How To Let Go Of A Toxic Love (So You Can Heal & Move On)

Put your toxic relationship behind you for good.

How To Break Up With Someone You Love & Let Go Of Your Toxic Relationship getty

If falling in love is the most wonderful feeling in the world, then letting go of it is the most horrible feeling in the world — even when you know full and well it's a toxic relationship.

Deciding that it's time to bite the bullet and figure out how to break up with someone you love because your relationship isn't healthy doesn't make the act of letting go any easier.

There is nothing worse than the physical pain of losing a love — even a toxic one. The pit in your stomach, the broken heart, and the feelings of despair and hopelessness.


RELATED: 6 Signs It's Time To Let Go Of Him (Even If You Still Love Him)

Learning how to let go of someone you love once you realize their presence in your life is truly toxic requires careful thought and commitment.

So if you're ready to take the plunge, here are 6 ways for how to break up with someone you love when you're in a toxic relationship that will help you learn how to let go and move on.


1. Ask yourself if you are ready to really do this.

Before you begin any life-changing process, you must ask yourself how determined you are to actually do it. On a scale of 1-10, how close to a 10 are you? Without steadfast determination, you will not be able to accomplish something as challenging as getting past a lost love.

So, are you ready to do this? Is there any part of you that is holding on to the possibility that things could work out? Do you feel like you aren’t strong enough to do this yet?

If the answer to any of these questions is a "yes", then perhaps you should wait a bit longer before you begin this process. Time is a great healer and with some time you will get stronger and be ready to take on this challenging task.

Either way, ask yourself some tough questions about this relationship and make a conscious decision to stay or go. Doing so, making a purposeful move, will help you start respecting and loving yourself again which is a key part of letting go toxic love.


2. Block him everywhere.

We all think that we need "closure" at the end of a relationship, that final conversation where everyone gets to say what they want to say and you understand each other and walk away as friends.

But closure is a myth. Closure is actually one last chance to spend time with and talk to that person you still love. If you could have a conversation and finally understand each other, why couldn’t you make it work as a couple?

So, when you've decided that the relationship is over, cut him off. Block him on your phone, disconnect on social media, and stay away from places where you know he will be.

Why? Because what you need to do is break the addiction you have to this person, to change your habits.


Think about Oreo cookies. You know how hard it is to eat just one? It’s the same with your man. Even one point of contact can draw you back into his circle, the circle that you have decided that you are determined to break yourself out of.

So, go no contact right away. It will make the process way easier!

As a side benefit, not spending your time and energy stalking him on Facebook but doing something that makes you feel good is exactly what you need to do to start loving yourself again.

3. Define what you need to let go of.

This is very important. What is it that you need to let go of to move on?

You may be ready to let go of a man that you know isn't the one for you, but you still struggle with your decision because of the love you feel.


What you should do is to look at it like an onion —​ feelings are layers that must be removed to get to the core. What was the top layer?

The first layer might be anger. Perhaps anger at your man and how he treated you. Or maybe anger with yourself for wasting time on him. You have to deal with your issues and let them go, separating them out one by one.

By examining each layer of the onion, you'll be able to peel back and discard one layer of emotion at a time which leaves you with the one piece that you want to hold on to; one that won't hold you back from moving on. It's the final piece you can carry in your heart going forward.

4. Question what is true and what is not.

This is such an important piece of letting go.


You have ideas in your head about truths in your relationships but, unfortunately, often these truths are not so true — they are just hopes and dreams you've made up over the course of the relationship.

Are your hopes and dreams of a life that you want with your boyfriend that have absolutely no basis in reality? For example, are you hoping he'll want to move to the woods, raise sheep, have kids, and grow old together? You might have this idea firmly stuck in your head that this is what you want, and believe that if your boyfriend loved you enough, he would embrace that dream, too.

What you don't realize is that although this dream of yours is wonderful, there's possibly no way you're going to have it with your boyfriend. Maybe he loves the city, hates livestock, and doesn't want kids for at least another decade.

Consider the things you know to be true, which is what he doesn't want, and stack them up next to what you do want: your hopes and dreams. When you do, you'll finally see the truth of the situation is different from what you've been telling yourself in your head.


Armed with that knowledge, you are one step closer to letting him go.

RELATED: How To Break Up With Someone You Love

5. Figure out what you really want in a relationship.

The final part of letting go is getting to know what exactly it is that you want from someone in a relationship. Without knowing what you want you are going to have a hard time getting it.


So, make a list. Make a list of what you want from a man in a relationship with you. It doesn’t have to be long, but make it comprehensive.

Perhaps it can be something like: "Someone who makes me laugh, who knows who he is and what he wants, who loves my kids and who wants to make me a priority in his life."

So, make your list and run through it with your current guy in mind. Chances are, if you are reading this article, he won’t match up with many of the things on that list and you will finally understand because you will see it there clearly, in black and white.


And your emotions just can’t argue with black and white. He is not what you want. Time to move on.

Right now, take a moment and picture the guy who has all the traits that you want in a man, sitting right next to you. How good would that feel, to be loved by someone who was the right person for you? And what a great way to get back to loving yourself.

Letting go of something that once seemed so promising is very difficult and will take some steadfast determination on your part but you can do it. Learning how to let go of toxic love can seem difficult but if you can master it your life will only get better.

So, cut off contact, peel back the onion, question your assumptions, and define what you want. Before you know it, you will have clarity that you are making the right decision and will be able to let go.


6. Get yourself back out there.

Right now, you probably feel like you might never love again, but putting yourself back out there doesn’t mean you have to fall in love. Putting yourself back out there means that you get to dress up, flirt, date, and have a lot of fun.

And maybe, just maybe, you will find another love. But in the meantime, you can enjoy yourself and the freedom you have as a single girl. Embrace it!

RELATED: Don't Break Up With Him Until You've Considered These 35 Things

Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate, who works exclusively with women to help them be all they want to be in this crazy world in which we live. Email her or read her writing, which has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others.