Falling out of love can feel like just as much of an avalanche as it does when you're falling into it. Even though you want to make it stop, you can't. Whatever happened to make the love leave has already happened, and you won't be able to bring it back.
You might recognize the signs you're falling out of love — a lack of enthusiasm for the relationship, no longer looking forward to seeing your boyfriend or girlfriend, etc. — and still deny it's actually happening. You might even convince yourself that your devotion and your feeling of responsibility to your partner is the same as love. But it isn't.
No matter how much you might try to stop yourself from falling out of love, it will creep into your thoughts whether or not you want it to. So if you are thinking any of the following, your love might be fading:
1. "I Really Hope They Don't Want To Come Home With Me This Weekend."
When you're falling out of love with someone, it feels like you can't get enough space from them. You could be across the country from one another and still want more room. Getting out of town will feel like a much-needed reprieve from a relationship that is unexpectedly suffocating you. And that becomes tough when your partner still expects you to travel together.
My parents loved my first boyfriend, to the extent that they still invited him to Thanksgiving even after I had confessed to my mom that I was thinking about breaking up with him. I let him come home for the holidays out of guilt, but asserting my own space would have been healthier for us both in the long run.
If you are going lengths of time without missing your partner, and if you feel frustration or your heart even sinks when you get a text from them, that's a major indicator that you are falling out of love.
2. "I Should Love Them Because They Love Me."
Love exists whether or not it is reciprocated, and if you are falling out of love with your partner when they clearly still have feelings for you, you're probably feeling enormous guilt right now. You need to find a way to get yourself free of feelings of obligation. Staying in a relationship out of a sense of duty only does more damage to the both of you in the long run.
No matter how much you might want to love someone again, or how much easier it would be if you could fake the feeling, it isn't going to be coming back. You'll be beating yourself up for being unable to force a love you are incapable of summoning, and your guilt and even resentment will show in subtle ways.
Sometimes, listening to your heart means paying attention even when its transmissions go silent.
3. "I Don't Want To Be With Them, But I Don't Want To Hurt Them."
You don't have to be in love not to want to hurt someone. Wanting to avoid causing another person pain is basic human empathy. And it's not a good reason to stay together.
When you are so fearful of hurting someone openly, you end up hurting them in more subtle ways. Pulling away or exhibiting passive-aggressive behavior in the subtle hopes that it will lead your partner to break up with you are some ways that this fear can manifest.
You can be falling out of love and still be terrified of hurting someone you used to have deep feelings for, but you owe it to your partner to tell them what is happening. Overprotecting people hurts them, too.
4. "I Used To Love Them"
When I am falling out of love with my partners, I usually try to summon the feelings of affection to come back by recalling the way we used to click so well when we first met. I'll revisit our first kiss. I'll page through the journal entries I made about them. I'll even flip through their Facebook photos to see whether I can conjure the attraction I used to feel.
Whatever your relationship used to be doesn't actually matter that much, though. Sure, it creates a sense of obligation and loyalty, and it has brought you closer because of a shared history. But it won't change how you feel when you are falling out of love. Gripping on to those old feelings and memories will make the split more painful for the both of you, too.
Whatever your relationship is at this moment is the status of your relationship. Just because you felt love and passion once, doesn't mean you will always continue to feel it. It's like my favorite Nietzsche quote: "He who promises to love forever or be forever faithful to someone is promising something that is not in his power."
Sometimes, the promises you make are wishful thinking. Doesn't mean they're coming true.
5. "It's Nothing. I'm Just Freaking Out Because I Love Drama!"
It's true that some people do get off on having drama in a relationship. Conflict makes the sparks fly.
If you're discounting what you're feeling because you think you're just using it for more attention or to cause trouble in a relationship, look back at your own pattern of being together. Is this really something you would do?
When I was falling out of love, I started picking fights with my boyfriend. It didn't fit with the person I was throughout the course of our relationship, though. I had been more of a lover than a fighter, traditionally. And looking back, I see it didn't fit with the kind of person I have been since that relationship either.
I was starting drama, sure, but it wasn't because I felt our relationship was lacking spark. It was lacking love.
No matter how much I fought for it by literally fighting, I was on the losing side of the battle I was waging. Even though I was picking on my boyfriend, the fight was mostly between me and myself.
While it is possible for love to last forever — even if you are not together — it's natural for the intensity of those feelings fade over time. You can't control whether it happens after you are out of a relationship or whether love leaves while you're still in it.
Whatever happens, the most important thing is to be honest with your partner. Ending a relationship hurts, but being upfront will keep your integrity intact. To do otherwise only damages your self-esteem and causes long-term resentment in the person you once loved. You owe it to both of you to be better than that.
It's time to let them know what you're thinking.
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