Falling in love… it’s truly invigorating, isn’t it? We find a person we connect with, who we enjoy spending time with and embark on a relationship journey with them.  Together we create joyous memories that we share on social media.  Day after day, night after night, our bond strengthens as our love deepens.  Then when it’s time, we finally say our harmonious ‘I do’s” in front of our closest family and friends and set off to embark on our new journey as one, enjoying our happily ever after. Unfortunately, not every relationship mirrors a fairy tale, and sadly, a number of us need to kiss a few more frogs before meeting “the one”.  Yes, as cliché as that sounds, it’s definitely true.

Let’s be honest; breaking up is hard to do, especially if the person you love is the one that called it quits.  You’re left with a range of complicated emotions that leave you physically and mentally drained.  Your world is completely turned upside down because the structure and daily rituals the two of you shared as a couple has come to an end.  For example, before the “coupling”, walking the dog, working out at the gym and eating your favorite food in bed was totally soothing, but now, doing those simple mundane things alone again wreak havoc on your emotions, setting off a crying session, followed by stuffing your face with comfort food; like ice-cream, chocolate, pizza or something else incredibly sweet or greasy.  In addition, while we’ve been missing our ex to the point of torturing ourselves—cause we can’t seem to stop checking their social media pages—we often lose sight of who we are which can lead to depression.  With that being said, how do we accept it, move on from it and reconnect with our inner power so that we can find ourselves again after a breakup?  Truth be told… probably not for a while, and according to a recent study conducted by Onepoll, a marketing research company, getting over a break up can take up to 18 months—of course, the time span can vary for different people.  However, in my professional opinion, based on people I have counseled, if a break up is not handled properly, it can take up to five years.  By the same token, there is also the chance that between six to eight weeks after the relationship has ended, the person who initiated the break might realize they made a mistake, therefore, coming back to you more in love than ever.  On the other hand, what if your ex-doesn’t find their way back to you by the eighth-week mark?  In that event, it’ll be truly time for us to move forward and the painstaking healing process will begin.  Below are a few of my suggestions on how to cope and heal after a breakup.

First and foremost, never rush into another relationship before you’ve gotten over your ex.  As a relationship expert, I highly advise against a rebound relationship.  Our hearts and minds need a sufficient amount of time to heal.  We need to cry and feel all the emotions that come with a break up like, anger, sadness and feeling betrayed.  This helps us figure out what went wrong, what mistakes were made so we figure out our “wants” and “don’t wants” for our future relationship.  As a result, this helps us to forgive our ex and ourselves, so the past doesn’t infringe upon our future relationships.  Unfortunately, many relationships fail because people hold on to grudges and carry that bitterness and emotional baggage to the next relationship.  Secondly, it might be a good idea to block your ex from all of your social media accounts.  This will prevent you from viewing their page daily.  It seems harsh, I know, but on the plus side, it protects you from seeing pictures of your ex-moving on, which might also include their new love interest.  Thirdly, it’s time to remove the clutter from your life and your home by getting rid of everything and anything that reminds you of them, pictures, articles of clothing, bed sheets, stuffed animals and gifts they might have given you.  And lastly, it’s time for some positive change like finding a new hobby, getting a makeover (new hairstyle, new wardrobe), taking a vacation to a place you’ve never been before and going on an adventure. Invite some friends along and or meet new people.  After the emotional roller coaster ride, you’ve just been on, you deserve to have some fun.  Therefore, before you know it, your broken heart will heal, furthermore, you’ll be ready to give and receive love once again.  Finally, don’t let a break up discourage you.  Some people are fortunate enough early on in their romantic journey’s to meet the person they’re destined to marry, on the other hand, others might need more time to figure out what works and what doesn’t work, hence all those frogs.  On the positive side, take comfort in knowing that, with each break up that you experience, it brings you closer and closer to the person you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with.

Dr. Elena Eustache has a PhD in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  Please follow Dr. Eustache, relationship expert to the stars, and your encyclopedia of love, on Instagram, where you’ll receive daily relationship tips from Dr Eustache and her celebrity guest.