How to Stop Loving Someone From Your Past 14

Is your past haunting you? These tips on how to stop loving someone from your past will help you find the freedom to move on and be happy again.

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How to Stop Loving Someone From Your PastI Need Your Love – Is That True?: How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval, and Appreciation and Start Finding Them Instead by Byron Katie is one of the best books I’ve ever read on letting go of obsessive thinking. Katie shows us how to recognize how our thoughts affect our lives, and change destructive thinking patterns. It’s simple, but it requires you to do a little work.

Your thoughts are hurting you. The breakup isn’t the problem – it’s how you’re thinking about the breakup that is haunting you.

Winston Churchill said: “If you are going through hell, keep going.” Don’t stop, don’t look back, and don’t keep torturing yourself with the “what if” and “I wish…” Believe me; I know what abandonment is and how hard it is to realize that to be happy, you have to stop loving someone.

If you’re going through the hell of a breakup, read 75 Ways to Let Go of Someone You Love. It offers tips from psychologists, counselors, and life coaches – and it’s as close to therapy as you’ll get without actually talking to a counselor!

And, here are a few tips on how to stop your past from ruining your present and future…

Can You Stop Loving Someone From Your Past?

You may never really stop loving them, but you can stop obsessing about the past and being fearful of the future – of never being loved again.

These tips are inspired by one of my readers who made this comment: “I only wish I had the strength to let go,” says J. on How to Let Go of Someone You Love. “I’m 24 can’t find a way too let go of past relationships. In fact, I find it hard to let go of anything. It’s so hard and frustrating because I feel like the whole of the world has moved on without me.”

He says he was with his first love for three years, and it took him two years to get over her. “I thought I was over her but I’m actually not,” he says. “If I see her I could burst out crying because the pain and sorrow I feel is like it was the day she left me.”

That’s heartbreaking – but he doesn’t have to live that way!

Healing from the past takes some people longer

Some people are naturally more resilient than others. They’re better able to detach from the past, move on, and open their hearts to loving again. Others (me included) find it hard to stop loving someone and let go. We’re all different.

But, if your inability to let go of the past is causing serious anxiety, distress, and even depression, then it’s time to get help from a professional counselor, pastor, mentor, or someone you trust. J. said he still feels like crying when he sees his old girlfriend…and that’s not normal after a breakup that happened three years.

When you can’t let go of the past, you can’t enjoy your life right now. How long will you keep living this way?

Love or lack of love doesn’t change who you are

“It’s been five years since we split, and she doesn’t even acknowledge me,” says J. “I feel like she hates me. How can love turn to hate, or turn to nothing? I feel worthless. I feel like no one will ever love or want me again, and I’m not even sure if I want them to because they all leave me in the end.”

J, if you’re reading this, I really, really encourage you to find ways to rebuild your self-esteem and self-worth. Being loved makes us feel fantastic and lovable and worthy and valuable as human beings…but the fact that someone stopped loving us shouldn’t change how we feel about ourselves. I know this is easier said than believed! I know how devastating it is to not be loved…but an important tip for getting over your past is to separate your love life from your perception of yourself. I urge you to get help from a counselor.

Not finding the right person to love doesn’t mean you’re unlovable! It just means you haven’t found the right match.

Try different things until you find what works for you

I’ve written several articles on getting over a breakup, with different tips each time. To stop loving someone from the past, I suggest you try one tip at a time. For instance, some people listen to songs for broken hearts to heal heartache (music therapy, in a way!). Others prefer making a major life change, getting counseling, or psychological ways to stop obsessing about your ex.

Accept that the pain of loss might never end

How to Stop Loving Someone From Your Past

How to Stop Loving Someone From Your Past image by seapea11 via DeviantArt

Ten years ago, my sister told me she never wanted to talk to me again – and I didn’t do anything even remotely wrong or bad! We were raised in foster homes, and I went to Africa for three years to teach…and that’s when she started to pull away, when I was gone. She even gave me a going away card with a plane crashing and the words “Why are you doing this?” Obviously, the combination of our childhood and my leaving was hard on her.

I’ll never stop loving her, but I won’t let the past chain me down. I’ve moved on. How? By talking to a counselor, redirecting my thoughts every time I find myself ruminating on what I did wrong, and by creating an interesting, fun, active life for myself!

If I can be happy and healthy after being dumped by my sister, you can move on after being dumped by someone who’s not right for you.

For more tips, read Getting Over the Pain of an Unexpected Divorce – A Few Tips.

Is your past haunting you? Are you struggling to stop loving someone? Your comments are welcome below. I can’t offer advice or counseling, but it may help you to share your experience.

Relationship Help

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My prayer is that you find ways to heal and learn how to stop loving someone from you past. May you find peace, strength, wisdom, joy and power.

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14 thoughts on “How to Stop Loving Someone From Your Past

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Traci,

    My prayer for you is that you find hope and healing. It sounds like you’ve been suffering for a long time. You’re in pain, and you don’t know how to stop loving your husband and move on from your past. I pray for strength and wisdom – I pray that you find a supernatural source of healing and power that surpasses counseling and medication. I pray that you find energy to move forward with your life and let go of the past.

    I pray you find yourself again, that you connect with who you’re meant to be – and that you live the meaningful, fulfilling, hopeful, healthy, and happy life that God intended for you. Amen.

    I also wrote this article with you in mind, maybe it’ll help a little…..


  • Traci

    I was married for 15 years to a most amazing man. I loved him so much I would have done or given him anything. The problem…. he worked a lot and the more he made the more he worked. We rarely saw one another. We had 3 wonderful kids and we never ever fought. Not even a bad name called. I got lonely and depressed and begged for his time which he couldn’t give me and then we had a few tragedies in the family and our lives fell apart. I still love him and did not want a divorce but I gave it to him after he asked over and over very nicely. He said he wouldn’t date for a long time and asked me to do the same as it would hurt him but after just 6 weeks he started dating and within eight months of the divorce had dated two women and and remarried:( I was and still am devastated. I wanted to die and tried suicide. I have been counselled and on meds but nothing ssems to ease the pain of losing the man I love, the father of my children, and my best friend. Not to mention my father also died in the is period of time. Please help me it has been nearly two years and I cannot move on. I cry daily. I feel so broken and alone.

  • Laurie

    Dear Ian,

    You’re doing the right thing by getting treatment for your drinking, so please don’t give up on that! You’re using alcohol to numb the pain of the breakup – many people use different things to avoid pain (I binge on unhealthy foods, others shop, others turn to non-prescription or prescription drugs).

    It sounds like you were drinking before the breakup. Have you thought about why you were a heavy drinker back then? Maybe figuring out what pain you were avoiding then will help you heal now. This breakup may be the “tipping point” that will push you to deal with issues that have bothered you for years.

    Have you talked to a counselor – or do you have a sponsor?

  • Ian

    Hi, I’m in absolute torture after the breakup of an 18 year relatioship with someone, 2 children a motgage, job, car, the lot, forever. I was a heavy drinker at weekends and that was a contributer, but my ex sees it she did nothing wrong, but she used to hit, kick and throw things at me. I can’t get the good times out of my head and I do still love her. I have to have contact with her because of the children. it’s in the dark hours it hits me most. Im drinking everyday to block out the pain but I know thats not the answer. I’m an alcoholic and I’ getting treatment for it. It’s so difficult to deal with this reality even when intoxicated. how will it be sober? I have contemlated suicide, but just as an “I could” because I couldnt do that to my beautiful children.
    Help me please.

  • Laurie

    Dear Joslyn,

    What do you friends, family, and counselors tell you to do? It’s good that you’re talking about moving on from your mistake and your past…but I’d like to know what people are telling you to do.

    I know you wish it was all behind you, that it could be all over! But sometimes the only way to move on is to take it one day at a time. Focus on getting through this hour in as healthy a way as possible. And, try to put into practice the advice your counselor gave you.

    I wish it was easier to heal and be healthy again…

  • Joslyn

    I am stuck, I do not know what to do anymore. I feel like crawling up into a ball and crying everyday anymore. I made a mistake and slept with my boyfriends best friend when I thought that my boyfriend left town for good, I had three kids with my boyfriend and found out that I had cancer while he was gone I ended up with his best friend and I always knew from the day that I met him that I was in love with him. My boyfriend came back seeing the situation I was in and found out six months later about his friend and I, my boyfriend dropped his best friend and kept me it kills me inside every time I realize that they will never be friends again because they knew each other since they were four, but a greedy part of me is mad that they will never talk again which prevents me from being a part of, well we will name my boyfriend K and the best friend D, but it prevents me from being around D and it hurts me. This all happened four years ago and D and I have just recently quit talking and it is killing me. I don’t know what to do anymore I find music all the time that reminds me so much of D and I hate when I look at K do not feel the same for him, I do love him but I am madly in love with D and I can not have him. I just want to have it all over and I do not know what to do anymore, I have talked to counselors, friends and family nothing is working. I pray to be happy and loved but I know that I am getting older now and carry more and more baggage everyday. I know that this is only an area for comments but I am hoping that someone that reads these could please help me. [email protected]

  • Laurie Post author

    I don’t think we can ever really stop loving people from our past. We just move forward, even though our hearts aren’t fully in the present.

  • Laurie Post author

    “The heart has reasons that reason cannot know.” ~ Blaise Pascal.

    Sometimes the reason we love people – and we can’t stop loving people from our past – doesn’t matter. Maybe it’s chemistry, maybe it’s personality, maybe it’s a past life connection, maybe the person reminds you of someone you knew a long long time ago…but the reason we’re drawn to people may be irrelevant. What matters is the fact that it’s now time to move on.

    Maybe you’ll never stop loving that person, but you can’t have him or her in your life anymore.

    Sometimes love doesn’t conquer all.

  • karen

    Its only been six weeks since i split from my partner. No one really liked him but i fell madly in love with him and devoted my life to him. I ended the relationship because he had a really agressive side to him , he would call me seriously abusive names during a row and frighten me with how aggresive he would become. However i still love him , people say how can you love him he was so nasty to you and to be honest i cant give them an answer because i dont know myself. I want to turn the love button to off, because he dosnt deserve my love any more but i cant. I have no inspiration to do anything or go anywhere and he is in my mind constantly .I hoped to find the answer on the internet but i think my search is in vain…..

  • john

    I was Laura’s toy. The thing about moving on when she left me (in a very cruel way) is that I have to do the opposite of what I want. I love her, and want to keep loving her, and to move into a new relationship would be breaking what is so precious to me.
    Starving for love, if your starving for food and have some seeds to eat, should you plant the seeds or eat them. Eating the seeds (getting her love back} may save you from death but you “should” plant them (let her go).
    Sometimes I feel like an animal that mates for life, she is gone and all the emotions and bonding that took place are like roots, like when you transplant something in the garden, the plant dies a bit before it comes back to normal. I think I’m over her, but then I just start crying again.

  • emowife

    I am married and just had our first baby…
    but I still miss and love this one guy, it’s been 7 years for me.
    The other night I saw him at a party, we locked eyes twice. My reaction was to grab my husband and leave (I was about to cry cuz all I could remember was the way that guy dumped me)
    yeah, i can’t forget about him and sometimes I think “what if”…. after he left me I had several lovers, boyfriends, got married with an abusive husband that I divorced and got married again (my current husband)
    I feel like I moved on physically but not emotionally from him… he’s the only guy I can’t forget about, the rest of the guys were forgotten in a matter of days after breaking up with them.

  • Alice

    I am still trying to get over the pain of finding out that my ex fiance married another woman while still engaged to me. I stumbled across their wedding registry online 2 days before their wedding. My ex was not even man enough to admit to me that he was seeing another woman when I went to visit him this year. The least thing he could have done is to have at least broken up with me and spared me this pain but no. He’s a lying deceptive bastard of a man who kept up a very fake religious facade. He thinks he’s a righteous being of a man who preaches to other people.

    We were in a long distance relationship for 5 years – engaged for 3 years. We would get into small arguments whenever I tell him that I think some girl was hitting on him. He would tell me that I was very insecure and that I was probably guilty of cheating on him. Funny that in hindsight, I now realize that my body was trying to tell me that something was not right – no matter how well crafted that jerk’s lies may be.

    I broke all contact with him after finding out his infidelity. Incidentally, 2 days before he got married, he went into hiding literally. He closed down his profile in messaging profiles, skype, mobile number and I suspect, changed his email addresses too. I do not care nor do I plan on contacting him ever again so those things do not really matter to me.

    2 weeks after his wedding, I got a personal message from him asking me to confirm if the relationship was over and that he wanted to talk to me for 1 last time before moving on. And the grand finish to this mess of a message? He missed me so much because we stopped talking. I almost barfed when I read that message. I wanted to slap him so hard then and there. There was still no admission of a wedding that happened. The jerk wanted to continue the charade of stringing me along.

    I still could not believe that there exists an evil malicious man who used to be my classmate and best friend from college. All of our hopes and dreams of the future of raising a family and spending our lives together were all lies! I thank my lucky stars for finding out and validating my suspicions about this jerk. My close friends have been very supportive through this entire ordeal. I can never thank them enough. I agree with them totally that I am in a better place than his wife is right now. And I know that I am still healing but I know that I became stronger because of this traumatic experience.

  • Annonimous

    *sigh*, So I’ll tell you all. I fell in love with a girl, like 4 years ago, at first sight. It’s already been 4 years and still love her. 🙂 It’s like I’m going crazy or something, searching her after 4 years on the internet. Just stare at her pictures. And the worst thing is, I have no idea if she loved me or not…

  • kitty

    I think it depends on whether your relationship is a recent one that ended and you are having trouble letting go of that person (a few months or even a year), OR someone you loved, let’s say, 4 or 5 years ago. For me, letting go of someone that I loved a long time ago (my first love) happened when I realized that I had become a different person in the time that passed once our relationship ended. And, I believe that what I thought was love for that person and sadness that we were not together, was actually sadness because I missed our young, naiive life and it was the time period that I could not go back to that made me feel such a loss, not the fact that my first love cheated on me and was dishonest. I didn’t want him back, I wanted that carefree, no-responsibility adventurous lifestyle that I had to push aside as I got older. Once I was able to put it all into perspective and realize what it was that I was actually sad about, I was able to really move on without thinking about my ex-boyfriend in the same way. I think also when you accept the fact that you cannot move forward in your own life if you are holding onto the past, helps you to start respecting yourself and you allow yourself to receive new love and see your life and the people in it for who they are, not for what they aren’t.