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Is There A Proper Timeline For Getting Over Someone?

Here's what a relationship coach has to stay.
relationship, couples breaking up

As a follow up to our first chat with Aileen Santos about being in single in your 20s, relationship coach and romance author, here are seven more love questions we asked on behalf of CGs.

  1. Is it possible to be upgraded from friend to romantic interest?

    Coach Aileen: "Yes, definitely. Friendship is a good foundation for a solid, long-term romantic relationship. A relationship goes through cycles. You won't always be madly in love with each other. There will be times when you hate each other. There will be times when you will be ignoring each other. If someone you love can actually be a good friend—someone you don't have to impress, and someone who accepts you at your best and worst—then that's basically friendship, right?"

  2. I've been everywhere—clubs, bars, beaches, mountains, rivers, Tinder, you name it—and still haven't met anyone particularly great. Where's the best place to meet a good match?

    A: "There's not just one place where you'll find a good match. You need to fix your filtering system first. Ask yourself what kind of partner you are really looking for. Go to places where you'll most likely find like-minded individuals, but also broaden your interests by trying different avenues. For starters, try workshops, conventions, reading groups, and hobby clubs.

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    Also remember that you can't really tell much about a person—whether they're really interesting or not—by just one or two meetings. Look for places and situations where you will see these new people more than just once. Continue the conversation beyond the first meeting, even it's just via social media. You probably have been meeting interesting people—the ones who are worth getting to know—it's just that you haven't given them a chance."

  3. But these people I've met just aren't my type.

    A: "We all have different types. But sometimes you need to a) look beyond your type and b) realize that your type may not be a healthy ideal. There's no harm in getting to know people beyond your type. I have a workshop called "Love Map," where I explain that our "types" were dictated to us by our subconscious minds when we were around seven or eight years old. What I say to my clients is, "Use your x-ray vision, and not just your spider sense." Even if someone isn't immediately your type, there's no harm in getting to know him or her. It's in getting to know people that you realize what you actually need, and not just want.

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    Fact: 99 percent of the happily married women I know have admitted that the men they fell in love with weren't actually their type when they first met them."

  4. Out of the millions of humans on this planet, is there really only one person who's right for me?

    A: "We do not have a cruel God who says, 'There is only one person for you in this entire planet, and if you cannot find this person, you're screwed.' If we're given so many chances with all the other areas of our lives—like finding a job or learning from mistakes—then we are given chances in the most important area of our life, which is finding a life-long relationship.

    According to psychology, the average person will meet at least eight people from the opposite gender with whom they share the same life values and life directions. It could include people you met back in school, one brief summer, or randomly at work. It's not necessarily romantic, but there was a connection, a potential. It could include people you have yet to meet. All these potentials have the raw material to be 'the one.'"

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  5. I'm in a loyal, long-term relationship. How can I tell if this lackluster feeling I've been having for months is just a normal bump on the road or if I'm falling out of love?

    A: "If everything in the relationship's going well, but you're having a lackluster feeling, then you need to start figuring things out for yourself. Remember that it's not your partner's job to fill in whatever empty space you have in your life. You have to be a whole person before entering a relationship. Even if he's your best friend and lover, it's not his job to fix you. It's your job to fix you. If you're unhappy, find out what's really making you unhappy because it might not be even be about the relationship—it might be you or the lack of growth in your life."

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  6. Is there a proper timeline for getting over someone?

    A: "Not really. First of all, you have to accept that you have to go through the pain. That's the only way to get through it. It's going to hurt—that's a given. The longer you postpone having to go through heartache, the longer it will fester and grow inside you.

    Second, learn the lessons from that failed relationship. There were two of you in the relationship, so you made a contribution. Identify the good parts of the relationship, and not just the bad. No relationship is a complete waste of time. What are the lessons you can learn from it?

    Lastly, once you go through the emotions, accept that this person was a part of your life. They helped you become who you are right now. But learn to let go of the plans you had with that person. When a relationship ends, you don't just say goodbye to the person; you also say goodbye to the plans you had together. But remember that your own personal dreams do not end just because a relationship ended.

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    Take all the time you need to heal, but be wary if it becomes too unhealthy. If your closest friends are starting to worry that your grieving is becoming toxic, don’t be afraid to seek professional help."

  7. Why do men cheat?

    A: "I want you to stop this generalization that all men are cheaters. Embrace the idea that there are good men out there. How would you feel if men generalized us by saying, 'Why are women such users?' You will not be attracting good men if you will always have that huge negative block on your shoulder, where you're constantly looking for evidence to support your belief system that all men are cheaters.

    But if you have been actually cheated on, then refer to my advice in question number five where you need to learn the lessons of the failed relationship.

    Yes, you may hear cautionary tales of cheating from friends or in the media, but know that there are also stories of amazing guys out there. My advice: Make friends with happy couples who can give you a balanced view of life instead of just focusing on the cheating stories you hear. Who knows? These happy couples may have awesome guy friends who are single. That's called networking. (*wink*)

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Aileen Santos is a relationship coach and romance author. Her mission is to help people learn love facts versus love fiction so they can have more awesome relationships. She is a registered guidance counselor and has a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. Aileen is also a certified professional coach internationally.

Do you need career, life, love, or mental health advice? We're here to help you, bb. Join our Cosmo Community on Facebook, post your question—btw, you can do this anonymously now—and use the hashtag #AskACosmoCoach. 

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