How to survive a break-up: Two years on

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Relationships couple hugging mature elderly

How you may be feeling

  • You've accepted that the relationship is over and that you're going to be OK.
  • Your confidence will be getting back on track
  • You may be ready to meet a new partner
  • You're not looking through an emotional haze any more so can make clear decisions

How to get over a break-up: expert tip

Denise Knowles, Relate counsellor says: 'Don't rush it on the relationships front if you don't feel ready though. Well-intentioned friends may have been trying to pair you off with people for the last year, but you may not want to go through the ups and downs of a relationship right yet, and that's fine.

You may decide you just want to meet people casually, that's fine too. You'll know when you're ready for a serious relationship again, but you don't have to be in a long term, committed relationship to be happy in life.'

Key steps to take

  • Make those big decisions now. If you do still want to move, or start a new job, why not go for it?
  • Accept you'll still feel low sometimes - everyone will assume that two years on you must be OK, but it's natural that you'll have the occasional glitch. You may bump into your ex and it all comes flooding back, for example. Just accept that that was then and this is now.
  • Be proud of yourself - you've got through this and you're still you inside. Still lovable. You've done a lot of thinking, a lot of grieving and learnt an awful lot about yourself because of it. So give yourself a pat on the back... you deserve it.

More help and advice

- Divorce: what happens next
- Relate: can offer support, advice and provide counselling. To find your nearest Relate ring 0300 100 1234.
- The Samaritans: for 24 hour confidential emotional support ring 08457 909090
- Citizens Advice Bureau: for free help on legal, money and housing issues
- Parentline Plus: can give you advice on helping you and your children cope with a break-up
- Divorce Aid: for free independent help, legal and emotional

Worth reading

- Moving on: Breaking up without breaking down by Suzie Hayman by Vermillion
- Starting Again by Sarah Litvinoff (Relate) by Vermillion

Continued below...

Where to next?

- Celebrity break-ups
- Gavin Henson and Charlotte Church split
- Coping with divorce

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Sam (1month)

After my husband decided that he no longer loved me after 8 years together and only being married a brief time (Less then a year). I have been in complete shock that my forever is now a never,although we do still have a strong friendship. It is still only early day (1month in) but I was pleased to read that the way I am feeling is healthy and normal and that people do recover and move on. I thought I was actually loosing the plot when I said I was mourning, so thank you.


i have lost two relations. the previous one lasted for six years and the second one for 4 years. i am not able to forget my last love. she devoted her whole life to me. but i didn't understood now i am in too much pain but she has gone finally. i wan't to forget her please help me out


Thank you for this article - after my partner ended our relationship out of the blue 5 months ago, I've been struggling with feelings of guilt that I should be 'over it' by now, that I'm a burden on my friends and family if I want to talk about it, and that there must be something wrong with me to still be hurting from the loss. But your article is helping me accept that it is normal for the mourning process to take months or years, and that I don't need to push myself into suppressing my feelings. Thanks!

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