Yes, it’s possible.
After a devastating breakup, it’s normal to still feel in love with your ex — you wouldn’t have been with them if you didn’t. And it takes a lot of time to get over that, move on, and learn how to fall out of love.
Founder of Relationship Psychology, John Alex Clark, shared some techniques in order to help the broken-hearted fall out of love with that someone. Yes, it’s possible to learn how to fall out of love with someone just by using a psychology concept called classical conditioning.
“Getting over a breakup can be a lot like quitting smoking. When a person chooses to give up a habit like smoking, the initial few days is always the hardest to overcome. Fortunately, it gets easier with time, patience, and practice.”
To start off, after a breakup, there is always something that will remind you of your ex. It can be a place, food, or even a certain time. The ex was a part of your life, so it’s normal to have these things remind you of them.
In order to fall out of love, Clark says that you must destroy these associations.
“People usually make mental bonds between two experiences, associating one with the other,” he says. “Certain situations or places can trigger an emotional response based on past incidents.”
In short, you must disassociate these places, food, or times from the memory of your ex. For example, if you and your ex always visited this one restaurant, going to that restaurant post-breakup is now painful because you see them everywhere. Instead of avoiding the restaurant like the plague, you could think about the good food and the friendly atmosphere.
“For each positive experience you connect to that once-painful place, the suffering declines,” explains Clark. “Your new, pleasant memories take its place and slowly you no longer make those identifications with your ex.”
Continue with this exercise each time, and soon enough, the painful feeling associated with the place will decline, replaced instead with the positive feelings.
Clark is also aware that this classical conditioning technique will not be easy for everyone, nor will it have the same positive results on everyone. So, you must embrace the pain of the heartbreak, but eventually, try to move on by disassociating these things from your ex.
“The more you brood over your suffering, the deeper you push it into your subconscious, making it harder to uproot when you’re finally ready to move on,” he says.
So embrace the pain and allow yourself to feel sad for now. But eventually, you have to start moving on again. Before you know it, the love you felt for your ex will be but a distant memory.
This guest article originally appeared on YourTango.com: How To Fall Out Of Love, Using A Psychological Technique.