After a breakup, it can be difficult to let go of the past and move on with your life.
You are probably asking yourself “Can you ever stop loving someone?” because, at the moment, it doesn’t feel like you can.
But in reality, there are steps you can take in order to move forward and move on from the relationship, and I will tell you exactly how to do it!
Before we start: Can you actually stop loving someone?
I’m sure you want to find out the most pressing question of all: Can you stop loving someone?
The answer is not as simple as yes or no.
You see, when you truly love someone, you will love them forever, whether you are in a relationship or not.
But that doesn’t mean you are hung up on the breakup forever.
The love will merely shift, from romantic love to a love where you simply want the best for one another, even if that means being separated.
So, in a way, you can stop loving someone, but it will not be the same as when you first fell in love.
The pain and longing will be gone, replaced with a different kind of love that is not as intense but still there.
I know you probably want to move on and just shut off your feelings but trust me, experiencing true love that goes beyond romance is something very special, and you should not take it for granted.
I’m sure you can agree that, if you could go back in time, you would want to experience the same love again.
Now that we have addressed this burning question, let’s move on to the steps!
12 steps to move forward
1) Accept the breakup
First off, it is important to accept that the relationship has come to an end and there won’t be any going back.
If you’re having trouble accepting the breakup, try to remind yourself of why it happened and what led up to it.
The best thing you can do at this point is let go of the person and focus on who you are and what makes you happy in life.
When it comes to letting go, take a deep breath and remember that everything will feel better in time.
Accepting a breakup can be difficult, especially when you weren’t the one initiating it, but in order to move forward, you will have to accept it.
I like looking at it from a positive angle. Instead of beating yourself up for a “failed” relationship, try to be grateful for the wonderful memories and experiences this relationship has brought you.
You see, I don’t believe in such a thing as a failed relationship. I think every relationship we are in is important and teaches us something we need to learn at the time.
I’m sure you can agree that, even if the relationship didn’t last, there were some good times and reasons why you chose to be with this person.
It is important to remember those times and see how they shaped who you are today.
So, every relationship is a success in its own way.
Once you realize that and know that having been in the relationship is enough for it to be a success, maybe it will get easier to move on from the breakup and accept it for what it is.
Think about it this way: you have learned everything you needed to learn and now you are in a place where a new experience will come into your life eventually and teach you more.
Now that we have addressed why it’s better to accept the breakup than resist it, let’s move on to the next step!
2) Accept the love you feel
Another crucial step is to accept the love you feel for this person.
The reason why it can be so hard to let go of someone is that we refuse to accept that we still have feelings for them.
We tell ourselves all sorts of nonsense like they were the one mistake, or they weren’t good enough, and those are all lies, when in reality, as we discussed if you truly loved them, those feelings won’t just go away.
The more you resist your true feelings and act as if you don’t love them anymore, the harder it will be to move forward.
You see, grief is a huge part of the process, so accepting that you love them and griefing the loss of this relationship is crucial.
Otherwise, you will be stuck in this limbo where you are not quite over them, but you also can’t move on.
It is important to let yourself feel your feelings and go through the grieving process.
But sometimes it’s scary to move on.
The truth is that we’re scared of how our life will change if we let them go, and it’s true: our life will change.
But it doesn’t have to be a bad change!
You’ve got to take risks in order to grow and figure out who you are without them.
You know what you want now, which is an important lesson to learn.
It’s also important not to confuse infatuation with love; as soon as this person leaves your sight, your feelings might fade away automatically.
That’s why you need to spend some time alone with yourself and figure out what you really want out of life.
3) Speak to someone
While the steps in this article will help you deal with moving on from a relationship, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.
With a professional relationship coach, you can get advice tailored to the specific issues you’re facing in your love life.
Relationship Hero is a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people navigate complex and difficult love situations, like still loving your ex.
They’re popular because they genuinely help people solve problems.
Why do I recommend them?
Well, after going through difficulties in my own love life, I reached out to them a few months ago.
After feeling helpless for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship, including practical advice on how to overcome the issues I was facing.
I was blown away by how genuine, understanding, and professional they were.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice specific to your situation.
4) Stop idealizing your ex-partner
The next important step to moving on is realizing you cannot have the love you once had with this person.
This might seem impossible, but the best way to move on is to stop idealizing your ex-partner.
Idealizing your ex-partner will make it harder for you to enjoy other relationships in the future and it will make it difficult to move on.
We have a tendency to, once a relationship has ended, remember only the good parts and forget about anything bad that happened.
It’s important to realize that this person is not perfect and they are not the only ones who can make you happy.
Realize that there are other people out there who will love you, care for you and treat you better than your ex-partner did.
Think about all the ways in which this person hurt or failed to support you and let go of your image of them as a perfect partner.
This will help you move on from your ex-partner, but it is also crucial because doing so will help build a strong foundation for any future relationships.
When you are in a new relationship and start noticing flaws in this person, you may find yourself becoming frustrated because they don’t measure up to the person from your previous relationship.
So, how does one stop idealizing their ex-partner?
It’s tricky, especially when you still feel love for them, but not idealizing them doesn’t mean you need to bash them or feel extremely negative – it simply means identifying where they weren’t a good match for you.
You can start by writing a list of traits that you didn’t like while in a relationship with them, like maybe:
- they were selfish
- they couldn’t talk about their feelings
- they prioritized everything else above you
When you write down everything that you wished could have been different while in a relationship with them, you will notice that they weren’t an “ideal” partner.
We all have flaws, and it’s important to realize that your ex-partner is not perfect and they aren’t the only person who can make you happy.
In fact, you might be surprised at how many things they did that annoyed you!
If you continue to idealize your ex-partner and believe they were the only person who could ever love you, then it will be harder for you to move on.
Instead, once you’ve realized what was “wrong” with this relationship, you will notice that you can find something even better.
It’s normal to still feel some positive feelings towards your ex-partner because of all the good times spent together and you shouldn’t forget about those, either, but it’s important to also recognize that there were some negative things about this relationship.
5) Process your emotions
One of the first steps you need to take is to process your emotions.
It’s okay to feel angry, sad, and any other negative emotions that come up.
Don’t try to feel good about the breakup right away, that will only lead to suppressing emotions, which is the last thing you want to be doing right now.
You see, you lost something important in your life, and in order to move forward, you need to grieve.
Forcing yourself to feel positive right now will not help with that process.
Instead, try to find ways to process your emotions, like writing in a journal, crying, talking to friends or family, or even just going on a long walk and thinking about everything.
These are all healthy ways to process your emotions and will eventually help you move on.
Another common mistake people make is trying to find answers right after their breakup.
This is a huge mistake because it can lead you to blame yourself for the breakup and make you feel even worse.
Instead, try not to think about why the relationship ended and focus on how you can move forward instead.
If you do want to find out why the relationship ended, try not overthinking it – in most cases, there isn’t one specific reason why things didn’t work out.
Don’t focus on the rational thinking aspect of it all and instead just let yourself feel.
A big part of this is also to not use distractions too much.
I know, that after a breakup you want to avoid the pain, which is why so many people get drunk, go out, sleep with other people, and do anything to not think about their ex.
But this is actually not a good way to move forward quickly.
All it does is push back the time frame of when you can move on.
You see, your feelings need to be felt eventually. Whether you do it right away and get it over with or try to distract yourself for weeks, months, or even years before moving on is up to you.
But the longer you wait, the harder it will be to move on.
The main point here is to not try to avoid your feelings and just deal with them.
I know it’s easier said than done, but trust me when I say that this is the fastest way to move on.
6) Focus on yourself
The most important thing you should do right now is focusing on yourself.
This can be a difficult step to take because you may not want to be thinking about yourself when you are in the midst of a breakup.
However, by focusing on yourself, you are taking care of yourself and healing your own wounds.
First, try to start being mindful of your emotions.
This can be done by journaling or writing out your thoughts and feelings.
Doing so will help you figure out what you feel and really think about the relationship that has ended.
Second, get rid of the reminders that are all around.
Remove pictures from your social media with them in it, delete their contact information from your phone, and put away anything else that reminds you of them.
It may seem like a small thing now but over time these memories can become painful reminders of what was lost and what could have been.
Removing these things from your life as soon as possible, will help bring closure to the relationship sooner than later.
Third, find ways to fill up your time with something new or old that brings joy into your life.
It is important to keep filling up your days with positive things so that they don’t get consumed by negative thoughts that come along with a breakup or loss.
You should also try to have fun more often!
Doing this will help keep the good times going and leave less room for bitterness about the past coming back into play when you least expect it.
Lastly, take care of yourself. It can be easy to start neglecting your hygiene or appearance when you are grieving, and that’s okay for a few days, but in order to move on, you need to pull yourself out of this funk and get yourself together again.
Trust me, once you start taking care of your body, showering, doing your hair, and looking nice just for yourself, you will feel a lot better.
Remember, you are an amazing person and deserve to be treated like one.
Never allow anyone to make you feel bad about yourself or make you feel like you aren’t good enough.
You are amazing and always will be.
7) Prioritize relationships with friends and family
It can be natural to want to focus on your ex, but you need to start prioritizing relationships with friends and family.
It is so important to surround yourself with those who love you and will support you through the process.
Maybe this is a good time to call up a friend or family member and chat with them.
And the best part?
They can often offer you a perspective that you can’t see while in the middle of this breakup!
Sometimes, we neglect family and friends while we are in a relationship and put all of our focus on our partners.
Of course, this isn’t the most healthy behavior, but it’s another great reason why it’s important to spend more time with them after the breakup.
Plus, it’s crucial that you realize that your life is not over now that your relationship is – there are so many people who love you and want the best for you!
Try to surround yourself with positive people who will support you during this process.
It can be easy to fall into negative thought patterns and dwell on the fact that you are single again, but if you have a solid support system, it will be much easier to keep these thoughts from consuming your every waking moment.
8) Do something you’ve been putting off
One of the best ways to stop loving someone is by doing something you’ve been putting off.
While it may seem like a time-consuming task, if you do it, you’ll have less mental energy to put into your past relationship.
For example, if you haven’t finished cleaning out your house and need to go through all of the items in your closet, then now is the time to do it!
Instead of thinking about your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, think about what you’re going to do with all those clothes.
This way you won’t have as much time to think about them and how they were such an important part of your life before.
But it doesn’t have to be something daunting, now is also the perfect time to try something new that you have never done before!
It can be difficult to find the time and energy to do something fun when you are in the midst of a breakup, but it’s incredibly important that you do.
This can be anything – start taking a dance class, pick up an instrument, sign up for a class at your local community college… just do something different!
These hobbies will help fill up your time and give you an outlet for all of this negative energy that comes along with being dumped by someone you love.
And the best part?
You will realize that passion and fun are still readily available, even without this person in your life right now.
And who knows? Maybe you discover something you love!
9) Give yourself space from your ex
The most important thing you should do is give yourself space from your ex.
Don’t call them, don’t text them, and try to avoid any contact with them as much as possible.
This will make it easier for you to move on.
You might be thinking “But what if my ex contacts me?”
Well, in that case, you can tell them that you would like some time or distance and they should respect your decision.
You see, this will be an incredibly hard decision.
When you love someone, you want to cling to any contact or interaction with them.
However, in order to move on, you will need to have some space.
Do you want to be friends with them further down the line?
I guarantee you that this will be a lot easier if you take some distance now and move on.
Otherwise, you will be friends right away and your feelings will linger for months, if not years!
So, tell your ex that you would love to be friends, but that you need some space first in order to sort out your own emotions.
Tell them that once you’re ready, you’ll reach out to them.
That way, you will actually be in control of when you will speak to them again.
Set yourself a time frame of how long you won’t contact them (at least). This will help with the temptation of sending them the 3 am “I miss you” text.
10) Understand why it ended
Breakups can be difficult, especially when you don’t truly understand why they ended in the first place.
That raises the question:
Why does love so often start out great, only to become a nightmare?
And what’s the solution to getting over your ex and moving on?
The answer is contained in the relationship you have with yourself.
I learned about this from the renowned shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me to see through the lies we tell ourselves about love and become truly empowered.
As Rudá explains in this mind-blowing free video, love is not what many of us think it is. In fact, many of us are actually self-sabotaging our love lives without realizing it!
We need to face the facts about the breakup:
Far too often we chase an idealized image of someone and build up expectations that are guaranteed to be let down.
Far too often we fall into codependent roles of savior and victim to try to “fix” our partner, only to end up in a miserable, bitter routine.
Far too often, we are on shaky ground with our own selves and this carries over into toxic relationships that become hell on earth.
Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective.
While watching, I felt like someone understood my struggles to find love for the first time – and finally offered an actual, practical solution to moving on (and eventually finding someone better).
If you’re done with unsatisfying dating, empty hookups, frustrating relationships, and having your hopes dashed over and over, then this is a message you need to hear.
11) Get excited about the future
When you are feeling down or going through a difficult time, it can be very easy to focus on what you have lost.
You might find yourself thinking about everything that used to make you happy or how much better life was before the breakup.
However, when you start looking forward and seeing the future for what it can be, it will help you move on from the past.
The next time you start thinking about what your life was like before the breakup, try to focus on all of the new opportunities that are out there waiting for you!
Take some time to think about what your day-to-day life will look like in a few months, a year, or five years.
What does your future hold? What can’t you wait to get started on?
Don’t think about anything else but the future and all of the amazing things that are waiting for you!
You see, your relationship might have been great, but there’s a reason it ended. Now imagine how much potential there is for an even better relationship to come along eventually!
Think about it: maybe your ex will stay in your life as a friend, while sooner or later, you will find the love of your life.
It will be the best of both worlds!
Sometimes, we need to go through a painful time in order to level up.
You will grow as a person, you will learn how to deal with things in a better way, and you will be happier because of it!
So, don’t be afraid to move on.
It might feel scary at first, but there is so much potential in the future.
12) Don’t rush, it will take time
Moving on from someone takes time.
The process is not fast and it’s hard to get over the person you’ve loved for so long.
But, when you’re ready to move on, you will know.
It might take a few months, it might take a year or two – but when you’re ready, there are things you can do in order to help yourself heal and move forward with your life.
There is a saying that goes “Time heals all wounds”.
To be honest, I don’t believe in this entirely, because I think that if you don’t take any active steps towards healing something, then time won’t help, either.
However, when you are actively working on moving on, then time will help you heal, it’s true.
With every day, it will get a little easier until one day you wake up and they aren’t the first thing you think about anymore.
That’s when you’ll know that you are moving in the right direction.
You can do this
I know, this is a difficult time, but you can do this.
Although it is painful, this breakup will eventually be for the best.
Perhaps you will never stop loving this person, but your love for them will transform, and that is a beautiful thing.
And when you feel especially sad, think about how lucky you are to have experienced something so beautiful that it is worth feeling grief and pain over.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.
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