Falling out of love doesn’t usually come without warning. It is giving alarm signs. What happens is that sometimes we don’t pay enough attention to the signs that the relationship is going bad, either because we are living a too hectic life, because we assume that love will last a lifetime or simply because we are terrified to recognize that the relationship has no future.
Although we like to believe that love is for life, a very popular myth that has fueled both the seventh art and romantic literature, the truth is that infatuation, passion and the desire to be together can have an expiration date, especially in these times, when liquid relationships are the order of the day.
Some psychologists affirm that the lack of love in the couple begins in a period that ranges from six months to two years after the relationship begins. Of course, that does not mean that people do not love each other, but that they move to another stage of life as a couple.
The good news is that not everyone does shares that idea: some psychologists believe that love can also improve over the years, like a good wine. But for that to happen it is necessary for the couple to strive to feed that flame.
The main symptoms of falling out of love
When conflicts become daily bread, your partner irritates you more than usual, sexual desire has disappeared and the caresses and details are conspicuous by their absence, it is likely that falling out of love has already settled in the relationship. If you want to save the relationship, it is essential to act before reaching that point. This is why it is so important to learn to recognize the first signs of falling out of love.
1. Loss of joy that means being with a partner
When we are in love we want to spend time as a couple because the relationship makes us feel comfortable and at ease. When encounters become spaced or the positive feelings they used to generate disappear, that person will likely no longer awaken the same positive feelings. In fact, in the most extreme cases we may even lose interest in being by his side completely, so we can invent excuses to avoid the most intimate encounters.
2. Absence of acts of affection, praise and details
Love is not only felt, it is also demonstrated. Therefore, one of the main symptoms of falling out of love is a decrease in expressions of affection. When the partner does not matter so much to us, the caresses and those small spontaneous daily details that made life better and more pleasant disappear. Laughter and complicity are lost. Manifestations of love are replaced by expressions of boredom or indifference.
3. Reduction of common projects
When a couple loves each other, it is usual that over time they have more common projects because both share more and more activities, interests and goals in life. Therefore, a sign of heartbreak is that the agendas are divided, so that this other person has less and less space in our lives. In these cases, the individual space ends up imposing itself on the shared spaces and the common projects are blurred until they disappear.
4. Impoverishment of communication
We all do not have the same communication skills, but when there is love we always try to reach an understanding. We give in to reach an intermediate point that allows the relationship to work. When love ends often appear communication problems, either because there are more recriminations and discussions, often for trivial reasons, or because communication becomes so impoverished that it is practically reduced to monosyllables. In this case, the couple is likely to be together but absent because we only share the physical presence.
5. Intolerance towards the behaviors of the other
One of the most difficult symptoms of falling out of love is the aversion that can provoke the partner. When we feel that we no longer have anything in common with the other, we will stop looking at him through the prism of love and we will start looking at him with gray lenses, so that all his defects and errors will grow and become unbearable before our eyes. We develop an intolerance towards the mistakes of the other, even the most irrelevant ones, which quickly become reason for anger or disgust and end up generating discussions.
6. Fantasize about infidelity
Basically, heartbreak is due to the fact that the couple’s relationship no longer adequately satisfies the needs of at least one of its members. Therefore, it is not surprising that the decrease in pleasant fantasies with the partner is followed by fantasies with another person. If we are experiencing a feeling of heartbreak, it is normal for us to start looking more at other people, to find other persons more attractive and, in some cases, we could even reach infidelity.
7. Lack of sexual desire
One of the most obvious signs of falling out of love is the physical estrangement of the partner. Not only does the desire for the other disappear but also that need for intimacy and physical closeness that also unites hearts. In other cases, the sexual sphere simply becomes monotonous and devoid of stimuli. Kisses and caresses do not disappear but they become automatic acts that mean little to the other.
It is worth clarifying that the absence of expressions of affection or the loss of sexual desire are not always symptoms of falling out of love. In some cases, stress, pathological sadness, the existence of any emotional disturbance or a particularly difficult stage of life lead to the omission of gestures of affection or sexual interest, without this necessarily meaning that the process of falling out of love is beginning.
The phases of falling out of love, a complex process
Falling out of love does not usually happen overnight. It is usually a gradual process in which the interest in the other person and the relationship is lost.
The first phase is usually loss of passion. The couple stays together, but they begin to feel that nothing is the same as before, they have lost the initial flame and the emotion when being with each other. At this point the relationship usually becomes more monotonous.
In the second phase of falling out of love, the commitment to the relationship begins to break down. One of the people is distancing himself, so that the relationship begins to weaken from the emotional point of view. At this stage the couple begins to lead an increasingly separate life.
In the last phase of heartbreak disappointment occurs. The other’s imperfections become more visible and some of his characteristics or behaviors become incompatible and intolerable. What was previously positive becomes negative and the feeling that the relationship has no future is strengthened because it is very difficult to recover the illusion.
It is important to note that many times this process does not occur linearly. In some cases it can alternate phases of love and periods of heartbreak. In these circumstances, the partner is loved and snubbed at the same time, due to what we could call an “incomplete disenchantment” that is the product of the ambivalence of feelings.
Is it possible to reverse the falling out of love?
Being in love is not the same as loving. Falling in love is a process deeply mediated by brain chemistry since a large number of hormones are released, such as oxytocin and vasopressin, which are mainly responsible for having butterflies in the stomach, feeling in the clouds or believing that the other person is perfect. Love, on the contrary, is a deeper and more solid feeling based on a more realistic image of the other and of the relationship.
This means that the chemical reactions that we experience at the beginning of infatuation can disappear. It is at that precise moment when love comes into play. Therefore, when the infatuation disappears, we can counteract by feeding a more mature love that allows us to rediscover each other – truly – and accept the other for who he is – with his virtues and defects.
To achieve this, however, we need to commit to the relationship and be convinced that it is worth it. If we have completely lost the illusion, feel disappointed or simply decide that it is not what we want, the lack of love will not go back.
In fact, we need to be prepared to identify when love ends and know how to determine if it is a couple crisis or a definitive breakup. Refusing to acknowledge that we have ceased to love a person or that he has ceased to love us will not stop the process of falling out of love, but will only prolong the agony causing more serious injuries from which it will be more difficult to recover.