Exactly How Long It Takes to Get Over a Breakup, According to Science

couple breaking up

According to Charlotte York from Sex and the City, it takes half as long as the duration of the relationship to get over your ex. Meaning that if you dated John for eight months, then it would take you four months to get over him.

No offense to Charlotte, but it’s not like she’s the most reliable relationship expert (remember Widower Ned?). Also, if you’ve been dating someone for four years, do you really want to spend two whole years grieving the relationship?

Answer: No.

So, we were curious—what does science have to say about getting over a breakup?

Well, according to a 2007 study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, most people are able to bounce back from a breakup in less than three months.

Researchers looked at 155 participants who had gone through breakups in the past six months (they had been in relationships of different lengths of time, and were a mix of dumpers and dumpees). What they found was that 71 percent of them started to feel much better at the 11-week mark.

Relationship expert and dating coach Samantha Jayne agrees. “Let yourself grieve, cry, talk about it and let it all out but set a time limit,” she says. Give it a few months, she advises and then move on and get back out there (if that’s what you want).

And how are you supposed to do that? “To help you move on, cut off contact, stop staring at your phone and avoid cyberstalking. Use this time to look at your relationship and ask yourself what are the positive learnings out of this.”

Basically, make like Aaliyah and dust yourself off and try again. Preach.

8 Scientifically Proven Ways to Get Over a Breakup

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Alexia Dellner

Executive Editor

Alexia Dellner is an executive editor at PureWow who has over ten years of experience covering a broad range of topics including health, wellness, travel, family, culture and...
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