How to Get Over Someone: The Unpopular Answer
Asking the question, how to get over someone, can serve you well. It means that, even though you may feel pain or grief right now, you actually want to know how to move beyond it. Unfortunately, this question isn’t complete. There’s a critical distinction that isn’t addressed and that distinction makes all the difference to your heart and to your life going forward.
You’ll want to get clear. Are you asking how to get over someone permanently and completely? Or are you actually seeking the quick solution that gets you out of your current discomfort in the fastest way – even if you sabotage yourself in the process? Your answer matters.
Knowing how to get over someone in a conscious, compassionate, and complete way ensures you’ll avoid significant future heartache. It means you can feel confident you won’t repeat the same relationship patterns that brought you to this point. It means you can make you and your needs a priority going forward. It means you’ll learn something that will make your next relationship much better. It means you can stay open and trust – which makes new love possible.
On the other hand, if you want the quick fix, you won’t find it here. The quick fix only causes more pain in the long run.
What happens when you don’t know how to get over someone completely?
Before we outline how to get over someone you love permanently and completely, let’s first consider more deeply why this conscious practice and process truly matters. Let’s see why the fastest route out of your pain does more harm than good.
Unfortunately, attempting to get over someone and move on as fast as possible is the norm. It’s why we have serial monogamy. It is why you keep repeating the same patterns. It takes courage to do something different, but if you can find that inner strength you’ll never regret it.
While jumping back into dating right away may temporarily disguise the pain, the pain, and everything that caused it, just goes dormant. It sits down in your cells and psyche waiting for the moment to “strike”. With those painful memories and associated hurts lurking the background, they’ll inevitably reappear at the most inconvenient and inopportune times, damaging something that could be precious.
Here are just a few of the things that can happen when you don’t allow the process to naturally dissolve the pain and set you free…
- You unconsciously push people away and wonder why nothing is working.
- You quickly “settle” for another relationship that isn’t really a good match.
- You’ll have sex when you’re not really into it.
- Your eyes can be “closed” to those who could actually be a good match for you.
- You’ll project your ex’s shortcomings onto your new partner, imagining they’re doing the same things your ex did – but they’re not.
- It’s extremely hard to trust.
- Suspiciousness and “interviewing” happen in an attempt to make sure the next person won’t do what your ex did.
- The neediness for love (or sex) to forget, or to validate your lovability while feeling rejected, is unattractive and pushes people away.
- You’ll pick the wrong partner.
- You’ll repeat the patterns and end up trying to get over someone again.
If you sweep your pain under the rug, if you bury it in any kind of numbing activity, if you jump in again too soon, you will sabotage yourself. It will hurt you and any future person you relate to. And, there are better options.
How to get over someone you love — the unpopular answer
The uncomfortable (and unpopular) reality is that your pain right now is your teacher and guide. While love is enough, love is also not enough. Love alone doesn’t always make for a sustainable relationship.
So whether you’re still feeling love or not for your ex, the process of getting over someone is actually the same.
When things hurt, IF we have the courage to explore how we got to the hurt, then we can find effective ways to reduce the chances of it happening again. Yet saying “I’ll never let that happen again” or becoming hypervigilant in finding someone who doesn’t do what your ex did, is not an effective solution. While those kinds of strategies might prevent some hurt, they will create a different kind of hurt because you will also block the love your heart truly desires – and deserves.
The process of getting over someone has 4 major steps. While some will sound familiar, others may be the truth you haven’t wanted to hear.
- Feel what you’re feeling. Don’t stuff it. Don’t ignore it. Don’t drink it away. Don’t dance it away. The emotion has to be felt for it to come and for it to go permanently. Otherwise it stays locked inside and will always remain a barrier to future love. The key here is to feel the emotion, without indulging it, dramatizing it, or wallowing in it. You’re in a process of moving through it and releasing it, not justifying why you should feel the way you do. If you attach to the feelings, justifying them over and over, they can’t leave. Your heart needs and wants them to leave.
- Accept your part. This is the most important and courageous part for most. No matter what happened in your relationship, “it takes two to tango,” as they say. If you believe it was all your ex’s fault, and that you have no responsibility and nothing to learn, you may be in a blindspot. In that blindspot you’ll be powerless and you’ll open the doors to what we call silent saboteurs. And, you’ll face those again and again, until you truly look at your part in your past partnerships. It takes two to create a relationship and it takes two to have it fall apart.
- Come back to you. This is the next most unpopular part of the answer to the question. It’s not actually about how to get over them. While that’s a good question, the better question is “how do I return to myself?” You’ll need to let go of the idea or belief that your ex was the source of your happiness, security, or love — or more accurately, that they were your chance for happiness, love or security. We say”chance” because if you were truly and genuinely happy, in love, and secure in your partnership, then you wouldn’t be broken up. It just doesn’t happen that way. Any, even subtle, belief that our partner or our relationship makes love, joy, peace, passion, intimacy, security, or anything of the like, possible, is the very reason relationships are hard. It’s the very reason that getting over someone you love can take so long. In a nutshell, even if you loved them dearly, if we believe we’ve lost something we can’t recover, we will suffer. It will drive an energetic “grasping” for our ex (or someone to replace our ex). It can feel desperate. It can feel needy. And, it will push people away.
- Forgive. Forgiving is the final piece of the process. Forgiveness is the release. Forgiveness is the literal physical and emotional completion. While the concept is simple, the reality of what’s required to actually forgive isn’t always. Yet, when you do truly forgive you will be free. To be clear, this forgiveness cannot come from logic. We can not think it into reality. It must arise from a genuinely heartfelt place and when it does, you will feel it. You will feel free from the past. This is how you know the process is complete.
How long does it take to get over someone?
Some people will tell you the amount of time it takes to get over someone depends on how long you were together. There’s a much better indicator. The honest truth is that the harder it is to get over someone, the more disconnected we are from ourselves. In other words, the more connected we are to ourselves, the easier it is to say “Next”. When we’re secure in ourselves, we can honor the blessings of our just ended relationship, accept the lessons we needed to learn, and move forward with ease and grace much more quickly. If we lack that so-called, and sometimes dreaded, self love, it can take a lot longer.
Asking how long it takes, you might also wonder, how do I know? How do I know if I am over someone? Simply put, you’ll feel it. If you’re willing to be honest with yourself your gut will tell you. You’ll feel your heart open, and trust return.
The resentments and bitterness will have left. The grief will have subsided. The blame of your ex or yourself will have dissolved into compassion. You’ll actually feel love for both of you when you are truly complete. (And, if your ex was especially unconscious in your relationship, you may have strong boundaries with them afterwards, but you won’t have walls around your heart.)
So how long does it take to get over someone? Not long if you had a conscious relationship and you’ve remained connected to you. (That’s true even after a long marriage.) If, on the other hand, you were both playing out a myriad of unconscious patterns, or if the relationship had more self abandonment than healthy boundaries, the time will be longer.
The time of “getting over someone” equals the time it takes to truly come home to you.
On the path of Soul Love, we call this kind of conscious completion a Conscious Endings process. It’s designed to create the space and evoke the courage to release what is behind you, to carry forward your expansion and wisdom, to deepen your relationship with yourself, and to open your heart fully in trust to love again. On the journey, you’ll realize you are complete with or without a relationship.
It is when we seek something – love in particular – outside of ourselves that our breakups become the most excruciating. Your invitation here, as you learn how to get over someone, is to know you are whole and complete in and of yourself. May you realize that you didn’t lose anything that you don’t already have. May you realize the love that lives always within you… so that you are free to call in someone who can dance fully and freely in this unending eternal love.
Since 2006, highly conscious men and women, with a commitment to extraordinary relationships, have chosen Ecstatic Intimacy to find and cultivate Soul Partnerships from their bedrooms to their boardrooms. Ecstatic Intimacy believes in coveted relationships, for all.
You too, are invited…
*At Ecstatic Intimacy, an all-inclusive website for singles and couples, we welcome all sexual orientation(s), gender(s) and relationship expressions. In this article we utilize the pronouns he/she/him/her.