How to Fall Out of Love

Four Parts:Accepting that You Are HurtStarting FreshFocusing on YouMoving On

Does the "perfect" mate think you are better off as friends? Although it might feel like you'll never find somebody better, there are ways you can move on. Falling out of love is as unique to each individual as falling in love, but here are some healthy ways to cut your emotional ties.

Part 1
Accepting that You Are Hurt

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    Allow yourself to be sad for a while. Falling out of love is a process of grieving a lost relationship. It is normal to feel that loss deeply. If you try to act normal and pretend that you're not hurt, you will have a greater emotional struggle. The healthy way to begin to fall out of love is to be sad for a little while. Give yourself time to process your feelings of loss.[1]
    • If you can, take a few days off of work, and do whatever brings you comfort (as long as it is not harmful). Watch sad movies, sleep, or eat some ice cream. If it becomes unbearable, remember that pain does eventually get better.[2]
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    Reflect on the relationship. To let go of the relationship properly, you need to acknowledge that there were good things and bad things about being in love with that person (because there always are). Appreciate the good things but remember the bad things too; you'll need to think about the new opportunities that will be open to you now.
    • In the heat of grief, it's likely that you are romanticizing the person and forgetting about his or her flaws and weaknesses. It's important to remember both.
    • Try to be grateful for the ways that your love changed you and helped you to grow as a person, but also recognize if there are areas where it hindered your growth or made you into someone you don't want to be. These are lessons you can take with you as you grow and learn.[3]
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    Be alone for a while. Don't rush into another relationship or distract yourself constantly with friends and activities. You need to process and deal with the pain you're in if you want to be able to fall out of love in a healthy way. Balance your time between thinking about what you want and what you need and then pursuing those things, and seeking emotional and social support from friends and family.
    • Of course, if you feel that you need someone to talk to, it's okay to spend time with close friends. Find someone understanding who will let you vent about the relationship, but who will also tell you the truth about what they see from their perspective on the outside. If you're open to advice, the good advice of a trusted friend can help you to reassess your loss and think about your future. Don't spend too much time dwelling on the breakup, what went wrong, or what your ex is up to. Instead, focus on yourself and how you can move forward.[4]
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    Get your feelings out. A big part of the healing process can be expressing your feelings. You don't need to share these feelings with anyone unless you want to, but at least getting them out will help you.[5]
    • You can keep a journal, write poetry or short stories, draw a picture or a painting, write or learn to play a song, or take up spoken word poetry. These creative efforts will let you express your pain while also making something beautiful out of your experience.[6]
    • If you feel uninspired or are not the artistic type, visit a museum, theater, or concert. Sometimes seeing or hearing other artists' interpretations of heartbreak helps you to understand it as a universal experience that binds you to the rest of humanity and, as painful as it may be, makes life worth living.[7] After all, if you never experienced loss, then you never truly loved.

Part 2
Starting Fresh

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    Keep the important things. When you are trying to move on and get back to life, an important thing to do is to not over-react and get rid of everything that reminds you of that person. Keep a few reminders of the best part of your experiences with that person, such as that shell you found on the beach or a photograph of you together at that New Year's party, in order to keep a positive and healthy perception of that relationship.
    • While keeping these things is a good idea, you may not be ready to see them right now. Put the items you keep together in a single location and then put them somewhere out of the way. You can take them out again when you've emotionally recovered.
    • This includes digital items, which can be similarly saved and stored out of the way on your computer.
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    Get rid of everything else. Once you've picked out the things to keep, you'll want to get rid of everything else. In order to truly get over someone, you need to be able to avoid seeing constant reminders of that person in your day-to-day life.
    • If you have a bunch of the other person's stuff, give it back. Untag yourself from pictures with him/her on Facebook, delete the pictures off of your own Facebook that remind you of him/her, and generally do away with extra digital items as well (saved voicemails, for example). Keeping items like this has been found in studies to prolong the grieving process and make it more difficult to recover.[8]
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    Don't check up on the person. In order to get over someone, it's important to sever ties, at least until you are in a safe emotional place and can be friends again (if you decide that's what you want). In addition to being an emotional state, love causes chemical changes in your brain similar to a drug addiction, and every time you see your ex or are reminded of him/her, it satisfies the craving just enough to reinforce the addiction.[9]
    • Don't go out for coffee, don't call, don't text, don't ask your friends about what the other person is doing. Stop thinking about the other person and start thinking about you. Experts recommend at least a 30-90-day break from all contact with the other person.[10]
    • Unfollow/friend the person on social media. Keeping an eye on him/her, intentional or not, is not healthy and will make it more difficult for you to fall out of love with the person. Break your social media ties with him/her (at least for now) so that you can think about more healthy things, like taking care of yourself.
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    Avoid mutual friends for awhile. Hanging out with mutual friends so soon after trying to cut ties will make it harder for you emotionally.
    • Explain to them that you need a bit of a break and to spend some time away from them until you feel a little more stable. Good friends will understand.
    • This may include mutual friends on Facebook, especially if you have friends who tend to post a lot of photos of your ex. Seeing or hearing little reminders of your relationship is likely to prolong the grieving process. If you can't cut off ties with mutual Facebook relationships, just temporarily block them from your newsfeed or take a social media break until you've had time to heal.[11]
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    Give it time before being friends again. If you had a really good relationship and things ended on good terms, or even if you were just always good friends, it's probably a good idea to still give it some time before you two act like friends again. Spending time together immediately will make it very difficult to force yourself out of love with the person.
    • For many people falling out of a very intense love, it may take several years before you are able to be close friends again. You may find that you have to wait until both of you are in love with someone else and in committed relationships before you are comfortable being friends again.
    • For others, it's impossible to ever be friends again, especially if the break-up was not mutual.

Part 3
Focusing on You

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    Explore yourself. Without this relationship to cloud your judgment, you'll be able to get a much better picture of who you are as a person. Explore your strengths and weaknesses. You might want to rethink your priorities or goals in life. Maybe you thought you wanted one thing when you thought you'd be with that person for the rest of your life, but maybe now you'll want something else.
    • Friendships are a good thing to explore in this instance. You may find that while you were in love you let certain friendships lag that you really don't want to lose. This is a great time to try to repair them.
    • Think about who you were before you met your ex, and reclaim your single self. Maybe he or she was not into theater, and you are; maybe he or she liked your hair long, but you preferred it short. You may have put hobbies, friends, or parts of your personality on the back burner while you were with your ex, and now that you are single again, you should feel free to choose which aspects of your former self you want to hold onto.[12]
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    Be independent. Being in love tends to make you very dependent on that person, but if you want to be happy and have better luck in future relationships, you'll need to improve your ability to be on your own. In being more self-reliant, you'll have more confidence and remind yourself that you're strong and capable all on your own. Do things for yourself now. Think of yourself as free. Do things that you have always wanted to do but never got the time.
    • Try taking yourself out for dinner or a movie. This is even better if you eat food or see a movie you want, but you know your former love would have hated.
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    Try new activities. These new things to do will not only make you happy because you're getting out and enjoying new things, they'll also help you forget your former love and learn to be happy on your own. You can pick up a new hobby, volunteer, or teach yourself a new skill. Or learn something new from the internet. You never know what you might love to do next.
    • Travel as much as you can. Traveling is a sure way to build new memories and experiences, both positive and negative. In having these new experiences to focus on, you'll begin to forget (or at least become less focused on) your past experiences and troubles.
    • Remember, travel doesn't have to mean hopping on the next plane to Paris; you can travel locally too! The important part is to get out and go places and do things you've never done before.

Part 4
Moving On

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    Accept that it wasn't meant to be. An important part of moving on is to accept that it wasn't meant to be. You have to understand that if that person couldn't love you or if that relationship was making anyone unhappy, then things would not have gotten better and in the end you would not have been happy. You deserve to be in a relationship where that person loves you as much as you love him or her and that you fulfill each other like no one else can.
    • Be thankful for the good things that came out of the relationship, like a chance to know your own heart better and to learn what you need in a partner. Then, when you are grateful that you had the chance to love this person, you will be able to truly heal from your grief, because you will know that the grief served a purpose.[13]
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    Meet new people. Unless you are content with being single, you must put yourself out there if you want to find a better match for yourself. This can take time and you shouldn't rush it. Don't force anything; just go out when you feel like going out and don't do anything that makes you uncomfortable.
    • You can meet new people by going to bars and clubs, joining a church or civic group that share your interests, or volunteering. Also, keep your eyes open at work, school, or in the community for people you may have overlooked in the past. Be friendly and open to new people.
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    Date again. Falling in love, or at least realizing that there are other people to fall in love with, is an important part of learning to leave that other love behind. You don't have to date seriously; in fact, it's better if you date casually for a little while. Many people will need a rebound period and it is better if you don't break someone else's heart by being unable to commit.
    • You will know you are ready to date again when you can say that you truly love and respect yourself. The truth is, we attract people to us who will treat us like we treat ourselves. If you are full of self-pity and self-doubt, it will be impossible to attract the kind of person who will love you for who you are.[14]
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    Realize you don't have to make yourself fall out of love. While not having love work out can be very painful, this doesn't mean that you have to fall out of love. If it was true love, you may very well never be able to fall out of love. However, you can move past that love, live your life fully without being dependent on it, and find new love to enjoy.
    • Don't let your heart fill with hate or negative feelings. Under no circumstances should you attempt to move on by trying to make yourself dislike the person you loved. If s/he hurt you or harmed you, you are perfectly allowed to be angry. However, it is healthy to forgive the other person, not for him/her, but for you. Letting all that hate into your heart is toxic and may ruin both your enjoyment of your life and your ability to have healthy future relationships.[15]
    • Don't go looking for faults in the other person. Certainly don't make lists of everything that was wrong with him or her. Don't make yourself hate the other person. Don't force yourself to think that you're better off. These things will only create negative emotions within you, not open you up for positive experiences.
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    Fall in love again. Falling in love again will be the final piece in letting your heart heal. New love will renew your faith and show you just how wonderful love is. More importantly, you should find love with someone who can return your feelings in a way your former love couldn't. This is what you deserve!
    • When you've finally met someone who knows you and loves you for who you are, don't feel bad about falling in love with someone else. You are not betraying or belittling your past feelings by finding new love; even books of fairy tales have more than one story in them, and our hearts are books with many pages.
    • That said, if you don't fall in love again for a long time, this doesn't mean that something is wrong with you. Some hearts take longer to heal. Just focus on making yourself happy.


  • Don't compare everyone to the object of your affection or think that no one will ever measure up. Don't be blind to someone's positive attributes because you're comparing him/her to another person.
  • When you try to start a new hobby, make sure it had no connection towards the person you want to forget. Otherwise, it can be quite challenging.
  • Make sure you don't see anyone else that is connected to the person you don't want see.


  • If it was an abusive or manipulative relationship, a restraining order will help both people refrain from trying to contact one another.

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