Figuring out how to forget someone you loved with all your heart is probably one of the toughest things you’d have to deal with in life. Not all relationships are meant to last and not all your dating stories are meant to be savored by the grandkids. While most of us realize that on a cerebral level, our emotional mind still struggles to accept this reality. Even more so, when we’re in the throes of the pain of heartbreak.
While it’s good to believe and love passionately, know that you can fall in love, desperately and passionately, more than once. And that is not necessarily a bad thing. Every chapter has its fair share of happy and sad moments, along with lessons to learn and experiences to remember. Also, it might be unnecessary pressure on your heart and soul to believe that you have to completely forget about someone to be able to move on.
Is it practically possible to erase the memories of a person who once occupied a big space in your heart or does it always keep lingering somewhere in your mind like some unfinished business? With consultant psychologist Jaseena Backer (MSc Psychology), who is a gender and relationship management expert, let’s try and ensure that this hurdle doesn’t feel like a Herculean task. How to forget someone you loved once? How many days does it take to forget someone? With insights and helpful tips from the expert, let’s break it down.
Can You Ever Stop Loving Someone?
Psychologist Juhi Pandey (M.A Psychology) previously told Bonobology, “When a person has been emotionally, physically, socially attached to another, it not only builds an emotional connection but also changes your mind at the neural level. Your neurons are wired with the memories you create on a daily basis. Unwiring those takes time, which differs from person to person.”
So the answer to how to get over someone is as unique as each individual. Some people might move on in a jiffy because of their general attitude toward life. Others may wallow in their sadness due to intense attachment. Both of these responses are equally valid, as long as you trust yourself and continue to make the right effort in healing emotional wounds.
According to a study in the Journal of Positive Psychology, it takes at least 11 weeks for people to start recovering from a broken relationship. But the question remains, can you ever stop loving someone? Maybe you don’t need to, maybe it is just a matter of accepting the dynamics of your relationship with them after you parted ways.
We would like to suggest an alternative viewpoint. Instead of pondering over whether or not can you stop loving someone, we recommend you shift your focus to loving yourself. We have devised a three-step process that will help you move on keeping this perspective in mind.
How To Forget Someone You Love? Practicing Detachment Is The First Step
When love runs out, you may feel as if your heart is sinking. We won’t sugarcoat it for you. It might even feel like you will never find someone you can invest in again. You will feel abandoned and mistrustful of the world around you. You might even give up on love completely. To be able to fight all of these negative feelings, you need to accept the fact that the relationship ended. Denial is the greatest foe when you are trying to get over someone you held really close to yourself.
Hanging on to old memories will do you no good. Imagining their face in the grocery store window, smelling them on your unwashed pillows – these are all things that will hinder the process of forgetting someone. So before you pull out another tub of ice cream, let’s tackle the problem of how to get over someone who isn’t meant to be in your life anymore.
A word of caution: if you’re trying to figure out how to forget someone fast, know that there is no magic wand for turning off feelings. Human feelings don’t function in distinct black and white. However, detaching yourself from the person you love will get the ball rolling. Even if erasing the painful memories fully isn’t possible, it will make dealing with them a lot easier. To begin with, you need to create some space to breathe. To create this space you need to gradually say goodbye to the relationship, piece by piece. Start by implementing the no-contact rule and then we take it from there.
Related Reading: Why Are Breakups So Hard To Get Over For Some People Than Others?
1. Allow yourself to cry and grieve
Crying is a cathartic release of pain and hurt that we often misinterpret as a sign of weakness. Being frail and sad is not a sign of incapability. It is just an expression of the turmoil inside you. Take your time and cry if you need to. Don’t smother your sadness with fake smiles. Even as a man it is okay to cry as much as you need to. Being strong is not about locking away your emotions and throwing away the keys but being able to accept and embrace your emotional state.
Jaseena says, “Crying is an extremely good way of relieving yourself, of letting out pent-up emotions and anger. But too much of it and you are spoiling your chances of making any headway. Take your time, cry, and express yourself as much as you can. But don’t make it a routine otherwise you may get too attached to your feelings of sadness and emptiness.”
2. Do not eat your feelings to forget someone who broke your heart
Many people turn to gluttony to deal with their feelings. This is a major DON’T if you’re trying to forget someone you love deeply. It’s only natural to seek solace in something that comforts you from all the pain. But why not depend on a more productive practice like journaling when you’re having a hard time forgetting someone you’re emotionally attached to?
It is important to let the emotions out. So if the path to that requires you to block them, delete their contact number, or even burn their pictures, you should consider it. Please don’t harm yourself or anyone else in the process. The idea is to detach yourself from all the negative emotions so you can begin thinking more rationally and clearly.
3. Remove their things from your sight
There are actually a few things to do to forget someone you love that are in your control. A wall full of their pictures staring right at you or their sweatshirts lying in your wardrobe is a recipe for an emotional meltdown about to unfold. Trust us, that is not the best way to go about it.
Do this instead – pack their belongings, drive up to their house, leave them there, and do not give yourself a reason to turn back. If you need, you can even choose not to see your mutual friends for a while. Just communicate to them your need for space. Just remember, it is not selfish to ask for what you need to get back up after a major setback.
4. Don’t drive around the same old places
Driving by the diner you’d often go to with your love or patronizing their favorite ice cream shop are all things that will only make you uncomfortable and sadder about the breakup. It’s time to break out of that routine and curate a whole new one. Find new places to go to and make newer, happier memories there.
Try to avoid the places where you have shared wonderful moments with your ex. Revisiting the old, familiar places and reminiscing about those memories will only give you a hard time. It’s not that you have to completely abandon those old places. But until you get over someone you loved deeply, it can help to steer away from any potential triggers of a sad sandstorm.
5. To forget someone, stop scrolling their social media profiles
If you obsessively stalk your ex’s social media and track their every move, you will inevitably find yourself asking, “Why is it hard to forget someone you love?” Trying to get to know all about their life after you will never help you build yours back up. It’s petty, distressing, and will only set you back on your journey of getting over your ex. So, we repeat, stop stalking them!
Also, do not try to elevate your social media game just because you know that your ex is checking your profile. Don’t upload pictures for them to see and miss you. Block their profile if you have to.
Related Reading: 5 Ways To Stop Stalking Your Ex On Social Media
6. Don’t abuse alcohol to forget someone
A lot of people think alcohol is the answer to forgetting someone who hurt you. Since it can actually wipe off those memories for a bit, people tend to find the cure to their sadness at the end of a bottle, and soon find themselves dealing with a crippling dependence.
Jaseena says, “Substance abuse in any form is damaging. Drinking to forget someone or indulging in drugs only brings temporary relief but can cause permanent damage. For that moment, it feels right. But you always have to come back to normal life. Don’t overuse the substance and let it abuse you.”
Alcohol can be great for unwinding every now and then but it is the worst way to get someone off your mind. If you’re trying to forget someone you see every day, you may feel like it’s easier to drink away the pain. It is just an escape from the real problem which might push you into a new one. A drinking problem is the last thing you need to add to your woes.
7. Stop looking for them in things around you
While you are going about your everyday routine, you might catch yourself thinking about them and missing them. When you have tried to show someone you care for a long time, it’s not easy to forget them. When these thoughts and memories arise, don’t push them away, but at the same time, stop yourself from acting on them. Otherwise, these feelings of longing will keep showing up, uninvited.
If you’ve been with them a long time, almost everything around you will be a reminder and a trigger. With all these triggers, you may feel like you are stuck in an impossible loop. But don’t give yourself a hard time. Instead of shunning all the things that remind you of them, try to gradually make peace with them or just get rid of them once and for all.
Related Reading: How To Emotionally Detach Yourself From Someone – 10 Ways
8. Stop listening to their playlist to forget someone
Thinking of the songs they love or listening to the music they used to goofily dance around to in the kitchen will only hinder your quest of making peace with the past. Those moments do not exist in the present. So it is essential that you leave them be and make peace with your past instead.
To get over someone fast, erase the pain by erasing their music from your phone. Listening to a song can bring back a flood of feelings. Music is bittersweet that way. But that’s okay because it is also ever-changing. Find new playlists to sync with your moods and emotions.
Create a space for yourself to get a hold on your emotions. Mind you, most people try to escape from this step because it is understandably quite difficult. But, taking the first step is imperative if you really want to be on a journey to forgetting someone important to you.
How To Get Over Someone? Master The Art Of Letting Go
Once you have taken the first step by detaching yourself from the negative emotions and trauma, you can move on to the next phase, the art of letting go. You won’t be able to move forward as long as you let your emotions drive you. As you start thinking more rationally, you lock in on the best path toward moving on.
However, mastering this art needs a lot of practice. When you are hurting, letting go is the last thing you’d want to do, which also makes it the most important thing to do. As you understand, empathize, and rationalize the situation, you begin to find answers. The following tips will help you with the basics of the complex art of moving on while alleviating the pain and hurt.
1. Jump off the memory train
We understand that this train journey is addictive. It is almost hypnotizing. We’d like to jump off and watch it pass you by for a change. You might not be able to totally discard old memories but you certainly can get over someone faster if you don’t let those old memories engulf you.
Jaseena suggests, “There is no formula to forgetting the memories of a relationship. Memories come back when you visit the same old places or watch the same old movies you liked. There are always going to be many triggers all around you. The only way to help yourself is to try to not dwell over them. Let them flash by as they will but do move on.”
2. Understand what exactly went wrong
There are days when all of us have wondered, “Why is it hard to forget someone you love?” Well, because our emotions often get the better of us and nostalgia makes the past appear glossier than it was. The only way to counter it and forget someone who broke your heart is through sound, logical reasoning. By constantly reminding yourself why parting ways was the right call, you will be less likely to fall back in love with them and get over the breakup fast.
Jaseena says, “It’s very difficult to understand what went wrong at first because when things start falling apart, the explanations aren’t substantial in most cases. But the one who sits and reflects on it understands what went awry and why. Most of us don’t like to take the blame for a breakup. This is why reflection is all the more important.”
3. Resist being hard on yourself to forget one-sided love
To forget the love of your life is quite a task and is never going to be easy. On top of that, not every day is going to feel like a successful one, especially if you want to get over someone you see every day. That can be quite a pain, more so if you are trying to forget one-sided love or deal with rejection.
But it’s all okay. Not every day has to be conquered and you can’t feel like a champion all the time. Some days are going to be rougher than others and there might not be much you can do to make it all magically go away. Eat one too many pop-tarts one morning, watch your favorite musical a little too late into the night or sleep in the whole day. As long as these habits don’t become persistent, you can allow yourself some cheat days when you are trying to forget about someone.
4. To forget someone who hurt you, try not to be mad at them
No matter how things went down or whatever hurtful things they said to you, pent-up anger will never let you evolve. It does not matter who drove the relationship or who left whom. To get over someone fast, you have to throw all your ill feelings out. It may seem as if fostering hostility will make moving on that much easier but that is just not the case.
You do not need anybody or their mistakes living in your mind and heart rent-free. Jaseena says, “Sincere and genuine forgiveness from the heart is time-bound. When there are severe wounds and no closure, actual forgiveness takes its own time. But do remember that it is still very important.” To truly detach yourself from old loves, you must truly, mindfully forgive them for whatever had ensued.
Holding a mindless grudge will only plant seeds of agitation against them and not allow you to forget someone who broke your heart. Let’s face it, you are trying to forget someone who doesn’t love you back. A sense of resentment and humiliation is bound to hit you badly on a gloomy day. As hard as it may seem, it is incredibly essential even if they were a toxic boyfriend or girlfriend who hurt you.
5. Practice forgiving yourself first to forget someone who broke your heart
The first person you need to forgive after such trauma is yourself. According to an article published in Stanford Medicine, self-compassion leads to better emotional and mental well-being, a positive attitude, and healthier relationships. This practice will help you truly forgive and forget someone who broke you. Only after forgiving yourself can you forgive others.
Related Reading: How To Deal With Mementos Of A Lost Love
How To Move on? Focus on Healing
Ahh, welcome to the final stage of the moving on process, self-healing. After detaching yourself from negative emotions and letting go of them, you can finally pick yourself up and begin rebuilding yourself. True healing occurs when we accept external factors and start making changes within ourselves.
You need to turn your gaze inwards to the beautiful ruins and build them brick by brick into the most spectacular version of yourself. This will be the most satisfying journey you would have ever taken.
1. Accept that you need this change
If you’re forcing yourself to forget someone you love, you will never be able to do it in the right way. It will only cause further frustration and anger within yourself and even with yourself. One of the first things to do to forget someone you love in a healthy way is to accept reality.
Talk to yourself and convince yourself that you need to do this. You need to forget the love of your life and there are no two ways about it. Not all changes have to be bad, even though they may make you feel like your world is falling apart. You came to this conclusion because you know you needed to. Accept that change to move on from a heartbreak gracefully.
2. Get creative with your time
Can you completely forget about someone you truly love? Maybe, maybe not. But if you redirect your time and energy toward yourself, you will be able to move on with your emotional and mental health intact. One of the ways you can do that is by packing your time with things that bring you joy and satisfaction. Exercise, paint, and take long bubble baths even. Do anything that is going to make you feel better about yourself.
Stick to a schedule and get busy with little things you love. A new hobby, some new friendships, new relationships, and new experiences are the best way to fill the void created by the departure of someone you loved deeply. Joining a spin class, baking a batch of cupcakes, or spending more time dressing up in the morning are some other things you can try. Once you realize the importance of your own emotional and physical well-being and commit yourself to the healing process, sunny days won’t be too far away.
Related Reading: Here’s Why Making New Memories Is Important
3. Write about the rougher days to forget someone
You do not need to journal each day if you don’t want to. But on days when the walls seem to be closing in on you and you need an outlet, you should write about everything that you are feeling. Sometimes dealing with your feelings isn’t as easy as going about your life as if nothing happened. It is a process, and introspection is an important component of that process.
Whether it is guilt, weakness, or desperation to run back to them – write it all down. Tell your journal all your deepest, darkest secrets as you are trying to forget the love of your life. It’s a safe place, no one is going to judge your emotions. Seeing our stories on paper offers a whole new dimension and clarity about our life. It is imperative that you be completely honest while journaling. Being honest with yourself helps you understand your relationships better.
4. Eat, pray, love — Make way for the good things
Can you forget someone you truly love? If Julia Roberts could, so can you. The movie Eat, Pray, Love taught us that anything can be made easier by taking some time off of your routine and the daily grind. We realize breakups are tough and hardly any logic works, especially when you try to forget someone with whom you are emotionally attached.
At a time like this, some of your best shots at self-healing could be a vacation, a guys’/girls’ night out, a job sabbatical, or simply even joining a yoga class. This experience does not have to be about finding true love all over again. Some experiences can be just about finding peace and joy. So to forget someone completely, do something that is all about YOU.
5. Be around people who truly love you
Your loved ones will always help you realize how much you are worth and help you believe that there are good things waiting out there for you. So when you spend time with your friends or your family, you realize how loved you are already. This helps you understand that you deserve so much better, instead of crying about someone who doesn’t value you or love you back.
Getting over someone you deeply care about becomes easier when you have a strong support system to lean on. Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of a weekend with your parents, or a wild night out with your gang when you are trying to forget someone fast. Some genuine care and love can work like a magic potion.
7. Reclaim your energies to get over someone fast
Meditate, hydrate, and do not gyrate. Make this a slogan or put it up as a poster in your bedroom. Anything to constantly remind yourself that you are the most important person in your life. We often forget to pay attention to the deeper ways of connecting with ourselves for better well-being. So let this heartbreak be an excuse to find yourself and find happiness after a breakup.
Meditation and yoga are some great practices to do that. Even a walk in the park with some soulful music can do the trick sometimes. When our body and mind are constantly trying to forget someone, all our energies are directed toward that one thing. Reclaiming them once in a while will give you an added sense of calm and understanding of who you are.
8. Time heals all wounds
Time is the most magical cure for all your pain. Love is impermanent but so is dealing with heartbreak. The more you fixate on how to move on fast, the harder it can get. Instead, try letting go. Trust time to get back up on your feet again.
On gloomier days, tell yourself, “I have done this before and I can do it again. It is only a matter of time. Time fixes everything.” The more you believe this, the better you will feel. You too will have to put in the work, of course, but the belief that this too shall pass gives you a stable ground to keep working.
9. Do things to love yourself!
The truly greatest revelation of life is learning that you won’t need anybody else’s validation if only you love yourself fiercely enough. Loving yourself means pampering yourself, understanding your goals, and trusting your instincts. Don’t wait around for the next partner to find and love you.
Get so busy loving yourself that you no longer need another person to make you feel whole. Focus on the things that inspire you, it could be your career, family, friends, or social work. Take these activities to the next level by investing yourself in them and learning about yourself in that process. Who knows, soon enough you’d be the one inspiring people. Moving on is all about regaining your self-esteem and growing it to a level that your relationship with yourself is the most joyous of all.
Related Reading: How To Love Yourself – 21 Self Love Tips
10. A rebound relationship is a big no if you want to move on
Leading someone else on for casual sex is seemingly one of the easiest ways to forget the love of your life. But in reality, this is a terribly unsuccessful way of erasing your ex’s memories from your mind and heart. Don’t hurt yourself and a potential rebound partner in your process of figuring out how to move on. Make sure to date when you are ready and can boast a certain sense of stability.
Jaseena advises, “There are several reasons why people get into a rebound relationship after a breakup. You might do it to upset your ex or try to forget them. Clearly, a rebound is a temporary phase, a stopover even. This is a temporary high that makes you feel desirable but your insincerity will show itself sooner or later. Once the feelings wear off, you might realize you have taken all the wrong decisions.”
- Trying to forget someone you loved dearly if a tough task that needs both an emotional and a tactical solution
- You can start by detaching yourself from the negative emotions and the bad things
- Next, you should find the answer to how to get over someone by mastering the art of letting go
- Then finally, you can focus on rebuilding yourself by diverting your focus on healing and growth
You have to remember that love will happen again, that is just its nature. Instead of pushing love away, you must allow that process to begin and leave the past where it belongs. It is impossible to forget someone completely or to forget about someone in a way that they never cross your mind again. But it is possible to move on and love yourself and somebody else again.
We have tried to lay out the roadmap for your journey of healing. If you are strong enough to follow through with the whole process religiously, you will find yourself in flourishing shape. See, there is only one constant in life and that is change – evolving with time and space. Eventually, we all get past the gut-wrenching pain and someday we fall in love again. We hope our suggestions have calmed your aching heart for a bit and the practices will result in a lasting positive impact.
It’s a time-consuming process to forget someone you deeply care about. But after you have grieved, if you make an effort to move on by concentrating on your family, career, and your other interests, you can indeed forget someone.
You can stop thinking of someone by distancing yourself from things that could trigger memories. So don’t go to the same cafes you used to hang out at, the same roads you used to walk on, or listen to the same songs you played on the car stereo while traveling together.
There have been some studies that show that it takes a minimum of three months to a few years to overcome a person’s memory. The later it happens, the more problematic it becomes, significantly if it interferes with your day-to-day life.
Moving on is a very subjective process, some people move on in a jiffy while some take forever. It depends on a variety of factors. So maybe it is futile to find the answer to this question. We would like to provoke you to shift focus on loving yourself again and the rest will pretty much start falling into place.