Can You Ever Stop Loving Someone?

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Can You Ever Stop Loving Someone?

You don’t always get to decide who you fall in love with.

Love is an emotion that’s difficult to explain and even more difficult to control. Love is stubborn and sometimes it sticks around for a lot longer than it should.

Your relationship might be long over, but that doesn’t always mean you’ve fallen out of love. Residual feelings can stick with us, leaving us regretting a breakup or struggling to move on.

You might also find yourself in an unhealthy relationship that needs to end, or have suddenly caught feelings for someone you shouldn’t be in love with but you just can’t seem to ditch your emotions.

But can you ever stop loving someone?

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We often hear that love conquers all, but is it possible for us to conquer love? Can we control it and cause it to dissipate when we need it to?

For some, switching feelings off is as simple as turning off a light switch. But in certain situations, stopping yourself from loving someone is next to impossible.

This is because true love can be eternal. Breakups, divorce, or even death cannot destroy this kind of love.

But being unable to stop loving someone isn’t always a bad thing. This love can reshape and change, and become a comforting force.

You can grow to have a love for someone without being in love with them. You can use this to feel empowered by your past relationship without longing to get back together.

Though the breakup might be agonizing at first, love is an important part of the healing process so you can acknowledge you and your partner’s needs for separation. In time, you will be able to look back on your relationship with fondness. 

Love is free-flowing; at any given moment you can love many people at once: your friends, family and partner. Remember this and acknowledge that the love you’re trying to control might just be in the process of reshaping itself into a platonic love.

When you try to stifle love, you’re doing yourself a disservice. You have been blessed with the power to love others and should embrace this, carry it into new connections, and form a love deeper and stronger than you’ve experienced before.

Of course, there might be other things at play here, and sometimes our reasons for still being in love with someone are signs of some deeper emotional issues.  

Why can’t you stop loving someone?

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There are a few reasons you're finding it difficult to stop loving someone.

1. You’re holding on to your past.

Sometimes our inability to move on is our soul telling us that we need to look into ourselves and address our pasts.

Self-examination allows us to recognize what exactly we’re holding onto. Are we missing our ex, or is this a disguise for some deeper pain?

Often, when we look past our relationships, we find a truth that was lying within us the whole time. Maybe you had a parent, close family member, or friend who left your life in a painful way. This can teach us to hold on to love in the hopes of reconciliation when, in reality, it's better to let go.

Your past relationships may have left you with a fear of abandonment or rejection, meaning you cling to love instead of accepting that you have enough love within yourself to not need a relationship for fulfillment. 

2. You thought your ex was the "one."

Often, the end of a relationship brings on a painful grieving process — not only for the relationship itself, but for the life you envisioned for yourself with your ex.

Falling out of love is made all the more difficult when your goals and future were centered around your relationship. It’s possible that you put aside your own aspirations, plans, and maybe even social ties in order to focus on your relationship.

How can you possibly stop loving someone when you never saw your life without them in it? 

3. You blame yourself.

You don’t always get to choose how your relationship ends, and sometimes it can come totally out of left-field. This can cause you to overthink and analyze every aspect of your relationship, instead of realizing that some things just aren’t meant to be.

You may have even been the one doing the breaking up and now you’re left worrying that you acted too rashly or have made a mistake. In these situations, we often hold on to love in the hopes that if we continue to blame ourselves, things might change and we will be able to reconcile with our exes.

In this case, refusing to let go of love is causing a self-deprecating sorrow that only stops us from recognizing the finality of a breakup. 

How do you stop loving someone?

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There is no definitive way to close off our emotions and stop love in its tracks (at least not that I know of, though I'm open to suggestions). But there are things you can to process your emotions and move to a less painful place with your love. 

1. Acknowledge the truth.

Focus on the present and recognize the reason why your relationship cannot flourish at this time. If someone does not love you or want to be with you, then it’s best for you to move on.

Look at the reality of the situation. Are you idealizing a relationship that was full of flaws? Optimism is powerful but sometimes it helps to be critical so we can see exactly why our love didn’t work out.

Realizing that something wasn’t meant to be won’t happen overnight, nor will it instantly cure your emotions, but it’s an important step in moving forward.

2. Recognize your needs. 

While you may not have chosen it, relationship breakdown is an opportunity to get in touch with yourself.

Perhaps there’s some self-discovery you need to be doing in order to understand why you hold onto love, maybe you need to practice more self-love to overcome your fear of rejection, or maybe you just simply need to take this time to hang out with friends and reconnect with family.

Whatever it is, focusing on yourself will allow you to grow from your relationship and channel your love into your own needs. 

3. Look to the future.

We cannot change our pasts, but we do have the power to shape our futures. Holding on to a love lost can limit you and stop you from making new goals.

Tap into your personal ambitions and make some plans for your future. Though it might be painful at first, reimagining your life without someone can liberate you from a relationship that was holding you back.

Commit yourself to looking forward and get excited about your life again. 

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Alice Kelly is a writer with a passion for lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics.