Learning how to stop loving someone can feel impossible when you’re in the midst of it, but trust me, it’s not. Here’s where to start.
Loving someone is a strong feeling. It can take over your thoughts and be your sole focus. Whether you shared a relationship or had a long unrequited love, learning how to stop loving someone can be brutal.
The feelings of love can bring you so much joy and so much pain. And letting go of that is a huge jolt to your system. You are used to being in love and ending that is a big step. It’s one thing to naturally fall out of love, but when you want to stop loving someone because things ended or you need to move on, it can be hard to let go of those feelings.
Can you ever stop loving someone?
Simply put, yes. You can stop loving someone. It may not feel that way right now, but you can and you will. We struggle to let go of people, even when we know it won’t work and we have to move forward. We want to cling to what we know, even if that is pain.
When you stop loving someone, you aren’t just letting go of them, but your past and future with them. You foresaw your lives together. You enjoyed your time together. Learning to stop loving them means you stop hoping for what you wanted and expected from them. And letting go of the future you thought you’d have is not easy, but it is possible.
Whether you’re a teenager or getting divorced in your forties, it is possible to stop loving someone. It will take time. You won’t finish this article and let go. You need to do the work and take the time to face your feelings before letting them go. Trust me, if you truly want to, you will.
Why it’s so hard to stop loving someone
It seems so easy to fall in love, but learning how to stop loving someone is so hard. Why?
Well, there are a lot of reasons. Maybe you spent a long time searching for your perfect match. When you found them, you really believed you’d end up together. Accepting that you were wrong isn’t just painful, but confusing. You felt so sure, but you were wrong. Admitting that and letting go feels like a failure. If you hold onto those feelings and hope that things can still work out, you feel like you’re not giving up.
When it comes to knowing how to stop loving someone, it is hard for us to accept that we were wrong about something, but it isn’t a failure. Failure would be not letting go when it is holding you back.
You may also thrive on intensity. You fell in love hard and fast. Everything happened like a movie and it was so strong. But, as it began, it ended.
The pain you feel now is just as intense as the love you had. You may feed on that strength of feeling.
If you’re someone that tends to go all in quickly and even ditch your friends to be with your new partner, this could be you. Letting go of something so powerful is an extreme thing to do, so you redirect all those emotions into pain and not letting go.
You may also cling to your ex to prevent yourself from heading into the unknown. You claim you love this person and you can’t move on anymore because that is all you know.
I did this for years. I clung to an ex that had hurt me and knew it wouldn’t work, but I knew what to expect. In fact, I was used to being hurt by him, I was used to not having my feelings reciprocated. And although it sucked, it was easier than letting go and not knowing what was next.
It is easier to dwell on the pain and hold onto old love sometimes because they are familiar. Letting go means not only that you’re free to move on, but that you are now moving forward into something new and maybe with someone new. This is scary, especially when you’ve been hurt in the past. Your body, mind, and emotions reject entering into another situation where the same thing could happen because maybe it’ll be worse next time.
You sit in this old love that hurts because it could be worse. You don’t want to take that risk. But, the risk is worth it. I promise.
How to stop loving someone in the healthiest and fastest way possible
I hope I’ve convinced you to stop loving someone and that it is indeed possible. But now comes the how. I’ll be honest. It isn’t going to be easy. But it will be worth it.
#1 Accept the facts. One of the reasons we struggle to move on and stop loving someone is that we don’t want to admit it is really over. Part of us thinks just maybe it will work out someday. If we move on we lose that chance.
The first step in letting someone go is accepting the facts. The relationship is over. It might be nice to hold onto hope, but, when that hope is empty, it just leaves you feeling empty. Being able to live with the truth that this relationship didn’t work out is the best way to remind yourself that it is time to let go of that love.
Take some time to really process that this is the end. Things will only get better from here.
#2 Appreciate what you had. You don’t have to hate your ex in order to stop loving them. You don’t need to forget the good times either. The love you had was real and meaningful. You can always care for this person in some capacity without loving them. The goal is to look back on these memories with a smile and appreciation, not pain.
Acting like the relationship didn’t mean as much as it did, will only push you further into denial. That relationship was important, so feel that. Appreciating the relationship helps you learn from it going forward and gives you peace.
#3 Be realistic. When we still love someone after things end, and even if you want to learn how to stop loving someone, we end up focusing on the good times. We look at the relationship with rose-colored glasses because part of us doesn’t want to move on. Look back at the relationship with honesty. Talk to a trusted friend who you confided in during the relationship. They can give you a clear look at how happy you were or weren’t.
I had a friend who struggled to move on from an ex then looked back at their photos together. Although they were always smiling, she remembered having a fight right before the photo was taken in front of nearly everyone. Don’t look at the highlight reel of the relationship. Look at the reality and realize that you’re probably better off.
Yes, everything wasn’t awful, but you probably weren’t as happy as you thought.
#4 Focus on yourself. If you want to truly learn how to stop loving someone, take time for yourself. Instead of focusing on them or that love you still have, love yourself. Do some self-care, whatever that means to you. Learn a new skill. Work on a project. Interview for a new job. Take time to better yourself. Go to therapy. Volunteer. Take time to work on you.
Maybe looking back at your relationship reminds you that there are some things you should change. Do you need to be more open with communication? Or be more willing to compromise?
#5 Make future plans. After a breakup, while we’re stilling holding onto this old love, we tend to be still. We just hang around and don’t make future plans. Think about those with commitment issues. They rarely make plans far in advance. You may be doing the same thing now because you are afraid of committing to yourself and your future being single.
Make plans alone. RSVP to a friend’s party by yourself. Go to the movies alone. Plan things that you are excited about. This reminds you that you have a future without this person you still love.
With time, you will see that that love isn’t necessary for you.
#6 Take time for others. Focus on other relationships. You are fine without romantic love. Focus on the love you have for your family and friends. Take time to cherish and nurture those relationships.
These are the people who have been with you and have been supporting you through the relationship and the breakup. Realizing how much love you have in your life without this person refocuses those feelings onto something more positive and beneficial to you.
#7 Accept the process. Realize that all of this takes time. Even opening your eyes and changing your outlook won’t shut off your feelings. You can’t flip a switch to stop loving someone. While you try to stop loving someone, you may have moments when you feel sad or miss them. And that is totally normal and nothing to be ashamed of. Moving on isn’t an uphill battle but a rollercoaster ride.
You will have good days and bad days. That is okay. If you’ve been doing well for weeks then find a photo of you and your ex and cry, it doesn’t negate all the progress you’ve made. It shows you are building and working to be happier and let go of a love that is no longer benefiting you. But it also shows that that relationship was a big part of your life. You won’t forget it or ignore it. It will stay with you to guide you forward instead of pulling you back.
Learning how to stop loving someone isn’t about forgetting, but appreciating that love for what it was and moving forward. And as hard as it seems right now, you can and will do this!