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How To Stop Loving Someone Else… and Love Yourself More

Losing someone is one of the hardest things you’ll do as an adult. We’ll discuss how to stop loving someone, while loving life and yourself more.


I know the way that you feel and why you are searching here. Like someone throwing you straight up in the air to land flat on your back, you have had the wind knocked out of you. Likely, when they said goodbye, your brain was spinning, and a desperate feeling was in your gut as you stood there, feeling surreal and as if everything that you had was gone.

Nothing feels right. Like trying on a pair of shorts that are too small, your feelings are sticking out all over, bulging right out of the seams. Your heart is throbbing, and you just want to find some magic cure to take it all away. You want to wake in the morning and have everything back to the way it was two minutes before they said it was over, but you can’t. If you are looking for the answer to how to stop loving someone overnight, I am sorry: I don’t have the answer to that.

Why I may know something about moving on from loss

In my mid-thirties, with four small children, my life was going along well. We’d just finished remodeling a home, and my husband and I had a happy life, family nearby, and were best friends. Then one day, he went to the hospital, and it all changed. I lost it all, including him, to cancer. Although a drastic case of losing someone, any loss is truly tragic. [Read: 9 ways to overcome the fear of losing someone you love]

To give someone your heart and then to lose that someone is a horrible feeling, like no other. It ruins your faith in what you thought you knew, makes you wish for things that aren’t possible, and, above all, makes you long for what you had when you didn’t even know you had it.

If I can find one shining thing to make it all better, it is this: nothing is permanent. The way you feel today will be a little less so tomorrow. The day after, it will be minutely less, until one day, you wake up, and you find that the sun shines again. I know that may not help you in this instant, this moment, and in this time of despair. The thing is, all you have to do is hold on. Like riding out the wave and striving to make your head reach the surface, you will see the blue sky again—that I promise you.

I have never met anyone who has died of a broken heart. Okay, maybe there are those old people who have lived a lifetime at each other’s side, and they end up dying within months of each other. Those are the types of undying love that movies are made of. It isn’t that I am belittling your feelings, or making you feel as if what you have in your heart isn’t real—I am only trying to tell you, from experience, that things will get better. [Check out: How to get over a broken heart]

How to stop loving someone

The worst thing you can do is dwell on it. Stop ruminating over all the things you did wrong, how you would have done things differently, or what you can do to get them back. The best thing you can do is distract yourself. Think of something new and take some time to focus on yourself. If you have to find a cause for the dismantling of your relationship, then focus solely on yourself. Find things that will make you feel better.

Many who are trying to get over a broken heart search out things to try to get the person back. They want desperately to find a way to erase what happened. The truth is, if it didn’t work, there was something wrong. When we lose something or someone in our lives, we have a tendency to only to remember the good times.

#1 Find a hobby. I know that is so cliché. Everyone is probably telling you to occupy your time or to find something that you like to do. You know why? Because it works. When you are out, busy, distracted, and doing things that make you happy, there is no room for sadness. As those happy times begin to encroach upon the times that are not-so-happy, they will begin to take over, and suddenly you will wake up less lonely than you were the day before. [Try: How to get over a crush–and have fun doing it]

#2 Reconnect with old friends. When you are in a relationship, you likely put your partner first. Now is the time to reconnect with friends that you may have lost touch with, or to rekindle friendships you’ve let fade. Find the ones who will tell you that it wasn’t meant to be, you can do better, and are always on your side.

Don’t turn to those who are likewise going through loss. Despite what they say, misery does not love company—it has to hang out with it because no one else wants to. Find that girl or guy that makes you laugh, and is always good to turn your mood around, and hang onto them for a while.

#3 Don’t go to the same old places. It may take all that you have to stay away from the old places you used to go. First of all, like moving away from home, you can’t ever go back. Second, there is probably something somewhere inside of you that is hoping you are going to run into them, and they are going to realize how much they miss you. The prospects of that happening are very slim.

If it is meant to be, it isn’t going to happen the way that it does in the movies. It isn’t going to be some chance meeting where they confess how much they miss and want you back. If, and when, they are ready to reach out to you, they will. Running into them on accident isn’t going to get you what you want–it will only set you back on any progress you’ve made. [Check out: How to stop thinking about someone you still like]

#4 Ride out the ups and downs. The thing that you have to keep in mind for your own survival is this: as bad as you feel right now, when you meet the right person, you are going to feel ten times better than you ever did with the person you just lost. If they broke up with you or broke your heart, then they weren’t the right one. Sure, it is easy for me to say, but it is true. The right person is someone who will never leave, will stick it out to the end, and will find a way to muddle through the good times and the bad.

#5 Trust that you deserve better. Okay, this may be the one that most people will argue against. There are times when the break up is your fault. If you did something to make them break up with you, then it is no different. There was a reason you did what you did. If you hollered at them too many times, were too bitchy all the time, or you cheated on them, then there was something about them that didn’t bring out the best you.

You need and deserve someone who will always make you want to be the best person you can be. That includes not wanting to treat them badly. If you were miserable and crabby all the time, you have to stop and think about why you felt that way. What was it about being with them, or about your life, that made you not so much fun to be around? Instead of worrying about not loving them, you should try to think of ways to love yourself. [Read: 10 signs your past relationship is holding you back]

#6 Make a list. Maybe, instead of stewing about what you have lost, you can take the time to think about all the things that you won’t miss without them. Sit down and make a physical list of the things that hurt your feelings–the things you didn’t like, or the number of times you wished they wouldn’t be so… well… them. Those are the things that you want to think about now. In time, after the hurt is not so painful, it is okay to remember the relationship fondly, but why torture yourself now by considering all the ways that they will be missed?

Ultimately, you should stop trying not to love them, and allow yourself to feel the love you had, but understand that it wasn’t right. You can’t make yourself stop loving someone overnight, but you can see it for what it was. Love comes in all different forms and, unfortunately, they aren’t always good for us. You can love many people in your life who aren’t good for you, don’t make you happy, and don’t make you feel fulfilled. If it didn’t work, it was a two-way street.

No matter how much you want to say that you were happy, and it was what you wanted, you have to take a step back, think about it realistically, and separate emotion from fact.

In time, you will find that the clouds will clear, the sun will shine, and you will have a clarity you didn’t before about what was real and what was fabricated. You no doubt loved them, but love is something that can’t only go one way for it to work.

[Next, read: How to move on and deal with a breakup with a smile]

Loss is a searing feeling, but being with the wrong person for a lifetime is a waste of a lifetime. Ultimately, the answer to how to stop loving someone is this: learn to love yourself first and foremost.

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Julie Keating
A writer isn’t born, but created out of experiences. No lack of subject matter, my life reads more like fiction than anything that could have been imagined in...
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