When my friend Rebecca asked me for tips on how to lose feelings for someone you love, I could only smile in response. And prayed that she’d handle it better than I did after I broke up with my ex-boyfriend, Amy. Love is a powerful feeling. But breaking up with someone and trying to move on while incessantly missing them – that bag of feelings is potent.
Our friend Sandra had quite a few ideas for Rebecca. So she tried everything we suggested. From casual sex to shooting ranges to wellness resorts. Rebecca seems much better now, while I still struggle. Sandra and I still argue about what worked for her. She thinks it was either all the guys Rebecca met in Vegas or the iguana she adopted. But I wanted to dive deeper into the science of ‘How to lose feelings for your boyfriend?’. And so I did.
Can You Lose Feelings For Someone You Love?
Research suggests that falling in love is closely linked to dopamine release in the brain. Dopamine is a feel-good hormone, released as a reward to encourage certain activities. When you fall in love, you’re floating in a pool of dopamine. That is why falling in love is such a great feeling. But when you break up, there is a dopamine withdrawal, which makes you anxious and depressed. The dopamine deficiency makes you keep thinking about the person you love.
Indeed, if I were to ask you the opposite of love, nine out of ten times you’d say hate. But it’s wrong. The real opposite of love is apathy. Apathy isn’t always a bad thing. It just means that to lose feelings for a crush, you need to make them indifferent to your mind. That way your brain can learn to not release dopamine at their thoughts.
How To Lose Feelings For Someone You Love And Let Go – 15 Tips
Research suggests that anxiety after breakup can induce depression-like symptoms, similar to the loss of a loved one. No wonder, moving on from a heartbreak is difficult. That is true whether you’re trying to lose feelings for a crush or if you’re trying to lose feelings for someone you never dated. But the only way you can let go of the pain and become whole again is with time, and when you decide to get better. A few ways you can do that is by analyzing your relationship. At the same time, you need to find distractions so that your brain can release dopamine. Let’s help you get on that path through the following steps:
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1. Acknowledge the reality
After my breakup with Amy, I found myself fantasizing about getting back with him. It provided temporary pleasure but the pain remained or, sometimes, came back worse than before. Maladaptive daydreaming has become a coping mechanism for many people post-Covid as suggested by research.
Research also suggests that though it may feel good for a while to fantasize about unlikely scenarios, it deprives one of real-life experiences. So, don’t live in denial. If you haven’t broken up yet, analyze your relationship and acknowledge where it’s going. If you’re experiencing gaslighting in the relationship, or not getting the kind of commitment you want, then you need to let it go.
2. Put yourself first
Rebecca, by now, seemed to be a pro at the whole ‘how to lose feelings for someone you love’ thing. So I asked her for advice. She said, “I had to put myself first. The reason I could lose feelings for someone fast was that I was constantly aware of the pain that I would be in if I was still with them. Think about how that pain would affect you. Stop thinking that this is the best you can get. If you’re not getting the value you deserve in a relationship, then it’s not worth it.”
3. Lose feelings for someone fast: Don’t suppress the pain
If you want to cry, cry. If you want to listen to We don’t talk anymore, do that. If you want to get drunk and watch John Tucker Must Die, go for it. But give yourself enough time to grieve. Don’t play the hard nut who’s not affected by heartbreaks. Let it come out in a healthy, organic manner. Research says that bottling up emotions can make them stronger. So you better get it out instead of burying it in.
4. Don’t immediately look for another relationship
Dealing with the emotions head-on with a healthy balance of distractions is recommended if you’re exploring how to lose feelings for someone you love. But ‘distraction’ doesn’t mean you create dependence on another person. Right now, it may seem that to lose feelings for someone, you have to gain feelings for someone else, but do rebound relationships ever work? Not always. Additionally, you will find yourself in a complicated mess with conflicted feelings about two different people.
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5. Work on yourself
Once you’ve vented your emotions healthily, visualize yourself as the person you want to be. Work toward becoming that person. If that individual is healthy, exercise and focus on your food habits. If they are successful, focus on excelling at work. Shop for yourself, not your vanity. Maintain a journal every day. Write your goals, and keep a track of them. Practice mindfulness. Do whatever suits you, just try to be the best version of yourself after the first few waves of grief have passed by.
6. Distance yourself from them
To break up with someone you love, you need to stay out of touch. Stop meeting them. If they insist, explain you need space. Get rid of any reminders from them at your house. Avoid checking out their social media profiles. Especially at night. It could be difficult if you want to lose feelings for someone you see every day. In that case, limit your time with them.
I worked for Amy for two years after our breakup since the pay was good. I had an option to work from a different floor and avoided having lunch at our old restaurant. I still had to attend meetings with him, but not seeing him every day did help take my mind off things eventually.
7. Reach out to family and friends
It’s a great idea to go back to familiar spaces and let their warmth and comfort heal you. Make plans with your family for the weekend. I found myself almost forgetting about Amy during holidays with my extended family. Do you want to know how to lose feelings for someone you love? Go out with friends, and learn what’s new in their lives. Focus on something else for a change.
8. Talk to someone
Find a support group to deal with loneliness after a breakup and find support among people going through the same thing. Talk to a friend, or sibling, or to the person you have feelings for, if possible. Tell them what you feel, and why you’ve decided to let go of your feelings. Talking doesn’t just help you feel better, it also helps get the closure you need to let go of someone.
9. Lose feelings for someone you never dated: Analyze your feelings
A study found that people with higher self-esteem and lower attachment anxiety report fewer adverse effects of a breakup. Your heartache may not just be a result of your breakup but self-esteem issues too. Could it be because you looked up to them as a role model? Were they reminiscent of another person from the past? Is the heartache due to the loss of the relationship or the loss of how they made you feel? Research also suggests that analyzing why your relationship was bad for you could help in understanding how to lose feelings for someone you love.
10. Get out of your comfort zone
Do things you’d never done before. Something that scares you a little. Distractions like these can help take your mind off the heartache. Try new foods. Wear that dress you thought you couldn’t carry well. Go on a solo vacation away from the city, and you may find love while traveling. Contact with nature can help creating a positive outlook as suggested by a research. Make new experiences to leave old ones behind.
11. Find yourself again
I love books, but Amy mocked literature. Eventually, I stopped reading during our relationship. It was only after my breakup I realized that I had missed reading. So I started to do the things I had avoided because of him. And I realized it made me happy.
Consider this: Have you made any changes to yourself to accommodate this person? Did it make you miserable? Do you want to go back to your interests again? If yes, then go ahead. Find the person you were before you met your ex.
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12. Learn a new skill
You can learn how to lose feelings for someone you love by distracting yourself with a new skill. Learn something that you can use to build an alternate career path, like digital marketing. Or an essential life skill like woodwork that you can use to save money. Learning a new skill is a useful gift that keeps on giving. It not only gives you a way to financial independence but also gives you pride and belief in yourself.
13. Don’t be hard on yourself
Do not chide yourself if you feel you’re more affected than you should be. Let go of the self-doubt. Your process doesn’t have to be like everyone else’s. Do what makes sense to you. Research suggests that the belief that one will get over heartbreak by a certain activity, even if it’s not substantiated, helps in the process. So if you believe you will get better, you will.
14. Be patient
You have to trust the process. As cliché as it sounds, time heals. But no one can guarantee how long it may take. Physical distance, distractions, and support groups help, but still, it is a long recovery process. So be patient if you want to lose feelings for someone you see every day. Do not relapse. Even if it’s taking long, never take back an ex who dumped you. Have faith, it will work out in the end.
15. Seek professional help
If you feel that you can’t take it anymore or if nothing is working, then seek professional guidance. We, at Bonobology, offer an extensive panel of skilled and experienced counselors for any of your relationship questions like: How to lose feelings for someone you love?
- To lose feelings for your boyfriend, analyze why you revered this person and why they are not right for you
- Prioritize yourself. Do things you love, allow yourself time to grieve, and seek a support group in family and friends
- Distance yourself from the person you had feelings for
- Keep yourself distracted by learning new skills and seeking new experiences
- Believe in yourself and that you will get better
What worked for Rebecca was her determination that she wanted to leave an unsuccessful relationship behind. She moved to a different job and prioritized her need for space and well-being. She journaled and traveled, and doesn’t call as much now to cry on the phone. Sandra and I feel happy for her. Not everyone has the liberty to leave jobs or to travel, but if you want to know how to lose feelings for someone you love, you need to believe in yourself. We all get there. Eventually.
Time, distance, and distractions can help. But essentially, it’s the will that matters. Your process begins the day you decide you want to lose feelings for someone.
No one can pinpoint a time range that it takes for one to lose their feelings. It’s different for everyone. However, one can shorten this period if they can vent their feelings healthily and focus on other things.