Love is one of the most beautiful, yet complicated emotions human beings are able to feel. When done right, it can produce perpetual stomach butterflies, an extra spring in the step, and a cheesy grin that only the thought of a loved one can muster.
In contrast, this same emotion that is the source of so much pleasure, may also be responsible for a mountain of pain.
There are many reasons why you may decide to stop loving someone—perhaps your feelings aren’t returned, or maybe your partner repeatedly acts in ways that are against your best interests—whatever the grounds, pulling away from someone you held such strong feelings for is never easy. However, it can be accomplished with the right steps.
We’ll be talking you through the ways you can stop loving someone. To understand why it can be a difficult process, we’ll be delving into the reasons taking a step back from the person you love can be a heartbreaking ordeal.
Why Is It So Hard to Stop Loving Someone?
There’s a reason simply speaking to the person you love, watching them work, or holding them as they sleep, can leave you feeling even more in love with every part of them.
Love is addictive—and not just in the 90s song kind of way. When you love someone, your body goes through a number of changes that encourage the production of compounds like dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin. These chemicals encourage feelings of trust, pleasure, and reward, the same effects which have been associated with addiction.1
Beating an addiction—any at all, can be challenging. But beyond this, living through romantic love where you and your partner shared goals and dreams, laughed and ate together, cared for the other while in the most vulnerable states, can create a powerful bond. When formed, this bond can be understandably difficult to break.
In addition to this, fears of finding someone else, returning to the life of a single person, and even worrying about what others might think, can make it challenging to take the first steps necessary to stop loving a person.
However, seeing as love can be an all-consuming, all-powerful emotion—whatever reasons may have pushed you to consider discontinuing these emotions must be worth leaning into, and should be carefully considered.
How to Stop Loving Someone
When the bad outweighs the good in a person you love, it may be time to gently ease yourself out of the feeling. Below are some ways to help you do so.
Be Honest With Yourself
The truth can hurt, but it can also be very freeing. The very first step to take when attempting to stop loving someone is to come clean about activities they engage in that cause your heart to ache.
Facing reality headfirst can sting—it’s never easy to do. Maybe your partner has become less attentive to your needs to the point where you feel alone, or maybe they engage in financially dangerous habits, are promiscuous, or otherwise act in ways that cause you to feel more pain than love.
Tapping into how their behaviors affect you can be an important first step to getting over your feelings.
Being honest with yourself will not automatically turn off your affection for them, but it can help you gain some perspective about your relationship. With this new perspective, your intense feelings of love for them may begin to lessen over time.
Focus on Your Feelings
However brief or long your relationship has lasted, being in love with a person can have a deep impact on your growth, personal life, or even your worldview.
It’s important to embrace the good times, what your partner meant to you, how important the relationship was in your life, and what you hoped to achieve with your significant other.
Acknowledge everything you learned from the moments together, and try to avoid downplaying what your love meant—this can only hold you back.
When you are able to do that, take a step back to recognize how the relationship no longer fits your purpose or produces the same joy that it once did.
Permit yourself to accept that regardless of these truths, it remains difficult to let go. Being honest with yourself every step of the way can help with easing the process.
Speak to Someone
Dealing with something as difficult as the end of a relationship can make you want to retreat into a dark corner all by yourself. However, this may not always be the best option.
Reaching out to your friends and family, updating them of your choice, and how difficult it is, can help to reduce the burden. In turn, your loved ones will offer support through your trying times. They may also exchange tips and ideas that helped to get them through periods where they made the same decision.
In other cases, speaking to a professional about your decision, and learning proven ways to cope with it, can help in smoothing the process.
Understand That It May Take Some Time
If there was a switch you could flick to turn off your feelings, life would be so much easier. The only way to get over your feelings is to work through them, and that usually takes some time.
Giving yourself the grace to go through the motions of pain, loss, and acceptance, however long that may take is important for achieving the eventual result of getting your feelings for a love interest under control.
Get Excited About the Future
At present, the thought of getting over your feelings and moving on to the next phase of your life can seem like a daunting task. However, time is a great healer, and it holds a lot of promise for you and your future.
Take comfort in the fact that you now have better knowledge of what you want in a partner and things you cannot tolerate in a relationship.
There’s so much promise in the future, that any pain or sadness you may be dealing with will most likely pale in comparison to what lies in wait for you.
A Word From Verywell
When you decide to stop loving someone, the first thing to acknowledge is the strength it took to agree with removing yourself from a situation that no longer makes you happy.
Falling out of love isn’t easy, and there are many things that make it a truly challenging process to go through. But being honest with yourself, focusing on your feelings, speaking with others, and getting yourself psyched for the future can help in easing the process.
There’s love lurking everywhere, and while it may seem a little dreary right now, there’s always a shot at happiness around the corner.