Why You Keep Falling In And Out Of Love
It can be common for relationships to experience ups and downs, but if you have found yourself experiencing inconsistent feelings for your partner on a more frequent basis, you may be wondering whether you are falling out of love. If you feel deeply in love with your partner one day and completely out of love the next, this could be a sign of a deeper issue. Falling out of love can look like losing the “spark” between yourself and your partner, not enjoying quality time together, becoming hypercritical, comparing your relationship to others’ relationships, lacking communication, and feeling unsure about the future of your life together. You may wish to address your changing feelings directly with your partner or discuss them with an online therapist.
What does falling out of love look like?
Due to the unique nature of individuals and romantic partnerships, it can be challenging to identify precisely how it feels to fall out of love. It can be especially difficult to confirm these feelings as it is not uncommon to uphold feelings of love toward someone you feel you are “falling out of love” with. Though it may seem counterintuitive in these situations, it can be possible to love a person while maintaining the feeling that the relationship has come to an end.
Still, there may be a handful of feelings and behaviors that tend to characterize falling out of love. Below are a few red flags to look out for that may indicate your feelings of love are waning.
You notice a lack of “spark
Typically, the early stages of a relationship are filled with excitement, elation, and buzz as you fall in love. Though these feelings tend to die down in any healthy, long-term relationship, you may feel this loss of spark more intensely when falling out of love.
You no longer enjoy your time together
Similar to feeling a lack of spark, you may find that you no longer enjoy spending time with your partner. You may find yourself feeling sad or dejected during dates or quality time. Additionally, you may realize that you and your partner have significantly decreased or forfeited quality time altogether.
You become hypercritical of your partner
You compare your relationship or partner to others
If you find yourself comparing your relationship to those of your friends, family, co-workers, or even couples in movies or books, this could be an early indicator that you are falling out of love. Though it can be common for people to engage in some level of comparison when it comes to relationships, experiencing feelings of jealousy or hopelessness when it comes to other couples could be a sign.
There is a lack of communication
Typically, a healthy relationship relies on open communication. If you are having trouble communicating with your partner, this could be an indicator that you are falling out of love.
You are feeling uncertain about the future
In a long-term relationship, it can be fairly standard to plan together for your future, whether that means moving in together, getting married, or having children. If you have lost confidence in future plans with your partner that you previously felt certain of, it may be time to reevaluate your relationship as a whole.
Determining whether you have fallen out of love
Falling in love can be one of the best feelings. However, people fall out of love in relationships, too. Falling out of love with your partner can happen quickly or over a long period of time, depending on the nature of your relationship. Still, these feelings do not necessarily mean your relationship must end. There are a few things you may consider if you worry you are falling out of love with your partner.
Depending on the length of your relationship, it can be possible that you and your partner are simply leaving the “honeymoon phase”. The honeymoon phase is typically characterized by feelings of excitement and elation during the early stages of a relationship. Studies show that the honeymoon phase tends to last anywhere from 30 days to two and a half years, though this can differ for every couple.
Similar to falling out of love, leaving the honeymoon phase can look like a loss of spark or a decrease in quality time, but typically, this phase plays an important role in any long-term relationship. If you are somewhat early on in your relationship, you may want to consider that you and your partner could be simply leaving your honeymoon phase and not necessarily falling out of love.
You may also want to consider outside factors that may be affecting the quality of your relationship. It is not uncommon for work or financial stress, personal issues, marriage and family, or changes in mental or physical health to strain an otherwise healthy relationship. In cases like this, it may be helpful to consult a therapist for guidance.
How to cope with falling out of love
Falling out of love with a partner tends to be challenging and troublesome for everyone involved. If you are having trouble navigating your feelings of falling out of love, there may be certain things that can help you and your partner cope.
If you feel it is safe to do so, you could try communicating your feelings directly to your partner. Though this can be a difficult conversation to have, it could help you and your partner determine how to improve the relationship or choose your next steps. This doesn’t have to mean the end of your relationship, and it’s possible to fall back in love with your partner if you both have the desire to nurture the partnership and take action.
Additionally, you could try giving each other some space. This could look like separate living situations or simply spending less time together temporarily in order to spend time reevaluating your feelings.
Often, it can be difficult to navigate these complex situations alone. Whether you determine you would like to improve your relationship or part ways, it could be helpful to seek professional guidance.
Benefits of online therapy
If you feel yourself falling out of love with your partner, you may benefit from online therapy. Research has shown that couples therapy usually positively impacts around 70% of those receiving treatment.
When seeking couples or individual counseling, online therapy can provide more flexibility than in-person therapy. The additional flexibility of online therapy can be beneficial for those with hectic schedules or a busy family life.
Effectiveness of online therapy
In addition to online therapy frequently offering a number of benefits in regard to flexibility and scheduling, studies show that online couples therapy can be equally as effective as in-person therapy.
Additionally, recent studies show that online therapy, in general, can be equally as effective in treating symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other types of mental health disorders as traditional in-office therapy.
"Dr. Murphy has been very helpful in identifying issues and behaviors that led me to withdraw from my relationships and now she is helping me to repair them."
"Mark is an amazing therapist. He listens so well and has such valuable insight on male and female perspectives and issues while also not passing judgment. I have only just begun, but he has already given me so many great takeaways to improve my relationships and situations. I am filled with gratitude, and I would highly recommend him to anyone!!"
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Can you fall in love with the same person twice?
Yes, it can be possible to fall in love with the same person multiple times.
Can feelings change suddenly?
Feelings may change suddenly in some cases, and there can be a variety of factors that can impact your emotions.
How do you tell if you are being used?
They make you feel uncomfortable
They make it difficult to say “no”
They're only nice when it’s convenient for them
They don't focus on your needs
How do you love someone again after they caused you pain?
It can be helpful to give yourself plenty of time to heal. You may also wish to work with a licensed therapist to address your thoughts and feelings. In some cases, it may be best not to continue a relationship with someone who has hurt you.
What to do if you love someone more than they love you?
It can be challenging to offer general advice as situations tend to be unique. Working with a licensed therapist can offer personalized insight and guidance.
Why does it hurt so much when you love someone?
Why does love hurt so much? Love can be painful because of the strong connection between social and physical pain. The parts of the brain that process physical pain are also usually involved in social pain, thus offering a potential explanation as to why it may "hurt" when we love someone.
Can you be in love with two people?
Yes, it can be possible to be in love with two people at the same time.
What happens to your brain when you fall out of love?
According to a study on love, research shows that the medial insula, the anterior cingulate cortex, and parts of the dorsal striatum usually become quite active in people who profess to be madly in love. Brain studies that show what happens to your brain when you’re falling out of love have generally yet to be conducted.
What it feels like to fall out of love?
Falling out of love can be a unique experience for everyone who goes through it. You may experience feelings of deep sadness, loneliness, and more. A therapist can help you work through these feelings.
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