Love can be a complicated emotion, especially after a relationship has ended. Following the end of a relationship, it’s common for people to feel pain and longing for the other person. Often, the question arises, ‘Can you ever stop loving someone?’

The answer is, for most people, yes, it is possible to learn to stop loving someone. Here’s how to move forward, out of the cycle of obsessive thoughts and feelings.

Understanding the Nature of Love

To start, it’s important to understand the nature of love. Love is an emotion that is sparked from the interaction between two people. It starts with chemistry, often from physical attraction. People can feel an infatuation with someone they’ve just met and have never interacted with, based upon their physical appearance.

As connection is established, trust and understanding builds, cementing them as a “couple.” This type of love is situation-dependent, often based upon a mutual exchange of attention and pleasure. More importantly, when these conditions change, so does the feeling of love.

Don’t Be Afraid to Move On

When a relationship ends, it can be difficult to let go of unhealthy thoughts and emotions. It can make it difficult to let go of the feelings of love—those feelings that were shared between two people. It’s important to remember that it may take a little time to move on.

Hanging onto a broken relationship is often a physical and emotional drain on a person’s health, impacting them for days, weeks and even months to follow. It’s important to take the time to process these feelings and allow yourself to heal.

What Can You Do to Help You Move On?

Here are a few methods you can use to help you move on from an ex, and learn to stop loving them:

  1. Limit your connections. Social media and the internet can make it difficult to move on after a break-up. Try to limit your connection to your former significant other. Unfriend, unfollow and block them on social media.

  2. Take some time away. Give yourself some time to heal by taking time away from your day-to-day routine. Take a vacation. Go away for the weekend or take a prolonged staycation. This can give you some time to recuperate, away from the reminders and emotions of your former relationship.

  3. Pursue your hobbies and passions. Dedicate your time to something you’re passionate about. Focus your energy into developing an activity like painting, photography, playing music or writing. Getting out of your routine will help you to move on from a former relationship, and distract you from those obsessive thoughts and feelings.

  4. Spend time with your friends and family. Spend time with those closest to you, your friends and family. Spend time doing things that you love, such as going to the movies or going out for a night on the town.

  5. Exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, increases blood flow, and enhances memory and mood. Exercise is an effective method for reducing stress, distress, and negative thoughts and feelings.

  6. Find a therapist. If all else fails, speak to a professional. A counselor or a therapist can help you develop coping strategies and provide you with the tools you need to help you move on from your former relationship.

It’s Possible to Stop Loving Someone

Ultimately, everyone moves on from their past relationships at their own pace and in their own way. While it can be difficult to break out of the loop of negative thoughts and emotions following a break-up, over time, the intensity of these feelings will start to subside.

In time, it is possible to learn to stop loving someone and move on with your life. It may feel like it would be impossible to stop loving someone you once cared so deeply for, but eventually, with the help of time, distraction and support, it’s possible.