There's no right or wrong way to get over a breakup. There's no set time frame for moving on either. But if you're someone who can't stomach the thought of being with anyone else for a while, it can be pretty shocking to find out that your ex has happily moved on and fallen in love with someone else so soon.
Some people really can move on quickly right after a breakup. In fact, a 2007 study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology found that most people can get over heartbreak in about three months. According to Kim Egel, licensed therapist who specializes in relationships, how long and intense the relationship was are often key factors that contribute to how long it takes someone to heal. If your families are close, or if you have the same friends, it can be even more difficult to fully walk away.
"Healing time is very individual and unique to the specific relationship dynamic," Egel says. "For example, if the relationship was unhealthy and abusive, it could be longer to sort through the kind of emotions that come with such a connection."
It may seem obvious, but there is a difference between seeing someone new and actually being in love with them. It's not shocking to find someone getting out there and dating other people in order to help with the moving on process. That's what rebound relationships are all about. But it can be pretty surprising to hear someone say they've already fallen in love again so soon. According to experts, it's very possible for some people.
Here are the reasons why some people can fall in love again so soon right after a breakup.
They Have No Walls Up When It Comes To Love
When someone falls in love again so soon after a breakup, it's easy to believe they're just doing it as a way to fill a void. But as Shannon Battle, licensed professional counselor who specializes in relationships, tells Bustle, that's not always true. "Love isn't well thought out, it's strictly guided from emotional regulation," Battle says. "People who are more emotionally responsive to situations may use actual feelings of love to compensate for their hurt."
Shortly after a breakup, it's normal to want to close yourself off to love for a while. But according to Battle, some people don't. "They have no boundaries with this emotion and they freely give it to others because they highly value intimacy and connection in relationships," she says. When you're truly open to giving and receiving love, it's easy to fall in love again. Some people would rather open themselves up to a good feeling like love than feel pain.
They Found "The One"
"Love is very mysterious," Egel says. "Sometimes the right person will come along at a very interesting time, and that can be right after a breakup." When it comes to love, there are no rules. Just because someone fell in love right away, it doesn't mean that they cheated, didn't love their ex, or that their last relationship wasn't meaningful to them. It just means that they happened to find their perfect match soon after a breakup.
Even if this is the case, it's still important for that person to take time to process their feelings towards the breakup in order to get a sense of closure. That way they can move forward and start their new relationship off right.
There's no set time for when people should be fully healed from a breakup or when they should be allowed to fall in love again. Everyone processes heartbreak in their own way, and everyone falls in love on their own time. These are just the reasons behind why some people can fall in love in love so quickly after a breakup.
Lewandowski, G.W. & Bizzoco, N.M. (2007) Addition through subtraction: Growth following the dissolution of a low quality relationship. The Journal of Positive Psychology https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17439760601069234#.VLaIm3uzniB
Kim Egel, licensed therapist
Kate MacLean, relationship expert at Plenty of Fish
Shannon Battle, licensed professional counselor