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How long should you take to get over your ex?

Friendships, Relationships & Sex

This morning Bloody Good Bloke texted me to find out how my catch up with Bloody Good Chap had gone.

“I only cried all the way home this time, not during our catch up haha, what an improvement!” I replied.

Bloody Good Chap and I broke up over a year and a half ago. In a few months I’ll have been with Bloody Good Bloke a year.

Sometimes I still wail on the floor from the pain of breaking up with and missing one of my favourite men in the world, BG Chap. Even though I had the completely unexpected and accidental fortune to meet another of my favourite men in the world, BG Bloke just 8.5 too-short months later.

BG Bloke is well aware that I still love and miss BG Chap, and he’s fine with it. He understands that it’s possible to love someone deeply without it taking anything away from our relationship.

Love is not linear.

It doesn’t just finish and end like we’re often led to believe. Love is not a finite resource that we have to divvy up between people like a pie chart. Loving one person deeply does not mean there’s any less left for another. And grief lasts as long as it needs to last.

When it comes to love and breakups, and everything in life – you can write your own rules.

The rules society sets for us are complete bollocks, in my experience.

They’re definitely not “one size fits all”.

This afternoon one of my new 1:1 coaching clients shared that she felt pathetic that it had been 6 months and she was still mourning her ex boyfriend who had broken up with her out of the blue.

“Where did you get the 6 month timeline from?” I asked her.

“I don’t know, I guess I just felt that after 6 months, I should be ok with it now.”

“Says who?” I asked.

She pondered for a while. “I have no idea.”

“When you’re sad and someone tells you to get over it, does that make you get over it faster?” I asked.

“No, not at all, it makes me feel worse. And maybe also angry.”

“So do you reckon getting pissed off at yourself for still grieving is helping you to process the grief?”

“No, definitely not”.

“Cool.” I replied. “Let’s work on dropping that guilt/ “should” bullshit and focus on letting yourself be a human, shall we?”

So many of us live in these arbitrary boxes of “should” without ever examining who the hell put all these “shoulds” everywhere.

There is not a set limit of time during which you’re allowed to grieve the loss of a loved one, a pet, a break up, a friendship, a career, another version of your life, a whatever.

Take your time. You do you.

You’re a human, not a robot.

Love and grief are the same sides of a coin – the more you’re willing to grieve, the bigger love you’ll let in, and vice versa.

Emotions don’t have time limits. They aren’t check boxes that can be ticked off and packed away in neat boxes never to emerge again. Love doesn’t have finite boundaries, nor does grief.

Let’s stop shoulding all over ourselves, shall we?

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