In the early stages, healthy relationships take on an almost magic quality, where it seems like the affection and appreciation are endless. But when things start to go awry, you may start looking for signs you’re falling out of love or signs someone no longer loves you.
The reality is marriages change over time — which, by the way, is not always a bad thing. But when the honeymoon phase is over, it can feel like an abrupt halt to the roller coaster ride that once was falling in love. If you feel like you’re on track to a loveless marriage, you may to see if you're falling out of love and, if so, get motivated to make meaningful changes between you and your partner. As relationship therapist Susan Edelman says, “Most of these signs are fixable. You just have to be willing openly discuss each issue and show you care enough to change the behavior.” So, while these signs can be a precursor to something deeper, keep in mind that even most marriages can be rekindled. If you think you might be falling out of love, it may not be too late to change course.
In the beginning, you can’t seem to spend enough time with your partner. After all, there’s so much to learn about one another. But when you’ve been together awhile, you have to make a concerted effort to spend time together. When you’ve gotten to the point where you enjoy your distance — maybe even go out of the way to get it — there could be a larger underlying issue.
One of the most important tasks of being in a relationship with someone is genuinely caring about their feelings and emotions. When you stop caring (and in turn, stop wanting to please), the other person feels isolated and ostracized. This makes it harder for the two of you to communicate well, which can lead to more problems down the line.
“Being attracted to your partner might come and go,” says Edelman. “If you’re upset with someone, maybe you don’t feel as attracted to them. But some of that is just the ebb and flow of a relationship.” Be mindful of the reasons why you and your partner don’t want to have sex and try to pinpoint them. Physical intimacy is a key part of a healthy, loving relationship, so if the reasons can’t be worked through, it might be that you’re falling out of love.
When the person you’re with no longer feel special to you, it means you’ve likely begun to take the relationship for granted. "Partners who are in love value their counterparts and are more likely to feel lucky to have found such a person," marriage and family therapist Stephen J. Betchen writes in Psychology Today. "If you feel that your partner is just another ‘fish in the sea,’ you probably are not in love.”
Early on in a relationship, you can’t stop thinking about your mate. And while its normal for some of that excitement to wear off, forgetting to factor your partner into decisions could be a sign of trouble. “You might think, how can I focus on going to work and raising kids when I’m thinking about my partner all the time?” says Edelman. "But consistently taking a partner into consideration is how people stay in love for a long time.”
There are two things everyone deserves in a healthy relationship: kindness and respect. When respect for the other person goes out the window, you may find the two of you fight more, bicker over little things, and stop listening to each other. Once this happens, you’d better act fast. “Try to find out if it’s something in particular that’s bother bothering you about your partner and seek out couple’s therapy if you’re having trouble communicating,” advises Edelman. If you can’t gain the respect back, it might be worth reconsidering if you’re still in love.
Once you check out of a relationship, you stop trying to find ways to improve the situation and just accept the less-than-perfect state as status quo. That’s a red flag for your partner, who may not know what they’ve done wrong, explains Edelman. If your mind is out of it, your heart may be, too.
While Edelman says most of these signs can be fixed when recognized early enough, if you’re completely unmotivated to make a change or even discuss the issues, your heart may be too far gone to potentially fall back in love. Simply put: If you refuse to discuss what's really going on, the relationship might not be fixable.