One of the best feelings in the world is love. Everyone wants to love and be loved.
But what if the feeling is no longer mutual?
We asked 11 experts, “how to stop loving someone who doesn’t love you?”
Read their top insights below.
You have to love yourself enough to move forward
It’s unnecessary to stop loving someone simply because they don’t love you back. You should feel free to continue loving that person for as long as your heart desires. Think of them fondly. Pray for them if you wish. What you cannot healthily do, is stay in a relationship with that person.
The fact is that if he/she is no longer interested in loving you the way you want and need to be loved, then whether or not you love each other is simply inconsequential. Your desires/choices are now incompatible.
You have to love yourself enough to move forward, toward the type of love you want and deserve.
Practice loving yourself the way that you want to be loved so you attract people who love you in that same way. See yourself as an example of how to be loved and respected. It may be challenging at first, but soon it will become a wonderful habit
Have a support system you can turn to while you survive the relationship withdrawal that follows all breakups.
Shift the anger and resentment that you may feel toward the person that rejected you. You don’t have to carry it as rejection. Rather, think of it as an indication of what you want and what you don’t and let it guide you to a love that feels better.
Resist the urge to go back to what doesn’t serve you
That pain might be comfortable but it may also be permanent, so ask yourself if you want to keep feeling it.
Journal, meditate, work out, go out and do all matter of other healthy things that can help you soothe the fear, anxiety, loneliness, and sadness that you might experience in the months to follow the release of that partner. It’s temporary and manageable.
Certified Holistic Health Coach
Take an inventory
Often in relationships, we rely on hope as the primary fuel to keep the flame burning. While hope is a positive emotion, you also need to take a close look at the reality of your situation in order to overcome a strong attachment in which there is no reciprocation.
This means taking an inventory of your true needs and desires within the relationship and contrasting that with what the other person has given you thus far.
Often times, seeing these things in black and white on paper helps you to release any desires to keep the love alive because the reality has not matched your expectations.
Have a conversation
If in a committed relationship already (or if you hope to be), have a serious conversation with this person about what you need out of the relationship.
Sometimes we assume others understand our needs, but they may be in the dark about what you actually want in order to feel loved or make it work.
Once you have communicated these things honestly and without anger, see if the person will meet you half way and attempt to offer them to you.
If they do not put in the effort, this is a good sign they won’t be able to reciprocate your love. In this case, you can begin to release the attachment because although you may love them, you can see that pursuing the relationship further will not get you what you desire.
It becomes easier to see that this is a dead-end or one-way street which leads to disappointment.
We all desire love and acceptance and sometimes we put off our dreams and deep desires in order to gain love from someone else.
One of the best ways to get over heartbreak is to begin exploring yourself and what you want out of life.
When you do, you may realize that the love you wanted but that was not reciprocated was never good for you and that you would prefer to self-actualize rather than hold yourself back and sacrifice for someone who won’t love you back.
Pursue reciprocal relationships
Though most human beings crave romantic love, you can also find love through platonic, non-sexual relationships with people who actually enjoy you and want to be in your presence.
While friendship is not a replacement for romance, it can ease the sting of rejection because you see that there are people out there who enjoy you genuinely and with whom you can bond.
Visualize who you will be if you hang onto them
In two, five, or ten years, who will you be if you never get over them? Will you be a person you would want to be around? Will you feel sad, drained, empty?
By visualizing who you will be if you cling to the hope of their love, you will likely end up a dimmed-down version of yourself and you will likely make sacrifices that are not healthy for you and your future.
Once you see how loving someone who doesn’t love you will affect you in the long run, you will likely be able to let go of the attachment much easier.
Related: How to Fall out of Love with Someone
Relationship Expert | Life Coach, Orion’s Method
Think of all the things about that person that you dislike
One of the biggest obstacles in stopping someone who doesn’t love you is the idealized version of them you hold in your head. Some may call this ‘relationship goggles.’
After a breakup, we often think we’ll never meet another person like them. We’ll never be held, loved, or cared for in the same way that they did for us. But those thoughts keep us in a prison of our own construction.
The truth is, you will. And believing that takes time.
But a good way to overcome this mental block is by thinking of all the things about that person that you dislike.
Maybe they’re condescending, or they won’t take no for answer — it could be anything. This process will take time and effort, but it’s worth doing.
The aim of this exercise isn’t to get over them with hate — that’s a path that will only hurt you more. Instead, this serves to show the object of your unrequited love as what they are: just another person.
They are not one-in-a-million, held aloft on a pedestal of your own making. They are just another person, one of the many who you will meet in your life.
Physical objects are powerful things and tie us to emotionally-charged memories. Simply getting rid of any ephemera associated with your ex is enough to help you on your journey.
Throwing away photos, letters, ticket stubs, and even receipts punctuate the end of that relationship with a real-world period, presenting an opportunity to write a new path for you.
And finally, the kindest thing you can do for yourself is to share your love with someone who desires it in return.
Don’t waste your time on someone who doesn’t appreciate what you have to offer. Meet new people and find new friends, and revel in a life lived for yourself.
Master Certified Life Coach | Author, Difficult Mothers, Adult Daughters
When I read the question, my first reaction was, “Why would I want to stop loving someone who doesn’t love me?”
Sure, I might not want to express my love, but when I chose to feel love…I GET to feel love. And love feels good.
In fact, it was this realization that changed so much for me in regards to my relationship with my mother, who I am pretty sure doesn’t love me. I know she doesn’t like me because she has said so.
I used to spend so much of my time feeling sad, frustrated, defensive, and angry for/at/about her. Knowing that I could choose to feel love instead was, at first, confronting, because I thought, if I love her, she will take advantage of me and manipulate me.
Now, I understand that feeling love for her is infinitely more satisfying to me than sadness, frustration, defensiveness, and anger. As well, feeling love has translated into having amazing boundaries so there’s no manipulation.
The main misconception about emotions is that they are vague concepts that we employ (or deploy) at other people.
Rather, emotions are energy in motion that we feel inside our bodies.
It may sound woo-woo, but the world needs more people who are feeling love, not less, so my answer to the question, “How to stop loving someone who doesn’t love you?” is don’t stop!
Atty. Nance L. Schick
Mediator | Author | Attorney, The Law Studio of Nance L. Schick
Love from afar
Like most people, I have been there. I have a sister and brother-in-law who demonize me when they can’t control me, another sister who is unpredictable in our relationship, and many ex-boyfriends I continued to pine for long after we stopped dating.
I have also seen this in many clients, who struggle with abandonment and self-worth issues.
What I’ve learned and coach them to do is “love from afar”.
Sometimes, it’s not healthy or safe to be close to people. They abuse us emotionally, financially, physically, and sexually.
They manipulate us for their own gain or neglect us and dismiss our needs. We don’t have to stop loving them, but we might need to move far away from them and limit our contact.
I’m not a fan of cutting off love, and I think a lot of people confuse love with attachment.
Love is unconditional. We give it, regardless of whether someone is loving us back, and we can give it to others at the same time.
This does not necessarily mean sex, of course, which is also different from love, even if mainstream media, including television and movies, often collapse them.
In short, don’t stop loving, but do stop investing time and energy in relationships that aren’t mutually loving and supportive. Put that where you get it back before you are depleted and start believing you don’t deserve love. You do.
Senior Manager, People Looker
Do not replay pleasant memories of the relationship
You keep yourself from accepting the end of a relationship if you continuously reminisce about the good times.
That’s not to suggest that you should block the good times from your memory. However, the truth is that the relationship also included less than good times, which is why it ended.
You need to be realistic about the relationship rather than idealistic. This will help you to process the event in a healthy manner and allow yourself to grow from the experience and move forward.
Get rid of the reminders of the relationship
In order to break free of the constant memory of the relationship, you’ll need to get rid of the things that remind you of it.
For example, gather the items that belong to your ex. Call them and ask that you organize a day and time for them to come and get their things. Gather all the photos of them and discard them.
Abandon the theory of “the one”
Let go of the idea that there exists only one perfect person for each of us. Rather, consider that most people will experience multiple relationships before they decide on a “life partner.”
Ending a relationship shouldn’t cause you to feel defeated. Some relationships end. There are things one can learn from each relationship that can help them in the next relationship.
When you abandon the theory of “the one,” you open yourself to the possibility of a new, healthy, loving relationship.
Avoid negative self-talk
Don’t obsess over what went wrong in the relationship, what you feel you did wrong, or what you think you could have done differently to have possibly saved the relationship.
In addition, avoid thoughts such as “It was all my fault” or “No one else will ever love me.” These are examples of negative self-talk.
This can have damaging effects to you on a physical and emotional level. Once you stop repeating this negative pattern, you begin to allow yourself to move on from the relationship.
Avoid seeing your ex
You want to engage in behavior that will help you stop loving someone who doesn’t love you. Revisiting a place where you shared memories with them will not help you achieve that goal.
In other words, avoid the places where you know they frequent. You may be tempted to want to see them “one last time” or have that conversation where you ask them what you could have done differently, but all that will do is reopen a wound you are hoping will heal.
CDC Certified Divorce Coach, The Separation Project
I would recommend that people stuck in a situation where their love is one-sided to do what I call a thought dump.
List all the things you loved about the person, their traits, their habits, and their behavior. Then when all these thoughts have bubbled up in your mind has been downloaded, so to speak, on the paper, start writing the things you do not like about them and the behavior that you do not like.
Getting all your thoughts about the person out on paper is a really good way of examining your thinking and becoming more realistic.
Most often we are seeing what we want to see not what is actually there. Having it all on paper in front of you can really help clarify things.
Author | Speaker
I’d say end it as soon as possible and when you come to realize this is an unhealthy relationship or that there just is not that strong feeling for the person.
Women rule by our hearts instead of our minds.
Once we give to a man, especially sharing sex, we feel locked into that man and all our smart senses to the relationship being wrong goes on until it can cause violent endings.
Most importantly, “mean what you say.” Don’t break up thinking you will knock senses into them so they will realize how much they love you.
If you say you are done, do it. Get a restraining order out on them if it takes that and don’t break the order.
Stop making them into what you want them to be and see what they are with reality
This is not easy, especially if you are a woman and you can’t afford to take care of yourself financially.
That’s why I recommend young women to get an education so you can afford to stay on their own if the relationship breaks up. Learn to be independent.
Keep yourself busy. Don’t answer those phone calls. Today you can tell who is calling. Don’t meet with him/her for their request to talk it over again.
Don’t be alone with them. Don’t accept another “I’m sorry” if they hurt you mentally or physically. Turn to your Higher Power for strength.
Digital Marketer, Health Labs
In order to stop loving someone who loves you, you need to start loving yourself.
Spend more time alone with yourself, figure out what’s great about you, what you like to do, how you make yourself laugh, and what you enjoy about being alone with you.
Begin to fall madly, deeply in love with yourself.
When you love someone, you look for their approval as a way of validating yourself. And if they don’t love you, then it somewhat invalidates you as a person; saying you’re not worthy of love.
But that’s not true because you are worthy of love. And you can validate that statement simply by loving yourself.
So this person doesn’t love you; so what? You love you. You know how great you are. You understand that you’re deserving of love and you give yourself that love.
And eventually, someone else will come along and see all the things that this person missed. They’ll love you just for being you.
And this person who doesn’t love you? Hey, that’s their loss. They’re missing out on spending time with you, listening to your laugh, and talking to you about your ideas.
You deserve to be with someone who loves you as much as you love yourself. This person obviously doesn’t, so they don’t deserve you.
Health and Wellness Expert, Maple Holistics
The only thing worse than having a broken heart is having a broken heart and still being in love with a person who doesn’t love you back.
One way to address this issue is to give yourself the proper time needed to grieve. Do not expect that the breakup will not affect you; rather, be in tune with your emotions and accept that they are natural and normal.
Doing so will allow you to process the loss fully so that you can move on more quickly.
The next step in trying to get over someone is to recognize your self-worth.
You can’t make someone love you, but you do deserve to be with someone who loves you and is with you because they truly want to be. Therefore, if the person you’re in love with doesn’t fit those criteria, you need to move on and find someone who will appreciate you.
Musician | Author
I don’t know that it’s possible or necessary to stop loving someone who doesn’t love you. Making the effort may be costly and painful. However, loving someone doesn’t mean you have a relationship with them.
You can’t have a relationship with someone who doesn’t want a relationship with you. Relationships require input on both sides. Without both contributions, it’s an imaginary thing.
Love is often confused with a loving relationship.
Love is more about being open to the possibility of a relationship. Closing off that possibility may also close off the love, but it doesn’t have to.
It’s the closing of the possibility, and the extent to which you want to do that, which is the healthiest focus. If someone is a danger to you which will never abate, you’ll want to end all possibilities of that relationship.
Trying to control the love is much harder than simply defining the terms of the relationship: in this case, none.
Once you define and enforce what you’re willing to accept in a relationship, you can let the amount of love you have for that person be whatever it is.
Focus on the boundaries no matter what your feelings are, keeping true to the rules you’ve set up for your safety. If the feelings overpower the boundaries, then that’s where you have to do the work, and is a clearer struggle to work with.