Have you ever looked over at your partner who you love dearly and thought, "Ugh" — but then immediately started panicking because you're not sure what that moment of apathy meant? How could someone with whom you were once crazy in love suddenly leave you with an emotional flatline, or worse, disdain? Does that mean the relationship is over? Are you going to have to break up?
Falling out of love with someone can be pretty devastating, and while it’s not always easy to recognize when this is happening, there are a few signs you’ll notice when you fall out of love.
While the differences may be subtle, there is a distinction between being in a rough patch and falling out of love. If you’re experiencing the former, then you probably feel still a desire to make things work. However, if it’s the latter, then you’ll likely feel more resigned than resentful. As NYC relationship expert
Susan Winter previously told Elite Daily, “ You find yourself walking through the motions of being a partner. Dialogue with your mate is on autopilot, and you're not really paying attention to anything they're saying. Mentally, you've checked out.”
If you’ve fallen out of love with your partner, then these signs will likely sound familiar.
You Get Easily Annoyed By Them
When you're with someone long enough, they're going to occasionally get on your nerves, and that's totally normal. The question is, how much patience do you have with your partner, and how quickly do you rebound from being annoyed? If it’s just a slump, you most likely have a high amount of patience and the irritation fades quickly. However, as Winter said, if “
you find yourself irritated by everything they do (and don't do),” then that’s a sign that you may be falling out of love with them. That’s because, as your love fades, so does your patience. 02
You Don’t Miss Them When You’re Apart
When you're first with a new partner, every moment spent apart feels bittersweet. You just want to be together, all the time! As you become more secure in the relationship, it’s natural to spend more time apart — but according to licensed marriage and family therapist
Nicole Richardson, a person who’s falling out of love will stop missing their boo and may even “look for reasons to not spend time with them,” as she tells Elite Daily. Falling out of love means often means transitioning from wanting space to straight-up avoiding your partner. 03
You Stop Making An Effort
When your feelings change for someone, romance stops being natural and starts to feel like work. If you no longer feel any motivation to keep the spark alive, then
Cherlyn Chong — a dating and breakup recovery coach for professional women — previously told Elite Daily that’s a sign your love is fading. “ No more hand-holding, no light touches on the back, no gifts and important dates like anniversaries start to get forgotten. This happens when you just don't feel like it, so you don't put the effort into keeping the connection alive,” she said. 04
You’re Not Attracted To Them
Once you become intimately familiar with each other’s bodies, habits, and routines, it’s natural for couples to have a cooling-down period, when you no longer feel the need to constantly impress. But when a dry spell turns into you actually being turned off by your partner’s touch, you’ve likely passed out of slump territory and into something more serious. As Winter pointed out, if “the idea of having
sex with your partner feels like a chore,” then it’s very possible you’ve fallen out of love. 05
You Feel Disconnected From Them
Though you might have once felt like you could read your boo’s mind, you’ll likely stop feeling that same connection to them once you fall out of love. When you go from feeling “emotionally connected to emotionally 'neutral,’” then clinical psychologist
Dr. Joshua Klapow said it’s time to be concerned. “When we fall out of love, we lose a deeper feeling of connection with our partner," he told Elite Daily. "Falling out of love is losing that almost indescribable feeling of wanting to be with your partner for the long run, no matter how much of a disaster or how perfect things are in the moment." 06
You Can Imagine Yourself With Someone Else
It’s natural to develop
crushes on other people when you’re dating someone (even if things are going perfectly fine), but it’s one thing to think someone is cute and another to actually imagine yourself with them. According to licensed clinical psychotherapist Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, a person who has fallen out of love often feels restless and doubtful. "You might start 'looking around' for a new person in your mind," she explained. "For example, you might be out with your friends or other couples and think to yourself: 'I wish my partner was like theirs.'" A wandering eye may just indicate your partner has lost your attention all together. 07
You’re Not Sure About Your Future Together
The most obvious difference between being in a slump and falling out of love is whether you still see a future with your boo. According to Richardson, if you “start to imagine your future without them,” then there's a good chance you’ve lost those loving feelings. If you’re still not sure how you feel, Richardson suggests imagining your future in a year, or five years. She asks, "What is your ideal life like? Where do you live? What job do you have? How do you spend your free time? Is your partner in that ideal life?” If the answer is no, then you know what to do.
Navigating these confusing emotions can be painful, but there is power in understanding your emotional needs. You deserve real, lasting love, not just love that once existed but has since faded away.
Sources: Susan Winter, relationship expert and bestselling author Cherlyn Chong, dating and breakup recovery coach Experts: Nicole Richardson, licensed marriage and family therapist Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, licensed clinical psychotherapist Dr. Joshua Klapow, clinical psychologist Editor's Note: This story has been updated by Elite Daily Staff.