How to stop loving someone but stay friends? (10 Steps)

By: Naveen B

It’s tough to be friends with an ex-lover or someone you have feelings for, especially if you are still in love with them.

If you are just friends because the relationship didn’t work out, but you still have feelings for that person, it’s not fair to expect them to respect your wishes of being just friends.

It’s hard to let go of feelings, but being honest with yourself about what you want can help you move on and find happiness again after heartbreak. This guide helps you on how to stop loving someone but stay friends.

How to stop loving someone but stay friends?

how to stop loving someone but stay friends 1 How to stop loving someone but stay friends? (10 Steps)

Is it possible to stop loving someone but still remain friends? The answer to this question isn’t straightforward because it depends on why you are no longer in love with this person.

Love is such an intense emotion that when we fall in love, we become more than friends with the object of our affection, so it can sometimes be hard to let go of the feeling even after you’ve stopped being romantically involved.

So, How to stop loving someone but stay friends? Choosing to stay friends with someone you love can be a difficult decision.

The desire to be together can often make it hard to come up with a plan for moving forward, especially if you’ve been romantically involved or have been dating for a long time.

While it may be tempting to make the relationship romantic again, this will never work out unless your ex has feelings for you that change unexpectedly over time.

Recommended reading: How long does it take to get over someone you love?

Staying friends is the only way to go if you want to maintain some type of contact with your ex-lover because it helps you grow as a person without closing off other opportunities.

In some cases, choosing friendship over romance doesn’t work out at all.

It’s important to keep your feelings in check and focus on making decisions that are going to allow everyone involved to move forward in their own lives without becoming too hurt by your actions or those of your ex-lover.

Here are some steps that will help you deal with a case of unrequited love or a failed relationship gone bad so that each person involved can move forward as best as possible.

10 steps to stop loving someone but stay friends with them.

steps to stop loving someone but stay friends How to stop loving someone but stay friends? (10 Steps)

Step 1: Understand your romantic relationship is over.

The first step is to realize that your relationship with your ex is over and that you need to come to a normal mindset. Denial can be one of those feelings that makes moving forward really difficult.

If you’re not able to let go of how you feel about your ex, take a break from each other until you feel ready for closure or at least until you can see them as a friendly acquaintance rather than something more.

In addition, don’t assume they have stopped caring about you simply because they’ve stopped being involved in a romantic relationship with you. It could just be a timing issue, or maybe they’re working through things on their own before coming back into contact with you.

For whatever reason, giving them space and time away from you may be exactly what’s needed for both of you to get over that sense of yearning and separation that makes staying friends seem like such an impossible task.

Step 2: Give each other space and time for a while.

To help end your relationship and move forward without anger and frustration coloring your thoughts and emotions towards one another, it’s best if there is no communication between both parties for at least a month.

Make sure that all email accounts are changed so they are not able to find your address by searching your name in Google Alerts. Block them from social networking sites that might allow them to see what’s going on in your life.

This may be hard because you still care about each other or even love each other, but don’t take any chances by giving into temptation and contacting them prematurely.

If you want to be friends after you’ve stopped being involved romantically, set up a point in time where you can check in with each other and talk about things as two friendly acquaintances rather than two people who used to date one another.

It’s much easier to listen objectively when there hasn’t been any contact beforehand.

You’ll also be better equipped emotionally as well since you won’t have those feelings of longing that affect how you speak with your ex-lover as much as they do now if their relationship has ended prematurely due to an emotional issue such as infidelity or just not working out otherwise.

Step 3: Be careful when and if you decide to get back in touch.

One of the biggest challenges when trying to move forward in a relationship that has ended is that there can be a lot of bad feelings between both parties, and it’s important not only for your own mental health but for theirs as well, that you let go of any anger or resentment.

It may seem like an impossible task when you feel like someone was unfair or treated you poorly in some way, especially when they still live inside your head and heart.

But if there is any chance for friendship between you after ending an intimate relationship with each other, don’t ruin that opportunity by letting things slide and remain unresolved between you two.

Step 4: Figure out if you still care for each other as individuals.

At first, it may seem as though you can’t stand being around your ex after a breakup.

But as time goes on, you may find that even though you don’t want them back romantically or s#ually, there are parts of them that you miss and enjoy having in your life even on a friendly basis.

Or perhaps once a relationship has ended, your mind is free from all those daily stresses and anxieties that come with being involved with one another and they’re able to give you a different perspective on things that have been bothering you over time.

If these things turn out to be true for both of you, then going forward as good friends are worth looking into.

You may also realize that while some parts of your former lover continue to bring out feelings of affection and caring inside you, others remain frustrating and anger-provoking.

It’s important not only to look at how much overall appreciation remains for an individual after their relationship ends, but also what type of person they really are underneath all those complexities too.

Are their annoying qualities making up a bigger portion than their endearing ones, or vice versa?

This will help determine whether or not it’s worth pursuing a friendship later down the road when everything settles down for both sides.

Step 5: Decide if you want to be friends with your ex.

Once all these considerations have been addressed, think about how you would feel in a friendship with them.

If they’ve broken your trust in some way or there is too much baggage from your past relationship for a new one to exist with a clean slate, then it’s probably not worth trying at all.

However, if most of these issues have been overcome or overlooked during your time apart from each other, then going forward as buddies can be a viable option for both of you.

Just make sure that when and if you get back in touch with them again on friendly terms that there are no ulterior motives behind such action such as feeling lonely or wanting some type of closure after breaking up so abruptly.

The last thing either one of you needs is for an opportunistic friend request later down the road just to test out how things feel between both parties now.

That will only lead to more confusion than clarity. So try contacting them because you miss them as a person now instead of as something else entirely.

In order to build a lasting friendship once those early pitfalls have been avoided, take it slow and steady from here onward.

Start out by being extra cordial and polite in your communication with each other even if there seems to be plenty of mutual understanding flowing through those veins already.

Go easy on any mentions of what happened or why things ended between you two too since that doesn’t matter right now anyways.

Instead focus more on establishing a connection that brings forth good feelings inside both individuals rather than bad ones from their past history together.

Step 6: Tell your ex you want to be friends.

Once you’ve sat down and thought about all these factors for a while, there’s no reason not to initiate contact with them again on a purely friendly basis.

Tell them that you want to be their friend again, even if there are times when you miss being lovers too.

Explain that life can be short sometimes, especially when it comes to losing touch with people that used to mean so much in your life.

Remind them of how deeply involved both of you were with each other for so long since that will hopefully hold some weight during your request at getting back together again outside of your relationship.

Just don’t bring up any past grievances or bad memories because those have no place here at all right now either.

A friendship between two individuals who once dated is supposed to be free from all kinds of emotional baggage anyways. So make sure to leave that crap behind before making any attempts at regaining their trust in you once more too.

Step 7: Hope for the best.

Now just sit back and wait until they respond to your message in some way shape or form.

Even if they tell you flat out that it’s never going to happen between both parties again, just remember that getting shot down is better than not trying at all when making requests like these anyways.

You have nothing to lose by asking them again even if they’ve already said no once before. In fact, do try asking them a few more times since chances are they didn’t think about how badly you still wanted to be their friend beforehand either.

They might also reach out to you first now too after getting a taste of how much comfort could be derived from having another trusted confidant around during times of distress as well as good times too alike.

So let them know how big an impact their friendship could have on your life from here onward now as well.

Because that will help paint a clearer picture inside their head about why you’re reaching out once more now instead of holding a grudge against them forever for rejecting any kind of reconciliation initially.

Step 8: Take it one day at a time.

Don’t expect that everything is going to be 100% sunshine and rainbows between both parties just because you initiated another contact with them once more.

It can take years before getting back together after a breakup in order for things to finally click again in your favor, so don’t get discouraged if they don’t respond positively right away.

Keep trying your best over and over again until they give you their total approval on being friends once more.

Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with taking matters into your own hands when trying to maintain certain kinds of relationships between individuals who used to date each other too.

Just make sure not to become needy or clingy while trying to rebuild trust between both parties as well since those actions are guaranteed flops anyways.

Remember that relationships are about giving and taking first before anything else, so practice what you preach by reaching out without any expectation of what should happen next in return instead.

Just listen to what they have to say whenever possible during all interactions as well since listening is still important, even though talking plays an equally big role here.

But try not saying anything for hours on end during these exchanges either, since silence speaks volumes too anyways.

Once you’ve finally gotten closure from regaining their friendship once more afterwards, treat them like how close family members are supposed to act towards each other instead by helping them through difficult times without asking for anything in return afterwards anyways.

Step 9: Keep on talking about how you still feel.

Even if they never showed any interest in reconciling with you after multiple interactions between both parties, keep on telling them how badly you still want them back as a friend or even more than that if possible.

You can even make it easy for them by asking what your chances are of earning their friendship again instead so they don’t have to work so hard themselves when trying to figure out your intentions either.

But don’t be surprised if they won’t budge much no matter what tactic you try using at first either since there are times where people just can’t give up their toxic relationships no matter how much time passes by no matter what anyone else has to say about it too.

In those cases, you might have to move on completely from expecting anything from them because sometimes life just doesn’t go exactly as planned without warning whatsoever too.

In those cases though, remember that not every relationship is meant to last forever anyways so let go of all expectations while focusing more on yourself.

And other aspects in your life beforehand while working towards meeting new people who could possibly bring a smile back onto your face once more afterwards. 

Don’t shut off your heart completely though while doing so because ignoring others completely leads straight into becoming an antisocial hermit later down the road anyways which isn’t exactly ideal either. 

Try being around positive influences whenever possible because things tend to get better from there onwards eventually for almost everyone involved anyways.

Step 10: Set boundaries and don’t ruin your friendship:

Once you’ve gotten closure from regaining their friendship once more, set some ground rules with them to prevent any further damage towards each other.

These could be as simple as not discussing anything about their current relationship with you at all anymore or not bringing up topics like breakups or bad memories between both parties altogether.

Make sure that they can answer your calls at least after working out a set time of day where both parties will still be able to interact with each other without feeling too pressured afterward anyways.

Just because you’re on good terms now doesn’t mean that there’s no room for improvement anymore too.

That last part is also important as well since ignoring everyone else besides those who matter most in life gets tiring eventually anyways so try being around positive influences whenever possible.

Final thoughts:

Even though it might feel weird at first, try looking for ways where you can become better friends or even be completely fine with being just acquaintances afterwards if possible too.

The only way you’ll be able to know is by testing out your boundaries with them after having several conversations with both parties involved beforehand though.

You can either go about getting back into contact with them through email, phone calls, text messages, or even in person again.

At least, after finally resolving any previous problems once and for all too, if possible since most people tend to want to remain on good terms with their old close ones for as long as they possibly can anyways.

Don’t judge yourself or others harshly because there’s almost always a reason why these situations happened no matter what happened between both parties beforehand.

Sometimes things simply aren’t meant to last forever no matter how much hope we try putting into relationships that really should’ve ended a long time ago already which isn’t exactly ideal at all either. 

Take care of yourself more instead while working towards making new friends whenever possible so you don’t have to rely solely on those who have made an impact during our past lives anymore since life tends to move along pretty quickly without warning anyways.

So let go of expectations while focusing more on yourself first before jumping headfirst towards a new romance afterward instead.

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Experienced Psychology and philosophy Writer, self-help and relationship Coach and thought influencer. He has 7 years of experience in Personal development industry. His expertise as a self-help and relationship Coach has been highlighted through his articles in medium and substack to name a few. To be updated with his latest work, connect with him by following his social media accounts.

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