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can you really stop caring about someone?

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It is really difficult to understand how you can stop caring about someone just because romantic feelings are gone. Romantic feelings, and caring are two different things. You can have romantic feelings without caring, and care without having romantic feelings.


So when you're with someone, if you really cared about them, that wouldn't disappear just because you lose romantic feelings for them. I don't understand why it would.


For example, I know people who really cared about someone, then they broke up and moved on. They don't have romantic feelings for them anymore but they still care about them.


The only times I can see someone stop caring, is either if the person pissed them off, or if they never cared in the first place.

If someone's ex was a jerk to them, then later on they say "I don't give a damn about him anymore" but that's because they lost respect for that person.

If someone was dating someone, but it was a casual infatuation thing. They were just really attracted to each other and it wasn't much deeper than that, then when that attraction goes away they don't like the person anymore because there's nothing else there. But that's because they never cared to begin with.


But if you really did care about someone, it seems wrong to say "okay my romantic feelings are gone, so I don't give a damn about her anymore". It's almost like you only cared about them because you had romantic feelings, and now that they're gone you don't need to anymore ....

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Hey Yellow,


I've read a little background on your situation. I think that it will help you immensely to realize that an important component of love and attraction for someone is respect.


This guy doesn't treat you well, but you've put up with it even after the break up. I think he's lost a great deal of respect for you. I'm not excusing his actions and how he feels about you shouldn't be important anymore, because he doesn't deserve you. I do worry that you've lost a great deal of respect for yourself and that's much more important than this guy.


I think that's the key that you're searching for. Please stand up for yourself and don't put up with this guy anymore. Stop speaking to him and start looking for a guy who is going to treat you well. It's clear that this guy isn't going to do that.

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It all depends what you mean by 'caring', exactly. If you mean wishing the other person well in their lives, harbouring no grudges and so on - that's actually a very important part of moving on. It doesn't mean that you've stopped caring about them - but it does mean that you've stopped caring FOR them, in the sense of doing things for them, putting them first etc.


Often people who state angrily that they 'Don't give a damn about them' when they talk about their exes are actually saying implicitly that they're still emotionally attached - it's just that it's a negative attachment rather than a positive one. But it's still just as binding. And the emotional charge and strong language gives away the fact that it's not indifference here.


The other thing is that sometimes people need to go to NC - it's discussed a lot on this board. It may well be interpreted by the one who's not getting the contact as the first not caring about them any more, but this is more likely driven by the need of the first person to look after their own emotional needs first.


This is a very interesting question you've posed here!

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I don't care about my last ex any more; and I was deeply in love with him and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.

I don't wish bad things on him but I don't wish him good things either. I just don't actively wish him anything.

I never thought I would feel this way but I've come to a point where I've had so much emotional distance from him that my time with him seems unreal now.

I guess this is what moving on really feels like.

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Define "caring". It has been about a year and 4 months (had to use my fingers there) and I haven't spoken to my ex for maybe around 5 months? Yeah... I used to love him, wanted a real future with him, but things happen, and now I'm with someone else.


I don't care if I ever speak to my ex again. That doesn't mean I hate him, nor does that mean I want to be enemies with him. If he was to tell me he wants to be friends, I'll respectfully decline- I'd rather we be casual yet cordial, but not super close friends.


In the end, life around you changes everyday; People become older, people change into someone else, people want different things (and partners/friends), and while it can seem a little depressing for you right now, OP, realize that someday, just like I, you will stop caring about your ex, not in a bad way, but in a way that says, "I wish him the best of luck in life, but he's out of my life... And that's the way I like it."



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Generally speaking, I agree with what you are saying here.

But people don't always wear their hearts on their sleeves, and the way that one person handles their emotions isn't always going to be the approach taken by another.


Sometimes during the course of a relationship, a person does things, or reveals things about themselves that the other might find really unappealing, and which would be an issue even in friendship.


Sometimes people just need to take time apart for hurt feelings to dissipate before being able to be friends again.

It doesn't mean that they don't care, it just means that they need to focus their energy on themselves, and/or that they suspect that the other person does, too.


If someone says "I don't give a damn about you", then that makes them sound angry, and like there is more to the story, including some unresolved feelings (be they positive or negative).


It could mean that that person really is a person who never really cared, is shallow and self-involved, and not really worth engaging with, anyway.


Oftentimes, only time will tell.

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I definitely still care about every man with whom I've had even a semi-serious relationship. But it's a slippery slope for me because there's a fine line between caring for them as a human being and wanting to take an active and continuing roll in supporting their happiness. If I allow myself any involvement in their lives at all, then my caring goes beyond what is appropriate and I run the risk of being sucked back into the relationship (even if they don't). I now know that I must care from afar in order to take care of myself properly.

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I thought I'd chime in on this, since my relationship recently ended for the same reason. My girlfriend of 6 months confessed to me that she has no romantic feelings, but that she still wanted to be friends. I thought this was simply a way for her to look better in the whole thing. In other words, she felt bad for hurting me, but didn't really care if we were friends.


I was actually wrong about that though, because she's contacted me several times since this break up (it was a month ago), sometimes to see how I'm doing and other times to just say silly things like we'd say when we were dating. Unfortunately, we've seen each other a few times too and there's still tension because I realize she still "cares" about me but she's not "into me" anymore and it hurts. It's hard for me to separate the 2 concepts but I know she still cares, it just doesn't feel like it because she honestly has no desire to save our relationship.


So, in some weird way, sometimes I almost wish she didn't care at all, because it'd make it easier to get over this. She's, by far, the best ex I ever had for trying to help me get through this, but seeing her without those "romantic feelings" is almost as bad as having her not care at all.

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I know what you mean. At first, when my ex wasn't into me anymore but still cared, it hurt a lot to know that he only cared about me as nothing more than a friend. It hurt that the romantic feelings were gone and it was pretty much the same as him not caring at all. I remember he once told someone he doesn't want me to be sad, and instead of being happy that he cares, I was devastated, thinking "so that means he won't get back with me. He is saying he doesn't want me to be sad, so that means there is something to be sad about".


At that time though, he still had some romantic feelings for me. He didn't feel the same about me anymore, not enough to be in a relationship with me at least. But he wasn't completely over me just yet. And as he got over me, he just stopped caring about me. Now not only are the romantic feelings gone, but the care is gone too. And I look back at those days in which he still cared, and they seem like heaven to me. And I feel sad that at the time, when I was in that amazing position - one in which he actually cared about me - it didn't matter to me, and I thought it sucked.

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I can honestly say the same as well. While my relationship always mattered, I fear there were more times where I didn't act like it did, like I was taking it for granted, or thought it would last longer and now that it just cut out like this, it made me think there was a way to save it still, but her indifference to saving it hurts me more than anything, and while her willingness to be friends is certainly nice, I'm not sure how I handle it. Do I begrudgingly accept or take the hard way out and just back out of her life for good?

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