Falling in love is wonderful, providing your feelings are reciprocated, of course. We all know about butterflies and jolts of electricity and the sheer joy of getting to spend time with that special person. But what happens if those feelings fade and you’re left wondering if you still really want to be in a relationship? Here are five signs that you might just be falling out of love…
1. You Searched For This Article
If you’ve thought about it enough to search for some answers, there’s a pretty strong chance that things aren’t great in your relationship right now. Feelings can change over time, but we all hope our feelings of love for someone will last forever. Sadly, this isn’t always the case.
Having been on both sides of the coin here, I can’t stress how important honesty is. You might think that telling someone you’re not sure how you’re feeling is a horrible thing to do, and you’re kind of right. What’s worse, though? Pushing them away without an explanation, slowly phasing them out and hoping they ‘take a hint,’ or, worst of all, cheating.
Cheating can be physical or emotional, in my opinion. If your feelings for your partner are fading, or you’re developing feelings for someone else, talk before you act. If things have changed so much for you, there’s a chance that your partner has already sensed it, or is experiencing something similar. Yes, you’ll feel like a horrible person when having this conversation, and you’re likely to feel guilty, but you’ve not technically done anything wrong. It’s far better to have this chat while you’re innocent than when you’ve already crossed the line. Trust me.
2. The Honeymoon Phase Is Over
Remember when everything they did was sweet and adorable? I know, it might feel like a long time ago, but we’ve all been there. When you’re in love with someone, everything they do is amazing and captivating, and you find yourself gushing to your friends about the smallest things. Who else could have spoken for hours about that one time your partner brought you coffee to work? I know, marriage-worthy. If you’re no longer finding all the little things cute, it might be a sign that you’re falling out of love and the relationship isn’t working out.
Tolerance levels for mistakes are pretty high when you first start dating someone, and the rose-tinted spectacles can be a bit of a blessing in those early days. After a while, things will peter out and you’ll probably find yourself cruising along nicely together, with an argument every so often, of course. But if you’re starting to find that small issues are really getting to you, your feelings have probably shifted somewhat and it may be time to re-evaluate.
You might find that minor problems irritate you more now, and it may be harder to forgive mistakes or misjudgments. Equally, you’ve probably stopped feeling so guilty for things that you’re doing wrong. This lack of compassion is definitely a sign that you’re feeling differently. Things change naturally within any relationship, but they normally plateau into an easy, enjoyable medium rather than feelings of annoyance and, often, spite.
3. You’re Window-Shopping
Let’s be honest – most of us have found other people attractive despite being totally in love with our partners. There’s nothing wrong with appreciating the way another person looks, but if you’ve genuinely considered being with someone else, things clearly aren’t good at home.
As I mentioned above, acting on any attractions or feelings towards someone else is a huge no-no while you’re in a relationship – something I think we can all agree on. That said, many people self-sabotage their relationships by drunkenly kissing someone else or taking things a little bit too far on Snapchat with work-friends or random strangers they’ve met on nights out. If you suspect that you’re subconsciously looking for an excuse to end your relationship, it’s time to get conscious and make an active choice.
Either you shut it down, or you talk to your partner. If you’re feeling this strongly already, they probably have some awareness of the issue. It’s always better to talk about things before acting in situations like this. Short-term, the conversation is going to be painful, but nothing like the conversation you’d have to have if something did happen with another person.
Your partner has probably picked up on the shift in your behavior and you owe it to them to explain why this is the case. It’s not fair to leave them worrying about you straying and completely ruining their self-confidence just because you couldn’t muster up the courage to be honest. Think about what you’d want if the roles were reversed…
For some people, sex isn’t that important. For others, it’s the basis of a healthy relationship. Wherever you are on the libido-scale, a decrease in how much sex you’re having is still a warning sign that your feelings may have changed. Whether you’re no longer finding your partner physically attractive, or feel guilty about sleeping with them whilst being aware of a shift in your feelings, this is something you need to face.
If you find yourself turning down sex despite normally being the one initiating it, it’s time to talk to your partner. The longer you leave things, the worse it’s going to get for both of you. Reverse the situation. Imagine you’re the one making a big effort – you’re used to a pretty good sex life, but notice things taking a turn for the worse. You start trying to interest your partner more, be it through dressing up, trying new things, or putting yourself out there more. You keep getting rejected and you don’t know why. Not only are you going to panic about what this means for your relationship, your self-confidence is going to plummet dramatically.
Feeling undesirable and rejected is going to start affecting all aspects of your life and will only drive a wedge further between you and your partner. Now imagine that it’s you causing that emotion in your partner. Yeah, doesn’t feel too good! Catch yourself early on and explain to your partner how you’re feeling. This will be pretty awful, of course, but will save a lot of pain and reduce the “what’s wrong with me?!” breakdowns from your partner. Whatever it is, you’ll either work out how to get through it together, or figure out a way to be apart.
5. Absence Masks The Heart Grow Fonder. Right?
In the early stages of your relationship, you want to be with each other all the time. You spend most of your time together, and the rest of it sending Snapchats and cute texts. You can’t get enough of each other, and it feels wonderful.
First, you leave a few hair grips at his place, then he leaves a toothbrush at yours and all of a sudden, a drawer becomes a key. Whether you’ve officially moved in together or just live in each other’s pockets, you want to be a around them all the time and miss each other when you’re not.
While it’s healthy to be independent, wanting to spend more time apart than normal is a sign that your feelings are changing. If you no longer find yourself actively missing your partner, something has definitely shifted. The fact that the connection between you and your partner has changed suggests that your feelings have, too.
You might find yourself no longer replying to messages as quickly as before, or not being the first to send them anymore. A change in affection and intimacy levels is a big deal, whether it’s in person or when you’re apart from each other. This could be due to a lot of reasons, including stress, work, and other priorities, but you still need to ask yourself what it means for your relationship.
Do The Right Thing
The only thing worse than being told that someone has fallen out of love with you is being told that they haven’t been in love with you for some time. This will make your partner feel lied to, and they’ll start to question everything you’ve said and done recently, taking apart your whole relationship and driving themselves crazy. Talk to your partner about your feelings – it will probably be painful for both of you, but you need to address the issue.
Talking about it will either make you realize that you no longer want to be with them, or it will give you a reality check and you’ll realize that you’ve come too close to losing your soulmate. It’s never going to be an easy conversation, but it’s one that needs to happen, for both of your sakes. Staying in a relationship for the wrong reasons is a waste of everyone’s time, and isn’t fair on either of you.
If you start questioning your feelings, share them. However you feel and whatever you decide, be honest. You owe your relationship that, at least.
Lucy is a travel and wellness writer currently based in Gili Air, a tiny Indonesian island. After over a year of traveling, she’s settled in paradise and spends her days wandering around barefoot, practicing yoga and exploring new ways to work on her wellbeing.