A new study says it takes the typical person 17 months and 26 days to feel ready to move on after a divorce, which got me thinking: How long does it take to get over a regular ol’ breakup (you know, one that doesn’t require lawyers)? The answer, of course, is that there isn’t one right answer. It took years for me to get over my first love, someone I was with only about ten months. On the other hand, it took about six weeks before I was ready to move on after I ended a four-year, live-in relationship with another boyfriend. Of course, it actually took me the last two years we were together to finally pull the plug, but once I did there was no looking back.I used to think there was a mathematical equation for getting over an ex, dependent on years together, age, and whether he or she was your first love. There’s not, of course, but I still say that in general, for relationships that were less than two years, it’s reasonable to think you’ll be over it in about six months. Relationships that were two to four years? Add another six months. And relationships that last over four could take up to 18 months to get over.
But what does “getting over it” really even mean? Some loves we never truly get over, right? I blame that on the whole idea of “the one.” It’s easy to romanticize an ex if you think he’s the one you were meant to be with, the one who got away. But I’d like to think that “getting over” someone means we arrive at a point where we allow happiness, joy and hope for the future to fill the emptiness our broken relationship created. That and we stop thinking we see him every time we turn around.