How Do You Stop Loving Someone You Shouldn’t?

Updated July 21, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC

Love is idealized, which makes it almost like a buried treasure. We always tend to search in the wrong places. The truth is that love, in various forms, is all around us. However, loving someone who brings only suffering and drama to your life is not worth the misery. Throughout this article, we'll help you discover how to stop loving someone you shouldn't.

Reasons Why You Shouldn't Love Someone

Everyone has their own reasoning for wanting to stop loving someone. If you're unsure about your situation, here are a few reasons why you may want to consider avoiding devoting your love to a particular person.

They Love Someone Else.

Ask Yourself How You Really Feel About Your Relationship


There are multiple reasons why you should direct your attention elsewhere when the person of your affection is in a relationship with someone else. You are likely setting yourself up for disappointment and frustration if you try to interfere. If they are happy and committed, then you are in love with an imaginary situation that is simply not meant to happen. In addition, the entailed drama would likely carry over into any relationship you form with this person if one were to form.

Odds are that they love the person they are with. Otherwise, they would have left them before starting a serious relationship. As with nearly every relationship where a partner is cheating, it's usually because they are not having their needs met, so they find someone else to fill them. If this sounds like you, then you were essentially what they needed at the moment and not necessarily what they were looking for in a long-term relationship. Although it's bitter, it is certainly not your fault.

They're Abusive.

Abusive partners can seem quite charming at times, which is exactly how the cycle of abuse works. They pull you in just enough so that you aren't expecting the next episode of violence. If you notice a pattern of abuse from your partner, be cautious, and plan a safe way to leave.

This is an area that you should never accept regardless of the circumstances. There are different types of abuse, such as physical, emotional, and sexual. If you are enduring any form of abuse, it's crucial that you leave immediately and seek help. Abuse causes long-lasting emotional trauma and can manifest as a physical ailment, depression, anxiety, or some other form.

Many victims state that they cannot leave the abuser out of fear of retaliation, but some entities can help keep you safe. You do not need to live in fear; help is available.

You're In A Relationship With Them Already, And They Ignore You.

This is a catch-22 because you are in a relationship to share your life with a partner, but your partner is not interested in you. Giving love to someone who is not actively giving it back is a futile effort. Giving love selflessly is a beautiful thing to do, but a relationship only works when both people participate.

One way to recognize if you are in this type of relationship is to acknowledge what type of conversations you have together. Do the conversations revolve around both of you or just your partner? Do they inquire about how your day went or what you would like to do on the weekend, or is silence their choice of communication when it comes to you? If you feel lonely when you are together with your partner, this is a good indication that they are ignoring you and that you have a one-sided relationship. Consider this as a wake-up call to find someone that is just as interested in you as you are them.

They're Your Friend's Ex.

While this may seem like a well-known, unwritten rule, it happens. Unless you are prepared to possibly lose your friend, avoid dating their ex. It doesn't matter what they feel or say about their ex. Whether they hate them, still love them, or feel indifferent towards them, try avoiding the situation altogether. It will likely strain your friendship, and your new partner may feel awkward attending events where their ex is.


They're Your Ex.

Sometimes the second time around works better than the first because both partners have matured, grown, and are better equipped to commit to a relationship. Yet, most of the time, a second-chance relationship doesn't work. Remember, you broke up for a reason the first time. It's important to understand that most individuals do not change their habits unless it benefits them. This means that old habits that once annoyed you could still be present. It doesn't matter which one of you left or came back. All that matters is that you are both on the same page when it comes to reconciling and discussing potential pitfalls in a relationship.

They're Not Interested In You.

If you make it known that you are fascinated with a person, and they have absolutely no interest in you, then don't bother wasting your time and energy. Perhaps they will eventually see what you have to offer and how terrific of a person you are, and maybe they won't. But until they do, save yourself the rejection and spend your time instead with people worthy of your attention.

How Do You Stop Loving Someone?

You can follow these tips to help release your heart from the grip of an inappropriate love.

  • Start by writing down all the reasons you love the person. Then, write down if you are seeing the same level of commitment from them.
  • Remind yourself of the reasons why it probably wouldn't work.
  • Distract yourself with other activities. Soon, those activities will become the things you naturally give your attention to.
  • Be honest with them about your intention to leave them alone.
  • Avoid constantly checking in on them.
  • Replace the future scenarios in your head. Create a new ideal future that doesn't involve that person.
  • Take time to invest in yourself. You are the person that you will have the longest-lasting relationship with. Embrace yourself and make yourself a priority. After all, you can't fully love someone until you love yourself.

Ask Yourself How You Really Feel About Your Relationship


Realizing that a relationship is not working out can be devastating and produce feelings of grief. It is important to allow yourself to have these feelings and go through them rather than avoid them or place blame on yourself. Avoiding them can cause feelings of depression or failure. If the relationship did not work out, try not to think of yourself as a failure. After all, you were successful in navigating a situation that was not working well for you and your needs. This is a quality of strength, not a failure.

If you are feeling depressed about detaching yourself from someone, there is help available. Talking with a counselor can help you to sort through your thoughts and feelings and teach you how to secure a healthy relationship that will work well and fit your needs. For help finding more satisfying relationships with friends and romantic partners, chat with a certified counselor.

Alternative Solutions

Deciding to seek counseling is a significant first step to living a healthier life. However, if you don't feel like you're ready right now, consider trying some of these alternative solutions below.

Set Personal Standards

You might be head over heels for someone, but are you sure that they can meet your needs in a relationship? If you're not sure what exactly you want, it might be time to set a few standards for yourself so that you can paint a clearer picture of what you're looking for in someone.

Explore Other Options

Sometimes it's easy to get so caught up in pursuing one person that you forget entirely about all of the other options. Simply because one person doesn't seem to be interested in you doesn't mean that there isn't someone else with their eyes on you. Don't be afraid to explore your other options before deciding to settle down with someone.

Focus On Yourself

Although you should never allow someone to give you the impression that you need to change anything about yourself, you may find it beneficial to take on some self-care. In other words, take your time being single to focus on yourself. Who knows - you may even discover a new hobby or interest.

Consider Online Help

There is no shame in getting help. BetterHelp offers discreet online counseling with professionals who really do care about you. Our vetted therapists are here to help you conquer any and all of your relationship issues, no matter how hopeless you may feel. Whether you're going through a bad breakup or you just can't seem to get over someone, we're available to help you live a healthier life, on your schedule. You can access BetterHelp from the comfort and privacy of your own home (or wherever you have an internet connection). Below are some reviews of BetterHelp counsellors, from people experiencing similar issues.

Counselor Reviews

"Julia is a very open-minded, understanding and warm-hearted person. She listened with kindness and without judgement. Her advice helped me tremendously through a bad break up and ensuing personal problems. Her advice and understanding has been very helpful in guiding me to a healthier mind frame."

"A year ago I was experiencing difficulties in my relationship, which highly affected my psychological state and interfered with my work. At one point, I decided to try My counselor Dr. Brewer helped me to see some things I couldn't on my own and encouraged me to prioritize myself. It was a huge help for me at that point, which led to the decisions I am happy about."


Letting go of someone before you ever have the chance to fall in love can be challenging. There might be several reasons why they might not feel the same way for you, but under no circumstance should you assume that there's something wrong with you or that you should stop loving someone because they don't return your feelings. A healthy and fulfilling love-life is possible - you just need the right tools. You can take the first step today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you ever forget someone you love?

Once you've been in love with a person, it's likely that you will always remember them. Because you aren't with them anymore doesn't mean you have to stop loving them. The pain of a separation or breakup can make you feel like you want to stop loving them -- but this isn't how love works. You can't just stop loving someone at will.  Loving someone is usually a lifelong thing. Love doesn't fade away spontaneously. One day you might stop longing for them, and you're confident that your wounds and pain are all gone. Yet deep down within you, you know that if you find another opportunity to love them in the manner you want, you aren't sure you will pass it up.
However, If you're having trouble getting over an ex -- seek professional support from a licensed counselor or therapist at BetterHelp.

Can you stop loving someone if you truly loved them?

It's unlikely that you will stop loving someone just because you broke up. Breaking up with someone doesn't mean that you will stop being in love with them. Your feelings may change (or fade) over time as you learn how to get over them, but it's doubtful that you will ever completely stop loving them. Many people think that they no longer love them because they have stopped longing for a physical attachment with someone. They believe that love is gone, whereas they only feel that way because they have not seen the person. Usually, these lies look like reality just because there's a physical detachment. Some people develop mental health issues because they can't process these feelings. They have a hard time understanding that they can love someone who isn't with them physically. Don't forget that you will live again and love again. Talk to a professional for advice on how to stop loving someone romantically, and dealing with the pain of a breakup.

How do you heal a broken heart?

If you're looking for ways to stop loving someone or heal a broken heart -- you need to understand that this is a process -- and that it takes time. No one has stopped loving someone overnight. Sometimes it will take months to heal a broken heart. Sometimes a broken heart can lead to acute trauma and mental health issues.

We all have a hard time letting go, but luckily all broken heart mends even though your grieving process may take months. Self-improvement is important. Improve yourself every way you can, take care of any underlying health issues, practice yoga, and meditate to rid yourself of negative emotions.

Look for support. There are always resources to help you out, including family members and coworkers. Reflect on your old experiences and talk about it, this helps. An excellent method to heal a broken heart fast is to spend time and do fun things with family and friends. Use social media outlets to connect with other people. This method helps you process old emotions and create new ones.

How long can it take to get over someone?

If you're wondering how to stop loving someone, remember it can take some time to get over them. When you're in love with a person and it doesn't work out, your mind needs time to heal and recover from the separation as you adjust to life without your loved one. Some people get over breakups and relationships effortlessly, while others may find themselves struggling to stop loving someone years later. It can take months to get over another person, and the grieving process is tiresome and stressful. Some others will never get over another person, which leads to issues in their subsequent relationships. Don't forget that you can genuinely care about a person and still love someone else. If it's taking you too long, talk to one of the licensed therapists at BetterHelp to circumvent any mental health trauma.

Why can't I stop thinking about someone?

Being in love with someone isn't a switch that you can just turn off overnight. When you've invested time and energy into someone, you can't realistically expect to stop loving them (or stop thinking about them overnight.) Remember it took some time for your love to build and grow. It will also take time to get over the loss of a relationship. Positive psychology dictates that you meet and connect with other people. Sometimes because you focus on one person, you won't see the light in others. It's also good to find a new hobby, find distractions, don't sit in the room, and will the person away. If you are having difficulties letting go, speak with certified therapists at BetterHelp today.

Do feelings go away?

While feelings don't necessarily "go away" -- they do change. This means that it's unrealistic to think that you can stop loving someone because you broke up with them. You can expect to feel better about the separation over time as you learn how to move on with your life. However, the feelings may not go away quickly, or ever leave you completely. A few times, it’s hard for people to move on, or even love another person appropriately. It’s because they still have feelings for an old flame. This is not good for the person, so they need to find a way to release themselves. They need to open their hearts to new possibilities and potentials. If you're having trouble coping and feel like you want to stop loving someone you care about, talk to a licensed relationship expert for support and advice.

How do you know when it's time to end a relationship?

If you're starting to wonder how to (or if you should) stop loving someone, it is a sign of a deeper issue. We usually only consider the need to stop loving someone when things aren't going well. Ask yourself how you feel about your relationship and why you feel like you want to stop loving your partner. In some relationships, people decide to hang on when there are signs that it's over. They have a hard time breaking up because of a myriad of reasons.

A potent reason is that they are in love, but most times love isn't enough to hold a relationship together. A sign that it's no longer working is if your needs are not met, and you begin to find those necessities from others. Then you are afraid to ask your partner for more. Another obvious sign is if you only feel obligated to stay with your partner because you have been together for a long time. That seems like an investment, but time doesn't equal success, so don't feel bad if you see these signs. 

Another sign is if your partner is abusive, possessive, or dominating. That won't stop, so don't think you will change that. It's hard to get out of these relationships, but you can if you love yourself. Don't feel as if there's only one person for you. There are so many persons waiting to connect with you like the professionals at BetterHelp, a licensed counselor or therapist can offer practical support and advice.

How long does a broken heart last?

Contrary to popular belief, a broken heart doesn't usually last a lifetime. People who have been traumatized by the ending of a relationship may be asking themselves how long it will take to stop loving their ex. The truth is -- that it varies from person to person. Some people never stop loving their ex. They just learn to cope with the pain of the loss and how to move on with their lives as they find new love.

The right answer lies in how competent we are in handling our feelings. Since there are various ways to deal with emotional turmoil, the process an individual uses determines how long their broken heart will last. While some people handle feelings speedily, others run away from their feelings, which prolongs the process. 

Fortunately, all broken hearts heal eventually. There are several things you can do to speed the process up and remove your mind from it. A suitable method is self-care, exercising, and doing what you are passionate about. If you have a problem with a broken heart and it affects other spheres and activities, consider positive psychology from our licensed therapists at BetterHelp. 

Can you stop loving someone if you truly loved them?

Most times, many people think that there is only one true love for them. After a breakup, they feel that they can't do better than a previous partner. But that is make-believe and isn't ideal. Many people have fallen in love and fallen out of love. They've done that with the same person, and so can you. 

Meanwhile, that love fades doesn't mean it wasn't genuine. Some other people punish themselves ceaselessly over love. They believe that if the one person they love goes away, then all their chances of true love is gone forever. Don't fall into the trap of thinking this way because it isn't realistic. You can continue to love someone even if they aren't in your life, but that doesn't stop you from loving someone else.

Every time you love another person and open your heart to them, you supplement your life experiences. You can genuinely love many people in your lifetime. Every one of those experiences is real, even if they don't last. 

If you have issues letting someone go, talk to a therapist at BetterHelp. They will help you navigate and teach you how to control your emotions. 

 How do you stop having feelings for someone?

There's no shortcut to this. It's hard but don't be dejected because you will certainly get over the hurt. It's challenging to love someone who doesn't want to be with you. Love is part of life, and different people heal at different times. Take it one day at a time. 

Continue to do what you usually do. Don't change your daily routine. So, eat, work out, and take a shower. Complete your everyday jobs and enjoy your hobbies. It is also a good time to spend time with your friends and family

If you have a passion for something like painting or biking, do that whenever you feel like. If grief, uncertainty, or doubt hits you, let it wash over you. Make use of positive psychology techniques. You could think of it as rainfall that washes over you and goes away. Don't try to stop the flow with emotions, acknowledge them, and let them pass. Besides, don't waste time thinking of them all day.

Don't give up and allow yourself to go under because of one-sided love. Evaluate why you want to lose feelings for this person. Is it because the person doesn't love you as you do or is no longer the person you knew? Once you've done that, it becomes easy. You should also go out to meet new people and spend some time with friends. It will help you.  

 How do you make someone miss you? 

Sometimes what a person needs are reminders of what they lost. There's a saying that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but too much absence would only ruin things. So how do you do it, right? If you're trying to make someone miss you, want them back or want them to think of you post break up, here's what you can do. 

First, you have to give them some space. If there's space between the two of you, the person will probably miss you more. Also, post some pictures of you having fun. Make sure the images are genuine; don't fake your happiness. Another way to do this is by taking pictures with other people and have them tag you on social media

When they see how great your life is, they'll think about the fun times you enjoyed together and miss you. It's also possible that they'll want to be part of it again. 

Secondly, post pictures of things you've experienced together in the past. If you are not a pair anymore, that doesn't mean you guys didn't have a good time. The pictures make them reminisce about those moments. However, you should also apologize and express regret for any bad behavior on your part. 

We all make mistakes, and owning up to them is the grown-up thing to do. It will make them think of you as someone who likes to take control of personal issues, and make them miss you. Wish them well in life and go about your own life. It's important to do your own thing. So, get rid of negative emotions, enjoy life, and don't wait for anyone. 

 Can you love 2 people at the same time?

Yes, it's easy and possible. You can fall in love with two people simultaneously. One person might be your best friend/confidant, and you'll love them for it while a second person might make you feel safe, loved, and deeply connect with you. And then, you find yourself falling for them too. As humans, we have an infinite capacity for love. 

Any conflicting statement only comes from a deep misinterpretation of love and how potent it is. You may not be able to love them the same way because they are different. However, they'll have different ways by which they fit into your life. And that makes you love them both. 

You should note that as a living being, you may be able to love people differently based on your relationship with them. For example, your love for your spouse may be different from that of your friend. Sometimes, if the person you love becomes emotionally unavailable, you may begin to bond with someone else who connects with you. 

Don't forget that you have an infinite capacity for love. Also, relationships are like agreements that define how you split the love you have with another person.   

 Can love fade away and come back?

Yes, love is one of the greatest things in life. It goes beyond emotions. Love is wanting the best for someone. When you truly love someone, you will love the person no matter what. You'll want them to be happy, even if they aren't part of your life anymore. 

Sometimes you have to lose something before you value or know if it's real. This doesn't mean that you should fallout with a partner as a test. However, what you should look out for is multiple disappearances. If it keeps fading, then it's not true love, but mere infatuation. 

Meanwhile, many people meet, fall in love, get addicted, yet the relationship ends. Occasionally, in moving on, many people realize what they've lost, and feelings begin to creep back. Later they realize that they need each other again and summon those feelings they used to have. 

What are the signs of fake love?

Falling in love with somebody creates an exhilarated feeling. Feelings of love are priceless and unique, so many people feel as if they can do anything to keep the person in their lives. They get so excited that they promise to shift the universe for the sake of that person. But what if it isn't love? What if the other person doesn't feel the same way, or is faking it?

Love is an emotion and, most times, can't be controlled, but we should know who's worth letting into our hearts. Find out who loves you, and differentiate them from someone who's only pretending. Just because it's quite easy to fall in love, many people have a hard time deciphering fake love. A visible sign that it is fake love is the presence of doubts within you. And whenever you try to clear them, more doubts come up. 

When you try to do so many things to make them happy, yet remain unhappy, you know the relationship isn't the right one. Many fake relationships lead to anxiety, stress, depression, and sleeping sickness. Many fake lovers try to control you and change you. They neither trust you nor prioritize your needs. They are also emotionally unavailable, and seem uninterested in your affairs. Also, they give up on you quickly and won't meet you halfway. Finally, they show love like mandatory duties: sending text messages, showing care, and making fake compliments just for the sake. 

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