Breakups are always difficult. When you’ve known someone for years, they become even harder. Grieving the loss is long and complicated.
It takes 6-months to 1-year to fully get over a 5-year relationship if you’ve never taken a break. For couples who had taken a break of a few weeks or months, one or both partners could move on in less than six months. The recovery speed is proportional to the duration and recency of the break.
Since the relationship was so long, getting over it naturally would take time and requires kindness and patience towards yourself.
How Do I Deal With A Breakup After 5 Years?
To deal with a breakup after five years, begin by blocking your ex across all platforms and deleting their contact details. Further, you’re five times more likely to engage in rebound relationships which will leave you even more hurt and full of guilt. Thus, avoid them at all costs.
Five-year relationships involve your life revolving in many ways around one person. Once a relationship ends, it feels like a part of you no longer exists.
Navigating this and mourning your ex’s absence is important to move on.
Here’s what you can do to deal with your breakup.
1. Block Them Across All Platforms
After breaking up with a five-year partner, it is important to have some space to process things for yourself.
A no-contact period is essential, at least at the beginning of a breakup. Hence, you need to cut off contact with your ex and block them across all social media.
Looking at their social presence to see who they are meeting or hanging out with will not do you any good.
You must also resist the urge to reach out to them in your weak moments to seek comfort.
Doing so will only set you back in terms of progress as you realize your partner is no longer the person who they once were to you.
2. Negatively Appraise Your Ex
In order to get over our partners, we often need to see them for what they are. It is time to take off the rose-tinted glasses.
When we’re in love, we overvalue our compatibility with our partners and let the negatives slide. We end up painting a very idealistic picture of our relationships.
Carefully evaluate your partner’s behaviors and actions over the last few months of your relationship. Make a note of all the things that annoyed you.
Correctly identifying the negatives softens the pain of losing a long-term partner.
3. Meet Friends and Family
Human beings have an intense desire to connect deeply with other people. Breakups often disrupt that and might leave you feeling unworthy of love and affection.
In such a situation, the best thing to do would be to turn to people who love you unconditionally – friends and family.
They will be there for you and will also make sure that you deal with the breakup in a healthy manner.
Having a support system is important while navigating life after getting out of a five-year relationship.
4. Exercise Regularly and Eat Healthy
As cliché as it might sound to hit the gym after breaking up, it is actually really solid advice.
Exercise and healthy food go a long way in regulating your mood and keeping your mind occupied.
Exercise would also be a good outlet to release frustration and pent-up emotions arising from the breakup. It helps release feel-good chemicals like endorphins.
Exercising with friends could be a good way of both meeting up with your friends and making sure you stay motivated enough to go to the gym regularly.
You must take care of both your physical and mental health in this trying time.
5. Keep Busy
You will find yourself with more time on your hands now that you are single. You could use that effectively to distract yourself.
Immersing yourself in work, picking up a new hobby, or getting a degree would be productive endeavors to which you could dedicate your energy.
Staying occupied helps you keep away from the shame and guilt you might feel because of your breakup.
It also allows you to seek out opportunities that you wouldn’t have been able to if you were dating – such as moving cities for a job.
6. See A Mental Health Professional
Breakups involve a lot of pain and confusion, and navigating these emotions by yourself is a daunting challenge.
You could and should seek the help of mental health professionals to guide you along the way.
While breakups often cause heartbreak and sadness, sometimes it turns more serious and makes a person depressed.
In such situations, a person needs therapy to be able to recover from these feelings.
A licensed counselor or therapist would help you understand your feelings and equip you with certain techniques to cope with these emotions.
They could also help you uncover behavioral traps you may be falling into and how to overcome the same to form healthier relationships in the future.
7. Rebuild Your Identity
In a five-year relationship, much of your life revolves around your partner, and their absence feels like a loss of a huge part of your identity.
Studies have indicated that people who were more in love with their long-term partners reported a worse self-image after a breakup.
The way to rebuild your identity is by questioning your long-held beliefs and learning anew what your likes, dislikes, and interests are.
You can try rediscovering your love for something that used to interest you or find something new to immerse yourself in.
Having a better idea of your identity will help you heal from the loss of a long-term relationship.
How Long Should You Wait To Date After A 5 Year Relationship?
Wait for at least 8 to 10 months to begin dating after a five-year relationship. 8 to 10 months give you enough time to understand, explore, and compare your pre-relationship, in-relationship, and post-relationship personality. Further, it also allows you to have an identity without your ex.
The aftermath of the end of a five-year relationship is the same as any other profound loss. Hence, you should wait at least eight months to process your pain.
After that, the only way to know when to start dating again is to be able to recognize when you are out of the mourning period.
And here are the signs that you’re over your five-year partner and ready to date someone new:
1. Your Ex Feels Like Long-Forgotten History
Although the grief is never linear, and there will be ups and downs, you should still wait to date until you are sure that you no longer want your ex in your life, and they are becoming a fading memory.
It’s okay to mourn the loss for however long it takes, but it wouldn’t be fair to either you or your new partner if you are still hoping to get back together with your ex.
Once you realize that your ex is best left in the past, you are ready to venture out into the world of dating again.
2. You’re Dating Because Of Attraction And Not Fear
It is only natural to be afraid of being alone after getting out of a long-term relationship. That fear should not be what drives you to date again.
The loneliness that comes from losing a five-year-long partner is completely understandable.
However, make sure you want to date again not to fill that void but because you feel ready for something new and fulfilling.
3. You Know What You Want
If you genuinely feel ready to start dating again, it is important to have a grip on what it is that you are now looking for and what you absolutely want to avoid.
This means knowing whether you want to start with some casual dating or whether you are ready for something more meaningful.
It also means looking for certain traits in a person, avoiding certain characteristics, taking account of the lessons you have learnt from your previous relationship.
Further, it also includes letting them guide you in your search for something new.
Getting out of a five-year-long relationship can feel exceptionally hard because of the amount of time and effort you put into it.
If you work on healing correctly, you’ll be able to move on faster, there will be an end to the grief, and eventually, you will find love again.
Despite the loss, this is an opportunity to work on yourself and find things and relationships that serve you better.