Learning how to let go of obsessive love is an essential part of living a happy life.
Obsessions with anything, whether it be alcohol, ice cream, gambling or video games, can wreak havoc on your life. Obsessive love it even worse because your heart is involved and when your heart is involved, the pain is more intense.
Knowing how to let go of obsessive love before it destroys you is how we get out of a love that is causing us pain and move forward to find true love and happiness. Good for you for reading this article! It’s the first step to living the life you want.
#1 – Be determined.
When we want to let go of obsessive love the first step is to get clear on how determined we are to do it.
Letting go of any love, but especially one that is obsessive, is very difficult and if you don’t have the determination that is necessary to take the steps, it won’t be even worth trying.
So, ask yourself how determined are you to let go of this obsessive love? Are you just at the beginning, wondering if perhaps it’s time to work to let go? Have you been thinking about this for a while but are not yet sure that you are willing to take the steps? Or perhaps has the pain gotten so bad that you know that you must do this to save your life?
Again, to do this work and to be successful with letting go of love, you must be determined – willing to work through the pain and stick with the process so that you can let go and be happy.
So, are you determined? If yes, then on to step number 2!
#2 – Be realistic.
For many of my clients, the object of their obsessive love is not someone who is good to them, someone who treats them the way they should be treated. Instead, their person is someone who treats them indifferently, or perhaps unkindly, who makes them doubt themselves and who renders them miserable more often than not.
I have a client whose partner is a narcissistic, alcoholic. He regularly gaslights her, making her believe that their problems are her fault. He comes and goes as he pleases. He sucks her back in with loving words but then disappears again when he gets bored. He has no friends and struggles to maintain a good relationship with his children.
My client doesn’t see this. Yes, she struggles with pain during the times that he mistreats her but what she holds onto is the good things – the times when he treats her right and when they are happy. She has created a person in her head who he is not and it is that person, the good person, who she is obsessed with.
Is your partner someone who you should love the way you do? Is your partner someone who you would encourage a friend to be with should the shoe be on the other foot? Do you hold onto the person who they were when you first met, believing that that is the person they truly are and that if you just love them enough you will get back to being that person?
If you can take a good look at who your lover really is, someone who mistreats you and makes you miserable, then you are way more likely to be able to let go of obsessive love before it destroys you!
#3 – Set a time line.
I always encourage people to go no contact when they are trying to let go of obsessive love. To block them on their phone, to disconnect with them on social media and to stay away from places they frequent. This is the MOST important part of letting go because if you aren’t in contact with your person, it will be way easier to let them go because they won’t have the ability to suck you back in again with their words and actions. You also won’t feel the pain of seeing that they have gone on with their lives without you.
Going no contact can be extremely difficult to do.
With one of my clients, I encouraged her to set up a time line for disconnecting with her boyfriend, one where she would gradually disconnect from him in a way that would be less painful for her. We agreed that she would immediately block him on her phone, so that she wouldn’t be tempted by his voice and his words. She would continue to look at his social media for a week. At the beginning of the next week, she would shut down Instagram. At the beginning of the third week she would shut down Snapchat. On the fourth week she would post her profile on Hitch.
This process would continue until she was disconnected from him completely. Doing this allowed her to go no contact without the intense pain she was afraid of.
Of course, creating a gradual time line doesn’t work for everyone. Personally, cold turkey is the only thing that works for me. It might be the only thing that works for you too.
#4 – Reconnect.
For many of us who have an obsessive love, we lose contact with friends and family because we literally spend every waking day hoping to hear from our person or orchestrating events that would lead to interaction with them.
I had a client who was involved with a married man. She thought about nothing but him morning, noon and night. As a result, she no longer saw her friends. The things that she used to do with them she no longer did because she sat at home, waiting for him to call. Gradually, her friends stopped reaching out because she was never available.
What we need more than anything, as we work to let go of obsessive love, is our friends. Our friends can listen to our words of sadness, can help distract us from the pain of letting go and help us face the reality of who our person really is, not the person we have created in our head.
So, reach out TODAY to some of your friends. Make a plan to get together. Apologize if necessary, explaining to them what has happened to you. Friends will always be there for you and now you need them more than anything.
#5 – Push back on the pain.
One of the biggest reasons that we have such a hard time letting go of love is because we are afraid of the pain that we will feel if we do so. The human fear of pain is so intense because we literally need it to survive. The fear of pain prevents us from sticking our hand in a fire or cutting ourselves with a knife or throwing ourselves off a cliff because we are scared about the prospect of that pain.
This same idea is why we don’t want to break up with someone – we fear the pain that we will feel if we walk away.
To combat this, I would encourage you to take stock of your life, to take a good look at all you have in the world, to take a good look at who you are as a person.
Think about the person you were before you met this person. I know that the obsessive love that I carried for a man made me feel like a completely different person. Before I met him I was a confident and brave woman who owned her own business and took shit from no one. Two years later, I was a woman who sat at home, waiting for his call, feeling pathetic and full of self-loathing because I had become this person.
Yes, you will feel some pain if you walk away from this person, but how good would it feel to be that person you were before? Would suffering the inevitable pain, which will ease with time, be worth it if you could be back to who you had been, living an authentic life? I know it was for me and here I am today, back to the confident woman I was before, this time with the love of my life, the man who treats me like a queen, at my side!
I know that the idea of having to let go of an obsessive love is scary.
I know that you think you will never be happy again if you do so but I know that you are moving towards being ready because you are reading this article.
Take some time and decide how determined you are to do this. If you are ready to do the work, take stock of the person you love – are they who you think they are? Are you ready to step away from all interactions with them? Are you looking forward to reconnecting with your friends and yourself?
I know that you can do this. I know that you can let go of obsessive love and live the life you have always wanted, full of love and happiness.
Take the steps now and make it happen!
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.