How long does it take to “Get Over” a Relationship?


thecraziestgirl asks:

I [24F] am super into this guy [30M] who just got out of a six-year relationship with a woman who he found out was cheating on him for the past two years. They broke up about a month ago, maybe a little longer. I’m having a lot of fun just hanging out with him, but I REALLY like this guy. I don’t want to be a rebound, I don’t want to just hook up with him, I really like him. How long should I wait before I say something?

Demetrius says:

Question for you: What exactly are you going to say here? I’m just curious because right now it seems like you’re very earlier on into dating this guy,and at this point I’m not really sure what you want to say. Do you want to tell him you don’t want to be a rebound, you don’t want to just hookup, or that you want a relationship? More importantly, why do you think saying any of those things is dependent on whether or not he’s over his ex or not?

Look, I get what you’re really trying to say and it’s this: “When can I say those things without risking driving him away” and the answer is this: There is always the risk that you’ll drive someone away. Ignore that risk or you’ll never get what you really want. I understand that he’s just out of a relationship and he was cheated on and getting over someone is tough, especially with years of time spent together and infidelity issues, but that shouldn’t change what you are asking for. When it comes to your needs in dating, you need to look out for yourself first. What you need is to not be a rebound, and you do not need to compromise on that point for any man. If telling him that you aren’t looking to be a rebound, and that you don’t just want to be a hook-up might push him away, it means that now isn’t the best time to date him. Same goes for any man you meet, whether he is just out of a break-up or not. I think that you’re seeing this situation in a way that only has two options. You either go along with everything and don’t rock the boat OR you give him an ultimatum and force him away. I propose a third option: just lay out what you’re looking for with no agenda. I know it sounds crazy, but instead of keeping mum, or going full on “THIS IS WHAT I NEED OR WE ARE DONE” why not say “Hey, I really like you, but I know that you just got out of a long relationship and you’re still dealing with that. I know you’re newly single, but I’d like to date, not just be a hookup thing. I don’t want to be a rebound”.  You’re not telling him he has to date you, or he has to be over his ex, or that you’ll leave if you feel like a rebound, you’re creating a dialogue. True, you might leave if you feel like a rebound, but if you’re leaving room for dialogue it wont feel like he’s being forced to date you when he isn’t ready. It’s entirely possible that he’ll say he’s still rebounding and now isn’t the best time to date, or that he’ll be ready to date (maybe he genuinely is, cheating tends to speed up the recovery period for some people) or he’ll say he’s ready to date but really wasn’t and things fall apart. Either way, you don’t have to be the one to do anything besides say your peace.

As for the recovery period, there really isn’t a set time-frame that I could give you without just making one up. Some people end relationships and take years to recovery, some people take months, and some people take weeks, regardless of the length of the relationship or how it ended. Don’t worry about whether or not he might be over his ex. This nebulous feeling of him being over her doesn’t matter. What matters is how he treats you. If you feel like he respects your desire for not-just-a-hookup status, whether or not he’s still dealing with leftover feelings toward his ex shouldn’t matter all that much, especially since you’ve been seeing him for under a month. If you make it past 3 months of dating, then we get to ask whether or not he’s over her. Until then, just take things as they come.

Good Luck Out There.