If you are in the worst of a breakup and trying to move on, you’ve probably wondered, can you ever stop loving someone and want to love someone else again?
Love comes with happiness and pain. All the goodness you feel together feels that much worse when things are over. In those moments you wonder, can you ever stop loving someone? I’ve been there.
Whether you’ve been cheated on, lied to, or broken up with, still loving that person is what makes it all hurt so much. But, you can’t just turn those feelings off like a switch. When you’ve been with someone, for even a short time, you get accustomed to that. You are not just fond of them, but you expect them to be around.
When you’ve been hurt by someone, you carry so many feelings for them. You may be sad, angry, and even infuriated, but the love doesn’t just disappear. The only reason it is hurting so much is because the love is lingering.
But, can that stop? Can you ever stop loving someone?
Eventually, love can cease. It can decrease in intensity and those feelings you have for that person can become almost unnoticeable. But, just because you want to stop loving someone doesn’t mean it’s easy. I’m sure you know you cannot always control your feelings.
This is why we fall in love with people that may not be appropriate. This is why we get angry and say things we end up regretting. Feelings can take over and even when we know they are harming us, it can feel impossible to turn them off.
But, as you also probably know, love isn’t always rational. It makes us do crazy things. And those things aren’t just knocking on someone’s door in the middle of the night. Love can throw you into heartbreak and tear you down.
Most of us have been there or maybe even there right now. In those moments it can feel like letting go of that love will never happen. In the midst of heartbreak, you think this pain will last forever. This is when we beg ourselves to stop loving someone. We believe that if the love goes away, the pain will go with it.
When you stop loving someone, you feel like you have moved on. You feel like you are ready to step forward and put the past behind you. But with that, so many people claim to love someone forever. Even after a breakup, heartbreak, and years of being apart, some people claim that the love is still there.
So, can you ever stop loving someone? Or will the love always be there in some capacity?
It is never easy to stop loving someone, no matter what’s happened. The problem is human nature. We cling to familiarity. We want what we had back. And we don’t want the change. We don’t want to have to move on and find someone else. All of that prevents us from letting the love for that person fade away.
Even if you know that moving on is what’s best for you, part of you clings to what you know. This is why many people believe you can never stop loving someone. Thankfully, I’m not one of those people. Love can be forever, but it isn’t always. Love can change, grow, weaken, and stop.
You can be in love with someone, break up, and still love them but in a different way. You can love someone more and more. And you can love someone less and less until you stop loving them. It is possible, no matter how hard it seems.
The reason it can be so hard to stop loving someone is that it isn’t something you can will to happen. You can’t force yourself to stop loving someone and just let go. You can distract yourself with other things and act like you’re over it, but love doesn’t just stop in its tracks.
Figuring out how to stop loving someone isn’t a matter of wanting it or working for it. It takes time, patience, and perspective.
After being in love through most of high school and college, I figured I would always love the guy I was with. I thought even though I’d move on and find someone else, I would always carry love for him. When we finally went our separate ways we even told each other that’d we’d always love each other. [Read: How your first love effects your future relationships]
That simply wasn’t true. I look back on that time fondly. I remember the good times and bad times. And I appreciate what that entire relationship taught me, but I no longer love him. And it only took about six months for me to realize it.
That difference is time. When you’ve been apart from someone, it is easier to let them slip your mind. When you don’t see them or speak to them, you get preoccupied with the rest of your life.
Eventually, you grow. You look back on the relationship and what you learned from it rather than the actual person. When you meet someone new and share your past, you don’t talk about your ex but what you went through. That growth and time gives you perspective. You learn that not all love is forever.
Another great example is Friends. Yes, Friends, the 90’s TV show. It is my go-to for relatable anecdotes.
A forever love would be Rachel and Ross. Although dysfunctional *that’s a topic for another article*, they always loved each other. That love may have wavered from time to time and went from platonic to romantic, but never ended.
A temporary love was Monica and Richard. She loved him. She thought they would get married. But it didn’t work. It was hard for her to move on. They had their on and off moments too. But in the end, she stopped loving him.
When it feels impossible, realize that the feeling is temporary. Love heightens everything. It makes you feel so much more intensely. But as that fades with time, you realize that that love was temporary.
You may always have loving feelings for those from your past, but you can stop loving them.
Everyone’s journey to letting go of love will be different. Some peoples’ love stories end with someone new while others end in years of singlehood. Neither is wrong. Sometimes knowing that you can stop loving someone is all you need to start letting them go and move forward with your life.