Which element of a breakup dictates recovery time more: the type of breakup, or the person you broke up with? My theory is the type of breakup you experience determines how long it takes to get over it more than the actual person.
Here are 7 different types of breakups ranked by shortest recovery time to longest recovery time:
7. The Mutual Breakup
This is as peaceful a breakup as you can have, like when the entire family agrees it's time to pull the plug on Grandpa's respirator: he is freed of his misery, and the family feels a sense of relief. I've never had a mutual breakup. I can't catch that lightning in a bottle. But it can't be that tough to recover from a mutual breakup and get back out in the dating scene again.
6. The Circumstantial Breakup
A cousin of the mutual breakup, the circumstantial breakup occurs when the environment around you won't permit the relationship to continue: my parents hate you, you're in Cali and I'm in NY (or even, you're one town over), I need to be single for a while, etc. Recovery time is shortened because the other person offers an excuse that takes the focus off your weaknesses or unattractive qualities that could have caused a breakup.
5. The Ultimatum Breakup
The most common ultimatum leading to a breakup is: "Ask me to marry you within the next year of I'm out of here." Other conflicts could cause ultimatums as well: change your religion, get rid of that stupid old car, etc. Ultimatum breakups can be tough to get over because it's annoying that a little compromise could have prevented it. But once it's over, that pressure from the stalemate you reached in the relationship is gone, so it's quite a relief.
4. The Something Someone Said Breakup
My friend broke up with his girlfriend he was dating for years, and he mentioned a conversation that occurred shortly before they broke up. They were discussing wedding rings, and she asked how much he'd spend. He simply hadn't studied the "market" so he threw a number out there: "I don't know, $5,000." She scoffed and said: "You should spend no less than $20,000."
He told me after she said that, he couldn't think of her the same way anymore. In fact, it put a figurative "X" over her image in his eyes. They eventually broke up, and this conversation was the springboard. This type of breakup is painful because you wish you could take something you said or did back.
3. The I've Been Cheating
Whether you find out from them or some other way, it's the ultimate betrayal when they are cheating on you. You can get over it because you dismiss this person as a cheating jerk, but you still feel stupid and you might spend several months envisioning the cheating or trying to regain faith in the opposite gender.
2. The First Love Breakup
The First Love breakup is one of the toughest to overcome. Some say you never get over it. This breakup teaches us that the world is a bigger place than we thought. There are more people to meet, there are bills to pay, there are places to go. Things just can't stay the same as they once were.
Mine hit me when I got to college and my girlfriend stayed behind in high school. Eventually, we had to move on. The first love breakup is hurts so much because you've never experienced this feeling of loss and disappointment before. And, it's part of growing up, and growing up is usually a painful process.
1. The Blind Side
My friend recently blindsided his ex. After she cried for an hour, he decided he had put in enough time and he left. This is traumatic because it comes out of nowhere. The blind-sider may have been thinking about it for months, and they conceal their intentions, then drop the bomb while everything seems to be going well. In fact, the couple may have spent time together the night before, but the blind-sider did so out of obligation.
Blind Sides chip away at your ability to trust. If someone can break up with you when things seem to be going so well, you'll have a tough time avoiding paranoia and trusting your new partners.
What other types of breakups would you add? What type takes the longest for you to get over and why? Do you agree that the type of breakup dictates recovery time more than the actual person you lost in the breakup?
Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/richravens
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