Unreciprocated feelings aren’t fun to deal with, obviously. Nothing new here.
Having fallen in and out of love countless times, I believe that falling out of love with someone is a skill that can be mastered by anyone, with a little dedication and patience. In fact, I think I have it down to an art.
Here are my top ten tips for falling out of love.
1. Allow yourself the indulgence of being hung up on them (for a while)
To fall out of love with someone, initially permit yourself the hollowing sadness and disappointment you feel about the loss of their love. Doing this will help you to sidestep some of the more tempting, but ultimately distracting emotions of denial and despair.Process your feelings of loss, avoid denial and blame Click To Tweet
The world hasn’t ended, we just got rejected. But rejection hurts, so don’t deny it either. It is the number one rule.
2. Write them a letter (don’t send it)
I find this helpful in managing any urges I have to communicate how I feel. Because if a person rejects you, they aren’t interested in how you feel. If they were, there wouldn’t be any need to fall out of love with them.
Write a long, detailed letter explaining exactly how and why they are making the worst decision of their life. Then store it away for safe keeping.
If you’re the creative kind, perhaps you can publish it on your blog or adapt it into a song and sell it. Pain has made very good love songs, not to mention viral articles and books.
3. Stop giving them so much attention
Okay, time for the big guns.
When we’ve just been hurt and rejected, and especially if it was unexpected, it is difficult to avoid over analyzing a situation.
But it is very important that you place a limit on the mental bandwidth you give this. I am not saying that you should deny your feelings. But just don’t bother ruminating on the past or how great this person is or how perfect they are for you (if only they could just see it – etc. etc.)
The only way you’ll develop mastery over your attention, and therefore control the dial on your happiness and well-being, is through practicing mindfulness.
4. Double check that you haven’t got too much time on your hands
Everyone is more susceptible to falling in love when they have too much time on their hands. So don’t. Plus, a life that is full of friends, passion and fulfillment is a more attractive life for someone else – your future partner – to be a part of.Get a life, if you haven't already Click To Tweet
Falling in love when you’re really busy is the real deal. And falling out of love with someone happens a lot quicker when you turn your attentions to fulfilling projects and pastimes. If you haven’t got any, then I would consider working on that.
Learn your Enneagram type and how to use it for inner work. That’ll keep you busy for a few months.
5. Figure out what was so captivating/attractive about the person
Our attractions can tell us many interesting things. They are undoubtedly related to our attachment styles, for instance.
The better you can isolate the characteristics in others that you get strongly attracted to, the better you’re equipped to make choices about whether those attractions are healthy. This will inform your decisions in future.Understand the difference between a healthy and unhealthy attraction Click To Tweet
The classic example is the women who is routinely attracted to emotional unavailable men. That person needs to develop their self-knowledge to avoid repeating that pattern and keeping relationship happiness elusive.
If you felt infatuated by the person who has broken your heart and smashed it into little pieces, then here is a piece of advice:
Realize that infatuation is not a reality-based feeling.
We do all kinds of shit in the name of defending ourselves from painful feelings, and infatuation is one weird, covert way. When we idolize someone, we aren’t interacting with them as they are, and keep ourselves from the pain and uncertainty in dealing with an ordinary, flawed person. Idealization and infatuation are ‘defense mechanisms’.
The more we can disarm that defense mechanism, the more of a chance we have of relating to people as they – in all of our relationships.
6. Remove the blinkers
We tend to remember only the good stuff. How funny they were and how charming, or how great the sex was.Keep the mental picture well rounded Click To Tweet
In your memories, at least make the picture well rounded. Include the times that they were curt with you in the car, and wouldn’t hold your hand.
7. Check in on your beliefs around love
We all have beliefs on everything, and love is no exception.
Use your heartbreak to instill some new beliefs about love – more helpful ones, if that is what is needed.
Here is what I believe about love:
There is the feeling of love – a combo of respect, admiration and attraction – and then there is the doing of love. And often we have one without the other. In cases of heartbreak, often people have lost the feeling of love, and have no desire or ability to recapture it.
I look for other people that share my belief that love is a verb, because I think that I’ll be happier with such a person. I am looking for signs of maturity and a capacity for love, not just an ability to get smitten by people.
8. Discuss them with an unbiased outsider
This is sometimes effective for getting a sense of perspective on the person and their suitability for you. It’s all about countering self-deception that easily happens when we have been rejected by someone we love.
9. Remind yourself that nothing good gets away
John Steinbeck said this to his son once, and I bloody love it. It is so good for letting go and falling out of love with someone.
If this person isn’t in your life, it is because it isn’t right for them or you, and in all likelihood both of you. So don’t fight that.
In fact, don’t resist anything. It makes you uptight, and it gets in the way of opportunities and happenstance.
10. Fall in love with someone new
And let the whole circus begin again.
Who knows, maybe it will be your last time.
A great book can be wonderful insight and solace at times of heartache. I encourage you to read one (if not all) of the selection under the relationship category on this list and/or read my own book, My Own Guru, which is in very similar vein to the above!