How To Distance Yourself From Someone (21 Ways To Successfully Detach Your Emotions)

Last updated on June 8, 2022 by April Maccario

The desire to connect and attach ourselves to people is part of life; it makes us human beings. It is this unique attribute that makes the loss of someone close, a divorce, relationship, or friendship painful and tough to get through life. 

Just as it probably took a lot of time and effort to connect with a person, it also takes a while to detach yourself from that person when things go south. Giving people space can sometimes come off as you being cold or mean, but in actuality, it is one of the best steps anyone can take towards self-love

Creating some space between yourself and someone doesn’t always mean you do not want to ever speak with them again. Sometimes, it could be that you need time to think or reassess a situation. It could also mean that you are trying to get over a breakup or break away from a toxic friendship. Regardless of your reasons, here are 21 ways to give such people some space. 

21 Ways To Cut Emotional Ties

1. Recognize What Makes You Feel Attached

As with any useful changes in life, this first step is to know yourself. Take a moment to recognize all the things that made you feel attached to that person. Perhaps, it was how handy they were around the house, their view on life issues, your families, shared business, or even their optimism for life. 

Next, compare how these things stand beside your reason to disconnect. Often, when we are in a difficult situation that requires us to make drastic action, it helps to remember what got us there in the first place. 

2. Understand How Much Space You Need

understand how much space you need

Sometimes, we just need time and space to detach emotionally and make rational decisions. If this is your case, you probably do not want to cut the person off entirely from your life. 

You need to think about the boundaries you're setting, are you unfollowing them online, deleting their number and will you stop physical contact?

Is what they did something you’ll never forgive or forget? And how long will you keep the space between you guys? This is one thing you have to consider first before disconnecting from that person. 

3. Be Practical

Don’t we all wish we had a switch within us that turned off our emotions when they are no longer needed? While that would be an easy option, it is not realistic. Part of being practical when dealing with our feelings is understanding that these things take time, depending on how attached you were.

So, be realistic with your expectations and actions. Do not beat yourself up if you catch yourself thinking about them or reminiscing the times you shared in life. That is normal and should not deter you, do not see it as a negative thing or a lack of progress. 

4. Set Boundaries

Boundaries allow you to redefine your relationship with people while detaching from them emotionally. If you give people one finger, they’ll ask for five, that’s why you have to draw the line. If you said no visits, stand on that, if you told them not to call you, then don’t call them as well. It takes a lot of self-discipline, but it’s worth it in the end.

5. Resist Communication

Constant communication with a person is how bonds are created. We get to know so much about them and how they live that it becomes impossible to go a day without hearing from them. Have you noticed how relationships fall apart when people do not communicate? That proves how important communication is in building a healthy relationship. 

One way to detach from someone emotionally is to ensure you aren’t talking or interacting with them in any way. 

6. Stay Away From His Friends And Family

Regardless of how much of an independent thinker you think you are, it is easy to get carried away by the opinions of people. It is especially hard detaching from emotions if your partner’s friends and family are also emotionally invested in your relationship; they most likely do not want it to end. 

The best thing, in this case, would be to avoid them so that they do not cloud your judgment and make the decision even tougher. 

7. Be Ready For Questions

be ready for questions

When you stop talking or associating with a close friend or partner, they’ll automatically know something is wrong. Therefore, you must be ready to answer questions about your actions. They will most likely notice that you are pulling away and would want to question it. Be honest in your response. 

While you do not have to inform them ahead of time that you plan to detach yourself, however, if they ask directly, tell them truthfully that you need time away from them to think, do not treat it as a game where you withhold intimacy simply to get attention. 

8. Get Rid Of Things That Remind You Of Him

Maybe you have things that remind you of your partner, and you’ve been holding on to keepsakes because of how meaningful they are. Things like their sweatshirt, pictures, and their social media pages should be removed or kept away from you. By doing this, you’ll make things a lot easier, out of sight, out of mind remember? Plus, you’ll be actively removing thoughts and memories of this person from your life. 

9. Be Patient With Yourself

It is said that time heals all wounds - this is true. You do not have to go cold turkey with your detachment process, it is okay to take it one day at a time. For instance, start by reducing the number of times you communicate from three times a day to once a day or reduce the frequency of your visits. This allows you to slowly withdraw yourself from the person until it almost seems natural. 

10. Allow Yourself Time To Grieve

When you are with a person, you most likely had some things planned out; you shared a future and took steps towards it. What separation does is that it puts a halt to all those plans and ruins whatever happily ever after image you had conjured up in your mind. 

Give yourself time to grieve for a future that no longer exists. Grieving helps you to acknowledge that the relationship may be over, and it’s time to let go, and focus on your new future. 

11. Make A List Of Your Reasons For Detachment

Detaching from a person can be such a tough sport that sometimes we wonder if it is really worth it. Perhaps, the guy isn’t so bad, or the relationship wasn’t so sour, maybe all we need is a little more tolerance. All these are thoughts that go through our minds when we find it difficult to detach ourselves.

A list of all your reasons for detaching helps you remember why you are on this journey, and it serves as something to remind you never to go back to a bad situation.

12. Practice Gratitude

It is not everyone that dares to step away from a negative situation, so you must be grateful for this ability. Gratitude makes you appreciate your experiences and makes the journey lighter. It eliminates the feeling of loss that is associated with the end of a relationship. Be grateful for the memories you shared, the smiles and scars, new growth, and, most importantly, some things you would never have known if you didn’t meet them.

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13. Focus On Creating New Memories

focus on creating new memories

Replace the time you spent with your partner with other things that make you happy. For instance, you and your partner had made a summer plan, stick to the plan, but this time, go with your girlfriends. Replacing an activity you shared with something else ensures that you do not feel like there is a gap in your life now that you have to let go of that person.

14. Get On New Projects

Projects are such beautiful distractions, besides occupying your mind, they are also an avenue for growth. After my last break up, I remember putting in all my attention to setting up a sunroom for my home. 

It was an exciting project because it boosted my self-confidence; it allowed me to feel like I could take up anything. So, pick a project like repainting your home or setting up a garden and redirect your energy towards it.

15. Get A Hobby

The last thing you want to do while detaching from this person is to have idle time. Idle time will only give room for thoughts that remind you of him. Therefore, aim to engage yourself in every way. 

Surely, there must be something you enjoy doing, like riding a bike, painting, or baking. Engage in these activities or join a community of people who share similar interests. This will serve as a positive distraction to your time and allow you to understand yourself better.

16. Surround Yourself With Positive People

The benefit of having a reliable support system can never be underestimated. Your support system consists of the people who will be there to catch you if you fall and reassure you all the way. Do not hesitate to seek their help and, if possible, spend more time in their company, so you do not feel lonely and crash your progress by going back to the person you are avoiding.

17. Seek Professional Help

Separations can be tough, but when you see it as a time to know yourself better, you will benefit more. If you are having difficulty getting through the time on your own, you can reach out to a professional like a therapist for help and guidance. Therapies are an excellent way to keep good mental health and maintain clarity in such situations.

18. Forgive Yourself

We have all made bad mistakes in the past that make us cringe and regret - this may be one of such mistakes. Don’t berate yourself too hard, the important thing is to stop the whining and learn from your mistakes. 

If you do not learn to forgive yourself, it will be difficult to move on. Forgive yourself for letting the person come close and for being in a situation that did not serve you; count your losses, mark your lessons, and carry on.

19. Be Yourself And Live Freely

be yourself and live freely

Sometimes, when in a toxic relationship, people tend to lose themselves and act in a character that does not define the core of their being. Perhaps you did this too with the aim of being likable? Now is the time to shrug off that cloak of pretense and be yourself - never be afraid to say what’s on your mind.

20. Be Deliberate With Self-Love

It may seem obvious that you should love yourself, but the question is, how deliberate are you in doing so? Be intentional in your actions by ensuring that you put yourself and happiness first before anyone else. Try not to short-change yourself to please other people or sell yourself short to make others comfortable.

21. Be Optimistic About The Future

Forget the past and hold onto the future - that should be your mantra. While it is okay to acknowledge that person’s impact on your life, remember that they are now only a part of your story, and it is possible to write new chapters without them. Live your life, knowing that you have a bright, fulfilling future ahead with or without them.


What does it mean to distance yourself from someone?

Detaching yourself from someone does not necessarily mean physical space. While that plays a part, it also means you will have to detach from emotions that connect you to that person and keep them at arm’s length. They will no longer have access to your life, time, or space.

How do you emotionally detach yourself from someone you love?

First off, you need to acknowledge that this will be a difficult task. Next is to write down all the reasons why you need to detach this person from your life. Stay focused on these reasons while directing your energy towards other things that bring you fulfillment and happiness.

How do you keep your distance from someone?

Depending on the level of space you are aiming for, the first thing would be to ensure that you keep your conversations minimal. Meaning no personal or intimate conversations and communication should be at the nearest minimum.

How do you distance yourself from someone without them knowing?

Avoid gatherings where you’ll see him, stay away from their friends and family, engage yourself, and use your new project as an excuse. Eventually, they will get used to your absence and slowly adjust to the new way of life.

How do you distance yourself slowly from a guy?

Distancing yourself from a guy will be especially easy if they are the type that does not pay attention. Simply avoid face-to-face conversations by coming up with realistic excuses. Keep your phone calls short and delay when responding to their text messages. 

In Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Remember that keeping your distance requires effort, and this list has shown you more than one way to go about it. Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comment section below and share it with your friends.

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April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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