Distancing yourself from a man you have been emotionally involved with will take some willpower and emotional strength. The good news is that it gets easier with time. No matter your reasons for wanting distance, your desire should ideally be respected by the man himself. Unfortunately, this respect does not always follow your decision, so you may find yourself facing some resistance.
Limit or cease direct communication. This includes phone conversations, face-to-face meetings and all forms of electronic chatting or texting. The longer you go without communicating with the guy, the easier it will get. It will be very difficult at first, so you may have to take such steps as removing his phone number from your phone, blocking him from social networking sites, and setting up email filters so that anything you receive from him goes directly to the trash.
Limit or cease indirect contact. Indirect contact includes receiving or sending messages through mutual friends or reading his profiles on social networking sites. If your friends are giving you messages from him, ask them to stop. Take a break from social networking sites so that you do not have to be continually updated on his life, which will make distancing yourself harder.
Get support from your friends or someone else you can talk to. You may need to count on your friends during this time, as distancing yourself from someone you shared an emotional bond with can be quite distressing. If there were aspects of your relationship that brought about the need for distance, such as emotional or physical abuse, it would be a good idea to talk to a therapist or attend a support group. They will help give you the assistance you need and more guidance in creating distance.
Expand your social circle. Go out and meet new people by exploring your city or town, volunteering with an organization, joining a sports team or simply attending mixers. The more interesting people you have to spend time with, the less focused you will be on the one person you have decided to spend less time with.
Distract yourself. Check out a new hobby or devote more time to an old one. Having a time-consuming yet fascinating subject to explore will help keep your mind off the guy, which will help create distance.
Have a heart-to-heart with the man. In certain cases, he may agree that distance is for the best and also take steps to distance himself, which will make things easier for the both of you. Gauge the situation to predict whether this is a likely outcome of the discussion, and be prepared for the possibility that the talk will make him even more panicked or desperate to remain close with you.