How to Stop Loving Someone

by Andrea M. Darcy
Reviewed by Dr Sheri Jacobson

Breakups are hard, and we need time to heal and move on. But if you can’t seem to do so, then it’s time to try new tactics.

Here are 5 steps to take to stop loving someone when it feels impossible to let go.

1. Be practical.

We all know the drill here. Stop calling and texting them non stop, stop talking about the situation endlessly, stop listening to the songs that remind you of them, or harrassing their friends for information. Then take space. If you find this hard, ask good friends to help you.

And don’t try to use things like alcohol or random flings to feel better. It doesn't work.

2. Learn what love really is.

Can’t get someone out of your mind, even though you broke up with them? Or weren’t sure about your ex partner until they left, and now you're sure it was love?

Often what we are telling ourselves is love is actually a form of addiction,and not love at all. ‘Love and romance addiction’ sees us hooked on power games, on controlling others, and even unknowingly hooked on causing ourselves pain.

It doesn't help that what films and movies show us is far from real, healthy love.

Give yourself the wakeup call you need by doing some research on what healthy, supportive relationships really are. The more we can face up to the unhealthy situation we were in, the easier it is to let go.

3. Find the pattern.

Why would we be addicted to unhealthy relationships, or use other people to make us feel pain?

It goes back to childhood.

Somewhere along the line, you had an experience that gave you a belief about yourself or others that determines how you approach love, or if you even believe you deserve love at all.

A good start here is to look at your relationships with your parents. How did they love you? Did you have to do certain things to feel approved of, or to ‘earn’ their love? Could you just be yourself? Did they even make you feel loved at all? And does your recent relationship have any similarities? At the very least, realising we have been basically 'dating our parents' can do wonders to help us fall out of love!

4. Stop the blame game.

Blaming the other person just helps you constantly think about them.

And blaming yourself is no better. Trying to figure out every little thing you did to ‘ruin’ the relationship is another way of trying to control things.

You can’t control or change what is already in the past. You can’t control the other person. The only control you have is over yourself and your choices. Make a choice to work on acceptance over blame, and you’ll move forward faster.

5. Start loving yourself.

Note the word ‘start’. Self-love is hard to achieve, but a small effort goes a long way. Start with self care -- how can you take better care of your health?

Or make a list of all the things that make you happy. When did you last do any of them? And did you have any goals that you let slide when the relationship came along that you could recommit to now?

A project you feel excited and passionate about is a great replacement for sitting around mourning over another person.

When in doubt...

When in doubt, seek support.

If this is a pattern in your life, if you often leave relationships then obsess on them, or are unable to move on when someone else leaves? It means there is a deeper issue at play.

A talk therapist can help you discover what this is. You can start to shift unhelpful beliefs, raise your self-esteem, and finally start choosing relationships based on the sort of love that lasts.

Want to finally break the pattern of choosing difficult relationships? Our easy booking tool helps you find a therapist you like at a price you can afford.

Need a Therapy Session ASAP?

Here's who's next available...

See other available therapists ›
Are you a therapist?
Apply to be on the platform  ›