Not many things hurt quite as much as love that cannot be expressed or fulfilled. You probably find yourself thinking about this person you love all the time and the bitter-sweet memories keep you attached to the past or what never was. You can end up stuck in this phase for months or years. This begs the question, can you force yourself to stop loving someone?
In therapy, I have learned that you cannot force yourself to stop loving someone because the more you resist something, the more it persists. You can’t escape emotions but you can surrender to them until they run out.
I was introduced to this concept from the book Letting Go by Dr. David R Hawkins who details the path to surrender.
Essentially, most people are accustomed to escaping, suppressing or expressing emotions in an attempt to get over certain thoughts that trigger these feelings.
However, in doing so, they are either avoiding or feeding into the very same feelings and thoughts.
As we know, the more you feed something, the greater it grows.
Instead, it is advised to just surrender to your emotions without judgment and allow those feelings to run out. Do not try to rationalize or fight with the thoughts that are accompanied by these feelings either.
Once you stop grappling with these feelings and thoughts, you are more likely to stop feeling them.
So, instead of forcing yourself to stop loving someone, allow yourself to love them and not judge those feelings nor act on them.
I understand that this seems so counterintuitive when you’ve been struggling to let go of loving someone.
But, the alternative is to do unnecessary things that don’t work and to experience a greater amount of suffering than you should.
Let me explain further.
If you try to forcibly stop loving someone, you’re going to try hard.
All that effort is placing a greater expectation on getting the result you want which means that you’ll be focusing even more on those feelings you have for someone.
How is that even healthy?
If nothing happens, you’re going to feel extreme frustration and anger at yourself.
If something happens but then you have a day when those feelings come rushing back because of a reminder or whatever it may be, you’ll break down and feel extremely sad or depressed and hopeless.
When you look at things from this perspective, a compelling argument is staring at you and I hope that you consider it.
Now, if you’ve done nothing for months or years and you just can’t move on, then there are some things you probably should do to help you move on and stop loving someone.
By nature, these things aren’t going to stop the feelings but they’re going to prevent or minimize them by not feeding them.
Tips On How To Stop Loving Someone
1. Resolve unfinished business and issues
Perhaps you’ve never apologized for hurting your ex or you never expressed feelings of pain caused by something your ex has done.
Alternatively, you never got to voice how grateful you were for something he or she did.
It might be a good idea to reach out over an email to express that and get it off your chest.
The point isn’t to elicit a reaction from your ex but to express yourself so that it becomes easier for you to let go and stop loving him or her.
2. Allow yourself to grieve
Letting go of people you care about is painful. I’m just echoing the obvious to you, I know that but sometimes there’s comfort in being reminded that what you are feeling is normal and shared between all of us.
You’re not alone in your grief.
There are so many of us out there right now grieving the loss of a partner or family member or friend and it feels tumultuous.
It’s been over half a year since my last relationship ended and sometimes I wish that I could switch my feelings off because it’s painful growing apart and letting go of someone I still love.
But, life is painful and it’s joyful.
It’s not one or the other.
You don’t get to have one without the other.
There’s beauty in that.
Dealing with grief is just a part of life and it’s a part of love. There is no love in this world without grief.
And you were lucky enough to love someone in such a way that their loss causes you grief.
That’s true love right there.
It’s okay to grieve someone, even if they hurt you or left you.
Related post: How to cope with a broken heart
3. Find comfort in being alone
“If you do not enjoy being by yourself, you’re not in good company.”
It’s ironic that I spent my entire life chasing companionship to feel happy only to find comfort in being by myself during heartbreak.
Getting to this point took a lot of work because I could not handle being by myself.
From a lack of self-love to codependency to abandonment issues, I’ve had to dig open these wounded parts of myself and heal them through patience, counseling, discourse, support, good deeds and good work.
It’s still a work in progress but the more I seek a healthy relationship with myself, the easier it becomes to move forward in life and deal with loss.
I know that you’re struggling and searching for answers on how to stop loving someone but instead of forcing yourself to do that, why not shift your focus towards enjoying your time alone.
By the time you find comfort in being alone, you’d have grown so much as a person that it’s only natural for you to outgrow the feelings you carry right now.
What is expected of you to reach a state of contentment with yourself is acceptance of that which cannot be changed and that which has passed.
So, if you work on yourself and seek to build a life of value and purpose, you will end up learning how to stop loving someone from the past.
Related post: How to cope with anxiety about being single
4. Get some space from the person you love
Some distance makes the heart grow fonder but too much of it can make it grow distant.
You’re not going to move on or stop loving someone who is still a big part of your life.
Very rarely will this happen!
Every single time you text, call, meet or hang out with this person, you’re keeping the attachment alive.
It can be difficult when you’re working with this person or close friends but you have to prioritize your own well-being, even if that means creating boundaries that do not extend beyond the scope of professionalism.
Give yourself the space to be alone to remove this person from the dream you have in your mind.
The dream you have for love and companionship should remain but the person has to be removed from it in order for you to be okay, move on and find peace.
Related post: Should you be friends with someone who dumped you?
5. Remove reminders
Space will help and this person may even have no contact with you but then there’s an expectation for you to not keep this alive.
What this means is that you have to avoid their social media, remove their details to avoid reaching out and store them away or remove pictures and videos or other reminders of them until you’ve stopped loving them enough to move on with your life.
Look, there are going to be some people in your life who you’ll always love, even if they hurt you deeply.
You may never stop caring about them or their well being but that love can turn into something different if you give it time.
But, make it easier for yourself by not constantly being reminded of what you have lost or never had.
It doesn’t help you to feel that pain of loss or unrequited love all the time.
If you’re a sentimental person like me who cannot delete pictures and videos, then just pack it away for now or store them in a folder that you’re not going to look at all the time.
Related post: Should I delete photos of my ex?
If there’s one constant in life, it’s that life is constantly changing. Everything is temporary and things change. Even though you feel stuck right now, you’ll be okay in the future.
It takes a lot of work, personal development, new experiences and time but you will get over this person and move on.
Until then, it’s best that you stop focusing on forcing yourself to stop loving someone and focus more on what you can control, which is your actions on a daily basis.
All this hardship is only going to make you into a stronger and kinder person if you let it.
With that being said, I hope you found this article on can you force yourself to stop loving someone to be eye-opening and a source of comfort. If you have any questions or thoughts that you would like to share with me, please do so by visiting the comment section below.