You wake up in the middle of the night and look at your partner’s face; it has the same innocent and beautiful expression, which you fell in love with once. Only, you do not feel that love anymore. You no longer get excited about being with them. You don’t even want to spend time with them, and your heart, which was once filled with warm feelings for your partner is now empty. Although nothing changed, everything seems different now.
And you start to wonder, “Am I falling out of love? Is that even possible?” To answer these questions and more, MomJunction brings you this post explaining the signs and reasons for falling out of love, and how not to fall out of love with someone, who you once thought you couldn’t live without.
Is It Possible To Fall Out Of Love?
When you love someone, you want to spend the rest of your life with them. Somewhere along the way, changes in your or your partner’s behavior, significant changes in your life, or serious mistakes such as extramarital affairs, substance abuse or addiction by you or your partner, can change your feelings. You could go from loving them to being disgusted by their mere presence.
You may not know what happened and how it exactly happened, but you have a tough time connecting with your partner. Their quirky habits and sense of humor, which once amused you, now annoy you. You feel guilty for not being able to reciprocate their love, but no matter how hard you try, you cannot love them anymore.
Why Do Couples Fall Out Of Love?
Well, if there is a straight answer to this question, then it would be ‘because we are all humans.’ And we tend to fall in and out of love several times.
We are guided by emotions, both negative and positive. During the initial phases of a relationship, everything will be hunky-dory. The couple would be eager to spend time with each other, physical intimacy would be thrilling, and the world will start to look more beautiful when they’re together.
But as time passes and things change, people also change. Life gets hectic, responsibilities catch up, and before you have a chance to realize, your relationship takes a back seat. If neither of you attempts to make your relationship a priority, it will slip further. Relationships flourish only when you take care of them. Neglect it, and it won’t be long before either of the partners fall out of love.
Things like infidelity, addiction to alcohol, and neglecting family responsibilities can be other common reasons why a person falls out of love. However, the reasons would be quite specific for a couple.
Whatever the reasons might be, it is wise to act before things go out of hand. Next, we tell you about the signs that you should look for to know if you are falling out of love.
Signs Of Falling Out Of Love
Signs that indicate you are falling out are usually subtle and go unnoticed until one day when you find that you no longer want to go home or look for excuses to stay away from your partner.
- Low tolerance: When we love someone, they seem perfect to us, no matter how ill-tempered, impatient, and lazy they might be. We tend to overlook the flaws and try to focus on the positives to fuel our love.
But when the love starts to fade, negative traits begin to overshadow the positive ones. Soon, you will reach a point where you cannot take it anymore, and annoyance and disgust will be the dominant feelings. From there, it is usually downhill. Disappointment in your partner becomes a regular thing, and unfulfilled promises, no matter how small, are perceived as a breach of trust. In short, you become less tolerant and more judgmental of their shortcomings.
- Never-ending fights: You may have argued or fought with your partner even when you loved them a lot. But now, the fights are at a different level and become an outlet to vent your anger and built-up frustration. More often than not, these fights go on and on without any resolution. You do not think twice before attacking them personally or using hurtful words. And rather than feeling sorry when they cry, you may feel irritated and walk away.
- Emotional connection is lost: Emotional connection between the partners is a sign of a healthy relationship. But when one person in the relationship loses interest, that connection becomes weak. When you are falling out of love, your partner is no longer the first person you want to share things with. When they try to reach out, you will respond but without any emotions and sentiments.
- Priorities change: Remember when you used to wait for your partner no matter how late they came home from work? Or the time when you canceled your plans with friends to be with them? Well, now things are different, and you no longer try to compromise or adjust for your partner. Your priorities change, and when your partner questions you, you call them clingy or nagging rather than trying to understand them.
- Sex becomes a chore: When you have feelings for each other, physical intimacy is the purest form of expressing love. When you fall out of love, any physical expression of love from your partner may feel shallow, and you may not be able to reciprocate as you once did. What was once a beautiful experience is just a physical activity – a mere chore to satisfy the bodily desires – when there is no love.
- No longer a sanctuary: A relationship is a union of two people who trust each other to share their deepest fears and dark secrets. But, when you fall out of love, you no longer trust your partner and seek companionship or refuge outside the relationship. You may find yourself trusting an old friend or a co-worker more than your partner, so much so that you even share intimate details about your partner with them.
- It feels like you are stuck in a rut: When you have been in a relationship for quite some time, you tend to settle down into a routine. It could be a simple one with you staying home or an elaborate one with you juggling work and home, among other things. While a routine can make you feel safe and secure, it can also kill the passion and excitement in a relationship. You could become tired of the routine with your partner, and may crave for something new and exciting without them.
- You are in constant conflict: Falling out of love while in a relationship is never easy. You will always have to face an ongoing inner battle. These new feelings of anger and frustration with your beloved can be confusing, and you may not understand where things went wrong. The fact that you cannot discuss these feelings with your partner (out of fear of breaking their heart) makes you helpless. Also, the guilt of not being able to reciprocate your partner’s love steals your peace of mind.
- You spend less time with them: Remember those times when you and your partner were inseparable and dreaded staying apart? Well, it’s the opposite now, if you are falling out of love with them. You don’t long for their company, and may even start to avoid them. The only time you spend with them is probably at the dinner table or when it comes to dealing with the kids.
Anyone can fall out of love, and for whatever reason that broke or changed their heart. But is there a way to prevent it and salvage the relationship?
How To Stop Falling Out Of Love?
Falling out of love while in a committed relationship could be devastating. It could break homes and hurt both partners. But if you have noticed the signs we discussed above and are trying to shush the voice in your head, then here are a few ways to steer the course to falling back in love.
- Hush the critical thinking: Your partner might check nine out of ten items of your ideal partner list, but there will be that one quality that you’re not happy about. You may have brushed it off initially, but now it stands out and makes you uncomfortable. As time passes, your inner voice gets stronger, and you might find yourself cringing at their habits and magnifying their flaws.
While you cannot entirely ignore the flaws, you can look at them rationally and find ways to accept them as long as they are not putting you or your partner in harm’s way.
- Deal with kindness and love: When your partner has cheated on you or is drowning their life in alcohol, you have every reason to become indifferent towards them. But check if these negative feelings are temporary reactions or stronger, lasting emotions. If you feel that deep down somewhere you are still in love with them, then take the path of kindness and love.
Continuing to be loving and kind towards your partner is the key to staying in love. This will soothe your partner and give them space to realize their mistakes.
- Introspect to find answers: If you are questioning how you feel about your partner, then it is time to do some introspection. Why does someone who was once adorable seem like a stranger now? Did they change, or did you? When you manage to find answers to these questions, you will know what to do next.
- Remember why you liked them in the first place: When negative feelings build-up, try to think of all the positive traits in your partner. Whether it is their sense of humor, how they look after you, the little things they do to make you happy or their willingness to take risks – think about how they make you happy and if their flaws are bigger than their best qualities.
- Break the monotony: If the daily routine is making life mundane and drab, then break it once in a while – be spontaneous and do something that excites you both. Take charge and put your relationship in the front seat again. Go on dates, do things that interest each other, experiment in the bedroom. Go out of your comfort zone to do things which your partner likes.
- Reconnect through communication: If you feel that your partner is becoming distant, talk to them. Communication plays a key role in expressing your feelings and avoiding misunderstandings. There is always something new to discover about a person, no matter how long you have known them for. Talk to your partner and show interest in their activities, praise them for their achievements, and continue to support them. No matter how much they try to run away from you, let them know you want them near and that you will always be there for them.
- Do not run away from your feelings: The first time you realize you were falling out of love with your partner, you might have panicked. And out of guilt and fear, you may have suppressed those feelings. But that is not healthy because the more you suppress them, the stronger they become.
So, the best way to address these feelings is to acknowledge them. Talk to someone about it or see a therapist to understand things better. You could also discuss with your partner if you are comfortable and see how to make things better for the two of you.
- Reignite the sparks: A simple touch can do a lot more than just leading to physical intimacy. Cuddling and being close to a loved one produces the hormone oxytocin, which helps in promoting devotion, trust, and bonding. If you feel the love fading away, try to reignite the passion with simple acts such as holding hands, cuddling together, or hugging to bring back the love.
Love is an intense feeling, but it can also be confusing sometimes. When everything is fine, love makes you feel like the luckiest person in the world. But when the weight of responsibility falls upon it, it could become weak.
When you feel your love for your partner is fading away, don’t panic or act in haste. Instead, take time, evaluate. Unless it is a serious reason, don’t walk away without giving it a try. Try to figure out what went wrong and see what has replaced your love for your partner.
If you find it hard to connect with the person even after giving your best, maybe it is time to let go. Sometimes, we change as people, and so do our loved ones. Whatever you decide, let your partner know. Be honest and tell them; just don’t leave the things hanging.
Do you have any experiences that you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments section below.