But what do you do when the person you love no longer loves you, never loved you, or you just need to stop loving them? You have to fall out of love.
I’m in love! This love will last a lifetime. Love is forever.
This love is…over.
What do you do if your love is ending? Love is something that should be equal but often isn’t. I think we’ve all loved someone more than they’ve loved us back, or vice versa. But what do you do when the person you love no longer loves you, never loved you, or you just need to stop loving them? You have to fall out of love. But how? How do you fall out of love?
Are there different ways to fall out of love? Does love every just go away? These are questions I’ve had, and I set out to find the answers.
A little bit of background on my love life: I have never been in love. I’ve loved people, unrequitedly, I have liked people immensely, but I have never loved and been loved back in a romantic relationship. Yet. But I have love in my life, I have best friends, close friends and family, and a dog, all of whom I love deeply.
Most recently, I was dating someone who I really liked, I felt huge potential for our possible relationship, and then before it could start it ended. He wasn’t ready, he said it wasn’t the right time, all reasons that made sense, he was focusing on his career, this was his big break, etc. I wouldn’t say I was devastated because we didn’t date long enough for there to be heartbreak, but I was just so disappointed.
Leaving a relationship, whether a good one or a bad relationship, is hard. Lots of times we begin to question if we even felt true feelings of love in the first place or if it was all just a lie.
I’m someone who is slow to feel but then feels deeply, so it takes me a while to find someone I really connect with, and then it takes me a while to un-connect. I really felt like this guy and I just clicked. And now I had to un-click.
I tried to start using different dating apps but I realized I just wasn’t ready to connect with someone again. I realized I was still a “hung up” on that other guy. I wanted things to work with him, and I wasn’t over the loss of that potential relationship yet.
No matter the level of love, there are ways to ease the connection and fall out of love, but it takes time and some work. From the beginning of your relationship to the honeymoon phase, it can be hard to get over a long-term relationship.
When falling out of love, it’s in your best interests to follow these steps and honor your own needs through this difficult time.
Here are 10 steps to help you fall out of love:
1. Accept the hurt. Feel the feels.
Sometimes the hardest part of change is accepting that something is changing. I think the same thing goes with feeling hurt. Don’t deny what you’re feeling.
Say it out loud: “I am lonely. I am sad. I am hurt.”
Sometimes, we mourn the loss of what could have been or what we dreamed of rather than what was. If you’re breaking up with someone you thought you’d spend your life with, you must realize that you have to heal from losing the person but also the idea of forever.
And let yourself feel exactly how you’re feeling. I think too often we rush through to the healing part because we want to be ok and feel better. But accepting your current emotional status and really just feeling it and being present is an important part to healing.
Honoring your feelings, especially when it comes to falling out of love, is important for several reasons:
- Self-Awareness: Acknowledging and honoring your feelings allows you to be more in tune with yourself. It helps you understand your needs, desires, and boundaries.
- Emotional Well-being: Suppressing or ignoring your feelings can lead to stress, anxiety, and even physical health issues. Honoring your feelings allows for emotional processing and can lead to better mental health.
- Authenticity: When you honor your feelings, you’re being true to yourself. This authenticity fosters genuine connections with others and a sense of integrity within yourself.
- Healthy Relationships: Being honest about your feelings can lead to healthier relationships. It allows for open communication, which is crucial for resolving conflicts and building trust.
- Empowerment: Recognizing your feelings empowers you to take control of your life. It gives you the agency to make choices that align with your values and aspirations.
- Learning and Growth: Emotions are signals that provide valuable information about your experiences. By honoring your feelings, you can learn from them and grow as a person.
- Resilience: Acknowledging and processing your feelings can make you more resilient. It helps you bounce back from challenges and setbacks.
- Creativity and Expression: Emotions are a wellspring of creativity and self-expression. Honoring your feelings can lead to artistic and personal breakthroughs.
- Self-compassion: Treating your feelings with respect and kindness is an act of self-compassion. It acknowledges that your emotions are valid and worthy of attention.
- Balance and Well-being: Ignoring or suppressing feelings can lead to an imbalance in your emotional state. Honoring your feelings promotes a sense of well-being and overall balance in your life.
Remember, honoring your feelings doesn’t mean acting impulsively or letting them control your actions. It means acknowledging them, understanding their source, and responding to them in a healthy and constructive way. This might involve seeking support from others, engaging in self-care, or finding healthy outlets for your emotions.
2. Be alone.
Take some time to be by yourself and spend quality time alone. Being actively single, not mingling, not dating, but truly taking time to focus on just what your wants and needs is an important part of healing and growth. Give yourself some loving feelings and spend some much needed time with yourself.
Spending time with yourself allows you to explore your own interests independently. You won’t be influenced by another person’s needs or desires. It’s how you’ll learn to trust your own instincts and make the best decisions for yourself in the future.
Take yourself on a date night and have a good time. You can do it alone. It’s an excellent way to get to know yourself better.
Spending time alone, especially after being in a relationship, has so many benefits:
- Self-Discovery: When you’re alone, you have the opportunity to explore your interests, preferences, and values without external influences. This can lead to a deeper understanding of who you are as an individual.
- Reflection and Introspection: Solitude provides a space for reflection and introspection. It allows you to process your thoughts and emotions, gain clarity on situations, and make more informed decisions.
- Creativity and Productivity: Alone time can be incredibly conducive to creativity. It offers a peaceful environment where you can focus without distractions, leading to increased productivity in tasks and creative endeavors.
- Reduced Stress and Overwhelm: Spending time alone can be a break from the demands and pressures of social interactions. It allows you to recharge, reducing stress levels and preventing burnout.
- Independence and Self-Reliance: Being alone encourages self-sufficiency. It gives you the opportunity to take care of yourself and rely on your own abilities, which can boost confidence and independence.
- Personal Growth and Development: Solitude provides the space for personal growth. It allows you to set goals, reflect on your progress, and work towards becoming the person you want to be.
- Enhanced Relationships: Spending time alone can actually strengthen relationships. It gives you the chance to focus on self-improvement, which can lead to more fulfilling interactions with others.
- Emotional Regulation: Solitude allows you to regulate your emotions. It provides a safe space to process difficult feelings, which can lead to better emotional health and more stable relationships.
- Mindfulness and Presence: Being alone can facilitate mindfulness and presence in the moment. It allows you to fully engage with your surroundings, which can lead to a greater appreciation for life.
- Rest and Relaxation: Alone time can be restorative. It offers a chance to relax, engage in self-care activities, and rejuvenate both mentally and physically.
- Freedom and Autonomy: When you’re alone, you have the freedom to do what you want without considering the preferences or needs of others. This autonomy can be liberating and empowering.
- Cultivating Independence: Spending time alone fosters a sense of self-reliance. It teaches you to be comfortable in your own company and to take initiative in pursuing your interests.
It’s important to note that while spending time alone can be incredibly beneficial, it’s also crucial to balance it with social interactions for a well-rounded and fulfilling life. Striking a healthy balance between alone time and social engagement is key to overall well-being.
3. Spend time with friends.
There are different types of love, and non-romantic love is important! Even when you’re heartbroken, there are still many people in your life who love you. Let them show you how they care by accepting offers for lunch or having an old-fashioned sleepover with your closest girlfriends.
Make future plans together and focus on the good things. This will help you create emotional distance from someone who hurt you and strengthen your other relationships.
4. Practice self-care.
Self-care is not a new term, but sometimes we put all of our focus and energy on building or maintaining a relationship and we lose sight of taking care of ourselves. Use this time to figure out what re-energizes you, what soothes you, and practice doing something for yourself daily.
Make a healthy meal plan, bake cookies on Saturday afternoon, walk around your neighborhood, go to your therapy appointment this week, call your mom. Journal your feelings.
Write a letter to your past love and burn it. Or shred it. Or leave it in your journal to find years from now to remind you of how you’ve grown. Getting your feelings out is a healthy part of self-care as you start to fall out of love.
This might also mean going to a relationship therapist (or even couples therapy or family therapy if necessary) to address the red flags and negative feelings. The best thing you can do for yourself is care for yourself physically and emotionally.
5. Replace the space.
If a relationship is ending or has ended, most likely you’ve gained a lot of new time or an empty feeling because the person you were with is now gone. You have to replace the space.
For example, if you were watching a show with your former partner, replace that time with watching a new show with a friend. Sign yourself up for new workout classes. Set weekly networking meetings with new people.
6. Clear out.
Have you ever heard of Marie Kondo? If not, please read this immediately. Change is the perfect time for a fresh start. Set new intentions with your life, starting with your home. Letting go of material items that clutter our space is a great step into freeing yourself for healing.
Get rid of anything that reminds you of the person you’re no longer with. Don’t leave things in a box under your bed. That box under the bed is like clutter in the heart. Let it go, girlfriend.
In the same vein, delete their messages from your phone. Don’t leave them there for you to scroll through when you’ve had one glass of wine too many.
Helpful steps for decluttering:
Decluttering items associated with an ex-lover can be a healing and empowering process. Here are some steps to help you navigate this:
- Set Your Intentions:
- Begin by acknowledging your feelings and setting clear intentions for this decluttering process. Recognize that letting go of these items is a step towards your own healing and moving forward.
- Create a Safe and Supportive Space:
- Choose a comfortable and private space where you can go through these items without feeling rushed or judged. This could be your bedroom, a quiet corner, or a dedicated decluttering area.
- Gather All Items:
- Collect all items associated with your ex-lover. This includes gifts, mementos, clothing, photographs, letters, and anything else that holds sentimental value.
- Sort into Categories:
- Divide the items into categories based on their significance and your emotional attachment to them. For example, you might have a category for keepsakes, another for items with practical use, and one for items you’re ready to let go of.
- Reflect on Each Item:
- Take time to reflect on each item. Consider the emotions it brings up and whether it aligns with your current path of healing and growth. This process may be emotional, so be gentle with yourself.
- Keep What Truly Holds Value:
- Keep the items that truly hold positive, meaningful value for you. These might include different things that represent personal growth, cherished memories, or serve a practical purpose in your life.
- Let Go of What No Longer Serves You:
- For items that no longer align with your present or future, consider letting them go. This might include gifts that bring up painful memories or items that hold negative emotional energy.
- Choose Disposal Methods:
- Decide how you’ll handle the items you’re letting go of. You might choose to donate them, sell them, recycle them, or responsibly dispose of them.
- Create a Symbolic Ritual:
- Consider incorporating a symbolic ritual to mark this transition. Lighting a candle, saying a few words, or even writing a letter to yourself can help solidify the closure you’re seeking.
- Organize and Store:
- Arrange the items you’ve decided to keep in a way that honors their significance. This might involve finding a special place for them or incorporating them into your daily life in a meaningful way.
- Seek Support if Needed:
- If you find this process particularly challenging, don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist for support and guidance.
Remember, decluttering is a personal journey. Take all the time you need, and honor your feelings throughout the process. Celebrate the steps you take towards creating a space that reflects your present and future self.
7. Do something creative.
I’m a firm believer in the power of journaling, and I tend to only do it when I’m feeling down. Writing my feelings down helps me see them from another angle and release the tension I’m holding on to.
Other creative activities like painting, listening or creating music, even just singing in the car at the top of your lungs, helps us connect with our self and use a different part of our brain. It’s also a good way to work through your feelings.
This can also help you distance yourself from the physical intimacy element as well.
8. Start something new (like a hobby).
Learning something new is a great way to build confidence and explore a new side of yourself. Have you always wanted to try rock climbing? Or woodworking? Or podcasting? The time is now, my friend, to try what you’ve been wanting to do!
You’ll never get over someone if you sit around and think about them all day. You can’t move on if your head (and your heart) are stuck in the past. Start thinking about your future and your own goals.
Lots of times the first thing we need to do is focus on ourselves and process what has happened before we can move on.
9. Create distance.
To really heal and move on, you need to distance yourself from the person who you’re trying to fall out of love with. This is the perfect time to mute or unfollow them on social media, and really if you can create distance for yourself from social media in general, that’s the best way to take space back for yourself.
It’s okay if you need to stop seeing mutual friends for a while. It’s okay if you need to unfriend their family members or untag yourself from photos. Heck, if you need to make physical distance and move, do it. Unlacing your heart from someone you loved deeply is not an easy thing to do. And it’s even harder if you have to see them everyday or might accidentally cross paths with them.
10. Accept their role in your story.
Not every love is forever. As the saying goes, some people are in your life for a reason, some for a reason, and some for a lifetime. Falling out of love often means accepting the reason this person was in your life as the season ends.
The end of a love can make a time for change. It’s time to write a new chapter instead of re-reading old ones.
Falling out of love is hard but not impossible. Most importantly, you have to be gentle with yourself, be willing to ask for help, and really let yourself grieve. It’s not going to be just a flick of a switch and it’s over. It’s like riding a wave or sledding down a hill that doesn’t have enough snow.
Final Thoughts on Falling Out of Love
In conclusion, falling out of love is a complex and often painful experience that many of us may face at some point in our lives. It’s important to remember that it’s a natural part of the human journey, and it doesn’t diminish your worth or capacity to love in the future. Embracing this process with self-compassion and understanding can pave the way for healing and growth.
You will have another healthy relationship in the future. As you navigate this transition, be patient with yourself. Allow time for reflection, self-care, and seeking support from trusted friends or professionals. Remember, your feelings are valid, and it’s okay to prioritize your own well-being.
Ultimately, falling out of love can be a stepping stone towards a more authentic, fulfilling, and harmonious future. It opens the door for new experiences, self-discovery, and the possibility of finding a love that aligns more closely with the person you are today.
Embrace this chapter with an open heart, for it is in these moments of transformation that we often find our truest selves. Remember, you are deserving of love and happiness, and the good news is, your journey is uniquely yours to shape.
Songs to help you fall out of love:
Here’s a curated playlist full of songs about breakups, falling out of love, and healing a broken heart. Remember to be gentle with yourself!