How To Forget Someone You Love

Updated November 28, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

The breakup of a relationship can be one of the hardest things we will ever experience. This is especially true if you deeply loved the other person. Love doesn't just turn off because you're no longer with the other person. Whether you were the initiator of the breakup or it came as a surprise, the split can feel devastating. You may feel like crawling under the covers and never coming back out. If this feeling persists, speaking with an online therapist can help you work through these emotions. 

The end of a relationship can cause mental health concerns.

Learning how to get over someone you love deeply is a profoundly painful experience. Still, many people emerge on the other side of a breakup stronger, more resilient, and surer of what they want and need in a relationship.

So how do you get over someone you still love? It's a process that requires commitment and courage to face difficult, sometimes overwhelming feelings. It may test you and make you uncomfortable at times. While this article mostly focuses on breakups, these tips can also apply if you were merely friends with the person you love.

How To Move On From Someone You Love

You may be looking for the perfect answer to the question of how to forget someone you love. Like any situation where you're dealing with loss, acceptance takes place in stages. These stages are not always straightforward, either. That means you may cycle between different stages. The important thing is to keep moving forward. Try not to get stuck in the maybes and the what-ifs of the past. Rumination rarely fixes what has already been broken.

Accept That Your Plans Have Changed

After a breakup, you may feel like your plans and goals for the future have been shattered. If you were in a long-term relationship with the other person, consider acknowledging that it wasn't just them that you lost. It was the future that you had planned together. It may be helpful to mourn that loss, and then make new plans that do not include your partner.

Purge Mementoes Of The Relationship

Is your phone full of photos of you and your ex? Perhaps a sweatshirt that they lent you when you were cold? These types of items can stir strong emotional reactions in you and can make it hard to forget your ex. 

This doesn't mean that you have to throw everything away, though. If items are valuable or you're too emotionally attached to let go of them, you can place them in a box in storage. Make sure it's as far away as possible, so you can resist the urge to pull it down for old times’ sake before you're ready. The important thing is to put these reminders out of sight for now and focus on creating new memories.

Establish No-Contact For A While

Nowadays, with social media and cell phones, we're all connected more than ever before. This can make it hard to get the space you need to begin healing and moving on. The more regularly in contact you are with the other person, the harder it may be to get over and forget about them. While many people try to be friends with their ex, it doesn’t work for everyone. Being friends with an ex you still love could stunt your ability to move forward.

In some situations, (e.g., you work with your ex-partner), seeing them is unavoidable. You may experience an overwhelming desire to engage with them, telling yourself it's just to see how they are doing. However, it may be best to avoid interacting with them any more than necessary. 

Honor Your Feelings

One of the hardest things to accept might be that you still love the other person but you can't be together. They may even love you, but you're just not right for one another. Society conditions us to believe that love should be able to overcome any obstacle, but that is often not the case.

That doesn’t mean you have to stop loving the other person, though. In fact, this is usually impossible right away. As much as we may wish there was, there is no magic switch that allows us to turn off our feelings. You may never completely stop loving the other person, but eventually, those feelings can reach a place of acceptance. You can get to the point where you still care about them, but you're comfortable knowing that you can never be together.

Lean On Your Support Network

Many people have the tendency to isolate after a breakup, listening to sad songs and binging on Netflix, for example. However, withdrawing from family and friends after an important relationship ends can lead to a cycle of sadness and negative thinking. Consider reaching out to trusted friends and family in your circle and lean on them for support. 

Focus On Yourself

Many people search for validation through the approval and love of other people. If you've never taken the time to focus on yourself, which is common, that's crucial for getting over your breakup in a healthy way. Building up your capacity for self-love is not only helpful for moving on from a relationship, but also for finding happiness and peace within yourself.

Establish New Hobbies

If you and the person you love were dating for an extended period of time, this can leave you with a lot of free time once you're not together anymore. It's crucial that you don't spend this time sitting around and ruminating, which could  make you feel worse. If you have some hobbies that you haven't engaged in for a while, consider picking them up again. Or if there are new activities that you've wanted to try, now is the time. Keeping your mind busy and your attention focused outward can be an important part of getting over a breakup. 

When To Seek Help After A Breakup

If you're struggling with feeling good about yourself or are experiencing symptoms of depression such as persistently negative thoughts, loss of appetite, and a feeling of hopelessness, it may be time to reach out to a therapist. 

Whether it's from a short-term but intense relationship or a divorce after many years of marriage, having to get over someone you love can plunge you into a dark place. Not everyone has vast social relationships and a strong support network that they can reach out to, and even those that do often need additional support.

Online Therapy for Breakups

If you're wondering how to get over the love of your life, know that you're not alone and you can take that first step towards healing. The tendency for many people experiencing the pain of a breakup is to withdraw from their normal activities. You may not feel like going out or even getting out of bed post-breakup. This is a normal reaction, but it may not be helpful to withdraw completely. It could also be a sign that you need a little nudge to move forward. It could be what you need during this time to get over the obstacles related to ending a relationship. 

With more people seeking mental health services online, researchers are studying its effectiveness relative to in-person therapy. Recent studies suggest that internet-based counseling post-breakup can help some individuals recover their self-esteem after a relationship ends. 

The end of a relationship can cause mental health concerns.

Takeaway

You may never totally forget about the person you love, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Eventually, with time and healing, you'll be able to appreciate the good parts of the relationship without feeling pain. The fact that you still remember the good times is a sign that you deeply loved your partner. Know that however dark things may seem now, the pain from a breakup doesn’t have to last forever. Therapy from licensed and experienced counselors like those at BetterHelp can help guide you through the healing process.

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