Fall out of love: what to do when you stop loving someone
While it’s more than common to fantasise about falling in love and the emotions associated with it, you’re far less likely to hear anyone talk about the reverse: what it’s like to fall out of love. Whether that’s because it’s not a fun topic or it’s just something you don’t think about, it’s a rarely discussed topic for being such a common occurrence – after all, we fall out of love far more often than we realise.
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The most common signs of falling out of love
While it’s different for everyone, there are some common signs of falling out of love, including:
You don’t want to spend time with your partner
Once you made sure to carve out time to see your partner and would rush to finish your work or put off errands for another day. But now you now no longer put in any effort – in fact, you’re almost actively avoiding your significant other. While this isn’t necessarily the kiss of death for your relationship, it can be an indication that you’re starting to fall out of love.
You get annoyed by things that used to be cute
Their cheerfulness even before coffee. Their habit of cracking terrible jokes. Their tendency to be five minutes late or their need to arrange your bookshelves by colour. At the beginning of your relationship, none of this bothered you – in fact, you found it charming. Now, though, their whistling might as well be nails on a chalkboard and the habit of constantly tapping their pen on the table is enough to drive you up the wall – a good sign you’re falling out of love.
You can’t stop fighting
Most couples fight – it’s a normal part of relationships. But if you’re constantly fighting, even over trivial things, or looking for excuses to start an argument, that’s an alert and you might be starting to fall out of love. Especially if the fighting is a recent thing rather than something that’s been a part of your relationship since the beginning, or if it’s suddenly taken a turn for the worse.
You don’t see a future together
Perhaps the biggest sign you’re starting to fall out of love (or that you already have) is when you think of the future, this person is no longer a part of it. When you plan holidays, you only take your own tastes and time off into account. When you think about getting married, your partner isn’t the one you’re exchanging vows with in front of your friends and family. And when you imagine getting old, it’s not with them by your side. Even smaller things, like planning to do something you both like or dinner together a few weeks from now, are not on your agenda.
Why do people fall out of love?
While some things are pretty much guaranteed to take a flamethrower to a relationship – abuse, infidelity, fraud – there are other reasons for love to fade away, including:
A lack of communication
Multiple studies over the years have all come to the same conclusion: communication is the bedrock of a successful relationship. Which means if you and your partner are no longer talking to each other, or you are but it’s one miscommunication after another, it could lead to you falling out of love.
It’s natural for human beings to get bored, especially if they’re in a relationship with a long-established, set routine and very few changes or surprises. But familiarity breeds contempt, and it’s easy to fall out of love with someone if there’s no longer anything novel or fun about being with them.
Taking your partner for granted
You know that saying, you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone? Taking your partner for granted is an easy way to make them fall out of love with you. Everyone wants to be appreciated or even noticed – don’t be surprised if their love starts to fade away when that doesn’t happen, or if your own feelings lessen when it’s clear your partner takes you for granted.
Things change, and so do people
Much as we might wish otherwise, the only constant in life is change – and that can have its impact on a relationship. Whether it’s a location change, a job change, or a personality change, the difference may be enough for one or both of you to fall out of love.
What do you do when you’ve fallen out of love? The two options
Okay, you’ve seen the signals and triggers of someone who has stopped loving their partner… what do you do about it? You have, essentially, two choices:
A) Fight for the relationship
The bad news is relationships take work. The good news? Sometimes they can be saved because of that. It’s possible to stop loving someone and to start back again, too. Identify where your relationship is going wrong and what’s causing you or your partner to fall out of love, and work on fixing the issues. If it all seems boring, try shaking up the routine or doing something new together. You can also try professional therapy to work on more serious issues.
B) Break up
Some relationships just aren’t meant to be. If, upon reflection, yours is one of them, it’s important you don’t drag things out. Do your best to break up respectfully and kindly, and then move on – it’s what you and your partner deserve.
Don’t lose hope just because you’ve fallen out of love
Falling out of love can be hard, especially if you didn’t see it coming. But remember that good things ending can mean the start of something great – and once you’re ready to stick a toe in the dating pool again, eharmony can help you find it.