Is it time to finally let go of your partner? Do you want to overcome the powerful grip of attachment?
I get it… Even though you know that you’ll be better off eventually, detaching yourself from someone you love is still a painful process. But trust me, it can be accomplished successfully with a bit of willpower and inner strength.
Whether it’s due to a breakup or you want out of an unfulfilling relationship, detaching yourself is a necessary and rewarding step to gaining happiness. The fact that you’re reading this now is a first step.
In this article, I’ll teach you how to detach from someone you love in 16 steps. Let’s jump into it!
1) Acknowledge your feelings
My late grandfather always used to say “don’t lie to yourself.” Sometimes for the sake of salvaging a dying relationship, we might try to convince ourselves that things can be fixed, even though deep down we know that probably isn’t true.
Before you start the process of detaching, it’s crucial to acknowledge then accept how you feel. This means being honest about how you feel about the entire situation, be it angry, hurt, or sad.
This is the first step towards detaching: being true to yourself about your feelings! Once you’ve come to terms with that, you’ll be much more equipped to move on. This is a normal and healthy part of the process.
How many relationships are there where people are unhappy– toxic relationships where people stay out of habit and nothing else? Our guess is a lot!
Everyone deserves to be happy and to do this, we need the courage to accept our feelings and stop living in denial.
2) Allow yourself to grieve
Look, I know you might feel a little guilty for wanting the relationship to end. But you’ve done what you could, and things still don’t work.
Sometimes relationships are just broken beyond repair. That’s life for you, sometimes, nobody is really to blame.
The fact that you want to do things properly is validation that you are a quality person! You want the best for yourself and the situation, and that’s more than fair.
So allow yourself to grieve the loss of a relationship with someone you love. Once you let those tears flow, you’ve started the healing journey. Maybe it sounds counterintuitive, but grieving this kind of loss is still normal and should be encouraged.
It is normal to feel a complexity of emotions, from sorrow to guilt to anger and confusion. Allow yourself permission to express these feelings.
3) Cut off contact
Here’s the thing, sometimes cold turkey is the way to go. This extends to all bad habits, from smoking to junk food to bad relationships.
Once you’ve broken up, cutting off contact with the person you still love is one of the more important stages to thoroughly detach yourself from them.
It’s a confusing and painful time, so it’s pretty easy to fall into the trap of feelings and emotions. But I assure you, this only regresses your path, and before you know it, you’ll be back where you started. This is the last thing you want!
Cutting off contact means no phone calls, texts, emails, or social media interactions. It can be tempting to check in on them, but doing so will only prolong the process of detachment.
Block their number and social media if you have to. You’re vulnerable–at this point, we tend to get nostalgic, remembering the good times, and filtering out the bad. Stop that!
Maybe one day down the line, you can be civil, even have a friendship. But if the breakup is too fresh and emotions are too strong, the last thing you want is to be constantly reminded of that person.
And speaking of reminders…
4) Get rid of reminders
As we established, your emotions are likely running high at this point. Anything and everything can trigger you into relapsing. You need to take active steps to prevent this from happening.
Remove any reminders of the person you love from your environment–this could mean getting rid of photos, gifts, or even Instagram posts of you together.
If you feel it’s necessary, remove their close friends and family from your social media contacts too, then maybe re-add them if you like, when you’re in a better emotional state one day.
Speaking from experience, I’ll tell you that when you’re constantly reminded of someone you love, it makes the detachment process that much more difficult.
Keep your head in the game! Stay on your toes, and do what you have to do to feel whole again. This includes focusing on yourself above all, which brings me to my next point…
5) Focus on yourself
Let’s be honest here, at this point, your well-being, more than anyone else’s, should be the priority. Make sure you’re healthy–getting adequate sleep, exercising, and eating properly.
Do things that bring you joy and fulfillment! Focus on yourself during this process of detachment. This means self-care!
Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually.
I’ll be completely honest: I’ve always been a bit skeptical when it comes to things like religion and spirituality. But at the same time, I seek the same things most humans do: inner peace, enlightenment, and meaning.
So when a friend recommended I read up on shaman Rudá Iandé I tried to keep an open mind, and boy, that sure paid off!
Rudá is different from the rest because he promotes spiritual empowerment from within. He doesn’t manipulate it for self-interest.
He promotes spiritual empowerment from within. Click here to watch the free video and bust the spiritual myths you’ve bought for the truth.
Rather than tell you how you should practice spirituality, Rudá puts the focus solely on you.
Essentially, he puts you back in the driver’s seat of your spiritual journey. I give Ruda a lot of credit for fulfilling my spiritual self-care needs.
6) Get in shape
Don’t wallow in bed or get blackout drunk as a means to coping. Again speaking from experience, this type of behavior is truly counterproductive. Have a regular fitness routine like going lifting weights or yoga. Maybe sign up for that spin class you’ve been eyeing.
When I broke up with my first serious girlfriend, I was distraught–even though I was the one who ended it. After a brief period of dejection, I somehow gained the resolve to start a new routine: boxing.
Not only was boxing good for my physical health, it also became an emotional outlet, a form of catharsis for me.
Getting out of the house and sweating it out in a boxing gym, endorphins flowing and all, was really an amazing way to get over my failed relationship. The mental benefits of regular exercise are incredible.
Soon enough, I was in much better shape, both physically and mentally. And like clockwork, people would regularly compliment me for my improved appearance.
Their words and support made me feel great about myself, and this became a key period during that healing and detachment journey.
And since we’re on the subject of support…
7) Find support
Knowing you have people you can lean on during such a traumatic time is a comforting thing. Reach out to friends and family members who can offer emotional support during this difficult time. Having the right people in your life can be really helpful.
For whatever reason, if you don’t have a support system at your disposal, consider finding a therapist or counselor that can provide guidance and support, someone who can make you feel heard.
As humans, it’s our nature to be social beings… going through an ordeal of this magnitude alone is a pretty daunting task and something you should avoid if possible!
8) Set boundaries
Make no mistake about it, being firm about your boundaries can help you detach from someone you love. Having boundaries means establishing clearly what is and what isn’t acceptable in your interactions with them.
For instance, you might not be ready to see them in person, so you’d rather communicate via email or over the phone. Since the feelings are probably still there, maybe it’s best to avoid meeting in person. And if you do have to meet, do it somewhere public with many distractions…
But don’t be distracted when you’re reflecting…
9) Practice self-reflection
If you’re still processing things, try to reflect on the relationship and how you can learn and improve from it. This will ultimately help you in gaining insight as to why the relationship ended (or is ending) and what you can do differently to create successful future relationships.
Consider writing your thoughts down in a journal or seeking out a therapist to vent your thoughts and feelings.
I’ve found that when you articulate your thoughts and feelings down on paper, it helps give you clarity with moving forward.
Also, when you’re feeling lost or confused, you can just turn to your notes, and that will instantly put back things in place. That’s the beauty of the written word, it helps provide perspective in tough times.
10) Learn to let go
It may be easier said than done, but try to gradually let go of the past. This is an important step in successfully detaching from someone you love.
This essentially means releasing any attachment to the relationship and focusing on the future and present instead of the past.
Try developing a mindfulness or meditation routine to develop your sense of presence and acceptance. Learn to let go, to accept that some things in life are meant to be temporary, and moving forward, you’re far better off!
You can cultivate this by staying busy…
11) Stay busy
Staying busy with things you enjoy can be quite helpful when you want to detach yourself from someone you love.
Whether it’s work or the gym or even going to the movies with friends, keeping your calendar occupied can help distract you and shift your focus away from the relationship and redirect it to other, more productive aspects of life.
By being active and enjoying your days, you will eventually change your priorities and perspective! Eventually, you’ll see things more objectively and clearly, and this should help you in the detachment process.
If you can’t think of things to fill your schedule, consider trying new hobbies or rekindling old ones…
12) Explore new interests
Speaking of new hobbies, when you try something new, you grow as a person. Exploring interests and hobbies can be an amazing way of unlocking new passions!
Trying new things will also help stimulate you and give you new life as an individual. Subconsciously, you’re telling yourself that it’s all part of your new persona–one that is better than the last, free of attachment and emotional baggage. This is the new you!
Trying new hobbies can often lead to meeting new people and expanding your network as well. Being with a fresh group of people will give you a sense of community and perspective that previously wasn’t there or was jaded.
New hobbies and interests can help you move forward and find fulfillment in other areas of your life. Consider taking a class or joining a group that focuses on something you are interested in or passionate about.
Maybe even learn a new language and about a new culture. My 88-year-old grandmother takes weekly Italian language lessons… just because she can. Realize that the quest for self-growth and self-improvement never ends. So, what’s your excuse?
And if you still feel like you’re second-guessing yourself, don’t be discouraged. All good things happen to those who wait…
13) Be patient
And since we’re on the subject of waiting, remember that nothing of value in this world (for the most part, anyway) happens instantly. Detaching yourself from someone you love takes time and patience.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you are having a difficult time. Don’t expect to change things completely overnight. Take baby steps, celebrate your small milestones.
Being kind to yourself is a form of self-care, so remember the importance of allowing yourself the time you need to heal. If you rush the process of detachment, like most things in life, expect crappy results.
Take calm, methodical steps towards healing, and more than likely, you’ll achieve your goals.
Just make sure to keep moving forward and avoid things like the temptation to reconnect.
14) Avoid the temptation to reconnect
I get it, giving in and reconnecting with the person you love is such a tempting and easy pursuit. But remember, if you end up doing this, you’re pretty much saying goodbye to all your hard-earned progress.
Or at the very least, you’re delaying the process of detachment, making it significantly harder to move on.
Going back to my relationship, I recall when my somewhat abusive ex “broke up” with me for the nth time. I had enough. I eventually got it together and called her bluff the next time she tried to break up, then rekindle.
I came to the realization that what she was doing to me was part of a toxic cycle. I felt I deserved better. When she made desperate pleas to rekindle or at least talk in private, I shut it down (with the support of my friends), saying “no thank you!” and wishing her luck.
I avoided the extremely tempting trap of reconnecting, and looking back, I consider it one of the better decisions I’ve ever made… even if it pained me to write and send that text message. Guess what? If I can do it, so can you!
And now that you’ve gotten this far, now it’s time to forgive…
15) Practice forgiveness
Nobody is too big to forgive. Realize that forgiveness can be a powerful tool in the process of detachment.
This means forgiving both yourself and the person you love for any pain or hurt that occurred during the relationship. More often than not, it takes two to tango in a relationship, so chances are you’ve both had your shortcomings throughout the ordeal.
Realize that making mistakes is part of being human, so as difficult as it may seem, try to forgive the person you love. And of course, don’t forget to forgive yourself. This is not only part of the process of detachment, it’s also part of your journey in life. You’re a better person now than you were before.
Forgiveness can help release any negative emotions and allow you to move forward with a sense of peace and closure. This will set you up for bigger and better things in life, which leads me to this next point…
16) Embrace new beginnings
Let’s face it, sometimes we stay in faulty relationships because it’s comfortable, and as people, we like comfort… Well, maybe it’s time to change things up and embrace new beginnings. The new (and unknown) is exciting and, in the case of detachment, the sign of better things to come.
Life goes on. Detaching yourself from someone you love can be a difficult process, but it is also a terrific opportunity for growth and a fresh start, with everything you’ve learned now a part of you.
Embrace the possibility of a new future and zero in on the great aspects of your life. Think about the exciting possibilities and opportunities that are around the corner.. Remember, try to think of the glass as half-full, not empty. You can start over, the world is at your disposal… now own it!
Let’s wrap it up!
In conclusion, yes, detaching yourself from someone you love is not the easiest task in the world. Be prepared for a challenging journey that will take both time and patience.
One of the most significant things to remember is that detaching is not linear, everyone’s experience is unique. Everyone also moves at their own pace. While I gave you some suggestions, there really is no “right” way to detach from someone you love–in fact, what works for one person may not work for you. And vice versa.
Ultimately, detaching yourself from someone you love is an entire process of letting go and moving forward. It will likely be difficult at first but consider it as an opportunity for growth and new beginnings.
By making self-care a habit, having a support group, and focusing on the good aspects of your life, you can and will find healing, closure, and a sense of peace. I promise you.
So, take a deep breath and trust that you can get through this. I know you can do it! Remember, you are a strong and resilient creature and above all, you deserve to be happy.
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