How Do You Know When You’re Over Someone?

by Jennifer Richards

After a break-up, it would be nice if someone let you know how long you’d still be thinking about your ex, and when exactly you’ll be over them. Sadly though, that’s not the case. When a relationship ends, you’re left with all this useless information about another person: what their favourite film is, how they take their tea, what their secret dream is. You can’t seem to erase all these little facts. Then things keep cropping up that always remind you of that person, whether you bump into their best friend, or you hear their favourite song on the radio. It seems the world doesn’t want you to forget your ex, yet all you want to do is move past them. So how do you know when you’re finally over someone?

There’s seems to be no calculation to figure out how long it’ll be until you move on. I once heard that it takes half as long as the time you were together to get over someone. But I’ve never found this to be true. I have some friends who the day after a break up feel they are ready to move on to the next person, and for others it takes months before they’re even ready to talk about it. We all process things differently. For me, it’s not necessarily about getting over a person, but getting over the relationship itself. I need closure before I can stop thinking and questioning an old relationship, long after I stopped having any feelings for my ex. We all move on in different ways.

But we already know that everyone moves on differently; instead, the big question here is about when you actually realise that you’re over them. Well, I don’t think you do. When you really get over someone, you don’t think about them anymore. You don’t find your mind wandering off to them when you get a spare moment. Your brain becomes too crowded with all the other things you’re doing, or even a new person you’re seeing; so your ex got booted out of the spare part of your brain that they had been living in. Except it wasn’t really a dramatic kicking out, they just packed up their things and quietly left. You didn’t even notice.

I’m aware that saying you’ll never really know when you’re over someone isn’t exactly the answer you want to hear. But I promise it’s actually the best answer you could have. You may be thinking about your ex now, trying to find a shortcut to moving on, but there will be a point when you won’t even be concerned about getting over them anymore, as you just did it, when you weren’t even trying to. Just trust that you’ll get there eventually. Your ex may currently be filling up some of the space in your mind, but their room is already getting smaller and smaller. Soon they’ll move out, and maybe someone else will move in, or you’ll fill that space with thoughts on a new job or hobby. So, life’s not like a movie where there’s an upbeat song to show the audience that the lead has moved on from their ex; but I’ve always preferred a quiet exit over a big bang.

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