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How Long Does It Take to Get Over a First Love?

Group Therapy: How Long Does It Take to Get Over a First Love?

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

My first love broke up with me several weeks ago and I'm heartbroken. I am 21 and we dated for 4 years (lived together for 2). I don't even know the exact reason we broke up; he said a lot of conflicting things, but basically said he didn't want to be in a relationship anymore. Maybe this was just another way of saying he wants the freedom to hook up with other girls, but he truly didn't seem like that kind of guy. I know it will be different for everyone, but how long did it take you to get over your first love?

I still love him a lot and want to be with him, but I know that I am going to just disappoint myself if I spend months waiting for him to change his mind (which may never happen). I'm trying to keep myself busy and move on, but thinking of him being with someone else devastates me. Still, there are moments when I think that I'm going to be fine and will find someone better for me. It's just been a roller coaster of emotions lately! I'm sure I'll look back on this when I'm older and feel stupid for thinking that we were going to be together forever and everything, but it's really hard to think logically right now! Any advice on how long it took you or how you got over your first love would be greatly appreciated.

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GregS GregS 6 years
Pax believes a girl should be born with a chastity belt with mommy and daddy holding the key. They give the key to the groom on their wedding night. Sheesh, pax! Get in the real world. Break-ups hurt, there's just no way around it. You can concentrate on the bitter ending and words that go along with it, but all those do is make you bitter yourself. It also makes the next relationship more difficult to get started and take hold. You'll be holding back in fear of being hurt again. Or you could concentrate on the point that he was a good guy that just didn't fit your needs. You didn't fit his, either. So in Dr. Panglos' famous words, "this is the best of all possible worlds". There was a reason for this to happen. Look at why it failed, not how you feel about the failure. Then look at yourself and see if you were really being true to yourself in all of this relationship If you were true to yourself, there's no issues with you - it was him. If you were trying to be something you aren't, it was doomed to failure from the beginning, and it's better to have failed now rather than after the wedding. You'll survive this. We all do. If you handle it right, you'll emerge a stronger more assured woman as a result. Personally, I'd prefer to know confident women.
danakscully64 danakscully64 6 years
I went through a breakup last year with my first true love. The relationship lasted 5 1/2 years and I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with him. He broke up with me pretty much out of nowhere and I was very upset for months. It took me about 4 months to become myself again and honestly... I'm VERY glad it happened. I discovered how strong I am, how much I'm worth, and in January, I met the man of my dreams. You're 21, you're going to change a lot in the next 5 years. Give yourself time to grieve and start focusing on bettering yourself. You'll be glad you did. Good luck! And ***hug***.
KateAthens KateAthens 6 years
If we're talking about a real true love and not some teenage crush sometimes it takes a lifetime.
LaSigh LaSigh 6 years
I think everyone is being a little sentimental about their first love. You'll get over him... This is my advice: Work on yourself- read lots of books, go swimming (or jogging or biking- whatever) every day, learn a new language, go crazy on a new hobby, paint- whatever- being single is awesome. Concentrate on yourself- right now you can be totally selfish. I know that it's not what you want at the moment *but* at some point you'll have men throwing themselves at you and you won't be sure if you even want to give up the single status. Allow yourself to feel however your feeling. My personal opinion was that anger was always more helpful than grief. Anger always made me feel more... productive. But that's up to you.
jenkrum jenkrum 6 years
I think most of us have been where you are now; keep that in mind, you're not alone. It does depend on the person and the length of the relationship. Take some time to mourn the lost relationship/dreams but then get out and do things with your closest friends. Talk about your feelings, write letters, poetry, and songs. At some point you will probably get angry and you should allow it to happen (it is part of grief). Rip up old letters and pictures, scream and cry into pillows; do whatever you need to get those feelings out. I wish we could give you a time-line for when you will start to feel better but we can't. I think you will always have some sort of feelings about your first serious relationship; I know I do. Don't jump into a new relationship before you are over your ex; it may help subside the feelings for now but they will resurface with a vengeance. Good luck!
lickety-split lickety-split 6 years
Ah, first love :kiss: does anyone ever really get over their first love? I dOnt think so, man or woman. Your brain imprints with what love is in that first relationship, so every subsequent partner is measured against them. This man will be back. I don't know what capacity he will come back in, but he will be back. The two of you share so many firsts, and that will be a reminder to him from now on. Like the others said, get on with your life. Stay busy, improve yourself FOR YOU. And when he suddenly comes back onto your life, if think he might be worth another try; make him earn it. Let your self cry for a certain amount of time every day. Say an hour. At a certain time everyday. When things pop into your head at other times tell yourself you have to wait. Over time you will put this in it's place. Best to you :hug:
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
Pax, you're so dead on. She should have gotten married at 17 when she started dating this guy. wtf? I agree that taking time to grieve is important... for a while. But I'll just pass along a little tongue-in-cheek advice from one of my fav songs: "Don't cry for him or chase him just go out and replace him with some good looking tom, dick or jack 'Cause if your kisses won't hold the man you love your tears won't bring him back!"
Helen-Danger Helen-Danger 6 years
Your first big breakup is the worst. It's all new, and you can't yet know from experience that you will get through it and love again. I don't think you ever really get over a guy. He becomes part of your history. And unless you deliberately exorcise him from your memory, he'll influence you in little ways forever. Most relationships contain more good lessons than bad, so you're actually better off for having had the experience. Instead of trying to get over him, work to get over the pain of having to be apart from him. Get over the separation and breakup, not the man.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
It will take some time, not going to lie. It's different for everyone depending on the relationship, but for some it takes awhile. You are young and this is your first hard-learned love lesson. Like testadura said above, 20-25 is a big growth area in your life. It's okay to miss him, but don't let that cause you to miss out.
testadura67 testadura67 6 years
EvieJ said it perfectly. At 21, I was in the same spot, only we had been engaged and it was my choice to end it (though his choice to sleep with other people beforehand). I moved away to go to school, and swore off dating for 2 years, and they were 2 of the best and most important years of my life because I learned who I was, insofar as anyone ever figures that out. And yes, I still think about him, and wonder what he's doing. But I don't miss him at all. Take the time to grieve, but don't miss the opportunity to learn about yourself. 20-25 is when you start to really figure that out. Best of luck to you.
EvieJ EvieJ 6 years
First, pax, that was awful. This is a 21-year old girl with a broken heart - have some empathy. To the OP: It depends. Some people get over a broken heart right away, some it takes a lot longer. I still think about my first love, and I'm almost 40 - I'm over him, but I wonder about him, if you understand? It's okay to grieve. Not only have you lost a relationship, you've lost what you thought was going to be your future. Spend time being sad - listening to sappy songs and eating ice cream, or whatever you need to do. BUT make sure and get out and live, too. You're 21 and you have so much ahead of you. This would be a great time to find out who you are. You've spent four years being "us", it's time to find out who "I" am (sorry for the grammar in that - I don't know how to say it any better than that). A bit of advice: Find a really good friend you can call when you want to call him! Just know, almost everyone you see has had their heart broken, and most of us have survived and moved on. Again - it could take a long time, it could take no time. Do it at your own pace.
missmaryb missmaryb 6 years
I'm sorry, I know it's devastating. It's true that it's different for each situation. It took me almost a year to get over my first love and it was a tough year. I've never forgotten him, I still think about him and wonder how he is. But remember that even though it feels like your world is coming down around you, time really does help. So do girlfriends, your mom, or whoever will listen to you and be supportive. Be patient with yourself and don't set any "deadline" for when you should start feeling better. 4 years is a long time and it sounds like you weren't necessarily expecting the breakup.
lexib1994 lexib1994 6 years
i apologize for being a pessimist, but in some cases- never.
chibros chibros 6 years
At beginning of the breakup, it felts so like the world is coming to an end but don't worry, what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. In this situation, no amount of begging, pleading and trying to convience would work rather it would make you feel more bad. it will never get the ball back in your court. Even if you want him back or want to move on, the only way is to first get over him and live your life. T Firstly, all you have to do is to accept the fact that he is gone. Secondly, you'll miss him, you can't avoid or stop thinking about him but try not to think of the great time you guys had because that's what blow up your head like pop corn or bring emotional roller-coaster at its maximum. Think of him neutrally while you reduce the much you think of him. Try to think of him when you have friends around you but avoid it when you are alone. Having other friends especially guy would help alot but might make you vulnerable and fall for him on the other end. sometimes building castles in the air of what he lost would help. Though you have to remove his pictures or anything that reminds you of him out of sight, store them in another place and delete them from your phone or where you can reach them easily, same with number if you are tempted to call. If you want to recover fully and with good stamina, after a while of going through this situation, think about those good time together abit, sometime stare at his picture for while, smile and say its all illusion. While you do it, the pain, pressure and agony reduces drastically. its also gives you control of when you hear about him or anything about him that came up all of a sudden. Yeah its easy said than done but don't forget, any little effort you do would help alot.
zabrow zabrow 6 years
wow, pax. that was pretty vicious. & not helpful at all. to the OP, it takes everyone different amounts of time to get over a relationship, especially a first love. i would recommend you get the book "it's called a breakup because it's broken".. when i was going through my roughest breakup, it helped A LOT. just know that it really hurts now & you should allow yourself to hurt right now, but it will get better.
pax4pax pax4pax 6 years
Why did you think it would be any longer than it was? There was no public vow or legal commitment. Not that such make it work, but such ceremonial stuff does make one try to work through the ups and downs. Next time, build a relationship that knows it has to last a lifetime and, absence serious faults, it will. In the meantime, forget him because he got all he wanted out of you and will hook-up with someone(s) else for another four years or so, until he realizes his need for a constant, trustworthy, lifelong companion. C'est la vie.
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