How to Stop Loving Someone and Start Moving On
Love is a powerful emotional experience that can make us feel happy, sad, nervous, and everything in between. When we’re in love, we can feel like we’re on top of the world. And you can love someone so much that it seems impossible to imagine your life without them.
However, we can also feel emotional pain and heartache when that love is no longer reciprocated or no longer there.
Perhaps you’ve been through a breakup, or you’re going through a difficult time in your relationship. Maybe you were never even in a relationship with the person you love, but you can’t seem to get them out of your head.
It’s never easy to let go of someone you love, even when you know it’s not healthy for you to continue doing so. Whether it’s a long-term relationship or a brief fling, saying goodbye can still be challenging. But learning how to unlove someone is necessary in order to move on with your life.
If you’re struggling to let go, here are 10 things you can do to help you move on and start creating a brighter future for yourself.
1. Be honest about the situation
The first step in moving on from a past love is to be honest with yourself about the situation. If you’re still in love with someone who doesn’t love you back, it’s important to realize that you can’t force them to change their feelings.
No matter how much you want things to work out, you can’t make someone love you if they don’t feel the same way.
If you’re still holding onto hope that things will change, it’s important to ask yourself why you’re doing so. What are your hopes and goals? What are your needs? What are the chances that your feelings will be reciprocated, or will it just be one-sided love?
2. Give yourself some time
Giving yourself time to grieve, heal, and adjust is essential. Remind yourself that there is no timeline for moving on and that you’re entitled to your feelings. Accept that it may take some time, validate your feelings, and be patient and kind with yourself.
By allowing yourself the space to work through your emotions, you’ll eventually be able to get your feelings for your ex under control and begin moving on with your life.
3. Reevaluate yourself and your life
Having been in love, you may know the feeling of wanting to do anything and everything to make the object of your affections happy. As a result, you may have found yourself dressing, speaking, or even acting differently in an attempt to become the perfect partner.
However, what happens when the relationship ends? Are you still comfortable with those changes?
Now is an excellent time to reevaluate your life and spend some time on yourself. Think about who you really are and what you want in life. Also, be honest with yourself about the things you don’t like and make an effort to change them.
4. Prioritize self-care
Whenever you’re going through a tough time, it’s important to prioritize self-care. This means taking care of yourself both physically and emotionally.
Make sure you eat healthy foods, stay hydrated, and get enough sleep. Exercise can also be a great way to boost your mood and help you work through your emotions.
To look after your mental health, you could try:
- Writing in a journal
- Talking to a friend
- Spending time in nature or
- Listening to music that makes you feel good
5. Stop fantasizing
It’s normal to fantasize about someone you’re attracted to – everyone does it from time to time. However, when you’re trying to let go of someone you love, these fantasies will only prolong the process.
The problem is that when you obsess over someone enough, you start to believe that the fantasy is reality, and it can become almost like an addiction. You become so invested in the idea of being with this person that you begin to lose touch with what’s actually happening in your life.
Of course, reflecting, learning from the past, and occasionally thinking about the person you loved is okay. But if you find yourself regularly daydreaming about being with this person again, it’s worth taking a step back and not allowing yourself to get lost in the fantasy.
6. Lean on your support network
After losing someone you love, you might find yourself feeling isolated and alone. However, it’s important to remember that you have a support network of friends, family members, or a therapist who can help you get through this tough time. They can be a great source of support and comfort when you’re struggling with heartache.
Spend time with loved ones who will make you feel good about yourself and help take your mind off things. Talking to them about your feelings may even help you gain some much-needed perspective.
However, it’s also important to limit the amount of time you spend with someone if you feel like they are judging you or making you feel bad.
7. Speak to a therapist
Therapy can be helpful if you’re struggling to cope with your emotions. It can provide a safe space to explore your feelings and talk through strategies for managing them. A mental health professional can also teach you coping skills to help you handle these feelings until they lessen.
8. Think about the future
One of the best ways to begin moving on from a past love is to start planning for your future. Whether you want to travel the world, study, go for a promotion, or start your own business, setting goals for yourself can help you move on from a past relationship and focus on what’s ahead.
Perhaps now is the time to start exploring new hobbies and activities you’re interested in. And when you’re ready, casual dating can be a great way to meet new people and think about what you want in a future relationship, even if you’re not looking for anything serious yet.
9. Stand on your own two feet
In any relationship, there will always be some level of dependence. However, when you’re in a healthy relationship, both partners are able to stand on their own two feet. If you’re struggling to let go of a past love, it may be because you’ve become too dependent on them.
Perhaps you’re afraid of being alone, so you’re clinging to someone unavailable just to feel a sense of companionship and connection. While this can be challenging to overcome, it’s important to learn to stand on your own and be independent.
Then, when you’re content in your own skin and living life on your terms, you will naturally attract the right kind of people and build healthier relationships.
10. Stop holding them in such high regard
Another reason it can be so difficult to stop loving someone is that we place them on a pedestal. We make them out to be this perfect human being who can do no wrong. But the truth is that everyone has flaws, and everyone makes mistakes. And if you’re only focusing on the good things about this person, you’re not seeing them for who they really are.
Try to take a step back and see the person you love or ex for who they are. Yes, they may have some great qualities, but they’re not perfect. And that’s okay.
Try writing down the things you liked about them and the things you didn’t to get a more balanced view. Once you stop seeing them as the perfect partner, it will be easier for you to begin letting them go.
Can you ever stop loving someone? Whether the answer is yes or no, letting go of someone you love is never easy, but it’s important to remember that you will get through this challenging time.
You can help yourself move on by following the tips above, such as leaning on your support system, increasing self-awareness, and focusing on the future. Give yourself the time you need to adjust, and eventually, you’ll be able to move forward.
If you’re struggling to cope, it’s an excellent idea to talk to a therapist. Though it may be tough, learning how to get over someone incompatible is an important part of life, and you will come out the other side a much stronger person who can learn from your own experience.
Kate has a B.S. in Psychology and M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University and has worked in healthcare since 2017. She primarily treated depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, and grief, as well as identity, relationship and adjustment issues. Her clinical experience has focused on individual and group counseling, emergency counseling and outreach.Read more