How Long It Takes To Get Over Someone, According To Science

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How Long Does It Take To Get Over Someone?
Heartbreak

Wondering when you'll feel like yourself again?

You've heard it a billion times: "Time heals all wounds."

But when you're right there in the moment, going through a bad breakup and wondering if the heartbreak and pain will ever end, you're probably thinking it would be super helpful if you knew exactly how much time it would take until you start to feel at least somewhat better again.

You may have lost your appetite. You may be having trouble sleeping. Or you might be sleeping way too much. As you go through the post-breakup grieving process, you'll cycle through so many different moods and emotions that it's only natural for you to wonder when — and even if — you'll ever feel truly healed and back to your normal self again.

How long does it take to get over someone?

As it turns out, scientists have, in fact, studied this question somewhat in depth, and the answer is that it depends.

I know, you wanted hard numbers and specifics, and we do have a few of those for you.

In a 2007 study of 155 undergraduate students who had gone through a breakup within the past six months, researchers Gary W. Lewandowski Jr and Nicole M. Bizzoco of Monmouth University found that it took 71% of the participants 11 weeks (approximately three months) to "get over" their ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. For the purposes of their study, the highly subjective condition of being over someone was defined by factors such as self-expansion, rediscovery of self, coping strategies, and positive emotions.

So if you want to put a magic number on how long it takes to get over someone, it would be reasonable to assume an estimate of 11 weeks to three months.

That said, a 2009 survey of 4000 divorced adults conducted by the folks at fifties.com, a no longer in service dating site for people over 50, found that it takes an average of 17 months and 26 days from the date matters are finalized to get over a divorce.

Breakups and divorces are different animals entirely. The large disparity could be due to not only the differences between the two studies, but to the fact that a divorce is not only a breakup, it is also a legal matter that comes with it's own set of traumas and often takes years to resolve, even after the married has "broken up" in the romantic relationship sense of the word.

RELATED: How To Make Your Divorce As Expensive As Humanly Possible

When it comes to the length of appropriate mourning time, many people hold to yet another, more mythical formula.

Urban legend has it that how long it will take you to get over someone can be calculated with simple math: the length of your relationship divided in half.

If this formula holds true and you were with someone for 18 months, it will take you nine months to get over them, as 18/2=9.

All of the above being said, everyone's situation is unique and there are about a billion (I'm estimating here) circumstances that can cause it to take more or less time for you to get over someone after either a breakup or a divorce.

Factors like the length of your relationship, depth of your connection, remaining ties on social media, shared children, family and friends will all have an impact on how long it takes you to fully heal.

When naming a specific time frame like 11 weeks or 18 months, either duration will probably seem too short to some and too long to others.

Remember that both numbers were just averages. Everyone heals differently.

And while you might assume the one who broke things off is always in a better position and will de facto get over the relationship faster than the one who was kicked to the curb, rest assured that this is not always the case.

Sure, the one doing the dumping had more time to mentally prepare for the breakup and wanted it to happen — at least, at first — but according to Lewandowski and Bizzoco, both parties fall in the same 11 weeks until full recovery zone.

See, maybe they didn't get over you as fast as you thought.

RELATED: 7 Signs Your Ex Is Just Pretending To Be Over You And Will Eventually Come Back

Nicole Weaver is a love and entertainment writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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This article was originally posted on January 9, 2019 and has been updated with the latest information.

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