Saving a relationship after a breakup is no easy task, especially if you and your partner are trying to resolve issues such as emotional withholding and silent treatment. Luckily, most relationships can be changed for the better with a bit of time and effort, as well as through effective couples relationship coaching.
Studies suggest that most people start to feel better around three months post-breakup. One study, which evaluated 155 undergraduates who'd been through breakups in the last six months, found that 71 percent start to feel significantly better around the 11-week mark, or around three months.
How long to wait after a breakup to get back together?
"Most people need a month or two to process the breakup, to mourn, and to integrate lessons before jumping back in if they were in a fairly serious relationship," she says. If you dated someone for a year or more, you may need three to four months.
"In the early days after a break-up, you're likely not to feel great, so try to distract yourself as much as possible," says Lester. "Make plans with friends so you don't have time to wallow." Book a dinner date with your best friend—and if it turns into an hours-long hang, all the better.
Many couples who have called it quits end up getting back together. In fact, a 2013 study found that over one third of couples who live together and one fifth of married couples have experienced a breakup and gotten back together.
Taking time apart can allow you both to think about the issues in your relationship, cool off, learn new coping strategies, and come back together with a different lens or perspective that can be difficult to have when you're together and actively fighting through your issues.
Not every breakup is permanent but that doesn't mean every couple should or will get back together. Taking a break from a relationship can sometimes be the best way to build a stronger union in the future.
The death of a future you imagined for yourself with your ex, one that you probably imagined together, can be one of the most difficult things to come to terms with after a break-up. It makes your present that much harder to get through (see above). It's OK to mourn and grieve the loss of that future.
If you're not sharing what's really on your mind, it might be a sign that you no longer want a deep connection. Similarly, if you've found that the usual fun banter between you is gone—or it's difficult to have engaging conversations—your bond could be getting weaker.
One of the key signs that your relationship is over is that the spark has gone. A foundation of a healthy relationship is that both partners feel comfortable being truly open with each other in sharing thoughts and opinions.
Say something like, “I know you've been talking about breaking up a lot lately, but I still want this relationship. I love you and hope you'll reconsider.” If you can't talk during a stress-free time, be as calm as possible. Be rational, listen, and don't raise your voice.