Heartbreak can feel like you’ve been hit by a wrecking ball. It drags you into a vault full of negative emotions as you desperately navigate how to get over someone you love. That is the repercussion of loving someone too deeply. It always feels unfair, but know that everything that happens in life is for a reason.
Try to look at it this way. Heartbreak is an opportunity for self-development and making yourself a better and stronger person than before. During this process, you might keep asking yourself how to forget someone you love deeply or what the stages of getting over someone you love are. While there may seem no easy answers to forgetting someone who still has a hold over your heart, it can indeed be done.
With the help of Shazia Saleem (Masters in Psychology), who specializes in separation and divorce counseling, let’s break down this process of getting over someone you love even further. When you still love them and they don’t love you back, it can feel like the world is crashing down on you. But with these tips and tricks, let’s make this journey a little bit easier.
How To Get Over Someone You Love Deeply
So, you recently ended a long-term relationship or got out of what was meant to be a casual relationship, only you ended up catching real feelings for the other person. Whichever may be the case, if you are still in love with the person you broke up with, you need to start figuring out how to get over someone you love deeply but is no longer a part of your life.
Even after the relationship has long bitten the dust, they continue to be your first thought in the morning and the last at night. A part of you is desperate to find a way to stop thinking about them. While you may not forget the person you love so much, it is possible to move on from the gut-wrenching pain and longing. When that happens, you can cherish their memories without tormenting yourself.
Related Reading: How My Heartbreak Changed Me As A Person
The more committed you were in a relationship, the greater the pain of losing the person. For instance, if in your mind you were convinced that you and your former partner will end up together, you may feel lost about where to begin the process of getting over someone you love but can’t be with. So then, how to get over someone you love but is not in your life anymore?
You need a strategy to first accept the fact you have lost someone whom you assumed to be the love of your life. Then, accept the fact you cannot go back to the same relationship as that will be nothing but a dead end. And then finally, you have to learn to let go of the pain, the process of which starts by erasing their memories.
Shazia tells us, “Erasing someone’s memories feels so difficult because we try so hard to forget someone. In order to do so, we end up overthinking about the same person subconsciously. Then, one’s mind is constantly occupied by why they are unable to forget him/her. Shifting your focus on other things instead of trying painfully hard to not think about them might help getting over someone you love. Carry on in life normally, stay occupied in your usual pursuits, and keep yourself busy. This will make it much easier to forget someone you loved.“
As helpful as that is, the process of how to get over someone when you’re both still in love does not just end here. Here are 9 steps that will help you find a way out of the how to forget someone you love deeply puzzle:
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1. Grieve but also accept they are your past
It will not be easy to get over someone who has moved on from you. It’s not easy to forget a person you love so much. Breaking up with and then getting over someone you love but can’t be with hurts. It will feel like a hundred knife stabs each day on your heart. But peace will only come in with the acceptance of what has happened and this new course that your life is now running on.
- Acceptance: Accept that you have lost them, take your time to grieve, but throw away all your plans of begging or pleading with them to reconcile. You know in your heart that it is only futile. Acceptance is one of the most crucial stages of getting over someone you love
- Grieve: Grieving is the first stage of a breakup while acceptance can take years sometimes. Allow yourself to feel the full extent of your pain and grief, even if it feels all-consuming. If you bottle up these emotions now, you will never be able to get past them or begin to forget the person you love deeply
- Put yourself through the wringer: Healing after a breakup is a process broken into stages – shock and denial, pain and guilt, anger and bargaining, depression, acceptance and hope. You have to go through this wringer to be able to forget a girl you love deeply or get over a guy who still holds your heartstrings
- Let go: But the sooner you accept the fact that the past cannot be dragged into the present, the closer you’ll come to the first step of letting go of them. With time, letting go will help getting over someone you love
- Don’t reach the edge of depression: Never let your grief reach the edge of depression. If you think you are inching toward a depressive state, it might be wise to consider counseling or therapy to deal with it. It’s hard to get over someone you love but you will manage it eventually.
2. How to get over someone you love – Ditch social media completely
Social media says a lot about someone. It’s basically a virtual version of ourselves. Many use it to showcase their happening lives, many use it to merely document the little things that they do. If your ex is active on social media, you may often feel the need to stalk their profiles and keep tabs on what they are up to. Post-breakup, it is important to cut off your ex from social media if you want to forget someone you love deeply and see every day. Cutting off social media is one way you will be able to move on from the person you love.
- Don’t stalk your ex: If you keep on stalking your ex and come across his or her pictures that indicate he or she is doing well and is happy after the breakup, you will only torture yourself with questions that may never be answered. If you really want to get over someone who has moved on, stop stalking their new partner
- Don’t run after closure: You might be tempted to seek answers from them as well. So, not seeing them daily or avoiding knowing what is happening in their life could help getting over someone you love and move on in a better way. You will be able to forget a girl you love deeply or move on from a guy who still holds a special place in your heart
- Wait before being friends: The idea of being friends with your ex sounds like the perfect proposition to keep them in your life even if you’re no longer together. Yeah, very, very sly of you. But right after the breakup, this idea is never good. The wounds are still fresh, there are residual emotions at play and you would both be hurting in your own ways. This state of mind can make your connection with your ex confusing, complicated and toxic. You can get over someone you love and still be friends but give it some time
- Cut them off: Getting over someone you love is hard. Therefore, if need be, cut them out of your life. Their presence will only bring more chaos into your life. You may think seeing your ex does not affect you, but whenever you see or hear about their life, your emotions will pour in, memories will rush in. So, save yourself from all of this and cut yourself off from them on all communication channels. The best way to get over someone you loved is not to know anything about them. This is the simplest answer to how to forget someone you love deeply. There will come a point where you will go days, weeks, and then months, without thinking about them
Shazia suggests, “Ditching social media definitely helps in getting over someone. Out of sight, out of mind is a great way to deal with the process of how to get over someone you love who doesn’t love you back. When you don’t see their photos, posts and life events, it becomes much easier to forget them and focus on something else.”
Related Reading: Relationship Expert Suggests 10 Ways To Call Off An Engagement
3. Don’t keep their things around you, you will only be stuck in the past
Another tip on how to get over someone you love is to get rid of their gifts and belongings. When we are in a relationship, we exchange many things or memoirs with one another. We keep each other’s stuff: like a coffee mug, a gifted tee, some jackets, etc. Girls love to steal their boyfriend’s hoodies and men’s apartments are usually flooded with the girlfriend’s socks, tees and so on.
If you want to get over someone you had a one-night stand with or someone you were in a casual relationship with, you need to remove every reminder of your relationship with them from your life. This means deleting pictures from your phone, packing and stashing away all the relationship souvenirs, getting rid of their stuff from your home. In short, to move on from the person you love, you have to do away with all the things that remind you of them.
- Moving on means letting go: After the breakup, if you are still surrounded by things associated with your past relationship, you will keep going around in circles. You will never come out of the relationship completely, and you will not recover from your breakup fast
- Get rid of relationship souvenirs: They gifted you a coffee mug long back and since then you are having your morning coffee in that cup. Stop drinking coffee in that mug, because every morning you’ll be reminded of them. How will you get over them, then?
- Choose not to think of them: It is easy to counter saying everything around you, every place will have some memory of both of you together and whenever you see those things or visit those places, you will be reminded of them. But starting to deliberately avoid these things and places is important. So choose to not think about them when you visit the cafe where both of you went for the first date, choose to shift your focus when you wear the dress they loved
A Reddit user had this to say, “Time really heals old wounds, but you have to be willing to not reopen the wound. Delete photos, messages, etc. Trash gifts, keepsakes, memorabilia. De-friend on Facebook, delete number. Shit hurts man, like crazy. But every day you’ll think a little less of that person. Until one day you’ll think of them and not get that sinking feeling in your guts.”
4. Don’t keep in touch to get over someone you love deeply and see everyday
Lisa and Andrew were in a long-term relationship, and madly in love with each other. Or at least, that’s what Lisa thought until she walked in on him cuddled up and asleep with his ex, both stripped to the skin. She quietly exited the apartment, went to crash at her friend’s for a while. That very day, she changed her phone number, blocked him on all social media platforms, and requested a sabbatical from work to take time off and spend some time with herself.
When Andrew left for work later that day, she went to the apartment, cleared out her things, kept her stuff in a storage locker, packed a suitcase and left on a month-long trip. “The fact that I had a stable, well-paying job made it easier for sure, but cutting him out like that was still the hardest thing I’ve had to do. But that’s the price you have to pay sometimes to keep your own sanity intact. It’s not possible to try to forget someone you love and still be friends with them,” she says.
But she also knew that it had to be done because nothing Andrew would say or do could make this better. The distance and his complete absence gave her a lot of perspective, clarity and the will to move on.
If you’re struggling with how to get over someone you love, know that sticking to no-contact is a thumb rule you need to follow until your mind has made peace with the fact that both of you broke up and you cannot be in touch. Because digging up the past will not be of much use to you anymore. This is the best way to get over someone you love deeply and see every day.
- Don’t ask friends about your ex: You might have mutual friends who could give you information about who your ex is hanging out with these days. Or someone may just casually mention seeing your ex with someone else somewhere. All of it will instantly dent any progress you’ve made and send you back to square one
- Say no to gossip: If you want to stop thinking about someone you love deeply, just say no to all this gossip. Your ex can be peaceful and happy; so don’t be angry at them for living their life and finding happiness. This is one of the tips to keep in mind when getting over someone you love
- Use the power of silence: Don’t be in touch with your ex and don’t try to dig for their whereabouts. This is the best way to get over someone. Use the power of silence after a breakup to heal yourself, and stay true to your resolve of maintaining distance from your ex, even if they desperately try to find a way back into your life
Perhaps the two of you had a sizzling office romance or something else along those lines where you still have to see them all the time. This one is really going to sting as you walk into work and see him hanging out by Patricia’s desk and not by yours anymore. As difficult as it may be, keep your chin up and refuse to entertain him anymore. He will get the hint and stay out of your lane too. If you are looking for ways to forget someone you love deeply and see every day, this is one tip you should add to your list.
5. Hang out more with your friends
When you are in a relationship, happy or parasitic, it doesn’t matter, most of the time is spent with your partner. You don’t intentionally do it, but your friends are side-lined a little or slip down your priority list. Ziba remembers missing out on so many of the plans that her girl gang made when she was in a relationship. “These amazing women who I’m lucky to call friends never held it against me. When that relationship crashed and burned, they were by my side right through it all.
“From hugging me as I broke down to ensuring that I don’t start sending drunk messages or calling him and pestering me to get out of the house and have fun, they were instrumental in helping me forget the person I loved deeply,” she says. Leaning on your friends for support is one of the best ways to forget about someone you love and begin the healing process. But then again, don’t show up at your best friend’s house with a bottle of wine and start rambling about your ex right away. It is very easy to lose control and find yourself in a pool of tears when you still love them.
Shazia advises, “Discussing your ex with your friends, family or even yourself is going to make it much harder to forget them. Acceptance is important here too. Once you accept that they’re not in your life anymore, try to stand on a neutral ground. It is natural to miss someone so much but acknowledge those feelings too. If you don’t, you might end up overflowing with emotions and oversharing with others.”
To really get over someone you slept with and then fell in love with, forget an ex-boyfriend completely or forget a girl you love deeply, consider doing the following things:
- Reconnect with friends: The best way to get over someone is to reconnect with your friends who you feel were ignored because of your relationship. Apart from this, spend more time with your closest pals and you will remember how loved and cherished you deserve to feel
- Listen to your friends: When your friends coax and cajole you to get out and do something fun like a girls night out, pay heed and follow their lead. They only want the best for you. If you need help getting over someone you love, lean on your friends for support and listen to them
- Wallow, if you need to: Don’t hold yourself back from wallowing in front of them. They won’t judge you for being vulnerable. At this time, you would need your close friends to be your support system to constantly take your mind off the sad parts of life, so hang out with your friends. This is one of the best ways to move on after a breakup
Related Reading: What Should I Do If I Love Someone Who Does Not Love Me?
6. How to forget someone you love deeply – Focus on I, work on reconnecting with yourself
People in relationships focus on ‘we’; unconsciously making all plans assuming you are together. It is even more pronounced when the relationship is steady for some time and both of you have been planning the future. The places we want to explore together, things we need to try, our bucket list. The ‘We’.
But now, that is all gone. It is time you shift your gaze and your focus onto yourself. If you want to quickly get over someone who has moved on, you need to reorganize your life with yourself in the center position. Prioritize yourself. Practice self-love.
Shazia suggests, “If a person really wants to help themselves get over someone, the best thing they can do is come out of the denial stage. Stop asking questions like “Why me?” and “What did I do to deserve this?”. When you start accepting things in life, situations become much easier. It will also make you far more resilient to deal with this. Don’t overreact or resist your feelings of missing them or feeling empty after a breakup. Take it as it comes and that will indeed help you move on.”
- Focus on ‘I’: Amidst the ‘we’, you become selfless and stop thinking about yourself. But, to move on from the person you love, you have to move from “we” to “I” first. You have to learn to make yourself your top priority and focus on your wellbeing. It is one of the most important stages of getting over someone you love
- Work on your relationship with the self: No matter how bad the breakup is or how much pain it is causing, start working on your relationship with yourself, make your bucket list, write down things you want to try, places you want to explore. It is not easy to get over someone you love deeply but reconnecting with yourself does help
- Do what you love: Focus on the things you love doing and haven’t done for some time. This could include some fun solo travel as well. Go back to your favorite hobbies that you didn’t have the time to engage in because the relationship took up most of your time. Take yourself out for a meal or watch a movie – do everything that makes you happy
Says a Reddit user, “When you’re in a relationship, there is an inevitable melding of lives, personalities, hobbies, tastes, reactions, moods, etc. If it’s a serious relationship, you become very entwined with the person in almost every way, and tend to lose SOME of your sense of self… Then the bond is broken, and not only are you left without the sense of self, but you can’t rely and depend on your SO for support. The quickest/easiest way to get over that is to reestablish your personal identity. Try to remember the things that make you an individual. What do YOU truly like to do, that hasn’t been in any way diluted or sacrificed for the sake of the bond? Go do that. In my experience, this is the absolute best catharsis.” Well, we agree!
7. How to get over someone you love? Find reasons to be grateful about the breakup
To get over someone when you’re both still in love, try to have a positive take on the whole thing. This sounds like a bizarre idea, but this is the universal law of gratitude and works like magic. Maybe the two of you care about each other immensely but are just not the right fit. Perhaps you love each other a lot but the timing is wrong. A relationship is not made of just love. There’s a lot more to it than love.
Another Reddit user said, “Walk away from this person with your dignity. It’s better to be lonely knowing you did the right thing than to be lonely due to your love’s decisions.” When you start looking for positives in a negative situation, you turn your situation into a positive one. It could be the best way to move on from the person you love.
- Focus on the positives of the breakup: Start listing out why you are grateful that the relationship ended. List things that were bad and unhealthy for your mind and soul in that relationship and why you are better off without this person. When you start focusing on the positives of the situation, it’ll become easier to figure out how to forget someone you love deeply
- Analyze your ex’s role: Put your ex’s role as a partner under the scanner, and realistically list out all their flaws, quirks, annoying habits and unpleasant personality traits. When pining over a lost love, our nostalgia-riddled brains tend to eliminate the negatives and augment the positives. Consciously counter the narrative your mind is building up to stop thinking about someone you love deeply
- Celebrate your freedom: Maybe you are trying to get over someone you love who doesn’t love you back. Well, if they don’t love you, you don’t need to be with them! It’s time to understand all the good things about being happily single. List things you can do because you are not chained in a relationship anymore. The list could be silly or crazy; for example, you are grateful that you can now go out and approach the guy/girl crushing on you for so long and so on
You will feel light and slightly at peace in your heart once you start finding more positives in this situation. You’ll see that there are so many good reasons to break up with someone you love but who isn’t right for you.
8. Try forgiveness to get over someone when you’re both still in love
Don’t hold back the anger, release it. Cry, scream, shout – whatever helps you vent your emotions, barring any harm to anyone. Accept the fact that it was not your fault alone and that both of you had an equal part to play in damaging the relationship, which eventually became beyond repair. You’ve been in an unhealthy relationship for a while and it was probably both your fault. It’s a good thing that you have now come out of it. Just focus on those feelings.
Shazia says, “Forgiveness is very important and an essential part of human life in general too. We need to understand that we are not doing the other person any favor. Forgiveness is practiced to relieve oneself from toxic emotions, negative feelings and harboring grudges against the other person. We are all human, it’s not possible for us to not commit mistakes. But holding onto that negativity will make your life very hard. You should try to forgive the other person for your own mental peace.”
- Forgive your ex: Forgiveness in relationships is important not just when you’re together but also when the partnership has run its course. Therefore, learn to forgive your ex because it’ll make the task of getting over someone you love easier
- Forgive yourself: Forgive your ex for breaking your heart. But, more importantly, forgive yourself for trusting and loving the wrong person or making a fool of yourself by loving someone who didn’t value your emotions
- Inch toward closure: Until you forgive, you cannot completely move on or get over them. Forgiveness is one of the key steps to ensure closure and get over someone you love who doesn’t love you back
- Don’t hold grudges: It’s not easy to forget the person you love so much, but holding on and bearing grudges won’t help either. So, let go of any grudges or hard feelings that you’ve been holding against your ex. Don’t do it for him/her. Do it for your own sanity and peace of mind
Related Reading: When Someone Leaves You Let Them Go…Here’s Why!
9. Be open to new relationships
Don’t let heartbreak or a bad relationship shake your faith in the idea of falling in love with someone again. Once you’ve grieved and mourned losing someone you loved deeply, open your heart and mind to the prospect of finding love again. Because you surely will! When you still love them, it can feel like there is no more love left for you in the world but that is just not true. It is right around the corner, don’t you worry.
- Don’t fixate on the happily ever after: Understand that not every relationship is meant to stay in your life for eternity. Some are just chapters that are meant to teach you lessons and contribute to your growth as a person, which is why you must let go of the ‘happily ever after’ fixation and move on
- Not a bad relationship: Do not label your relationship as bad because both of you had invested so much time and energy into it. You have some good memories of the time spent together. There are no bad relationships. There are only misunderstood people and ones who refuse to admit their shortcomings. There are stubborn people who make a relationship look bad, but relationships are never bad
- Use it as a learning: You just have more lessons than memories, which is why you ended up breaking up the relationship you built. So, see it as a learning experience, instead of regretting the relationship or whining over the fact that it ended
- Get back to the dating scene: Once you are ready, date other people. Get back to the scene. Meet new people, interact with them, get to know them, and be ready for dating after a breakup. Find ways to meet future prospects
This Reddit user said, “It’s a learning experience. I realized how much of myself I lost while in that old relationship, so I spent the year doing anything I pleased and just being myself again. Doesn’t mean I want to be single forever but it really made me think that in the next relationship, I don’t want to sacrifice so much of my own identity.”
Coming out of a long relationship will feel like walking on fire with memories that will only make your heart ache. But all that ends leaves hope for a new beginning, so give yourself another opportunity by moving on from someone who is in the past. Close the chapter and then move ahead. Maybe you’ll fall for someone, this time harder. Maybe this time, they’ll be worth your efforts and love.
- Focusing on yourself, letting go of grudges against your ex, and practicing forgiveness are some useful tip on how to get over someone you love deeply
- Don’t keep in touch with your ex. Get rid of their belongings and block them or stay from stalking them on social media
- See your relationship as a learning experience. Try to focus on the positive instead of the negative aspects of the relationship
- Grieve as much as you want. It is the most important stage of getting over someone you love. Lean on your friends for support and then when you feel ready, get back to the dating scene
Take the advice of this Reddit user who says, “You take the pain with dignity. You go on with your life head held high. You cry into your pillow in the night. Time eases this pain. Your attitude toward yourself, the knowledge that you will love again, but most of all that you are worthy of it, will carry you forward to a time when your heart beats not with the flames of agony, but with the strength of one who survived well and with great pride.”
Let go of the past, so you can embrace the present and future with a fresh mind. If you’re feeling too sad, you can always consider going to therapy and speaking to a counselor about your feelings. If you’re looking for help to heal from this pain and figure out how to forget someone you love deeply, Bonobology’s panel of skilled counselors is only a click away!
How long it takes to forget someone you love depends on a host of factors such as how long you’ve been together and the intensity of your feelings for them. Research suggests that it can take an average of 18 months to get over someone you love deeply.
To stop thinking about someone you love, invest in self-love and self-care. Surround yourself with people who love and care about you, indulge in activities that you find joy and peace in, and focus on becoming a better version of yourself.
Yes, you may not be able to completely forget the person you love deeply but it is possible to get over them and leave behind the intense emotions you felt for them.