How long did it take you to get over a breakup?

My sister, who is 31, is going through her first breakup (with her first boyfriend) though honestly, she wasn’t actually dating. Let me give a (hopefully) small backstory.

She was secretly dating her best friend’s brother, whom she’s known most of her life. But their feelings for each other were secret to the family because 1) she’s nine years younger than him. 2) His family is very religious and judgmental, and had no idea how his parents would react to them liking each other. 3) They felt embarrassed being known publicly. However, they’ve never been on an actual first date because of this. They’ve sometimes held hands if they were together (which wasn’t often because it’s been a long distance thing), and they did a very limited amount of kissing (like when we went to see them last July, they only kissed once and that was in the very early morning before we left to go back home, and she described it as like a peck—no major action). But they used to talk to each other every day over the phone.

However, a week before Christmas, he broke up with her and said he fell out of love with her… and had been for quite some time but didn’t know how to tell her. And there were clear signs of it back in July when we went to see them, too, so that’s five months before he actually told her. It’s been about a month now and she’s still not over him. She’s doing much better than a month ago because it was way worse then, but truthfully, it’s a bit much considering they’ve never actually really dated, how they weren’t actually a thing. Like, you can’t really “breakup” with someone you never dated before, right?

But because she’s known the family for more than half her life, grew up with these people, she has expressed that she always wanted to be a part of their family (mostly because of their small town country lifestyle). And when her and him gained feelings for one another, she had this idea that it could be true. There were moments where they even planned their future wedding and how many children they’ll have and how they’d live an old-fashioned lifestyle where she’s a house wife and he’s the provider, etc. After he said he didn’t want to be with her anymore, she felt lost and like she didn’t know who she was. And because she was in love with the country lifestyle through them, anything country makes her think of him. Anything he would like or laugh at, makes her think of him.

But this is where things get complicated because he basically left her for another girl who is closer in age, who lives in his town and he works with her sort of, though he denies this. And before he broke up with her, he became friends with this new chick on SnapChat and started texting her… all the time. Now, my sister has issues and hacked his social media accounts (she actually had his passwords because he would forget them) and it would seem like they flirted and whatnot, though not officially (because the new girl didn’t express her feelings until after they broke up, and he always denied feelings for the new girl). But the constant snapping said differently.

Now, personally, I didn’t like the guy. And I’m not only saying that she deserved better because she’s my sister, but she definitely deserved better because over the years, there’s been red flags, which the first one is what I previously said: the texting.

  1. There were moments at the start where he didn’t text her every day. He wouldn’t make her a priority. He then shielded this with the excuse of not liking the idea of texting, so this turned into calling. And now he’s in a new relationship with the new girl and he snaps her every day.

  2. He wouldn’t make their relationship exclusive. It was different when he was younger, but now he’s an adult. He has full control over his life, over who he sees and what to do. Why couldn’t he be a man and say, “Hey, I like her”?

  3. He would tell my sister that he was going to bed, but she saw that he was texting girls from work or school hours into the night after he’d say that.

  4. He didn’t make an effort to want to be closer to her or make plans to come and see her or whatnot. It was always her having to go up to see him. It was always her who wanted to move up there to be closer to him. It was always her trying to hold his hand, to text him good morning and good night.

  5. And along with not making an effort, he didn’t even seem like he loved her. He’d say he did, but did he mean it? If he didn’t try to sit next to her, if he didn’t try to call her or text her good morning, then did he really love her? Or was he in love with the idea of her? Not to mention, she’s had moments of wanting to dump him but then he’d be nice to her again after a fight and she’d say she loves him.

And now he’s dating the other chick who is exclusive. He’s told my sister he’s slept on top of her (not slept together, but it could lead to that) and that he has touched her boob. They’ve hung out, and he even asked this girl’s dad to date her. Again, he wanted my sister’s relationship secret… so red flag.

But she’s made excuses for him, and she still loves him for some dumb reason.

There is a whole other part of the story and that was how my sister’s craziness blew everything up. Remember how I said she hacked his socials? Well, when he broke up with her, she did it again and then texted the new girl as him to say “I don’t want to be anything more than friends with you.” She did correct this wrong by actually texting her as herself to apologize, but because of this action, everyone in his family has now been made aware of their relationship and aren’t happy with her actions, though some made peace. But like, one of his two sisters (not her best friend) whom she was close with was so angry with her (mostly about not telling her about their secret relationship) that she hasn’t texted or called my sister and ignores messages. She’s been a complete bitch about it. On top of that, before any of this started, my sister was going to take a trip up there and see them for New Years, and she even rented out a carriage ride that was 200 dollars for nine of them. But ever since the breakup and the blow up, they told her not to come and took the ride themselves. They did ask if she wanted them to pay her back, but she said no (the ride wasn’t refundable).

And here we are, a month later. She has her good days, but there’s been a lot of bad days. To a point where she’s leaning on alcohol to numb the pain which I’ve told her not to do because alcoholism runs in our family. She denies that she’d get addicted to it, but I doubt that.

On top of this, she has suicidal thoughts and she’s seeing a therapist once a week since her work knows she’s heavily depressed and is paying three months of therapy at Better Help.

But even then, it’s still not enough. It infuriates me because the guy is a douche for just waiting until Christmastime to break it off when he clearly knew he didn’t love her back then, and how now I have to deal with a complete emotional sister now and I feel useless because A) I don’t know what else to do. And B) anything I say, she already knows and she’s told me at times to back off and that “I don’t know anything about break ups or relationships because I’ve never been in one before.” :roll_eyes: And while sure, I may not have that experience, I do have a lot of knowledge because I’m observant. I knew he wasn’t good enough for her from the start, and we masked that because he’s so young and stupid, because most men who are young are stupid and immature.

I’ve read online that getting over a breakup can take up to three months depending on how close you are and you’re wired. While they’re very close, and while it’s her first, it—in general—shouldn’t take so long to get over considering they weren’t actually dating, and the fact that he just simply moved on anyway. I don’t know. It doesn’t seem as complicated feeling wise, but then again, this kind of drama is the reason why I don’t want to put myself out there in the dating pool. It’s just too much.

Is there anything I can do as an outsider? How long did it take for you to get over a breakup? What did you do to get over it?


This sounds so yucky I feel bad for her :sadhug:

My boyfriend of almost four years broke up with me in August and I’m not even close to over it. I have really good days and really bad days. The little things set me off. I’m definitely doing better than I was, but it can take a lot of time. If your sister is like me and gets really really attached to people it could take a while. Even though it might not seem like a big deal to you, my first boyfriend was 3 months in the 8th grade, it took me 2 years to fully get over him. That was mostly because he was my best friend and just abandoned me to become popular so I felt like I wasn’t good enough for anything, but again, that’s just me. I cried when we got rid of the old vacuum cleaner lol.
About what you can do to help your sister, the alcohol sounds concerning to me. and ofc the sui thoughts and depression. Some days, your sister may genuinely not be able to get out of bed, but other days I would take her out to do little things she likes. My mom took me out to go yarn shopping (my favorite things and she never takes me) and she got me curly fries and ice cream for lunch 2 weeks after the breakup. I cried like half of the time, but it made me feel loved and cared for. My sisters play games with me and make more time to spend more time with me. I feel like saying things to your sister about what a crappy guy he is doesn’t help things. If my family says bad stuff about him (and he lived with us for 2 years) I get really angry and defensive of him and shut down. Even though he hurt me so badly I didn’t stop crying for a week, I don’t want to hear it. So I would try to stay more positive and focus on her and her good traits and doing fun things she likes.

I don’t have a lot of relationship experience and I tend to be a weirdo when it comes to social things, so my advice based on my experiences may not even apply, but hey, maybe I can help a little. I hope things get better soon <3

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hey listen, it really sucks that this happened and that it impacted your sister so negatively, and that her behaviours are effecting you, too. but at the end of the day it’s not up to you or anyone else do decide how she should feel, or how long she should take to get through it.

it doesn’t matter if the guy was good enough, or if he treated her well, or if they dated for 2 seconds and she’s being a drama queen about it. You’re not your sister and no matter how observant or close with her you are, you didn’t have that experience (and i don’t mean the experience of dating/breaking-up in general, i mean their exact specific one).

as an outsider, personally, yes i see her behaviour as concerning and a little overboard. but i think the only thing you can do is continue to be supportive and let her get through it at her own pace.

also maybe get her to go see a doctor if she can? suicidal ideation and alcoholism might need something a little stronger than betterhelp talk therapy.


That’s nice that your mom did stuff like that with you. :sadhug: I do try to do things with her to help get her distracted, like out to restaurants, out shopping, play games or watch Madea. Unfortunately, we’re a bit limited on activities because we live in the middle of nowhere (like the place with the most activities to do is three hours away). A few weeks back, we were gonna make a trip out to that city three hours away to get away from town for a weekend and spend a night at a hotel to use the hot tub, but we didn’t have much money at the time for not only the gas to get up there, but the room itself, and to put her dogs up for a few nights at a dog boarding house. So we scratched the idea, until we got a random idea to pay for a room at a cheap hotel here just to use their hot tub and it didn’t work out because it was disgusting. I’ve told her we should try one of the more expensive/average priced hotels here in town, but she shrugs it off.

She’s also had friends she’s been able to lean on if I’m not around or don’t want to do anything (she particularly wants—like drinking) with her. In fact, one of her friends/co-workers drove her down to a nearby town an hour away (that has more shopping centers) and hung out yesterday for the afternoon.

For the most part, I don’t say anything bad. I have on some occasions, but that’s when she’s also cussing him out so it’s an equal ground. But otherwise, I just stay quiet because saying good or bad things isn’t going to help the problem. I learned that through my brother when he was in high school (this was years ago, when I was a kid lol)—we kept calling his girlfriend a slutty bitch because she acted like it, and always made him angry. Then she cheated on him, and we told him the same thing, and he got even angrier… mostly because a part of him still cared. It wasn’t until a few years later when he finally agreed that she was, indeed, a slutty bitch. But like, when my sister was first dumped, she told me she didn’t want to be told positive or negative things. She wanted complete silence, and so, we gave it to her. Until she started feeling a little different where she was able to take any kind of comment (positive wise).

Thank you! :sadhug:

True. Which is why I try not to be so judgey about it, but also can’t help it because of their situation… if that makes any sense. :sweat_smile: But also why I want to do whatever I can to make her feel better and forget him and let her move on, not only for my sake (and our family’s sake) but for hers, so she can get through this and move onto the next stage of her life. :confused:

The first thing she did when she started getting very depressed was get prescribed anti-depressants and anxiety pills (as she was having major anxiety attacks). The doctor did tell her it would take a month for the anti-depressants to work, and our other sister who has seen multiple therapists and has taken anti-depressants and other medications, has said a similar thing and that to trust the process.

The Better Help thing wasn’t her idea, though. She works at a church and she’s very close to her staff, and they found out that she was very depressed, so they’re having the church pay three months’ worth of therapy through Better Help for her. But she has said it does work and her hour long sessions every week are good, so we’ll see.

As for the alcoholism, she doesn’t have it yet because she hasn’t been as crazy as our other family members and she doesn’t drink every day, but it is a concern for me. My whole family knows I judge them on that front, but I’m not their mother and not them, so even though I don’t condone it, I’m like, “You want to end up being an idiot? Have at it.” She also doesn’t want to be an alcoholic and doesn’t want to lean on alcohol too much for that same reason, but… yeah.

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