Falling in love can happen seemingly out of nowhere. You meet someone and it suddenly feels like your life will never be the same again. At other times, love can creep up on you slowly. Every day, you and the object of your affection grow closer while your connection deepens. It's the same way with falling out of love. It can come seemingly out of nowhere, or it can be a slow process wherein those feelings fade over time. And if you can't recognize the behaviors that mean you’ve fallen out of love, you might not even consciously realize it's happening until it's too late.
You might think that something as monumental as falling out love would be hard to miss, but according to Connell Barrett, Dating Transformation founder and dating coach with The League, it's often overlooked because you don't want to see it. "Denial is a powerful thing. You may not want to believe you’ve fallen out of love because that would lead to complications and possibly a breakup, and no one likes the pain of a breakup. At the same time, your behavior might reveal true feelings that you’re not fully aware of," he tells Elite Daily. But one way to cut through the denial and get honest with how you feel deep down is to take a closer look at your behavior. "Human beings are like radio towers — we’re always broadcasting through our behavior how we feel inside," Barrett explains. So, if you suspect you've lost that loving feeling, these are the behaviors that say it just might be the sad truth.
1. You’ve Stopped Putting Effort Into The Romance.
When your feelings change for someone, romance stops being natural and starts to feel like work. If putting in any effort to keep the romantic spark alive sounds like a chore, then Cherlyn Chong, a dating and breakup recovery coach for professional women, tells Elite Daily that’s a sign that your love's 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 explains.
It's also natural for a couple's sex life to have ebbs and flows. But when it becomes all ebbs and no flows, Julie Spira, an online dating expert and author of Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships, tells Elite Daily that can be a sign the love is fading. “When you’re in love, physical intimacy is a big part of your relationship. If you previously couldn’t keep your hands off each other, and you’d rather go to sleep in sweats instead of a sexy outfit, it could be a sign that you’re falling out of love,” she says.
2. You Don’t Want To Talk About The Future.
When you're in love, it's natural to dream about what a future could look like together. If the thought of spending your life with them now leaves you cold, Barrett says this is an indication that your feelings have changed. “If you’re no longer in love, then you likely don’t foresee a long-term future with them, so you avoid talking about things like big trips to take together or moving in,” he explains.
3. You Fixate On Your Partner’s Flaws.
No one's perfect and, over time as you get to know your partner and vice versa, you begin to see their flaws. But when that becomes all you notice, Barrett says that's a big red flag. It's particularly true if you now find all the quirks you used to be charmed by are becoming increasingly annoying or off-putting. “When you’re in love, there’s often a ‘halo effect.’ Your partner can do no wrong, and their imperfections seem adorable. When you’re out of love, what you once found charming can rub you the wrong way,” he says.
Chong agrees, adding that this can manifest in the way you push your partner away when they start getting on your nerves. “This happens when you start to see your partner as nothing special," she explains. "They're doing things that you take as a personal insult to you, or things that you have to endure. You start to engage in more disregarding behaviors as a way to get back at them for making your life difficult, causing conflict within your relationship.”
4. You’re Slowly Pulling Away.
If you find that making time to communicate with your partner has dropped to the bottom of your priority list, Spira says this is the behavior of someone whose feelings are changing. “When you’re in a relationship, and you don’t mind missing a date night, or a daily FaceTime or phone call with your partner, it’s a sign that you’re disconnecting, and could be falling out of love,” she notes.
Along with slowing your communication, the way you choose to spend your time can also shift away from your partner. “If you’d rather spend time with your friends than your boo, and you find taking long gaps apart, it’s a sign you could be falling out of love,” says Spira.
“This usually happens when priorities like work, friends, and children take priority over your partner,” adds Chong. “You stop taking time to communicate well due to being so busy with everything else. Unfortunately, once this happens, love slowly starts getting eroded too.”
5. You Stop Saying “I Love You.”
Was there a time when it seemed like you could never tell your partner you love them enough, but now you can’t remember the last time you said it first? Spira explains that, when it comes to deciphering your feelings, what you don't say is just as important as what you do. “If saying ‘I love you’ is part of your regular vocabulary, and you aren’t feeling it, you’ll stop saying those three important words while you try to figure out if you’re still in love, or not,” she says.
What To Do If Your Behavior Means You’re Falling Out Of Love.
First things first, don't panic. According to Spira, this isn't automatically the end. “Love is cyclical, and even if you think you no longer love your partner, something can happen to trigger the memories of why you fell in love in the first place. If so, it’s possible to trigger the feelings of falling back in love,” she explains. This is also an opportunity to take a step back and assess your feelings and what it is that you want in the future. “It’s natural to stop and try to decode your relationship as it moves from status to status. You should take inventory on your relationship to decide whether it’s just a temporary feeling, or whether you really think you’re on the way to calling it quits," Spira says. "I recommend making a list of why you fell in love with them in the first place to see if you still have any of those feelings. If you think you need space, you should ask yourself if it’s a way to ease out of the relationship or if you really want to dig deep into your emotions to determine if you’ve fallen out of love."
If upon reflection you determine that you have fallen out of love, Barrett cautions against the urge to ignore the situation just because it's uncomfortable. “Look at possible causes and decide what your right action is. You may decide to try to get that spark back. You might decide it’s time to end things. Whatever you do, don’t ignore the signs. Notice them, and decide what, if anything, needs to be done to make you fulfilled,” he advises. At the end of the day, you owe it to both yourself and your partner to be honest if your feelings have changed. You both deserve the true and forever kind of love, whether that's together — or apart.
Connell Barrett, Dating Transformation founder and dating coach with The League
Cherlyn Chong, a dating and breakup recovery coach for professional women
Julie Spira, online dating expert and author of Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships