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 relationship. Yet. But I have love in my life, I have 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.
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.
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.
2. Be alone.
Take some time to be by yourself. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Songs to help you fall out of love: