Figuring out how to forget someone after a relationship ends can be difficult. If you are wondering how to forget someone and be happy, there are things to do to forget someone you love.
Keep in mind that the process can be painful, but as time passes, you will heal and move forward, finding happiness again.
You might start with small steps that teach you how to forget someone and then move on to more significant steps, such as moving or starting a new job. Over time, you can develop the confidence to create a new, fulfilling life without your former partner, even if this seems impossible right now.
25 ways to forget someone
Moving on from a relationship may not be easy, but with the right strategies, you can learn the best way to forget someone. You may feel alone during this process, but the reality is that many people have found themselves heartbroken, wishing they could forget someone and be happy.
While the same things to do to forget someone you love will not work for everyone, there are some tried and true strategies you may find to be useful.
By choosing what works for your unique situation from the following 25 strategies for how to forget someone, you can forget someone you love and happily move on with life:
1. Choose acceptance
The first step in how to forget about someone is to simply accept what has happened. As much as you may want to dwell on the fact that things didn’t work out, if you want to forget someone, you must accept reality.
The two of you didn’t work out, and the relationship isn’t meant to be. Accepting this helps you to erase your hopes and dreams from your mind, eventually allowing you to forget someone and be happy.
2. Commit to letting go
Once you accept that forgetting someone is your only choice, you must let it go. Do not spend time ruminating or wondering if things could have been different. Free your mind from thoughts of the relationship, and move forward.
3. Get out and enjoy life
When you are suffering from heartbreak, you may be tempted to spend your time at home alone, mourning the loss of the relationship and thinking about all that went wrong, but this doesn’t allow you to move on and forget someone you once loved.
Go to a new workout class at the gym; call a friend to go out for dinner, or simply take a walk. Anything that keeps you busy will take your mind off of the heartbreak and lift your spirits.
4. Don’t beat yourself up over the past
Replaying old scenarios from your relationship and thinking about what you could have done differently to save your love won’t allow you to move on and forget them.
Stop beating yourself up and wondering if you could have tried harder to make them happy. It is easy to get stuck in this place, which is not helpful when you are trying to forget someone.
5. Devote time to your own goals
To shift your attention away from the former relationship, spend some time working on yourself. Focus on a goal you want to achieve or something new you want to try, and put your time and energy into this instead of thinking about them.
6. Stay away from things that remind you of the person
You might be tempted to drive by their house, or even visit old places you used to enjoy going together.
Avoid this; it only makes it harder to forget about them. You may have to avoid watching certain shows if they remind you of your lost love, or avoid spending time with certain people if they are friends that you have in common.
Don’t go to old hangout spots hoping to run into your former significant other; instead, try out a coffee shop or grocery store on the other side of town. It is impossible to forget someone and be happy if you run into each other in public.
7. Consider a lifestyle change
If you were in a long-term relationship, forgetting someone may require a lifestyle change.
For example, if you live in a small town, you may consider moving to a different location. Or, you may simply have to change your routine, such as the places you go or where you get your groceries, so you do not run into each other.
Sometimes, a bad breakup can be the impetus for starting over in a new city with a new career, but such drastic measures are not always necessary.
On the other hand, if there is somewhere you have always wanted to live or a new job you have thought about taking on, now may be the time to do it, so you can forget someone and be happy.
8. Get out and meet new people
The chances are that if you were in a relationship, you developed a social circle that included your significant other and perhaps some mutual friends.
While you certainly do not have to give up your old friendships, you may have to get out and meet some new people who do not have any connections with your significant other.
This prevents you from spending all of your time with people who may bring your former partner up in conversation or ask you questions about how the relationship ended. New friends will bring a fresh perspective and will not spend time asking about your old relationship.
You may meet new people and develop new friendships by taking a new class, trying out a new gym, or simply having lunch with a different group of coworkers.
9. Resist the urge to contact your former partner
The best way to forget someone is to cut off all contact. You may be tempted to check-in and see how they are doing, but just one message, phone call, or email can send you back to thinking about the good times and longing for the relationship to be what it once was.
Erase the person from your phone and email contacts, so you are not tempted to dial them up or shoot them a quick message. This may require you to also remove them from social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat.
If you find that you cannot resist the urge to contact them, it may be best to block their phone number or send emails from them to your Spam folder, so you truly do not have a way to get in touch.
10. Take up journaling
The process of trying to forget someone can be challenging and full of emotions.
If you are having a hard time, put your thoughts into writing. A journal can help you to purge your thoughts and get your emotions on paper, so they are not building up inside and making it difficult for you to cope.
11. Set small, daily goals
Learning how to forget someone is a process, and you shouldn’t feel the need to take a bunch of major steps at once. Work on taking small, daily steps that get you closer to forgetting someone.
For example, you may set a goal to try a new coffee shop one day, instead of grabbing your morning coffee from the shop you and your significant other used to go to before work. Another day, you may set a goal to try a new fitness class at the gym and introduce yourself to one other person in the class.
Over time, these small goals will build your confidence and allow you to take bigger steps toward moving on and starting a life without your former partner.
You know that trip you have been postponing?
Now is the time to take it. Use up your vacation time, and take a break to travel and see a new part of the world.
Having some time away from home in a different setting will give you a fresh perspective and may even give you time to process the breakup and begin to look at some of the flaws you turned a blind eye toward during the relationship.
13. Avoid hooking up
When you are dealing with a heartbreak, you may be tempted to accept anything your ex will give you. Perhaps they are not willing to continue a relationship with you, but they will be more than willing to swing by for a hookup.
Do not give into this. In fact, this is not at all the best way to forget someone. What may just be a casual hookup for your ex can bring back powerful emotions for you, preventing you from breaking the attachment with them. Ignore requests to hookup.
You might think that a sexual relationship will help you to feel better, but ultimately it will make you feel worse and only prolong the heartbreak.
Many of the tips for how to forget someone involve taking action, such as setting goals, trying new activities, or changing up your habits. While these strategies are important, sometimes you need to allow yourself to just rest. Doing the work of forgetting someone is no small task.
Allow yourself time to take a break and perhaps reflect upon the progress you have made. During this time, you might set aside space to think about what was wrong with the relationship. During moments of rest, you might even realize that the relationship was not the best for you after all.
Maybe during your initial heartbreak, you glamorized the relationship when there were problems in reality, and forgetting them and being happy is the best choice.
15. Spend time with people who lift your spirits
Even when you are at your lowest, you most likely have a supportive network of friends or family you can turn to for encouragement. Spend time with these people, whether it’s going out to dinner or sitting down to chat.
Surely, they will remind you of the things you have to be grateful for in life and will take your mind off of your former relationship.
16. Practice forgiveness
It can be difficult to forget someone and be happy when you are still angry about things they did or things that went wrong. Part of how to forget someone is to stop dwelling over your anger and practice forgiveness.
Maybe you can write it down in your journal, but whatever you decide to do, give yourself the gift of letting your anger go, so it no longer consumes you. It is hard to forget someone if you are still holding on to anger. Ultimately, choosing forgiveness frees you as well.
In the video below, Marie Forleo discusses forgiveness as an emotional, spiritual and physical process. She discusses the path to forgiveness. Find out more:
17. Get rid of physical memories
Sometimes, after we lose a relationship with someone we loved deeply, we may hold on to physical memories, such as photos, gifts, or perhaps the person’s belongings. Maybe you have tucked these memories away in a box in the closet, only to revisit them from time to time.
While you may occasionally find comfort in these items, they may be stopping you from figuring out how to forget someone.
Memories we have of a relationship are stored in the brain. Still, physical memories like pictures only intensify the mental pictures, making it more difficult for us to truly forget the person.
Return or get rid of items you still have that belong to your significant other, and be sure to take down old pictures, delete videos and photos from your phone, and pack away old gifts, at least for now. You may even choose to discard gifts if you cannot help but look at them and long for the lost relationship.
18. Pray or ask for peace
If you feel compelled, it may be helpful to pray for peace to help you forget them and move on. If you are not a religious person, you may simply engage in a spiritual activity like meditation, with the goal of seeking inner peace.
19. Take the care you put toward your ex and give it to yourself
Chances are that throughout the course of your relationship, you put a lot of time and energy into caring for your partner.
Take the same energy, and focus on yourself. Use your time to ensure you are meeting your own needs. Take time to get plenty of exercises, eat properly, get adequate sleep, and do things you enjoy. In this process, you will find yourself helping you to forget the relationship.
20. Recognize your worth, regardless of the relationship failure
Sometimes, it can be nearly impossible to forget someone because we tell ourselves that their acceptance is the key to our worth as a human being. You must let go of this notion. No one else can determine whether you are worthy.
The relationship could have failed for a number of reasons, such as incompatibility or mistakes made during the relationship, which is a part of being human. This doesn’t mean that you are not worthy of love and happiness.
Stop letting your ex control your perception of your self-worth, so you can start forgetting someone.
21. Reframe the single life as being something positive
One of the best ways to forget someone is to view the breakup in a positive fashion. Instead of dwelling on the loss of the relationship, focus on gaining your freedom or independence. Perhaps you made sacrifices and gave up on your own interests for the benefit of the relationship.
Now that you no longer have to answer to someone else, you can focus on doing what you want to do without being held back. This can help you to see the loss of the relationship in a positive light, making the process of how to forget someone much easier.
22. Reconnect with friends
It is natural to pull away from friends to a degree when you are in a committed relationship. We all do it, and we may find that we have lost connections with people who were once important to us.
Your closest friends will understand the situation and likely be willing to catch up with you. Make your friends important again, and through connecting with them, you will find that it is easier to forget someone and be happy.
23. Do not let grief spiral out of control
You should definitely allow yourself to grieve the loss of the relationship, but do not get stuck in this place. It can be easy to allow yourself to spend too much time mourning the loss of the relationship, ruminating about what went wrong, and wondering if you could make it work again.
Doing this takes time and energy away from the process of healing and doing the work of forgetting someone. So, allow yourself some time to be sad, but then pick up the pieces and begin to take small steps toward getting back out into the world and recovering.
24. Put your energy into being productive
Things that make it harder to forget your ex, such as stalking them on social media, asking friends about how they are doing, or ruminating over what went wrong, can take up a considerable amount of time and energy.
Instead of using your energy to remember your ex, one of the ways of how to forget someone is to channel your energy into productive activities, such as getting ahead at work, doing that project you’ve been putting off around the house, or trying something new for self-improvement.
25. Remember that time truly does heal all wounds
It is hard to believe when trapped in the midst of heartache, but as time passes, you will naturally become more and more distanced from your former flame, both physically and emotionally.
While the time it takes for this to happen will vary from person to person, the mind does have a way of eventually letting go, simply because after time apart, the emotional intensity of heartbreak fades into the background.
You may even look back at the person you once loved and wonder why you were so upset by the breakup after all.
Until you move toward a place of forgetting someone and being happy, you can recognize that this pain is temporary and will get better gradually.
The answer to how to forget someone you love is not easy, especially if you were together for a long time and imagined spending your life with them. Perhaps you had planned a future with this person, and the loss of the relationship not only comes as a shock but also requires you to recreate the plan you had in mind for your life.
It is natural to experience some grief, sadness, and strong emotions when this happens, but there are ways to forget someone and be happy.
Some of the strategies of how to forget someone may come naturally, whereas others may take more work. In addition, what works for one person may not work for you. You may also find that some strategies here are helpful, whereas others are not.
In the end, taking time to focus on yourself, creating new memories, spending time with friends and others who uplift you, and changing your lifestyle are all things to do to forget someone you love.
Over time, you are likely to find you have created a better life than the one you once imagined with your ex. With this new life in place, trying to forget someone becomes easier.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Jenni Jacobsen is a licensed social worker with a master's degree in social work from The Ohio State University, and she is in the process of completing her dissertation for a Doctorate of Philosophy in Psychology. She has worked in the social work field for 8 years and is currently a professor at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. She writes website content about mental health, addiction, and fitness.
Licensed as both a social worker through Ohio Board of Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage/Family Therapists and school social worker through Ohio Department of Education as well as a personal trainer through American Council on Exercise.