My Heart Is Broken, How Do I Fall Out Of Love??

Email from a reader

So, maybe, my question is, how can I turn off this love? How can I do it, if I loved him, flaws and all? He was sweet and generous with me when we were together and I only have good memories.
I was strong (Afraid and stubborn might be more correct - Mikethemasterdater) and willing enough to keep the love all these years and now it’s hard to just fall out of love with someone who isn’t here. Like the infamous book says, “He isn’t pursuing me, so he must not be that into me”. I accept it, but it doesn’t make me feel any better.

I am in it right now too

I know this feeling so well since I am going through it now. Fortunately I have fallen in and out of love so many times that it is almost a bodily function. It still hurts but I can assure you it is a lot easier now than it was in the past. Falling out of love and controlling your emotions is an art, which takes practice and application.

I separated from my ex nearly six months ago but we have stayed in contact like nothing changed. When I left for a bicycle ride across the country we were not able to talk much and my ex, feeling pretty lonely, decided it was time to move on. This is what she emailed me (I speak Japanese but she has been using a lot more English lately)

Hi mike.
i have a bad news for u…..i want to looking for a new BF cuz u will not back to Japan. of course i still love u so much but too lonely…..and im give up……

This was heartbreaking for me even though I have told her many times that she needs to move on and find someone that will be there for her. I know this is better for both of us but I still struggle. I foolishly want to look on facebook and guess which new guy messaging her is sleeping with her. I could remove her pictures and unfriend her from facebook. I could have some rebound sex and not think about her or maybe just get really really drunk for a few weeks strait to avoid my feelings. Fortunately, I am past action on most of those feelings but I did remove her updates on facebook since I am not an emotional superman.

What I do to get past a lost love

Over the years these are some of the things I have used and/or recommend to get over emotional duress. They fall into the categories most of already use to get over someone but are not completely aware of. Awareness of the process allows us to speed the healing. Here are the steps I recommend taking

1. Distraction Distraction Distraction

I don’t know where I read it but one of the treatments used for PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) for Vietnam vets was to keep them occupied. Simply put they would put these guys to work and force their focus away from past pains they have suffered. This is an excellent way to distract the mind so that it won’t dwell upon a painful place.

I am sure you have experienced this when depressed and wanted to go to work as much as you want a peanut butter enema. However, amazingly while at work your focus changed, you snapped out of your miserable mood and felt great by the end of your shift. If you never had gone to work you would have wallowed in your misery the entire day.

Remove all the reminders of him BUT DON’T DESTROY!

One way to not focus on someone is the simple removal of all emotional buttons. Clear your car, room, phone and computer of the things that will trigger an emotional reaction, bundle everything up and hide it or give it to a friend for safe keeping. DON’T DESTROY IT! Once you pass through the healing gauntlet you will want to savor again some of the warm memories you once shared.

The art of looking the other way

Not only should you remove reminders but like I said above you must NOT focus on what is painful. This means you must stay busy, spend time with friends, family, coworkers and or the opposite sex. When you feel a strong period of wanting it is time to schedule something to distract your lonely, longing desires. This includes any activity to keep yourself busy busy busy and keep looking the other way until that filthy corner of emotion fades from lack of attention.

Rebound relationship

I wrote about this topic a few months ago in the post Get a new Dog. I am a fan of getting a new dog at least temporarily. You will hear a lot of people think this is a very bad idea but…! often it is the Prozac that stops you from offing yourself.

This sounds unhealthy but can be done in a way that is acceptable. Explaining clearly to him that you are recovering from a painful break up and are looking for some company but nothing else is acceptable. Use him as a crutch so that you don’t go back crying and demanding a relationship from
your ex in a state of lunacy.

Is it bad for you to use someone in order to avoid the pain? No, I don’t believe so. As long as you communicate well to the person you are borrowing! Rebound relationships don’t have to be the big mess everyone thinks they are and they can really really help in getting you past this rough period.

NLP scratching the record

This is one that you are going to have to research. This is a method Tony Robbins uses to damage a memory. I don’t feel comfortable explaining it here but if you Google the topic you will find tons of info about it. It has worked quite well for me in the past.

Break contact!

A lot of couples that have separated like to drag things out by still staying in contact and remaining sexually involved. This usually does more damage to the girl since the guy is often only in it for the sex and comfort. His feelings might have moved on but yours haven’t and when he tells you about the new girl he just met, it will be crushing. Do yourself a huge favor and cut things off until you are ready to be friends again. This wound needs time to heal and keeping him around will only rip it deeper.

Trust me on this one, cut it off and move on.

2. Reframing

This is an art that needs to be practiced constantly in a world that is always throwing challenges our way. I am not an expert at reframing so hopefully I am explaining it correctly. I would encourage any of your who are experts at it to add more in the comment section. My understanding is that reframing is just looking at something in a different light and attaching a new positive story to the situation. This is incredibly effective in moving on from a painful seemly negative

Don’t read into things!!

I don’t know why we love to wallow in misery and self-loathing after a breakup. Asking ourselves constant question of inadequacies and filling in the blanks of his thinking with negative assumptions. Sure… some of them might be true but does it really matter? Do you really need to know? Wouldn’t it be far more positive to believe only the best?

For example, don’t believe he didn’t want more because you were not enough but rewrite the story that he was intimidated by your strength and felt he needed a weaker woman. Is it true? Who cares? It really doesn’t matter; maybe you will get the real story from him someday but in the mean time create something that helps you move on and be a more confident person.

Learn to hate him

Okay I know this doesn’t sound like a very positive thing but it has its merits. Often we become needy with the people that are not very good for us and we are baffled why they leave us. This is a good time to change our perception and NOT remember all the good things. It is very possible he was not that great a guy and you may need to focus on his crappy nature in order to move on.

Future Retroactive emotions (is that right?)

You know how you can look back on a situation and are shocked that you ever felt so strongly about something? Shocked that actually got drunk and considered keying his truck at his new slut girlfriend’s house? Shocked that you actually cared so much about that guy when now you feel nothing??

I want you to project what you might feel like in 6 months about the current situation. Imagine that you are there now, feel the feeling that you will have, be the person that no longer cares. The second the pain creeps back in repeat this exercise!
If you know you won’t care in 6 months why not speed up the process and feel that way now?

3. Moving on

Eventually you are going to move on and that memory that used to send you into crying fits will make you smile at your past weakness. This happens to anyone given the right amount of time but as I said before we need to accelerate the process!

Forgiveness and surrender

This is a gift that you give yourself and him. The sooner one can do this the sooner the pain will dissipate. I know it is hard but you must realize that if you were in his shoes you would have done the same thing. You must surrender to the fact that you cannot control the situation. You don’t have your fingers on the mouse button of life directing where you want your surfing to go.

Life has as much control over you as you exert on it and you must accept that this is a good thing. He had good reasons for not feeling the same way and you must be a student of this. Maybe it is time to let him go and forgive him for the wrongs he has committed. Maybe it is time to forgive yourself for your perceived sins as well. Maybe it is time to move on…

Push him away to get him to come back

I cant tell you how many times I have let someone run only to have them boomerang back to me. They thought that the relationship was not working and they ran, instead of fighting it I applied my relationship judo. This of course is a huge power move, since the dog that is not chased soon stops running. Letting someone go is often all you need do to get them to come back but there is one difficult key to this success.

YOU MUST BE WILLING TO LOSE THEM, this means that you cannot let someone go with strings or expectations attached. The most effective way is to surrender and allow what is to unfold without any personal agenda. About 50% of the time the one you love will come back to you but you must be willing to lose them 100% for this to work.

Time heals

So many times in life I have wanted a fast forward button. However I was always wrong to think so, learning the low lessons are almost as rewarding as the high peaks. I wouldn’t want to miss a minute of my incredible life and if you don’t feel the same I pray you seek out happiness more aggressively!

Time is something that dulls the pain but without it we wouldn’t learn the lesson. So does this mean that if we get the lesson we heal faster? YES ABSOLUTELY!! Don’t waste time rolling around in your depression, ask yourself what this relationship had to teach you and embrace it no matter how painful it might be. The sooner you “get it” the sooner you will be able to heal and move on to the next challenge in life since after all what is life but a series of challenges that we must
overcome on a constant basis?

Allow time to heal that wound but at the same time realize you have the mental medicine to speed it along.

What not to do

I am embarrassed to say that I have done many of these things or had them done to me. They are all a bit silly but we have all gone mildly insane in the face of a lost love.

Threaten to commit suicide

Has happened to me about 3 times, only once did it extend the relationship. We lasted another 3 months until she finally realized that I was terrified of her. When she left me I was in a state of extreme relief.

Burn all your photos and unfriend him on facebook

No matter how much you are in pain now you will still want to keep the memoires. Unless he was abusive I imagine you will reach a point were you will look at old photos with a smile. As for faceobook? Just click the X in the right hand corner of his updates to not receive his comments for a while. This at least will allow you to ignore him.

Kill him so no one else can have him

Definitely an option.

Kill yourself so the pain will stop

Hey, suicide can be down right romantic and the thought of him suffering over your death delicious. Unfortunately though it is a very selfish, cowardly and unacceptable thing to do. Life was given to you as a gift and if you think you can squander it over such trivial things than you don’t deserve it.

Drink your brains out

Definitely my choice if I didn’t have this awful do-gooder streak in me. Sometimes I wish I could be the drunken homeless man sleeping behind the dumpster at Starbucks because I don’t have the courage to face life.

Then I remember that I do and of course so do you.

Preventative measures

I have said many times that your exs are your teachers. Did you learn the lesson? So many of us are tied up so deeply in our own selfish pain that we don’t realize there is something to learn. Don’t blame him for not being what you desired. Instead take responsibility for your part of the relationship failure and apply it to the next one.

If you are left hanging and the only one seemingly in love after he bailed you need to do some serious thinking on the question…

Why didn’t you see this coming?

Mike Masters
Writes a blog for women about relationships at Traveling the world and dating every single he met along the way allowed Mike to make an uncountable number of mistakes in relationships. These mistakes led to a fluency in the psychology of dating that could only be gained from radical immersion.


Most Helpful Girl

  • Wow--this was one amazing article

    i think a lot of people including guys and girls have experienced and all the emotions you have described and have done some of the things on there...

    but all I can say was this was very helpful and I feel happier reading it.. :)


Most Helpful Guy

  • Great article. I'm trying to distract myself at the moment.. but I hope the "50% of the time they'll come back" is true.. I miss her so much.


Recommended myTakes


Join the discussion

What Girls Said 4

  • Great article.

    One way to help yourself in moving on is not to contact your ex for 60 days, or any set amount of lengthy time. No contact means no text, no email, no phone, no "accidental" on-purpose run-ins. This may not always be possible, but the goal is to have as little contact as possible. I've been doing this with my break-up and it's helped immeasurably. Day 47- Slowly but surely falling out of love with what I thought was the love of my life.

    Will def. try your advice as well : )

  • Wonderful article. And I completely agree with this sentence -> "About 50% of the time the one you love will come back to you but you must be willing to lose them 100% for this to work."

    Keep writing ! =)

  • Haha Mike. You funny guy.

    I do think there are better reasons not to (try to) commit suicide though. E.g. the fact that the average person doesn't really have access to a 100% effective method and any attempt is highly likely to leave the attempter more damaged (physically and/or psychologically) than they were before. (I doubt that the highly subjective, judgmental approach you adopted, i.e. "Life was given to you as a gift..." etc, is likely to work too well for someone who's in pain.)

  • Bloody brilliant.


What Guys Said 3

  • Great article ashamed I'll never get to use it since I can choose who to fallout of love as easy as setting a date or if I want to a few hours. Some of us move on quicker than others.

  • Thanks!

    I just reread the article now and WOW! that was long!

    thanks for getting to the end of it!

  • Unfortunately guys don't struggle with this the same as girls


Recommended Questions