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How to Emotionally Detach When You Don’t Have Any Other Choice

You know, as hard as it is, sometimes we have to know how to emotionally detach ourselves from the people we love. But that’s easier said than done, right?

You know, when you care about someone, you never thought the day would come where you’d have to know how to emotionally detach from them. For myself, I dated a guy experimenting too much with drugs. He left me no choice but to detach myself and end the relationship. Of course, I wanted to help him, but he didn’t want to change. So, what could I have done? Nothing.

The hard part wasn’t breaking up with him, the hard part came when I had to emotionally distance myself. [Read: Right reasons to break up with someone you love]

How to emotionally detach yourself from someone you love

It’s really not an easy thing to do. But if you’re reading this then you’ve thought long and hard about it already. Coming to this conclusion comes with its tears and anger but now you’re here, so you can only move forward with this. Yes, you care and love them, but at the same time, they’re eating you alive, figuratively speaking, of course.

Just because you want to emotionally detach from them doesn’t mean you don’t care about them or want them to disappear from your life. You’re simply creating a much-needed boundary for your own mental health. It’s hard, but you can learn how to emotionally detach yourself.

#1 Think about you. Yeah, we tend to forget to do this. Instead, we invest every minute into them without thinking about what the relationship is providing us. Funny how that works out, right? But listen, you need to put yourself first.

Maybe you love this person, but you’ve noticed your health decline slowly and if that’s the case, well, it’s time to pay attention to that. It’s always easier to try to fix someone else than ourselves. [Read: How to find yourself when you feel like you’ve lost your way]

#2 Take all the space you need. It’s clear that you need space from this person, and that’s completely okay. Don’t feel guilty because you need a time-out from them. And, don’t think your time-out has a specific end date because it doesn’t. If you need a couple weeks, take them. If you need a couple months or years, that’s okay too.

Everyone is different when it comes to emotionally detaching ourselves. Some need a short amount of time to do it while others need more time. [Read: 10 scenarios where taking a break is the only solution]

#3 Think about your relationship objectively. I know that you’re a part of this relationship, so naturally, you have a specific viewpoint and feeling about it. But if you want to know how to emotionally detach from someone, try to look at the relationship objectively. Be realistic with yourself. It may hurt, but you need to see the truth.

Ask yourself, would you be happy if your daughter/son was in this relationship? Are you getting your basic needs and desires met? These are tough questions because you already know the answer. 

#4 Why are you attached to them? What is it about them that makes it hard for you to detach. Of course, if this is a family member or close friend, well, then it’s understandable. But if this is an intimate relationship, what is it about them that makes it hard for you to move on? Is it because of them or is it your own insecurities that are preventing you from leaving?

#5 Cut contact. I can’t sugar coat this one for you, even though you’d like me to. You need to cut contact with them. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have their number stored somewhere just in case. However, you need to accept the fact that you won’t be able to detach yourself unless you cut contact.

This includes all forms of social media which I know is hard. Don’t creep them on Facebook or Instagram, don’t text them. Nothing. It’s time for you to heal. [Read: How to spot selfish people and stop them from hurting you]

#6 Stay away from mutual friends. You’re going to ask about this person when you’re with mutual friends. It’s something we all do. Yeah, it’s hard to distance yourself from people who haven’t done anything wrong. but this is only for a short period of time until you’re not feeling the need to ask about them. You need to take the time to fully remove them from your life.

#7 Grieve. We’re always so scared to grieve, but it’s the one thing you need to do. At the end of the day, it is what it is, a loss. You lost someone you care about and of course, you’re going to be upset. But, this is all the opportunity for you to treat it like a loss and go through the grieving process. If not, you’ll most likely accept them back into your life and the cycle will continue. [Read: How to conquer the impossible and unlove someone]

#8 Remove memories around you. This is hard, especially when you’re grieving as the smallest thing will remind you of them. Naturally, you can’t just wipe out everything around you, but you can remove some of the memories you have. Photos, gifts, whatever they are, put them away. You don’t have to throw them out, but put them somewhere that’s difficult for you to get to.

#9 You’re not going to be friends. I know that you’re thinking maybe you can be friends down the road, it’s not going to happen. Trust me, we all thought that it was possible, but the reality is, if you become friends with them, it’ll happen all over again. Sure, you can be neutral and friendly if you run into each other, but you’re not going to go to the movies or grab coffee together.

#10 Refocus yourself. This sounds easy, but it’s really hard. You’ve invested all this time into someone and now you cut them off. This means you have a lot of free time which is great unless you choose not to fill it. In other words, start off on a new page and revamp yourself. Do things that you’ve always wanted to do and refocus your life because your life has revolved around them.

#11 Take all the time you need. Listen, like I said before, you need to give yourself time. This is really important for you to understand. You have all the time in the world to heal yourself so don’t try to rush the process. Take this as an opportunity to think about yourself and what you want from your life. They’ve been taking all your time and now you need to get it back. [Read: Here is how you can move on from a relationship in a healthy way]

#12 Talk it out. Not with them. But if you have a close friend or family member, talk to them about it. You can also go to therapy as that’s also a good option for getting everything out. Talking is therapy, talking is healing. So, whenever you need to get it out, just talk. Now, if you’re not a big talker, then write. Either way, release your emotions.

[Read: Learn how to control your emotions and show restraint]

No one said it was going to be easy, but if you feel that you need to learn how to emotionally detach yourself from someone, follow these steps.

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