How To Get Over A Long-Term Relationship Breakup

Break up And Loss | | , Expert Blogger & Research Analyst
Updated On: March 17, 2024
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When a couple who’s been together through thick and thin decides it’s now time to pull the plug on their failing relationship, the result can often feel gut-wrenching for everyone involved. What once felt like the final piece of the puzzle has now brought the whole puzzle tumbling down, seemingly taking your zest with it. When it’s all said and done, figuring out how to get over a long-term relationship breakup brings about its own set of challenges.

The comfortable life you grew so accustomed to now ceases to exist, and coming to terms with the harsh reality is the last thing you want to do. Getting over a long-term relationship is no easy feat, which is why even the best of us require help.

Figuring out what to do after ending a long-term relationship is no walk in the park, especially if you’re trying to tackle this daunting question alone. To come to your aid, we’ve compiled a few things you could do when you’re figuring out how to get over a long-term relationship breakup.

How To Cope With A Break Up From A Long Term Relationship

Breakups are messy, especially when you’ve been with the person for a considerably long amount of time. You get used to their subtle nuances, and you grow accustomed to a way of living, which is why sometimes even ending what’s very clearly a toxic relationship might be hard to do. Better the devil you know, right?

Eventually, when you realize that your dynamic is deteriorating and it’s taking your mental health with it, ending it and figuring out how to move on from a long-term relationship can eat away years of your life if you let it.

The minute you decide to end things upon realizing it now serves you no purpose, you’ve already moved a step closer toward growth. To help you reach your ultimate goal of being happy again, the following steps should help set you on your way. Let’s get right into them:

1. Love may run out but habits don’t die easy

You two have been together for so long that you have forgotten to be yourself without your partner. But don’t drag your dead relationship along like a torn coat. It was good while it lasted but it’s time to let go. A breakup or a new start is not easy, but it is neither impossible.

Let go of the habits and the expectations you had built up, try to find yourself again in the things you used to enjoy. Now that you’ll have more time on your hands, it’s imperative you try to spend them on productive things.

Related Reading: 9 Expert Tips To Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself After Breakup

2. Figuring out how to get over a long term relationship breakup? Communicate

Talk. Let the other know how you feel about the current situation and try to avoid fights and anger. Explain the situation, especially your perspective, very clearly to your ex-partner. It may seem counterproductive but whilst you’re in the process of breaking up, honest communication will help you two get over the whole thing a lot faster.

Not just your partner, communicate with friends and a therapist if need be. The more you talk about what’s bothering you, the quicker you might be able to get to the bottom of how to address your feelings in the correct way.

3. Leave the family out

If you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, the respective families do get involved. Whether you had a good relationship with the other’s family or not, you have been a part of it: Visiting them on festivals and occasions, dealing with their problems.

When everything is falling apart, don’t make family obligations burden you. Don’t involve them in your disagreements or let them guide you through your crisis. When you decided to call it quits, you decided to call it quits with your partner’s family as well.

Related Reading: How To Get Over A Breakup? – 11 Effective Tips To Follow

4. Don’t assume all guilt, try to share the blame

You can’t clap with one hand, it takes two to tango. You both got into the relationship together, hand in hand. Collectively, you made decisions, and collectively you made mistakes. At the end of it all, don’t just blame your partner. Look into yourself, contemplate, and try to understand where you went wrong.

It’s not like you have to readily admit all your wrongs, but just try to share the blame. That is what you can do at the least for all the good times.

5. Divide and leave

getting over a long term relationship
Take what you need, and exit the situation.

If you are in a relationship for too long, everything gets tangled. There are joint bank accounts and purchases that are now points of argument. Maybe your partner never learned to do certain things because you always took care of those things. Maybe you never bothered about certain things because it was your partner’s share of work.

Now comes the time when you need to deal with the formalities, especially if the two of you were living together. The first step in getting over a long-term relationship is to make sure you don’t leave any reason to constantly keep contacting this person you’re trying to end ties with. It won’t be easy, but try to keep emotions out of it, as far as possible. Think of what you need, not what you can take to hurt your partner.

6. Try to not make things messy

A clean break is always better. If the breakup is amicable, then people promise to remain friends. But that is mostly problematic. Love may wash away, but possessiveness fades slower and hurt remains longer. A midnight drunken call to your ex is never a good idea, and being friends with your ex can increase the possibility of it.

Worse would be breakup sex. You guys had a good run and now it’s time to leave with your dignity intact. This was not a fling or a weekend hook-up, you know intimate details about each other that you can use to hurt the other – so don’t. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction and anything you do will start that vicious cycle and turn things toxic.

7. Keep others out

Whatever happened was between you, try not to go public with it. People may pretend to sympathize with you on social media but you can jolly well be the laughing stock of your social group. Don’t involve people you don’t trust in your arguments and never in your decisions.

In long-term relationships, lines blur between who is who’s friend. Be very careful who you confide in. It is true you need your friends closer to help you along through this hard time, but first of all, cautiously find out where their loyalties lie. Sometimes you have to give up on certain friends when you let go of your partner. That is the reality; learn to live with it.

8. Employ the no-contact rule when getting over a long-term relationship

The no-contact rule helps in almost every situation where you’re trying to move on from a partner. Basically, it means you need to cut all contact with your ex, no matter how hard it may seem. If you’re still connected on social media or meet each other for a harmless coffee, the moving on process might not even get off the ground.

Related Reading: Man Vs Woman After Breakup – 8 Vital Differences

9. Work on yourself

When all your days are spent trying to figure out the answer to “how long does it take to get over a long-term relationship”, it’s possible you may end up not taking care of yourself. The pain that comes with ending something you thought was going to stand the test of time may even lead some to depression, which isn’t something to be taken lightly.

Work on yourself as soon as you see signs of deteriorating mental or physical health. Multiple studies swear by the efficacy of exercising and/or meditating to help you heal through difficult situations. Don’t reject help from loved ones in your hour of need, and try to be kind to yourself.

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10. Seek professional help

Feeling hopeless/depressed after a breakup is far too common, and it doesn’t mean you just need to keep pushing through the pain to get yourself through the finish line. When you notice symptoms of depression or other mental health issues, your best bet will be to consult a professional who can help guide you while figuring out how to get over a long-term relationship.

If you’d like to deal with a breakup with the help of a professional, Bonobology has a multitude of experienced therapists willing to help you get through this difficult time in your life.

When you’re trying to learn how to cope with a breakup from a long-term relationship, you might just end up cursing your luck, asking “Why me?” It’s important to understand that while you may feel hopeless and disheartened right now, things will get better, provided you work towards them

We hope with the steps we listed out to help you figure out how to move on from a long-term relationship can help you on your journey to find happiness, and love like you’ve never seen before.


1. How long does it take to get over a short-term relationship?

How long it takes to get over a short-term relationship really depends on what you’re doing to try and move on. If you’ve indulged in unhealthy coping mechanisms like alcohol, it’ll predictably take you longer than someone who took to retrospection and healing. On average, it takes anywhere between 6-20 weeks to move on from a short-term relationship.

2. Why do long-term couples break up?

Long-term couples can break up for a multitude of reasons, including some of the most common relationship problems like trust issues, infidelity, uncontrolled jealousy that leads to possessiveness, among other issues that they failed to work on.

3. How do you know if it’s time to end a relationship?

When your dynamic starts to affect you negatively mentally or physically, it’s often one of the best indicators that you need to call it quits. Other signs include when there’s a lack of respect, when your needs aren’t being met, or your future goals don’t match anymore.

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