How to stop loving someone: Five steps that might help

Updated April 30, 2024by Regain Editorial Team
“Love is such a powerful emotion that can be hard to move on from, but it is definitely possible. Give yourself some grace and time, while also affirming that a part of you might have some love for this person and that is just a testament to what they meant to you.” - Ryan Smith, LPC, NCC

Falling in love can be easy but getting those feelings to go away can be difficult. There are many reasons why you might need to stop loving someone. Maybe you love someone you can’t have, or it’s clear that the person you have feelings for isn’t the right one for you. Perhaps you are in love with a person who has problems with addiction, infidelity, or abuse. Letting go of someone you love can be a natural part of life, but that doesn’t mean you won’t face challenges. If you need to stop loving someone, you can consider starting the process by following the five steps outlined in this article.

Are you struggling to move on from someone you love?

Can you stop loving someone if you truly loved them?

When you’re deeply in love with someone, it can be difficult to imagine yourself not feeling that way anymore. You may even begin to feel hopeless that your feelings will never go away. While it can be hard to stop loving someone, it is possible with time and effort. The love you feel now can change and evolve. You can learn to be grateful for the time you had with this person while recognizing that it isn’t healthy for you to be with them. You may always care for this person and hope the best for them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t move forward and stop loving them in the way you once did.  


 Five steps to stop loving someone

Below are five ways you can stop loving someone and start focusing on yourself. They may help you begin to heal and move forward productively.

1)    Accept the love you feel

It may come as a surprise, but many times part of the process of not loving someone anymore involves accepting your feelings as they are. Instead of forcing yourself to feel differently than you do, try to practice self-acceptance. Recognizing that loving someone doesn’t mean they’re right for you can help you start to process the reality of your situation. 

Part of accepting your feelings can be understanding why you’re feeling how you do. Feelings of love can be complex and multi-faceted. While there may be an element of love that is logical, rational, and formulaic, there is also often a part that is magical, inexplicable, and chemical. Many couples need both parts of love for a relationship to work.

Distractions can be helpful when you’re first trying to stop loving someone. If you feel like you can’t stop thinking about this person, try to redirect your attention elsewhere. Thinking about them constantly may only feed into the love you’re trying to overcome. Eventually, you may notice that weeks, months, and even years have gone by without even thinking about this person. 

Are you struggling to move on from someone you love?

2)    Avoid idealizing

Love can be more than just a feeling, but also a choice. If you deeply love someone, you’ve seen their ups and downs, and you’ve decided to be there on the bad days as well as the good ones. For that reason, love can take some serious courage and strength. However, it’s also possible that you’ve fallen in love with an idealized version of someone. You may be remembering the best parts, or maybe that person only ever showed you their greatest qualities.

Rather than harboring resentment and anger toward this person, try to remind yourself of who they really are. Avoid loving a false version of someone that you placed on a pedestal and remember the moments that were less than ideal. Most people have good and bad parts to them—the person you love is probably no different and contains a mixture of positive and negative qualities. Remembering their strengths and weaknesses can help you view the situation and the person logically. 

3)    Focus on you

Loving yourself can be an important part of the process of learning to stop loving another person. Although you may recognize your mistakes and flaws, it can be vital to remain your biggest fan. If you’re in love with someone who doesn’t love you back, remind yourself that it has nothing to do with you. There could be many different factors influencing their feelings and choices. Someone else’s impression of you doesn’t have to reflect on your worth as a person.

Focusing on yourself could mean picking up a new hobby, spending time with friends and family, or practicing more self-care. You might start journaling about your thoughts or spend more time in nature. Finding ways to prioritize yourself can help you move past your feelings that may be wrapped up in another individual. 

4)    Speak with a counselor

You may worry that until you stop loving someone, you won’t find love with a new person. If you think that your lingering love for this person is so powerful that you can’t move on, and if it’s affecting your daily happiness and quality of life, then it might help to find a person you can talk to.

A counselor can offer an unbiased opinion, speak with you honestly, and look at your personal situation and help make sense of it. If you want to stop loving someone and don’t know how, you may start to feel out of control or even anxious. A counselor, whether you choose to see them in person or online, can help you understand your feelings and work on them. Many people report feeling a higher sense of self-efficacy after expressing their feelings to a nonjudgmental person.

5)    Accept your timeline of healing 

It typically doesn’t help to stress and worry over something you’d like to achieve. Everyone heals at different speeds and on various timelines, and you are no exception. Give yourself time to process your emotions and be patient with yourself as you learn how to move forward. Consider changing the language of your goals and try to take some of the pressure off of yourself. Accepting that it takes time to stop loving someone can help you have more grace and empathy for yourself. One day, you might wake up and realize that you don’t love this individual anymore because you finally let things unfold naturally. 

How do you leave someone you still love?

A difficult reality is when you love someone but know you need to leave them. In some cases, love isn’t enough to maintain a relationship. Countless factors can influence whether you stay with someone for life or break up to look for someone more suited to your needs. Sometimes it feels impossible to leave someone whom you still deeply love. Maybe you know it’s not working, and you want to stop loving them, but your heart stubbornly holds on.

Sometimes people accept relationships even if they know it’s not right because they don’t think they will find something better. Remind yourself of what you deserve, and don’t be afraid to go after it. Building up your confidence can help. 

Remember to participate in your own activities and adventures outside of your love interest. This can allow you to remain an individual. While it can be difficult to hurt someone by letting them go, you are ultimately only responsible for your own feelings and reactions. There’s no reason to be ashamed of doing what’s healthiest for you. Breakups can be painful, but they can also be some of the most pivotal moments of your life. Being clear and honest with the other person can help both of you experience an amicable parting of ways. 

Online counseling with Regain

If you’re struggling with the loss of a relationship or trying to move on from someone you once loved, it may be helpful to confide in an online relationship expert. Regain offers online counseling for couples and individuals experiencing problems in their relationships. Online therapy allows you to access mental health care from anywhere you have an internet connection. If you and your partner would like to participate together, you can coordinate your schedules and meet at a time that works for both of you. 

The efficacy of online counseling 

After going through a breakup or losing someone that you loved, you may experience a range of mental health effects like depression, anxiety, attachment issues, and more. One study explored the efficacy of online therapy on adults of various ages experiencing depression. Researchers discovered that online therapeutic mental health interventions were just as effective at reducing symptoms of depression regardless of the participant’s age. Online therapy may also be more affordable than in-person options, and gives you an option to try multiple therapists to find one with whom you connect.

Counselor reviews

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"My experience with Priscilla has been immensely helpful in better understanding myself and providing me with the tools to see my life and relationships with more clarity and compassion."


Having to learn how to stop loving someone can be a complex and difficult process. Although this decision may be what’s healthiest for you, it doesn’t always make it any easier. Working with a licensed online counselor may help you work through your emotions with greater clarity and ease. Your healing journey may not be linear, but you can make progress over time with the right tools and support. 

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