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I bet you never thought you'd be scouring the internet for tips on how to fall out of love. Am I right? Guess what? You're not alone. According to the famous song by singer Michael Bolton, “Love is a Wonderful Thing.” Wonderful—until things go downhill and you need to let it go.
Letting go is easier said than done if you're a hopeless romantic who got your heart broken by someone you truly loved. I was deeply saddened about having to break up with a guy I thought was “The One.” The relationship had become too toxic. My heart wanted him, but the logical part of my brain was telling me falling out of love was the best solution.
I empathize with you regardless of the reason for wanting to shoot Cupid. Walking away from someone you love not only hurts but unloving them can be a long-drawn-out process.
Taking the 11 actionable steps explained below might help unchain your heart. The ultimate goal is to walk you through cutting emotional ties with the person who isn't right for you, and you don't even need to resort to no contact.
What You Will Learn
- What Are Reasons to Stop Loving Someone?
- Why Is it So Difficult to Stop Loving Someone?
- How to Fall Out of Love in 11 Steps
- Step #1. See the person for who they were
- Step #2. Be honest with yourself
- Step #3. Accept the reality of the situation
- Step #4. Reframe. Reframe
- Step #5. Use affirmations to manifest your desire
- Step #6. Embrace the process of detachment
- Step #7. Be gentle to yourself
- Step #8. Talk about it with someone you trust
- Step #9. Redirect the love to yourself
- Step #10. Pursue your passions
- Step #11. Speak with a therapist
- Final Thoughts On How to Fall Out of Love
What Are Reasons to Stop Loving Someone?
Pulling away from someone you have strong emotional ties to is never easy, but doing so is almost mandatory in certain circumstances. For your own good, these are valid reasons to fall out of love.
Why Is it So Difficult to Stop Loving Someone?
Why is it so hard to get rid of this feeling in your heart for someone who's bad for you on so many levels? Things like your attachment style, the nature of the relationship, and your history together play a significant role in how easy or difficult it is to stop loving your ex.
Three other factors worthy of mentioning are as follows:
You might be one of those people who fall in love easily, based on your attachment style, and have a hard time relinquishing those feelings. The last thing on the mind of those wired for love is how to fall out of love. Your goal is to stay in love and cultivate a healthy loving relationship.
However, you can't do it alone. You need your partner's input, but how they attach in relationships can make it hard for them to satisfy your needs.
An anxious style partner can have a difficult time getting the love they need from an avoidant style partner. There's actually a book titled, “Wired for Love” by Stan Tatkin, a clinician and developer of A Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy® (PACT). The book talks about how understanding your partner's attachment style can help you build a healthy relationship.
Believe it or not, love is addictive the same way as addictive substances, such as drugs. When we're in love, our brain releases higher levels of dopamine, also known as the “feel-good hormone.” Oxytocin and serotonin, two other pleasure hormones, don't help either.
Now you understand why you struggle to stay away from your partner for extended periods of time. They essentially become like an addictive drug. You might even experience anxiety when you're away. It's a sign of withdrawal that compels you to draw close. You need that “fix” (your partner) to feel better again.
According to relationship experts, codependence between a couple is a circular loop where you need the person and they need you, but in an unhealthy way. Because it creates such intense feelings of needing each other, couples often confuse codependency with love. Codependency and love addiction tend to go together. Whether or not, it's an unhealthy form of attachment to your partner that makes breaking the emotional bonds difficult.
Author, Stephen Arterburn, explored these issues in his book, Addicted to Love: Recovering from Unhealthy Dependencies in Love, Romance, Relationships, and Sex. The title is quite telling. Codependency commonly stems from low self-esteem, trust issues, fear of abandonment, and a need for validation. Makes sense when you hear someone say, “My life is worth nothing without you.”
Regardless of how or why you fell in love, your feelings are 100% valid. The first thing is to acknowledge that and embrace your ability to love. Next is to put things in perspective and keep focused on your objective. The goal is to fall out of love—for good—like your health and well-depend on it!
How to Fall Out of Love in 11 Steps
Whether it was you or your ex who wanted out of the relationship, you still love them. What matters most at the moment is exploring 11 things you can do to free your heart in a healthy and self-loving way.
Step #1. See the person for who they were
As the saying goes, “Love is blind.” The more we love someone, the less we see their flaws. If ever we notice them, we tend to turn a blind it, all for the sake of love. There's no judgment here.
However, falling out of love with your S.O, requires that you look at everything with an objective eye. Seeing them exactly as they are helps put things in perspective.
Compare and measure their good traits with the unpleasant ones and see how you feel. You may remember how they lied to you profusely or were unkind to your loved ones. Packing away your love can instantly become easier once you take off the rose-colored glasses.
Step #2. Be honest with yourself
The pleasurable feelings activated by the love hormones often make us tell ourselves stories that aren't true about the relationship. “Must be love on the brain,” according to the lyrics of Rihanna's song, Love on the Brain.
You've got to confront yourself and ask two crucial questions. “Why do I love this person?” and “Why is it so hard to let them go?”
Is it because of a particular personality trait or something they provided, that you think no one else can provide? Is it because you fear abandonment?
Was the relationship toxic? Were you mistreated? Be brutally honest. The answers might cause you to immediately feel less affection for your ex.
Step #3. Accept the reality of the situation
Sometimes, we go through the stages of grief and fall short of accepting the reality of what transpired.
Acceptance is the final and perhaps the most important phase of grieving a loss, whether it relates to the death of a person or a relationship. That's assuming you already grieved the relationship but still have difficulty resolving your feelings.
By accepting everything that has happened was for the best, you take on a mindset that makes letting go of the love easier. You're able to emotionally detach from the person and the outcome you envisioned while you were together.
Step #4. Reframe. Reframe
Perception is reality. You are the master of your own thoughts. If you tell yourself it's hard to fall out of love- then that's the reality you create. How about engaging in a bit of cognitive reframing? By that I mean, shifting your mindset from negative to positive.
According to Verywellmind, cognitive reframing is a technique that lets you see something (or someone) from a “slightly different perspective.”
So, instead of saying, “I love her too much to stop loving her,” replace that statement by saying something like, “Letting go of the love for (name the person) is easy.” You may continue with, “My love for you is valid, but I won't let it hold me hostage.”
Step #5. Use affirmations to manifest your desire
It's counterintuitive for us to continue loving the same person who couldn't meet our relationship needs in the first place.
When I was forced to stop loving the guy I mentioned earlier on, all I wanted was to detach completely and go back to the day before we met. The relationship was unhealthy. Do you know what I tried? Affirmations.
Affirmations are phrases that encourage you to take action you can use to manifest the reality you want. Those who believe in this mindset-shifting technique swear by its power to give you the things you desire. In your case, you long to stop loving your ex. Write down and repeat phrases such as, “I love you less each day,” or “I am free from the love I had for you.”
Step #6. Embrace the process of detachment
One of the best-kept secrets on how to fall out of love surrounds time and patience. Love has a way of arriving quickly and leaving at a snail's pace. Remember that you're attempting to unlink yourself from all aspects of the relationship that created emotional bonds.
Moving on from a divorce usually takes longer since the relationship usually involved greater investments. Understanding that the process takes time can minimize the chance of frustration.
Step #7. Be gentle to yourself
It's normal to feel frustrated during the processing of healing from a breakup regardless of who initiated the process. You may swing from strong feelings of love one day to feeling confident you're no longer in love the next.
Be compassionate and empathic towards yourself, instead of wallowing in self-blame and self-pity. You could say words to the effect that everything will be fine in time.
Your emotions are going to even out eventually and you'll start to have more control over your feelings. You'll know you no longer love the individual once you stop feeling anger, regret, or resentment towards the person or the past.
Step #8. Talk about it with someone you trust
Some good ole talk therapy might go a long way in helping you release those feelings. Perhaps you just need someone to listen as you vent or you're looking for insights.
Talking to a trusted friend or an empathetic person is one way to gain perspective. They may shed light on things you never considered or enable you to see the situation from a different point of view.
Since you might be in somewhat of a vulnerable state, be careful not to select anyone who is judgmental. Imagine how you'd feel if you were asked, “You still love him? Girrrl, you need to get over it.” The idea is to receive love and support, not criticisms that will make you feel bad about yourself.
Step #9. Redirect the love to yourself
Let's face it. You can't love yourself too much, can you? I mean healthy self-love, not in a cocky or narcissistic way. I think this step can be quite therapeutic, especially if yours is a case of unrequited love.
The sting of rejection hurts, but when the pain subsides, you'll realize that it's better to direct the love inward than to someone who can't appreciate it.
Individuals who are considered empaths, caregivers, and hopeless romantics tend to give away more love to others than to themselves. They also get resentful when the people they love so dearly don't return the love. At the same time, they may struggle to show kindness, love, and compassion towards themselves.
Step #10. Pursue your passions
We have a tendency to lose ourselves in love and pull away from the people and activities that used to be our sources of joy. Once the relationship ends, we begin obsessing over the ex or ruminating about the past. We replay the scenarios and wonder how different things could've been–if only this or that hadn't happened.
Ruminating and living in regret feeds the monster. Why not pursue the things that make you happy instead?
Chasing your passion could mean resuming activities you enjoyed before you fell in love or starting a new hobby. It's all part of self-care and self-love and can be quite liberating. Whatever activity you get into, the idea is to find and reconnect with yourself again.
Step #11. Speak with a therapist
Whatever the cause of why you're here, unloving someone sometimes calls for counseling. A professional therapist can provide a fresh perspective and coping tools to help you resolve your feelings.
Therapy also helps with healing from codependency and protects you from relapsing back into the relationship you're trying to distance yourself from. During your therapy sessions, your therapist may give advice on how to form healthy attachments in relationships.
Final Thoughts On How to Fall Out of Love
Loving someone poses a risk… but as the famous English poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson, said, “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
Love often involves letting your guard down, making sacrifices, compromise… and work. But if you can look back on even the failed relationships and take one good thing away, you’re ahead of the game and should consider it time well spent.
Before you go, I'd like to encourage you to be kind to yourself and trust the process. You'll get through this and emerge a winner. Pain is only temporary. Be true to yourself and you’ll soon see brighter days.
If you still need a little push or a confidence boost, try reciting these 60 Encouraging Affirmations to Move On After a Breakup. You’ve got nothing to lose… except the person whose been holding you back!