There’s nothing quite like the feeling of falling in love, which is why falling out of love is also a whirlwind of emotions. But as the saying goes, it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.
As another saying goes, though, breaking up is hard to do. It’s also a necessary evil when you simply don’t love someone the way you once did. If you find yourself teetering between staying in your relationship, and calling it quits, you very well may be falling out of love with your partner.
1. You’re growing apart
Clearly, people who are in love with their partner are closest to them. It’s the falling out of love, however, that estranges one person from the other. While growing apart can take many different forms, Psychology Todaydescribes it this way: “Falling out of love involves a gradual loosening of pair-bonding energies focused on your partner, and reinvestment of these energies elsewhere.” That said, if your attention has shifted onto something, or someone else, it’s time to reassess your relationship.
2. Your partner’s changed, and so has your love for him or her
People change — this is nothing new. For some, changes come in small waves over time, like with couples who’ve been married for several years. The nature of their interactions may fluctuate from time to time, which is pretty normal. However, major changes in a person’s character, morality, or work ethic, can be the cause of love lost.
No one expects to go into a long-term relationship with someone who will drastically change at the drop of a hat, but Elite Daily says people do change. “And because love is the summation of all the things we know and love about an individual, when certain things about said individual change, the love is bound to fade,” the publication says.
3. You get frustrated easily, and often
Two people who are in love tend to cut one another some slack. They’re not quick to judge, criticize, or become frustrated over seemingly minor annoyances. But when that love starts to fade, your patience may fade right along with it. As HuffPost puts it, people who are falling out of love develop a “low frustration tolerance.” If you just can’t seem to stop nitpicking your partner, it may be time to go your separate ways.
4. You’re best friends, and nothing more
It’s perfectly acceptable, and common practice, to be best friends with your significant other. This is, after all, the person you’ve chosen to devote yourself to, so it stands to reason you get along better than you might with others. But be careful of your relationship turning from romantic to platonic. Even though you still love being around the person, you could be falling out of love if you’re nothing more than strictly friends. As Bustle mentions, there’s a big difference between loving someone and being in love with them.
5. Your friends come before your partner
It’s healthy to strike a balance between time spent alone with your partner, time spent without your partner, and time with your friends. But if you find yourself putting friends — or anyone else, for that matter — ahead of your relationship all the time, it could be a red flag.
Cathy W. Meyer, About.com divorce expert, told Reader’s Digest, “If he would rather spend time with his friends than you, then that can bleed over into other aspects of the marriage and relationship.” If you feel this happening to you, heed caution. Your relationship could be coming to an end.
6. You no longer want to experience things with your partner
One of the best parts about having a significant other is that he or she is your forever partner in crime. Someone to stick by you, and seek out everything the world has to offer. Maybe the two of you have traveled across the globe, or rafted the Grand Canyon together. Whatever your thing, you do it as a pair, or at least you used to. So, when you no longer want your mate along for the ride, it’s a clear sign something’s gone awry. Puckermob says this happens when “[y]ou want to experience things for yourself, not with someone beside you.”
7. You stop talking about the future
Discussing the future is a true sign of long-term commitment. You’re making plans for your life together, and the mere conversation itself is a pretty good sign you’re both in it for the long haul. Trouble is, when the conversations fade and you’re no longer excited to bring it up, you may be falling out of love. Even though talking about the future can be scary, it’s a reality for most couples who are in love.
8. The relationship has become a routine
Love is exciting, and not just in the early stages. Sure, things may fizzle out from time to time, and those initial butterflies may fade. But even still, true love is lasting. If your feelings don’t resemble the ones you felt when you first met, there’s a problem. “You might think you’re just too comfortable, but the problem could be you don’t really love him [or her] anymore and find the relationship dull and boring,” Bolde says. You shouldn’t feel as though your relationship is nothing more than mundane — that’s not what it should be like.
9. You don’t have (or want) sex anymore
Relationships need intimacy to survive, there’s no doubt about that. And while you may not want to rip your partner’s clothes off on a nightly basis, it’s important to be connected on a physical level. On the flip side, don’t panic just because you’re going through a bit of a dry spell. You need to figure out what’s right for your relationship. If you have absolutely no desire to have sex with your partner, like, ever, you’d probably agree that’s a bad sign.
10. Communication has faded
A significant other acts as a confidante, someone with whom you can share your innermost thoughts, emotions, and dreams. When that closeness starts to fade, though, and you no longer find yourself turning to your partner for intimate conversation, there’s a problem.
HuffPost says, “Conversations intimately connect people. If we lose this piece of our relationship, then there is no common ground for us to meet and find each other.” When you begin seeking other sources to confide in, you’re consciously choosing to not go to your partner first.