16 ways to lose feelings for someone you like or love

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Feelings are pesky — they’re hard to control, and often develop in ways we don’t want.

This could not be more true when it comes to love.

You’ve developed feelings for someone, but it can’t work out. They’re taken, or they’ve hurt you, or you just know it isn’t meant to be.

But your feelings seem to have a mind of your own. How do you lose feelings for someone you like or love?

If you’re aiming to do this, you’ve come to the right place. I spent a long time — embarrassingly long, in fact — trying to get over an ex in the past.

But thankfully, that experience has given me great insight that I can share with you today.

Hopefully, I can make your own journey a little easier too. 

Let’s go ahead and get started.

1) Accept the truth of the situation

First of all, when you want to lose feelings for someone, you’re going to have to take a hard look at the facts.

What actually happened? What were your feelings for them? What seemed to be their feelings for you, and what actions did they do to support or negate that?

This part was pretty difficult for me to do, because I’m a naturally very optimistic person.

This is normally a great trait that I’m proud to have.

But unfortunately, it really didn’t help here. It made me spin the situation in a more positive light and look too much at the positives, ignoring all the negatives that were staring me right in the face. This kept me holding onto the feelings.

Research also suggests that analyzing why your relationship was bad for you could help you lose feelings for someone you love.

If there were others involved in the situation, or who knew the both of you, you can explain the situation to them as you remember it and ask if they noticed anything different from what you’re describing.

That can be a good way to gain a little perspective, and be honest with yourself.

A good friend of mine helped me do this with my ex, by pointing out how he wasn’t being considerate of my feelings at all, and he was manipulating me into chasing after him while he was still looking around to see if he could find someone better.

Once I heard her version of the story, I was able to fall off the pedestal I had put me and my ex on.

2) Be honest about what the love meant to you

It took me a long time to figure out what my love for my ex even meant to me. 

I was very into him — and for the longest time, I couldn’t even properly figure out why. In fact, when I met him, I didn’t even really like him.

But then as I got to know him, strong feelings developed because I saw in him someone who I could connect with on a deep emotional level.

I saw someone I could potentially share my life with, from my hobbies and adventures to my hopes, fears, and dreams. 

I saw the possibility for deep emotional intimacy. And once I realized this, I was able to see that I didn’t necessarily need to be with my ex to fulfill this.

My current experience is direct proof of that — I was able to find even better emotional closeness with my current partner and husband. 

Sometimes we cling to an ex because we somehow start to associate them with the fulfilment of our relationship desires. 

But once you define what these are, you can start to see the possibilities for how somebody else could fill that role for you instead. 

There is for sure someone else out there for you who is even better — I’m sure of that, and I know soon you will be too. 

3) Identify your relationship needs and deal breakers 

Every relationship is an excellent opportunity for us to find out more about our relationship needs and dealbreakers.

You cannot be with the person you love for one reason or another — what is it?

Even if you’re still head over heels in love with them, given the situation there are definitely things that are not working out for you.

In my case, it was his overall approach towards me.

Even while he told me that he wanted to give things with me a proper shot, he continued to look around at other girls, keep very tight friendships with other women, and even commented on how “hot” they look to my face.

He also didn’t prioritize me and often opted to do other activities without even asking me if I wanted to come along, or letting me know that he was busy when we were thinking of making plans.

If you’re wondering why I was in love with him in the first place, that’s an excellent question that I struggled with myself — as I mentioned above, it was the intense emotional intimacy we shared that drew me to him. 

But when I got to analyzing the relationship, I understood that he was definitely not the one for me because he couldn’t give me what I needed.

The way he made me feel made it clear to me that I needed to feel respected and prioritized in a relationship. 

Obviously, the guy who could give me that would not be him. But I have him to thank for learning this key information that I could use to find the guy who would. 

4) Focus on growing from the experience

Once I started making some headway with losing feelings for my ex, I turned my focus to trying to learn as much as I could from the experience. 

Honestly, this was one of the best things I did to help me get over him.

Not only did it help me take off the rose colored glasses and objectively look at the problems we had, it also helped me identify areas that I could work on as a person.

I wanted to make sure I could be the best version of myself I possibly could, so that my next relationship would be above and beyond.

And you know what?

That’s what really happened.

Now, I’m not going to pretend that it was instant, or easy. I spent a few years single until I met the love of my life who I’m married to today.

I spent those years putting in active effort to work on myself, build better relationships with everyone around me, and become a more attractive person in general.

I wanted my next boyfriend to fall head over heels in love with me and be truly amazed at what a fantastic girlfriend he had. 

The one thing I can confidently say helped me most is getting help from a relationship expert.

The company I went to is Relationship Hero — and I’m so glad I picked them. I was skeptical at first, but they blew me away with their compassion, wisdom, and insight.

I did put in a lot of effort myself, but I have them to thank for pointing the way to key areas that could make me a better partner, as well as helping me understand the dynamics of my previous relationship so that I could once and for all get over it. 

You too can connect with a coach who can give you all this, tailored to your particular situation. 

If you’d like to try it out, just click here to get started.

5) Look to the future

How much time do you spend thinking about the past, present, and future?

A study showed that we spend about half our time thinking about something other than what we are doing right now — and many of those thoughts are often directed towards the past. 

This is especially the case when our hearts are hurting, from a lost love for example. 

But if you want to lose feelings for someone, you’ll want to train your mind to think more about the future instead.

A friend of mine once shared something stupidly simple with me, but it really stuck. It was years earlier, when I was wrestling with whether or not to leave a relationship I knew wasn’t fulfilling me. 

He could see I was agonizing over the decision, and he took a piece of paper and a pen. He drew a stick figure in the middle and a line above. 

“When you have a choice like this, you can look towards the past in pain,” he said, pointing to the part of the line to the left of the figure. “Or, you can look towards the future with strength.” He pointed towards the line to the right of the figure. 

From then on, this is what I think about whenever I have a conundrum.

The past is unchangeable, and you can never get it back. It doesn’t serve you to dwell on it or ruminate over it.

But the future is full of possibilities, and can be molded into anything you like. Look towards it, and you’ll begin to find hope for happiness. 

6) Prioritize other relationships

When you cannot be with someone you love, you are essentially left with a hole in your heart.

The place you hoped they would fill in your life is left empty. You still have these feelings for them, but you cannot give them to this person, and they may not be able to give them back. 

I remember feeling in such pain and it felt like I was being sucked into this hole inside me.

I didn’t even feel like hanging out with other people a lot of the time. I only longed to see my ex.

But thankfully, I had a friend who could see my pain and knew that I had to get a bit out of my shell. 

He arranged for me to spend some time with some mutual friends I felt comfortable around.

Even though they knew nothing about what I was going through at the time, it honestly helped me so much to start building other relationships. Little by little, the hole became smaller until I didn’t feel it anymore.

And when I really applied myself to consciously building and improving bonds with other people, I was able to make some incredible new friendships. 

Everyone heals differently, but I would recommend focusing on platonic friendships rather than looking for rebounds

7) Spend time taking care of yourself

Several of the tips above are about growth and development.

And I stand by my advice that these things are incredible for losing feelings for someone you like or love.

But, remember to give yourself a break, and do some self-care.

Regularly. Some people suggest doing self-care “when you need it” — but I think that by that point, it’s too late.

Why should self-care be seen as a sort of “emergency service,” something you do when you’re on the verge of burning out or breaking down?

Why can we not be allowed to take care of ourselves on a regular basis, because we deserve it?

Whether or not you’re trying to get over someone, life is full of ups and downs, and we need to make sure we’re at our best to handle it all.

And what’s more, life isn’t just about hard work all the time. If we constantly “work hard” in order to build a better future, when do we get to start enjoying it?

Find a way to build a form of self-care into your daily routine. For me, it is curling up with a good book and spa music. It can be anything you like, as long as it refreshes you and makes you feel good. 

8) Understand it may take some time

I have to admit, I’m not the most patient person on the planet.

When I set the intention of losing feelings for my ex, I wanted to be able to do it as fast as possible. 

Well, reality taught me that that wouldn’t happen.

Feelings take time to develop, and they also take time to subside. But, you can find comfort in the knowledge that they will eventually subside.

As the old proverb says, “this too shall pass.” Your feelings will eventually lose their intensity if they are not nurtured, that’s just their nature. You may find some comfort in that.

But you need to give yourself the patience to allow this process to happen. 

Everyone has a different timeline of healing, so don’t give yourself a deadline based on a friend’s experience, or what any article on the internet tells you.

The amount of time you need to get over someone is exactly how long it takes, and there’s no such thing as “taking too long.” 

(Though of course, we also shouldn’t use this as an excuse to languish and ruminate over our feelings, holding onto them rather than letting go.)

9) Talk to a therapist

You have immense power to change your life, and I believe you have everything within you to shape the course of your love life.

Even when it comes to something hard like losing feelings for someone you like or love.

But I think we can all also admit that sometimes, we need a little outside help.

A therapist once explained it to me like this: put your hand in front of your face, and you can see it. Bring it a little closer, and you can see even more detail. Bring it closer and closer again, and things start to get a little blurry. Bring it all the way to your face, and now you cannot see anything at all.

The mental problems we face, including with love, are a little like that.

A little perspective goes a long way — and that’s why getting advice from a relationship coach is one of the best things for getting over your feelings for someone.

As I mentioned above, this is one of the things I did, and it helped me an incredible amount.

Any mental health expert is a good investment in yourself, but I would recommend going for a relationship expert. They are the most knowledgeable in the particular problem you’re facing right now.

The company I went for is Relationship Hero, on the recommendation of my friend. I consider myself extremely lucky to have found them, because it’s rare to find coaches who are so compassionate, kind, and also incredibly insightful. 

My coach took the time to get to know my particular situation, and helped me understand how to get over my ex.

If you would like to make a valuable investment in yourself and get expert tailored advice on how to lose feelings, you can get in touch with them here.

10) Redirect your thoughts

One day, I was talking to a friend of mine and venting out my frustration. 

“I want so badly to lose my feelings, but I can’t stop thinking about him.”

And I’ll forever remember what my friend told me next.

He turned to look at me with a very serious expression and said, “but you can stop thinking about him. You are in control of your thoughts, and you can choose where you want to focus them. Use your power!” 

And he’s totally right. I was stuck in an emotional pattern that kept bringing up the same thoughts over and over again.

But I could choose to cut that pattern and turn my focus elsewhere. In fact, I was the only person who could do that. Nobody could force me to think about my ex, or anything else. 

After that conversation, I did some searching on the internet and found a great video that explained a color-based technique by Dr. Kate Truitt for breaking thought patterns and redirecting your thoughts.

It’s best if you have motivation to do this. Understanding that the feelings are not helping here was great motivation for me, and perhaps for you too. 

You can also begin to put new emotional and thought patterns in place. They will deepen over time, and eventually take over your old thought patterns of remembering the person you like or love. 

11) Delete or mute them

This might go without saying, but if you want to get over someone you have feelings for, you should cut contact with them, at least for a little while.

I debated about this a little, because I felt like blocking my ex was running away or hiding from the problem rather than dealing with it.

I wanted to be over my ex fully, not just when I didn’t have reminders of him. I was worried that the second I saw him again, all my feelings came rushing back.

And in some situations, maybe you cannot follow this tip — perhaps you have to remain in contact with the person you love, such as when you have children or a business together.

But as far as it’s possible, try to limit your contact with them, at least temporarily at the beginning of this process.

It will help to start your healing process by putting your intention into a concrete action.

Letting go of feelings happens mostly in your own head, but it really helps if you can see some real reflection of it in the real world.

Blocking, deleting, muting, or at least renaming the contact of this person is something that can give evidence to your mind that yes, you are working on letting go of them. 

At the very least, you can ask other people close to you to avoid discussing this person in front of you. 

And definitely avoid stalking them on social media, or trying to check up on them needlessly. I literally had to sit on my hands sometimes to stop doing it — but eventually, the urges stopped. 

12) Seek clarity from them, if possible

This tip for losing feelings for someone isn’t always possible.

Perhaps you cannot be in contact with this person anymore, or they refuse to communicate with you. 

But if you have the option, it could help to try to get some sense of closure from this person directly.

Before you enter this conversation, clarify to yourself what it is that you’re seeking from it.

  • Is it knowing the reason why they rejected you?
  • Is it learning what you could do better in future relationships?
  • Is it confirming that they understand how they have hurt you?

Go into the conversation with a clear purpose. These conversations can get very emotional and difficult, so you need something you can stick to in order to avoid getting derailed and talking in circles. 

I was able to have a conversation like this with my ex — several, in fact, where I explained to him the things I mentioned above that he was doing and that were hurting me.

When nothing changed, I eventually sent him a long text explaining that unfortunately I could not be in contact with him anymore, that I found the way he was treating me unacceptable, and that I thought it best we go our separate ways.

I gave him time to reply, and then proceeded to block him.

I can say it was helpful to be able to have this clear end with him, but it’s more important for you to find an end emotionally.

If hope continues to live in you that “it’s not over yet,” this type of closure won’t do much for you in the first place. 

13) Do other things that help you feel good

Why is it that being rejected by someone feels so painful?

Research shows us that falling in love is closely linked with the release of dopamine in the brain. This is a feel-good hormone that “rewards” you for activities that are helpful for survival: including eating food, doing exercise, and being intimate with someone. 

When you break up, or when you realize things cannot work out, you experience a withdrawal of dopamine. 

This leads to feeling anxious and depressed, and makes you continue to think about the person you love. 

What’s the solution to this? For one thing, it will take time, but you can also help things along by giving your body alternate sources of dopamine.

Spend time doing things that make you feel good. Also don’t forget activities that are proven to increase dopamine, including exercise, listening to music, spending time with loved ones, and getting good sleep. 

14) Learn a new skill 

Though this is a period that certainly doesn’t feel fun, you can use it in a way that you can look back on later with gratitude.

See it as an opportunity to learn a new skill. Perhaps there’s something you’ve been meaning to do for years, but kept putting off. 

Make a promise to yourself that every time you catch yourself ruminating about your feelings, you will choose to spend time working on this skill instead.

Maybe it’s a new language, programming, or even how to crochet. The world is your oyster, and it’s full of possibilities. 

I personally threw myself into a professional development course that has led to a side career that I get immense satisfaction from today. 

This is extremely helpful because it gives you something productive to do, and helps you regain a sense of control over your life

15) Don’t take things personally

One of my friends told me at some point, “you shouldn’t take things personally just because he doesn’t like you.”

I felt like screaming, “Of course I’m taking things personally! He doesn’t like ME, after all! If I were someone else, he WOULD like me!”

But when I was able to gain some perspective from the situation, I saw that she was right.

I thought about all the people I’ve met who may have had feelings for me, but who I wasn’t able to reciprocate to.

It wasn’t because they were bad people. In fact, most of the time, I thought they were wonderful people. It was nothing against them, and it certainly wasn’t something I chose to do on purpose in order to hurt them.

It’s simply a matter of different needs and preferences.

I don’t know the specifics of your situation, but I’m willing to bet that you’re a wonderful person, and that there’s a lot about the situation that has nothing to do with you. 

Love is unpredictable and intangible, and we can’t choose who to fall in love with. Believe me, I wished we could!

We are all rejected at some point in our lives, so it is definitely nothing against you. 

The same friend who told me not to take things personally did this helpful exercise with me, which I now offer to you as well. Make a list of all the things you like about yourself.

It might feel a little silly, but you should not feel embarrassed about admitting all the amazing things you have going for you. Rather, you should celebrate them!

And know that the right person for you will celebrate them along with you. 

16) Know that the pain is temporary

When you’re trying to lose feelings for someone you love, the pain can be pretty intense.

I still remember it vividly myself.

Logically, I knew that I would not feel this pain forever. Just like bones and injuries heal, emotional pain does too.

But if I didn’t actively remind myself of this, I could get lost in the emotions, particularly when things were still fresh.

So, even though it may not feel like it now, remember that the sadness you feel now is temporary, and it will eventually pass.

Final thoughts

That concludes the 16 ways you can lose feelings for someone you like or love.

As you can see, I’ve given this topic a lot of thought, partially because I really wanted to get over the pain of having to go through this myself.

Now that I’m through this difficult period, I want to make sure I can help others like me in the same situation as best as I can.

I hope that you were able to find something helpful in this article to move forward on this journey today. 

It can be something very hard to go through, but know that things really do get better, and you will find happiness in love — I promise you that. 

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

18 common phrases people use to manipulate you

10 things assertive women always do