the perspective you may need to work toward moving past your feelings for someone and looking ahead to future relationships.
What does it mean to get over someone?
To "get over someone" means to move on emotionally from a romantic or emotional attachment you once had to that person. It involves letting go of any lingering feelings, thoughts, or hopes related to the relationship or connection between you and your ex-partner as you find your own way and start a new life. Getting over someone signifies a transition from actively thinking about them, longing for them, or being emotionally invested in the relationship to a state where they no longer have a significant impact on your emotions and daily life.
Getting over someone doesn't necessarily mean forgetting them entirely; it means you've reached a point where their presence or absence doesn't cause you emotional distress or interfere with your ability to live your life fully. It involves feeling empowered, healing, personal growth, and possibly redirecting your focus toward other aspects of your life, whether it's self-improvement, new relationships, or pursuing your passions. The process may not follow a set timeline, varies from person to person, and often involves a mix of self-care, support from friends and family, and sometimes professional help.
How do you get over someone you love?
Getting over someone you love is a challenging process that takes time, self-care, and patience. Here are some steps to help you navigate this difficult journey:
- Allow Yourself to Grieve: It's normal to feel a range of emotions, including sadness, anger, and confusion. Give yourself permission to feel these emotions and to process grief without judgment.
- Limit Contact: After you break up, if possible, reduce or cut off contact with the person to create emotional distance and give yourself space to heal.
- Focus on Self-Care: Take care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Engage in activities that bring you joy, eat well, exercise, and get enough rest.
- Lean on Support: Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist. Talking about your feelings can help you process them and feel less isolated.
- Create New Routines: Establish new habits and routines to fill the void left by the person you loved. Engage in hobbies, explore new interests, or set personal goals.
- Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness and meditation can help you stay present and manage overwhelming emotions.
- Reflect and Learn: Reflect on the relationship, what you've learned from it, and how you've grown. This can provide closure and help you move forward.
- Limit Triggers: Avoid situations, places, or constant reminders of the person, at least until you've healed more.
- Give Yourself Time: Healing doesn't happen overnight. Be patient with yourself and trust that, with time, the pain will lessen.
Remember, everyone's journey to healing is unique. It's okay to have setbacks, and progress isn't always linear. Be gentle with yourself and focus on your well-being as you work through the process of getting over someone you loved.
How do I get over someone I still love?
In some cases, you may still love someone, even after the relationship has ended. Romantic relationships end for a variety of reasons and if your relationship has ended, it may not feel good. If you still love someone after breaking up with them, there are a few things that you can do to move on:
- Set boundaries – You may ask them to refrain from calling you; If you have common friends you may want to set up separate times to hang out.
- Create closure – You may try journaling or reflective thinking to create closure for yourself. Eventually, it may be possible to set up a conversation with your ex so that you can express your final thoughts and get closure.
- Allow yourself to grieve – grief is a natural response to loss. Allowing yourself to go through a grieving process and taking time to accept that a loss has happened can help you to move on.
If you find it challenging to move on or if you still love your former partner, it may be beneficial to seek professional help from a therapist or relationship expert. Relationship experts are professionals with training in managing all aspects of real-life relationships, including managing pain when a relationship ends.
Why is it so painful to get over someone?
The pain of a relationship ending stems from a combination of factors. The loss of emotional connection, unfulfilled hopes, and attachment play a significant role. Human nature's need for bonding and the deep emotional investment in a relationship intensify feelings of loneliness and separation anxiety when that connection is severed. Societal pressures and fear of loneliness may amplify the emotional impact. Recognizing these factors can help in navigating the complex emotions that arise after a breakup.
Studies show that breakups may change brain chemistry and cause physical pain in the body. Time, self-care, and support from loved ones are essential for healing and gradually overcoming the pain. Seeking professional help may also help you to move forward after a breakup.
Why is getting over someone so difficult?
Getting over someone can be challenging due to several psychological and emotional factors:
- Attachment and Bonding: Human beings naturally form emotional attachments and bonds with others, especially in romantic relationships. When a relationship ends, the attachment remains, and breaking that bond can be emotionally painful.
- Emotional Investment: The time, effort, and emotions invested in a relationship create a strong connection. Letting go of this investment can feel like losing a significant part of yourself.
- Memories and Triggers: Having the same memories, experiences, and places can trigger intense emotions, making it harder to move on. These triggers can bring back feelings of joy, nostalgia, or even sadness.
- Change and Uncertainty: The end of a relationship often brings significant changes to your routine and life. The uncertainty of what comes next can evoke fear and anxiety.
- Hope and Expectations: Many relationships are built on hopes and expectations for the future. Letting go of these aspirations can be disheartening and difficult.
- Fear of Loneliness: The idea of being alone after the relationship ends can trigger a fear of loneliness and isolation.
- Identity and Self-Worth: Relationships can become intertwined with your sense of identity and self-worth. A breakup can lead to questioning your value and who you are without the relationship.
- Social and Cultural Factors: Societal pressure to be in a relationship or the fear of judgment for a breakup can add to the difficulty of moving on.
- Physical and Chemical Responses: Love and attachment trigger the release of hormones like oxytocin, which can make it physically challenging to detach from someone.
How to get over a crush?
Getting over a crush can be tough, but with a mindful approach, you can navigate this emotional challenge. First, create some distance to give yourself space to heal. Limit interactions and time spent thinking about them. Engage in self-care activities that boost your mood and well-being, such as exercise, spending time with friends, pursuing hobbies, and practicing mindfulness.
Second, reframe your thoughts. Focus on their flaws or aspects that don't align with your values. Remind yourself of your own worth and the many qualities that make you special. Redirect your energy toward personal growth and other interests. Over time, your feelings will naturally fade as new experiences and connections take center stage in your life. Keep in mind that healing is a process, and it's okay to feel a mix of emotions. With self-compassion and time, you'll find yourself moving on from your crush.
How long does it take to get over someone?
The time it takes to get over someone varies greatly from person to person and depends on the nature of the relationship, the depth of emotions, and individual coping mechanisms. There's no fixed timeline, as healing is a personal journey. For some, it might take a few weeks or months, while for others, it could be longer, extending to a year or more.
Factors that can influence the duration of the healing process include the length of the relationship, the intensity of feelings, the circumstances of the breakup, the level of emotional attachment, and the support network available. It's important to remember that healing is not linear, and there might be ups and downs along the way. Focus on self-care, engage in activities that bring you joy, seek support from friends and family, and consider professional help if you're finding it particularly challenging to move on. With time, patience, and a proactive approach, the pain will gradually lessen, and you'll find yourself in a better emotional state.
How to stop thinking about someone?
Stopping thoughts about someone, especially after a breakup or when trying to move on, can be challenging, but these strategies can help:
- Stay busy
- Practice mindfulness
- Limit contact
- Create new memories
- Talk with a therapist
- Focus on your goals
Doing these things may help you move on from your old relationship before starting your next relationship. Remember that this may be a process and what works for one person may not work for another.
Who hurts more in a breakup?
Both parties involved in a breakup may feel various amounts of pain and the amount of pain that each person feels may depend on a few factors. The length of the relationship, whether both parties have been fighting, and the nature of the breakup may help to determine who hurts more after a breakup. Different people may handle a breakup in different ways and much of who hurts more may depend on individual personality traits as well.
How long do breakups hurt?
The duration of pain after a breakup varies for each individual and depends on factors such as the nature of the relationship, the depth of emotions, and personal coping mechanisms. Generally, the initial intense pain tends to lessen with time, but it's normal to experience a mix of emotions for a while.
For some people, the acute pain might start to subside within a few weeks to a few months. However, it's common for residual feelings of sadness, nostalgia, or even occasional pangs of hurt to linger for several months or even longer, especially if the relationship was significant or the breakup was particularly difficult. For some individuals, the pain may last until a new relationship begins.
As time goes on, most people find that the pain becomes less intense and they are better able to manage their emotions. Engaging in self-care, seeking support from friends and family, and focusing on personal growth can all contribute to a healthier healing process.
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