How to Stop Loving Someone and Start Moving On

It may take time to fully process the end of a romantic relationship. Identifying what you want from a future relationship and acknowledging the importance of your past one are key steps in helping you move forward.

Most people would agree you generally can’t help who you fall in love with. But in some circumstances, you might wish that weren’t the case.

Maybe you love someone who doesn’t feel the same way about you.

“The longing that accompanies one-sided love can affect emotional well-being and cause a lot of discomfort,” explains Kim Egel, a marriage and family therapist in San Diego.

Or perhaps you love someone who continually demonstrates they don’t have your best interests at heart. Maybe you and a partner love each other intensely but have too many differences to sustain a lasting partnership.

Regardless of the situation, love is a complicated emotion. And even when it’s clear that a relationship isn’t doing you any favors, it can feel impossible to simply turn off your feelings.

These tips can help you start the process of moving forward.

Acknowledge the truth of the situation
Optimism isn’t a bad trait. In fact, the ability to hold on to hope in difficult or painful situations is typically considered a sign of personal strength.

But when it comes to struggling relationships, it’s more helpful to consider the present reality than the future you imagine.

The person you love may not feel the same way. Or maybe you feel wildly in love during intimate moments but spend the rest of your time together disagreeing over just about everything.

Simply realizing your relationship isn’t going anywhere probably won’t make your feelings disappear overnight, but it’s a significant step.

Identify relationship needs — and deal breakers
Taking a careful look at what you want from a relationship, as well as what you absolutely don’t want, can help you pinpoint the ways a love interest may not be the best match.

Say you and your FWB have a great thing going. The more time you spend together, the more connected you feel. Eventually, you realize you’ve fallen in love with them.

But there’s one big issue: Days, sometimes a week or more, often pass without you hearing from them. You send them Facebook messages and notice they’ve been online, but there’s still no reply.

If you prioritize good communication in relationships, their inability to get back to you in a timely manner is a pretty good indicator that they’re not a good match.

When you recognize the ways someone you love doesn’t quite meet your needs, you might have an easier time getting over your feelings.

Accept what the love meant to you

“Some loves might always scratch at your heart,” Egel says. “Some relationships, especially those that were an integral part of growth at pivotal times in our lives, thread through the inner makings of who we become.”

Letting go of a meaningful love can make you feel like you’re also letting go of everything it once was. But try to take the opportunity to acknowledge the good things about the relationship, including anything you might have learned from it. Validate those feelings. Give them space in your heart.

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