Falling out of love is entirely possible. Whether you’re married or not, regardless of how long you’ve been together, sometimes partners realize they’re simply not in love with each other anymore. The reasons for falling out of love are anything but simple, however. The complexity of humans and our relationships mean that this can happen for many different reasons.
If you feel that you may have fallen out of love with your partner, learning more about how and why that can happen might help you decide how to move forward.
Why Do People Stop Loving Each Other?
There’s no one reason people fall out of love. Sometimes, even the people who have fallen out of love with each other may find it hard to pinpoint exactly why or how it came about. That said, there are a few factors that may play a role.
1. The Intimacy Was Lost
While not all romantic relationships have a sexual component, those that did originally may suffer if that component fails to last. Additionally, many relationships can and do have an intimate component, even if it’s not sexual. Again, if this piece of the way a couple relates to each other is lost, it can be difficult for the relationship to continue on happily. The reasons for a loss of intimacy between partners can vary. It could be related to stress, busy schedules, some type of incompatibility, or a simple loss of interest over time.
A review of research on the topic explains how important this element is to a bond, stating that “Intimacy is strongly associated with the quality of a couples’ life and is often referred to as a basic psychological need,” and that, when healthy, it can positively impact the mental states of the partners, “such as reducing the risk of depression [and] increasing happiness and well-being.”
The review also explains that a lack of intimacy is one of the most common causes of “distress and collapse among couples,” which can impact both their relationship as well as their respective states of mental health.
2. One Or Both Of Them Changed
It’s a simple but sometimes painful fact: who you are, what you believe, and the types of choices you make can and frequently do change over time. This is especially true for those who have been in relationships for many years, whose relationships began when they were very young, and/or who have been through traumatic or otherwise life-changing events throughout the course of their partnership.
One study found that personality traits can indeed change in any stage of life, usually in response to life circumstances or experiences. While personality changes over a person’s lifetime tend to be for the better, that’s not always the case—and either way, people might not evolve in compatible ways, resulting in them not having enough in common for a relationship to function well anymore.
While you don’t have to agree on everything to have a healthy relationship, changes over time can drive a wedge between you until there’s just not enough overlap to provide a strong foundation for a relationship anymore. Simply “growing apart” or growing in divergent directions is one reason people can fall out of love.
3. A Conflict Went Unresolved
There can be many different sources for this, but a common one is likely some sort of conflict between the couple. Infidelity, for example, could result in one partner being hesitant to trust the other. One big fight or ongoing conflict could have a similar effect. Even a series of smaller fights could lead to a buildup of resentment over time, which can be so difficult for two people to recover from that it has been cited as one of the “four horsemen” that can usher in the end of a relationship.
Can Mental Health Conditions Influence Whether A Person Falls Out Of Love?
It is, of course, entirely possible for both partners in a relationship to be mentally healthy and still feel that they’ve fallen out of love. However, individuals who feel this way might also consider the possibility that a mental health condition could be impacting how they feel about themselves, their partner, or their relationship.
Symptoms of depression could be caused by stressors in the relationship, but the reverse is also possible. Feelings of hopelessness about the relationship, a lack of sexual intimacy in previously sexual dynamics, and difficulty handling emotions without shutting down are some potential signs that one or both partners could be suffering from depression that’s impacting the way they relate to each other.
What To Do When You’ve Fallen Out Of Love
Is it possible to fall back in love with someone? It depends on the situation, but it’s certainly true that some couples have been able to rebuild what was broken or missing and find themselves satisfied in their relationship once again.
If the problem arises because one or both people have fundamentally changed because a conflict went unresolved, or because one or both partners are experiencing mental health challenges, therapy can be helpful. As long as both partners can commit to working together improving their dynamic, research suggests that therapy—especially virtual therapy, which couples reported gave them an element of distance from the therapist that made them feel “a greater sense of control and comfort”—can be beneficial for couples who are facing challenges. A trained therapist can help couples identify unhealthy dynamics between them, work through conflicts, and learn new strategies for handling future conflicts.
If you’d like to be matched with a therapist who can help you work through these challenges, consider an online therapy platform like BetterHelp. BetterHelp can match you with a licensed professional experienced in helping people manage conditions similar to yours, and can get you communicating with that professional quickly and easily, meaning that you and your partner can begin treatment sooner rather than later.
If you want guidance in sorting through a relationship you’re working on or one that has recently ended, keep in mind that a mental health professional can help.
What are the signs of falling out of love?
Signs of falling out of love can include a noticeable emotional distance between partners, a decline in physical intimacy, and a lack of desire to continue spending time together. These indicators suggest that the romantic love between two people may be waning.
Is it possible to lose feelings of love?
Yes, it is possible to fall out of love. It’s a natural part of some relationships that can happen over time. Changes in life circumstances, personal growth, or evolving goals can lead to a shift in feelings.
What causes a person to fall out of love?
There are many reasons why a person might fall out of love, such as unresolved conflicts, changes in life goals leading partners in different directions, or a sustained feeling of being unappreciated or disconnected.
What are three signs that will fall out of love?
Three signs that one might be falling out of love include no longer feeling excited about planning the future together, avoiding sex or physical intimacy, and the habit of putting less effort into resolving conflicts or engaging in meaningful conversation.
What is stonewalling in a relationship?
Stonewalling in a relationship refers to a partner completely withdrawing from a conversation or refusing to communicate, often to avoid conflict or convey disapproval without verbalizing it. This can be a serious indicator of emotional disconnection.
How do you know if your relationship is over?
If you are wondering, “Is it possible to fall out of love with my partner?” when a relationship faces challenges. A relationship might be over when attempts to communicate and reconnect fail, when the thought of spending time together no longer brings joy, and when there is a persistent feeling that the emotional distance is impossible.
Am I falling out of love or just comfortable?
Self-reflection can help distinguish between falling out of love and comfort. Being comfortable means being at ease with your partner without the anxiety of losing them; falling out of love is often characterized by a loss of passion and desire. If you are not in love anymore, take time to consider what you learned from the relationship and move forward.
Should you break up if you fall out of love?
Deciding to break up after falling out of love is a personal decision. Consulting a family therapist can provide insight into whether there’s a foundation for lasting love or if parting ways is the healthiest option.
How do you know your partner is not in love with you?
You might sense your partner is not in love if they don’t seem to feel excited about spending time together, there is emotional distance, or normal conversation patterns begin to fall apart. These signs can reveal the truth about their feelings, but the best way forward is through honest conversation.
How do you rebuild a broken relationship?
To rebuild a broken relationship, it’s important to communicate openly about the matter at hand, show a genuine willingness to address and resolve underlying conflicts and re-establish trust and intimacy.
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