Those who have had the opportunity to fall in love with someone likely know how incredible of an experience it can be. For many, the beginning of a relationship is a blissful honeymoon stage that tends to settle after a few months to a year or so. Transitioning from a honeymoon phase doesn’t mean a couple has already fallen out of love, but that they are adjusting to life together and what that looks like for their specific relationship.
Knowing if you’ve fallen out of love can be tricky to distinguish from a temporary rough patch. There are often warning signs you can keep an eye out for on an individual level and signs to be mindful of within your relationship.
Falling Out of Love Vs. Temporary Struggles
We’re not born relationship experts so struggles in romantic relationships can be challenging to pinpoint, and the source of unhappiness isn’t always clear. Some couples notice a subtle distancing over time whereas others might feel disconnected after a major event, such as a death or major life transition.
Temporary rough patches are to be expected in healthy relationships. No couple is happy every single moment. It’s normal to go through periods of time where you might feel not as connected with your partner, you might not be engaging in physical intimacy as much as you have previously, or you might be arguing more than usual.
Rough patches tend to get worked out when couples practice empathic communication and get to a place where they can meet each other’s needs and solve whatever has been keeping them at a stuck point in their relationship.
Falling out of love usually doesn’t happen overnight. It’s often the product of long term strains in a relationship. This can look like a partner not doing their part in the relationship to show up emotionally and physically, having frequent arguments that never seem to find a resolution, feeling consistently resentful and uncared for, and many other situations. Overtime, people who have fallen out of love might lose motivation to save the relationship and further neglect whatever it is that the relationship needs to thrive.
5 Signs You’re Falling Out of Love
You Feel Indifferent Towards Your Partner
Have you been feeling apathy towards your partner and/or relationship lately? Whereas romantic, loving feelings and even feelings of hate are strong emotions, indifference is void of any major feelings which can be harmful to the health and happiness of a relationship. If you have noticed caring less about your partner’s feelings, needs, strengths, or shortcomings, it can be a red flag that indifference is present.
You Avoid Spending Time with Your Partner
Do you feel as if you’re going out of your way to avoid spending time with your partner? Maybe you’ve cancelled a few date nights or chosen to spend time with other people or alone, instead of time with your partner. Many relationships need quality time to prosper, and if you feel an avoidance towards spending time together, you might want to keep note of when and how often you feel that way.
Gossiping About Your Partner with Others
There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with venting with friends on occasion, but it usually doesn’t serve a couple to consistently take problems to those outside the relationship. For example, if you feel your partner is not doing their fair share around the house, instead of going to your partner to ask for more help, do you prefer to talk about your partner’s shortcomings with others? Talking directly with your partner is usually the best avenue to solve issues, rather than only venting to others.
You Feel Resentful of Your Partner
Resentment can surface in relationships whether a couple is in love or not but letting resentment fester without any intervention can be a recipe for disaster. Resentment tends to build slowly over a long period of time and can be challenging to work through if it’s left unchecked for too long.
You Have Little to No Desire to be Intimate with Your Partner
Many couples go through periods where their sex drive wanes, and it’s not always due to falling out of love. If you’ve noticed a significant change in sexual desire towards your partner, it might be something to pay attention to, if the lack of desire isn’t attributed to medications, illness, or other external factors.
What You Can Do About Falling Out of Love
If you think you’ve fallen out of love, a first step is to be open with your partner about how you’re feeling. It might be worthwhile to see if your partner feels on the same page or if they are blindsided by your truth.
It’s possible for major relationship problems to be worked through within the coupleship, or with the help of a Marriage and Family Therapist or Clinical Psychologist. If the relationship isn’t working and a separation is best, a mental health professional can also help you gracefully navigate a breakup.
Overall, if you and your partner have been fighting hard to save the relationship to no avail, it might be time to consider what you both need to be happy, whether that means staying in the relationship, or moving on.