Are you starting to feel like your relationship is falling apart? Are you no longer as interested in spending time with your partner as you once were? If so, you may be experiencing the early stages of falling out of love.
While there isn’t necessarily a single sign indicating that you’re no longer in love, certain behaviors or attitudes can show that your feelings have changed.
According to experts, the following are signs that you’re falling out of love.
Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor | Certified Imago Relationship Therapist | Co-founder, The Marriage Restoration Project
It could be the natural transition from romantic love to the power struggle phase
Most couples don’t realize that there are actually three stages of a relationship, so while it might feel like you are falling out of love, it could be the natural transition from romantic love to the power struggle phase.
The good news is that there is a third stage of a relationship called Real love/conscious marriage.
When a couple can work through the power struggle and reach the final stage, their relationship can not only survive but actually deepen in its love and connection.
The honeymoon phase typically lasts, on average, six months. After the honeymoon phase, we move into the power struggle and ultimately into mature/real love.
Real love is about giving and caring for another person, while infatuation is often more self-focused, about how you feel good and excited about the other person.
While it is normal for a relationship to start off with infatuation, no, that will not last, also, know that it is possible to achieve a deeper, long-lasting love with time, consciousness, and effort.
Three stages to a long-term romantic relationship
Stage 1: Romantic Love
The Romantic Love stage begins when you first fall in love with your spouse. You may feel a sense of oneness or completion. Most couples in this stage are convinced that it will last forever.
Although they know of couples who have struggled after marriage, they are certain they won’t face the same fate. They think they’ll defy the odds.
We know that this stage does not last forever; eventually, we all come off the cloud at some point. The reason we are so illogical at this stage is that our brain is being drugged by infatuation.
When we fall in love, our brain becomes flooded with the neurochemical, phenylethylamine. These neurochemicals increase our positive outlook, diminish pain, and cause us to feel safe and calm.
They help motivate us to make a commitment to a relationship.
Stage 2: The Power Struggle
The Power Struggle begins after commitment. For some, this may occur after the engagement; for others, after their wedding. The newlywed couple expects to be in the romantic stage forever, so they are in for a rude awakening when it wears off.
There can be an intense feeling of disillusionment in this stage, causing doubts about whether we married the wrong partner. After all, what happened to the romantic love?
During the Power Struggle phase, we begin to get defensive and focus on protecting ourselves instead of engaging in a relationship. We even begin to dislike many of the things that made us fall in love in the first place.
When we fell in love, we may have been intrigued by our partner’s fun-loving personality, but we may now find them loud and obnoxious.
Why does it have to be this way? Did we make a mistake? All couples experience these stages to some degree. It is often the ones who experience a more intense romantic stage who have a stronger power struggle.
Marriage is one of the greatest opportunities you will find in life for growth and healing.
From a psychological perspective, we are subconsciously looking for a partner that will help make us more whole and complete. In order for this to occur, we are attracted to someone who will best stimulate our growth.
This person will push our buttons and trigger some of our deepest wounds, usually from childhood, yet if we work through these issues, we can achieve enormous personal growth.
Stage 3: Real Love or the Conscious Marriage
Many couples in the Power Struggle are not aware of what they are experiencing and wind up getting divorced or living as roommates instead of soulmates.
Related: 60+ Signs You’ve Found Your Soulmate
For the marriage to reach its potential, couples need to wake up and begin the journey to the third stage of the relationship, called Real Love or the Conscious Marriage.
Here is an example of how a couple began to leave the power struggle and create a more conscious marriage:
When Sam married Sarah, he loved her spontaneity. This was something he was lacking in his own life, and it was refreshing to find someone who was so much fun. Once they hit the power struggle, that spontaneity was a sore point for Sam. He experienced Sarah as flaky, all over the place, and it made him feel extremely uncomfortable.
Sam was very serious and reserved. Growing up in a home without structure, he felt the need to be more in control of his reality. He learned not to like surprises and to create order.
During the romantic stage, Sarah’s personality represented an opportunity to claim a part of himself that he had disowned as a child. Yet, once they entered the power struggle and he began to return to his old defenses, it made him feel uncomfortable.
Then Sam and Sarah became more conscious of the issue at hand and what it triggered in Sam. That enabled Sam to be less reactive to Sarah’s behavior, and it allowed Sarah to be more sensitive to Sam’s needs and be a little more reliable. This also allowed Sam to reclaim that lost part of himself and loosen up, as he no longer needed to protect himself as he did as a child.
Becoming conscious of the Power Struggle, no longer getting locked in the issue, and seeing the big picture enables couples to become more balanced. The conflict is an opportunity for growth to happen.
Couples in the third stage will explore their issues so that they feel safe enough to meet their partner’s needs, balancing out their own personalities, and achieving growth.
Knowing the three stages of marriage can be incredibly helpful for couples who may become despondent once they start to face a rough patch in their relationship.
Normalizing the situation and realizing that it is only a stage and that it is possible to re-experience love on a deeper and more mature level provides hope to weather the storm and confidence to commit to cultivating a deeply satisfying relationship.
Colleen Wenner, LMHC, MCAP, LPC
Founder and Clinical Director, New Heights Counseling & Consulting, LLC
We all want to fall in love and find a partner who would be perfect for us. But sometimes, relationships aren’t meant to last forever. And once you realize the magic has faded in your relationship, how can you tell if it’s just a temporary setback or if you’re feeling something deeper?
Here are some signs that you may be falling out of love:
You don’t feel like you can talk about anything
If you’re used to talking about everything under the sun with your partner and have noticed conversations have become more shallow or nonexistent, you may be falling out of love.
Communication is the foundation of a healthy relationship. Without it, there’s no way for two people to understand each other truly.
If you don’t feel like you can talk about anything anymore, it could mean that your relationship has hit a rough patch, and you might need to reevaluate the relationship.
You don’t want to see them anymore
If you used to look forward to seeing your partner every day, but now rarely are the two of you in the same room together, chances are you’ve started to fall out of love.
If you’re constantly fighting about what you did wrong or what you didn’t do, it could mean that you’re no longer interested in being together. Your partner is probably thinking the same thing.
If you don’t want to be around them anymore, you’ll both consciously and subconsciously start to distance yourself from one another.
You don’t feel like yourself anymore
If you’re not yourself around your partner, it could be because you’re growing tired of them.
Perhaps you’re feeling down and depressed because you’re not getting along with your partner, or perhaps you’re feeling lonely because you’re not being treated well. Either way, you’re likely feeling frustrated and unhappy.
If you’re not yourself, it could be a sign that you’re falling out of love.
You can’t stop thinking about other people
When you begin to fantasize about other people, you might feel insecure in your relationship.
Maybe you’ve seen another couple together and thought, “What if I’m never good enough?” Or maybe you’ve noticed that your partner seems to spend more time talking to his friends than spending time with you.
Either way, this is a sign that you’re beginning to lose interest in your relationship.
You feel lonely all the time
If you’re always feeling alone and empty when you’re with your partner, it could be a symptom of falling out of love.
It’s normal to feel lonely at times, but when you feel this way consistently, it could be a warning sign that your feelings have started to change about your partner. Relationships are meant to be filled with joy and happiness, so if you’re constantly feeling sad and blue, it could be a signal that you need to move on.
A good and healthy relationship requires both partners to give their all.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your relationship, it’s important to take note and try to figure out why they’re happening.
If you’re having trouble figuring things out and would like to speak to someone who understands how relationships work, consider speaking with a professional counselor.
They can help you assess the relationship objectively and guide you in whatever direction you decide to go next.
Joni Ogle, LCSW, CSAT
Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Sex Addiction Therapist | CEO, The Heights Treatment
Falling out of love is a process that can happen gradually, or sometimes it can be sudden. If you’re not sure whether you’re still in love with your partner, here are some signs to look out for:
You no longer feel the spark
When you first fell in love, everything about your partner probably felt new and exciting. But now, things might feel more routine and boring. You may not get butterflies in your stomach when you see them, and you may no longer feel thrilled to be around them.
If you feel like you’re only staying in the relationship because it’s comfortable, it may be a sign that you’re falling out of love.
You’re constantly arguing
If you constantly argue with your partner, even about the most trivial things, it could signify that you’re no longer invested in the relationship.
When you love someone, you’re more likely to compromise and let things go. But if you’re constantly bickering and you easily lose your patience with your partner, it’s a sign that your feelings have changed.
You’re always thinking about breaking up
If you find yourself daydreaming about being single or you can’t stop thinking about what it would be like to date other people, it’s a sign that you may have already checked out of the relationship.
When you’re in love with someone, you should be thinking about ways to make things work, not ways to end things.
Your relationship is starting to feel like a chore
If you’re no longer looking forward to spending time with your partner and you’d rather do anything else than be around them, it may be because you’ve fallen out of love. Love should make you feel happy and excited, not bored and obligated.
You’re keeping secrets from each other
Trust is an integral part of any relationship, so if you find yourself keeping secrets from your partner, it’s a sign that something is wrong. Maybe you’re hiding things because you know they wouldn’t approve, or maybe you’re just not feeling close enough to them to share everything.
When the connection starts to break down, it’s often one of the first signs that love is fading.
When the sensations of love lessen
Falling in love is an amazing “high” and rollercoaster of feelings and sensations.
The chemical and love mix is intoxicating, exciting, and highly motivating for spending time and experiences with someone. Some of what sustains this experience are the fantasies each person weaves about the relationship.
However, being “in love” rarely lasts in high intensity for more than a few weeks or months.
When the sensations lessen, people can panic and conclude that they are falling out of love with their partner. Relationships and marriages can flounder or fail at this time.
It takes skillful navigation to ensure important relationship elements are included during the “in love” phase and that these continue going forward.
The couple must thoroughly get to know each other and understand each other’s expectations for the future. The goal is to develop deep feelings of reality-based love and connection that includes appreciating the unique essence of each other.
Couples must also consistently give and receive loving words and actions between them. Loving one another versus being “in love” can sustain the relationship or marriage for the long term.
Conscious knowledge of and love for each other’s character qualities and personality is foundational.
- As couples see the reality that their partner is truthful, flexible, dependable, creative, and many other wonderful character traits, feelings of love increase.
- As they appreciate personality traits like extroversion, relaxed approach, fun-loving, collaborative, adventurous, and more, as well as learn to accept and live with traits they don’t find as attractive, love grows.
- As they nurture their friendship through social time, laughter, deep sharing, and fun, their love increases.
- As they discover what they have in common and don’t see major issues that are incompatibilities, they can create lasting love.
This type of deep and mature love is more like a steadily burning fire than the “in love” fireworks.
It requires that the couple tends to it by speaking and listening to each other in loving ways, doing loving acts of thoughtful service for one another, and protecting the integrity of their connection with faithfulness and caring.
They highly value their unity and address and eliminate causes of disunity. They see their loving relationship as the foundation for a unified family.
Matchmaker and Transition & Change Management Coach, Tawkify
The number of things that irritate you about your partner is increasing
Everyone has annoying habits. Whilst some may be endearing, others can drive us crazy…but most are completely inconsequential.
It is unrealistic to imagine being with someone who never irritated us a little. But when existing habits are annoying you so much more than they used to, it’s time to pause for thought, especially if the list of irritants is increasing.
You find yourself wanting to go back to the way you used to be at the beginning
Relationships are not static. They change and grow. That excited “lightheaded” feeling at the beginning of a relationship isn’t long-lasting, but it shifts gears into something else.
In a healthy growing relationship, it is replaced by increased trust, a feeling of familiarity, belonging, comfort and connection.
If you feel that you would like to go back to “how things were” at the start, it could be a sign that your relationship is not on the right track.
You feel that being with your partner is holding you back in some way
You perceive that the power of you is greater or more important than the energy of the two of you together. Something has fallen out of alignment.
It may be for a variety of reasons, but it can create a fertile breeding ground for feeling stifled, resentful, or claustrophobic.
You start holding things back
Sharing less, being more private than you used to be. Take a moment to think about why? If you’re setting aside some time or haven’t had the chance to talk, no alarm bells.
But maybe you’ve given up problem-solving together, maybe the trust is eroding, or things aren’t worth fighting for anymore.
Either way, as a continuing pattern, this does not bode well for a rosy future.
Terri DiMatteo, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor Relationship and Couple Counselor, Open Door Therapy
Reduction in emotional engagement
People in love want to be together, look at each other often, touch frequently, and appear to move in sync. Conversation between them has a pleasant rhythm or flow. There is a lightness to their interactions. They cannot seem to get enough of each other.
People in love always want to interact, communicate and share with their loved ones.
Each expresses great interest in what their partner thinks, says, and wants. And they engage their emotions. They share dreams, wishes, and hopes with one another.
Emotional engagement and vulnerability would be a hallmark of people in love.
Falling out of love is moving in another direction. They would increase signs of separateness. There is less physical connection and more distance between them (both physically and emotionally), and they will connect more deeply with people outside of their relationship.
They could share more about themselves, their feelings, and their life with family members, friends, or a colleague. For instance, onlookers may not know they are a romantic pair and misread their relationship as a friendship.
Verbal responses lack emotional engagement and may become perfunctory. Conversations become more task-oriented.
While conflict may increase when one is falling out of love, what is actually more common is that the relationship begins to flatline. The relationship becomes lackluster.
A reduction in emotional engagement is a sure sign of falling out of love.
Kristin Davin, PsyD
Psychologist, Choosing Therapy
Often we find ourselves falling out of love. Sometimes these signs are subtle that at first glance, don’t seem that significant. But over time, they are.
Here are signs that you are falling out of love:
You begin to look at other people. Yes, even in healthy relationships, people can find other people attractive. That is normal.
But your wandering eye takes you down the path of actually considering someone else.
You spend less time together
When there are moments that you can spend together, you don’t. You are not excited to spend time with them.
Your partner isn’t the first person you think of when wanting to share news — good or bad.
You don’t see a future with your partner when you previously did
When we love someone, we think about a future with them — in some shape or form.
But if you find yourself thinking about your future, and they are not included, this is a sign you are falling out of love.
You are settling for a ‘less than’ relationship
Meaning that if arguments would provide an opportunity to level up and become stronger — arguments and disagreements leave you feeling exhausted, creating more frustration and often drama.
There’s a change in physical intimacy
There are moments in a relationship when it is not uncommon for physical intimacy to wane. However, if this happens, couples talk about it.
But if you are falling out of love, the decrease and lack of physical intimacy signify something deeper — especially if it is not talked about.
You become indifferent to sorting out your differences or areas of conflict
Differences are a way to bridge the feelings of disconnect — however, once indifference sets in (the opposite of love), then you feel like you ‘don’t care,’ and this can be a critical time in the relationship.
You reach out to other people to help you through challenging times
Although it is important to have more than just your partner to manage challenging times in relationships, there is a pivot when they aren’t the first person you think of and begin to rely on others to help you when previously you sought support from your partner.
Therapist, Downtown Somatic Therapy
A feeling of uncertainty about the future with them
Do you see your future with them as a couple? If you are doubtful about that, feel unhappy or trapped with the idea of being together in the long term, it’s time to communicate with them.
Process your feelings. Take out time to talk with your partner and honestly tell them whatever you feel and what concerns you are having about your future together.
If you don’t see any future with them, it indicates that you might be falling out of love. However, it could be that you don’t get much time to spend together to have meaningful conversations. So, you can consider opening channels of communication.
You no longer look forward to spending time together
Many couples are inseparable at the beginning of their relationship, but after some time, they are not excited about spending time together. It could be a sign of falling out of love.
It’s good to give space to each other. But if you constantly think about making plans with everyone except your partner, reconsider your feelings. Analyze what is the driving force to change your feelings.
Relationship Expert and Author, Tiny Changes Matter
You are not spending a lot of time together anymore
In the beginning, everything was fine. You were spending a reasonable amount of time together. Now, you are starting to feel a bit overwhelmed when you need to see your partner.
You are constantly rescheduling and canceling plans. We can say that you became very creative with your excuses.
These are all signs that things might have changed you. Sometimes, our lifestyle can get in the way of our relationship. However, when you start to feel like you always want to do something else rather than see your partner, that’s a clear sign that you may be falling out of love.
Your friends and family are starting to notice
Now, the pressure from your closest ones gets involved. They are starting to notice that you don’t talk about your relationship that much anymore, you are not going out, and your day-to-day activities have taken a huge turn.
Some people would love to see you separate, but here is the tip: Listen to yourself only.
Take a look at how you feel about everything and try to neglect what everybody else is saying. It’s your life and your decision only. Good or bad.
Constant arguments with your partner
Constant arguments are a common reason why you can lose interest in someone.
Tolerance is gone, and everything your partner does makes you angry. Even the smallest comments are hitting you hard. Step by step, without noticing it, you are moving into the “don’t talk to me zone.”
When communication stops, and you feel like you don’t have the patience anymore, that’s a clear indication that things are starting to fall apart.
Founder, Parental Queries
Before I got married, one of my friends gave me some advice that has stuck with me throughout my marriage.
He said, “Marriage is hard enough, so make sure you marry someone you are madly in love with.” I took his advice to heart and married my best friend.
However, even though I was head-over-heels in love when I got married, there have been times throughout our marriage when I wondered if I was still in love with my wife.
If you are wondering if you’re falling out of love, here are five signs to look for:
You no longer feel the need to communicate with them
One of the most common signs that you’re falling out of love with your spouse is when you no longer feel the need to communicate with them. This can manifest itself in a number of ways, such as not wanting to talk to them about your day or not wanting to share any news or thoughts with them.
If you find yourself constantly avoiding talking to your spouse, it’s a sign that your love for them may be waning.
You no longer make an effort to spend time with them
Another common sign that you may be falling out of love is when you no longer make an effort to spend time with your spouse. This can mean anything from not wanting to go on dates or go on vacation together.
If you find yourself making excuses to avoid spending time with your spouse, it’s a sign that your love for them may have diminished.
You don’t feel the need to touch or be close to them
Physical intimacy is an important part of any relationship, and if you find yourself no longer wanting to touch or be close to your spouse, it’s a sign that your love for them may have faded. This can manifest itself in a number of ways, such as not wanting to hug them or hold their hand.
If you find yourself constantly pushing them away, it’s a sign that your love for them is no longer as strong as it once was.
You no longer find them attractive
One of the most common signs that you’re falling out of love with your spouse is when you no longer find them physically attractive.
This can be a difficult thing to admit, but if you find yourself no longer being attracted to your spouse, it’s a sign that your love for them may have diminished.
You no longer feel happy when you’re around them
If you find yourself no longer feeling happy when you’re around your spouse, it’s a sign that your love for them may have faded. This can manifest itself in a number of ways, such as feeling anxious or stressed when you’re around them.
If you find yourself constantly feeling on edge when you’re around your spouse, it’s a sign that your love for them is no longer as strong as it once was.
If you are experiencing any of these signs, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your marriage is over.
However, it is important to take stock of your relationship and see if there are any underlying issues that need to be addressed.
If you are concerned that you may be falling out of love with your spouse, I encourage you to reach out to a therapist or counselor who can help you navigate this difficult time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it important to recognize these signs?
It’s important to recognize any warning signs that your relationship may be changing so that both parties can ensure their needs are being met in the best way possible. If you recognize that things seem to be getting out of hand, you can be aware of the relationship and encourage them to take responsibility for how they want to move forward from that point.
What should I do if I think I’m falling out of love with my partner?
If you feel like you’re falling out of love with your partner, there are some things you can do:
• Think about your feelings and try to find the reason for your dissatisfaction.
• Talk openly and honestly with your partner about how you feel.
• Try to find ways together to rekindle the spark in your relationship, such as trying new activities or traveling together.
• Consider seeing a therapist or counselor to work through your feelings and improve your communication.
Can falling out of love be a temporary phase?
Yes, falling out of love can be a temporary phase in some cases. It’s possible to rekindle the relationship or find a new way forward if both partners are willing to make an effort. However, it’s important to recognize and address the underlying issues that contributed to the loss of love and work together to build a stronger, healthier relationship.
Can falling out of love happen suddenly or is it a gradual process?
Falling out of love can be sudden or gradual; it depends on the person and the relationship. Sometimes it’s a single event or change that leads to the loss of attraction or connection; sometimes, it’s a slow build-up of dissatisfaction or distance over time. It’s important to pay attention to your feelings and the dynamics of your relationship and address issues as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Is it possible to fall back in love with someone after falling out of love?
Yes, it’s possible to fall back in love with someone after falling out of love. Relationships can go through ups and downs, and it’s possible to rediscover a connection or attraction if you put in the effort and dedication.
However, it’s important to address the issues that contributed to the loss of love and work together to create a healthier and more fulfilling relationship.
Can falling out of love be a sign that it’s time to end the relationship?
Falling out of love can be a sign that it’s time to reevaluate your relationship and consider whether it’s still fulfilling and healthy for both partners. While it’s possible to rekindle a relationship or find a new path together, it’s also important to recognize when a relationship may no longer work and put your well-being first.
If you feel you’re falling out of love with your partner, it’s important to communicate openly and honestly with them and seek the support of a therapist or counselor to help you make the best decision for yourself.
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