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How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Break-Up?

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If you consistently watch How I Met Your Mother, you’d know that the quirky group of five has already discussed this.

Ted: Everyone has an opinion on how long it takes to recover from a breakup.
Lily: Half the length of the relationship.
Marshall: One week for every month you were together.
Robin: Exactly 10,000 drinks, however long that takes.
Barney: You can’t measure something like this in time; there’s a series of steps—from her bed to the front door. Bam! Out of there. Neeeeext!

Believe me, I’ve tried almost every single one of those, and more.

The ex in question and I were together for nearly four years, and like every other couple before splitsville, we thought we would someday get that happily-ever-after. Ours was a love story that was the toast of our family and friends. We both had secret crushes on each other for months before we were finally introduced, and we had countless episodes of very Public Displays of Affection. Ours was a relationship widely celebrated on Facebook—the sickening posts and the annoying break-up-every-other-day allusions. We had both come from dating several partners that “just didn’t work” for one reason or another, and perhaps that was why we both held on with bright, burning, glorious passion—until the tragic, traumatic end.

Yes, he cheated on me, like I now think every other boy in the world will eventually do. During my more generous moments, I think we would have broken up anyway, as dysfunctional as our relationship was, that maybe we just held on as long as we did because we both wanted to prove to the rest of the world that we could handle a long-term relationship. During my bitch fits though, which happens more often, I do not hesitate to curse both of them with very explicit one- or two-syllable choice words.

It has been exactly 1 year, 1 month and 2 days since we broke up. 13 months. 56 weeks. 398 days. 9552 hours. 573,120 minutes. 34,387,200 seconds. And that I know this is a very sad, sorry fact, because it means that I am still not over him. All my friends are sick of me mooning over him, and all my colleagues are annoyed that I have turned down all potential dates in the hopes that someday soon, he will still come back to me.

I have tried everything to move on—all the suggestions from my friends in HIMYM. I have played every single sad Maroon 5 and Taylor Swift song on an endless loop, hoping this will get me desensitized. I have lost weight, tried crazy diets, had about a hundred make-overs, danced the night away at so many raves. I have had more than my fair share of “Bash That Bitch” from both my friends and his—they have assured me that I am taller and prettier and sexier and smarter and more fun and an infinitely better catch than she. I have thrown myself into work and my social life. Short of researching about medical miracles that might make me forget him altogether, I have tried every single formula in the book, and obviously, failed miserably. Sometimes I think I’m morphing into Ted, and my whole life will become dedicated to alternately trying to get him back or a million attempts to move on.

So how do you get over someone? Sometimes I think I’m over him. I mean, I’m okay. I don’t cry every night, I have fun with friends and I enjoy my work. He’s not always on my mind but he never left it either. Sometimes I miss him and sometimes I don’t. I miss him every day but sometimes I think I miss him a little less. It still hurts but it doesn’t hurt as much. It’s weird though, it’s been a year and it still hurts. Sometimes I wonder if it will ever stop hurting. I hate him but I can’t hate him because I’m still in love with him.

I’m still the girl he left behind. Still the girl he promised to love forever, but didn’t.
So how do you recover from a break-up? Maybe there is no foolproof solution. Maybe all you have to do is take a deep breath, take it day by day, fake a smile… And hope that a day comes when you don’t have to fake it anymore. TC Mark

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