After my last breakup, I spent a full two weeks in bed. I ate in bed, worked in bed — on days when I had to work — cried in bed, and thanks to a neighbor who hooked up my TV and cable in my bedroom, watched TV in bed. I was devastated. I was also quite certain that I would never, ever get over the heartbreak I was feeling. Sixteen months later, if I'm having an off-day, I still cry.
According to a new study, we all spend an average of 18 months of our lives getting over a breakup. These 18 months are based on three major breakups and the six months, on average, it takes to recoup from them. (I guess that means I'm not exactly on track.) The study by OnePoll, a market research company and Yelp Eat24 found that the epic sadness that comes with a breakup can be so debilitating that everything in your life is just thrown out of sync. Up is down, left is right, and why, yes, I will drown my sorrows in that large pepperoni pizza while wiping the tears from my face. Everyone copes differently, everyone uses different methods to move on, and everyone needs a different amount of time before they can start getting their life in order.
The study surveyed 2,000 people across the States to see how long it took for people to do certain things after a breakup, for example, like crying or deleting their ex's number from their phone. What it found, on average, is that it can take several weeks to do these things.
This is how longs it takes to...
1Stop Looking At The Ex's Social Media Pages
For about half of Americans, they're able to go cold turkey on the social media front right away, while for the majority it takes about five weeks. However, one in 10 were able to admit that they were still sneaking a peak five months or even longer after the breakup.
Of course, if you were really smart and wanted to nip any impending pain in the bud (ie. seeing them with someone new), you'd block them on social media immediately after the breakup — if only to block them before they block you.
After a breakup, it takes about six weeks to stop crying. If you're still crying over a breakup and it's been a couple years, that's OK, too. This six-week thing is just an average and I still shed a tear or two over my first love... and I was 22 when that ended. I'm now 109. Or so it feels like lately. Basically, be gentle with yourself and don't feel bad if you're still crying months after the fact.
3Finally Delete The Ex's Number
Again, I feel like this one should be taken care of within a matter of days or, at the very least, you change their name in your phone to POS (piece of sh*t), which is my mature way of handling it. But for some reason, according to the study, it takes people 6.5 weeks before they're able to delete their ex's number. Although, I do think that many people have their partner's phone numbers memorized. In fact, it might be the only phone number they have memorized, along with their parents and 911.
4Get Rid Of Their Stuff From Their Place
As the research found, people let their ex's stuff hang around their apartment for a whopping seven weeks, which is almost two whole damn months. Really? I don't know who would want to stare at that stuff for so long. You need to destroy the evidence! Even if you're hoping to reconcile, you can still box up their stuff and send it to them. You don't necessarily have to trash it.
5Delete Pictures Of Them
After my last breakup, you know, that one where I was cheated on, I deleted every picture of my ex less than 24 hours later. With a bottle of red wine as my sidekick, I deleted everything from my computer, Facebook, Instagram, and asked all my friends to do the same. But on average, it takes most people 7.5 weeks to get to this point.
I'm not suggesting that I'm better or more emotionally evolved for getting to it 24 hours after the fact, but simply that, at least for me, there was no way in hell I was going to have proof hanging around of just how happy I once was. To quote Carrie Bradshaw, "Destroy all pictures where he looks sexy and you look happy." Just do it.
6Stop Mentioning Them
As for how long it takes most people to stop talking about their ex, it's about eight weeks. If that's the case, then why am I still talking and writing about mine — most of mine, to be exact? I feel like eight weeks is sort of on the low end of the average, to be honest. I also think it depends on how badly you were burned.
7Start Dating Someone Else
According to the study and the 2,000 people they surveyed, it takes 13.5 weeks, which is a little over three months, to start dating someone else after a breakup; but like really dating them, properly, and not because they're just trying to fill a void. In addition to this, one in four did admit that their attempts at dating were only to try to help them get over their breakup.
I feel like I need to point out again that these are just averages. It could take you five days to get over a breakup while it takes someone else five years. There are so many factors that come into play when it comes to healing and pulling yourself together — you can't rush it. As long as you can get out of bed every day and find at least one thing that makes you smile or laugh, then you're moving in the right direction and that's all that really matters.