Your Call – How Do You Get Over Long-Term Heartbreak?

When the heartbroken write to us, we usually offer up our patented 10-step program for getting over a breakup. But not even that 99%-guaranteed method sounds like it’ll work on this sad and pathetic soul. Help her out, people!

Dear Em & Lo,

I feel stupid to ask, but how do you get over someone? I had a terrible break-up nearly three years ago (he cheated, I couldn’t bring myself to take him back, he moved on to the next girl, and cheated on her too) and nothing I do seems to help. I gave myself a while to wallow immediately after it, and then gave myself a serious pep talk about getting on with things.

I’ve since tried talking about it and writing about it; I’ve gone on internet dates; I’ve made new friends, tried new hobbies, cut my hair, worked hard at my job, volunteered, exercised, travelled, cried. On one occasion I even lost my temper and shouted at him in public for his bad behaviour (not dignified but definitely justified and sort of cathartic). It’s been so long and I still don’t feel any better.

No one interests me, and none of my friends seem to have ever felt like this for such a long period, or seem to understand how awful I still feel — which makes me feel even lonelier. I think about him every day and still see him around, though I don’t ever speak to him. Friends have suggested I move away, but I love my job and the place where I live — it doesn’t seem fair that I’d have to be the one who moves. I don’t understand what I need to do to get over it. There must be something I’m missing, because I’ve tried so hard and I still feel as bad as I did the day it happened. What am I not doing right?!

— Heart Smoothie

What should “Heart Smoothie” do? Advise her below…

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22 Comments on "Your Call – How Do You Get Over Long-Term Heartbreak?"


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2 years 16 days ago
Yeah, three years is NOTHING. I’m on year twenty and counting. (And for the record, I think the 10-step program advertised on this website is laughable and insulting.) And to those above suggesting therapy, yeah, I’ve tried that too over and over and over again and it doesn’t do any good, and antidepressantants didn’t help either. I don’t want therapy or pills, I don’t fucking want to cut my hair or reinvent myself (I like myself fine, thanks) or travel or date other people, and I shouldn’t have to. I just want my boyfriend back and that’s it.
2 years 8 months ago
Therapy didn’t work for me at all, time didn’t heal any of my wounds, maybe there is something interpersonal I have to address also.. I don’t know, but I do know what heartache feels like… you say 3 years, I have had a broken heart for 28 years and counting. I’m married now, have a family, I have moved out of state, still nothing seems to cure the hurt feelings that seem to come out of nowhere. I’m fine overall with my life, but I believe sometimes the wrong things happen in life, you break up with someone that you… Read more »
3 years 3 months ago
Girl i feel your pain i been a relationship for 10 years and its been Hell i have 4 kids and 2 are by him sometimes i feel like a duck because every time i look around he is cheating and i ask my seft why do i stay i don’t stay because of the kids i stay because i love this man so much but i am learning that i come first and if i don’t take care of me and love me how can i love someone else god put people in your life far a reason some… Read more »
6 years 15 days ago
Girl the only thing hold you back is you , because that man cheated on you you should have to be the one to change your life to fit his customs. He is just a block in the road telling you he’s in control dont like the devil bring you down god has a special for you everyone gets their heartbroken but only a few climb out the pit of broken heart , because at the end of the day he is not thinking of you or how you guys use to cuddle when he see how you have moved… Read more »
6 years 22 days ago
I am recently divorced. My wife cheated on me. She was the light of my life. I suffer from depression and I am completely alone in this world, no family whatsoever. How did I deal with it? When I found out she was cheating she fell from the pedestal I had put her in my life. I invested 10 years into the relationship, all of my money, all of my life, all of my hopes, all of my dreams. What did I learn? Cheating was HER decision, not mine, I was faithful, she was not, conclusion? She didn’t deserve what… Read more »
6 years 1 month ago
Wow, a lot of great response and positive suggestions (for the most part). You need to get away. Travel, move. Spend some me time away. And do not think or allow yourself to relive, recreate or even visit you past. No pictures, letters anything. Try to move on now. You have had enough time. Put yourself in the shoes of these commentators and look from the outside for the positive advice. When you move on, someone new and move into your heart. They are not there to replace, copy and live as your previous partner. Let ever thing in the… Read more »
6 years 1 month ago
I dated a guy for about a hear and a half, well this guy just happened to be married and we worked together. Soo needless to say I totally fell in love with him, I was miserable; I hated everything going to work were he worked seeing him, every single day and then of course seeing his wife whenever we had company parties; after we broke up my life revolved around him still what he did who he did with when he did it,then He started seeing other girls in our office. And I was miserable still dated but I… Read more »