When you start falling in love with someone, you don't really think about when and if you'll ever fall out of love with them. It's natural to get caught up in the butterflies and sexual chemistry that come with the honeymoon phase. But after a breakup, sometimes it feels like all you can think about is how long it takes to fall out of love. When you're sad and heartbroken, all you want to do is not be in love with them anymore. It's tough, and every situation is different, so I reached out to experts to get the lowdown on how long you can expect falling out of love to take. Turns out, there is no one right answer.
Before jumping into how long it can take to fall out of love with your ex after a breakup, let's explore what it's like to fall out of love when you're still in a relationship. According to a previous interview with Dr. Joshua Klapow, clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, a relationship can face various road bumps that can feel like falling out of love, but are really just points of conflict that could potentially be resolved. There is a difference. "Sometimes it’s difficult to tell if you are having a tough time in a relationship, if you are experiencing significant problems, if you really are questioning how well it is working, versus actually falling out of love," Klapow previously told Elite Daily. "Love can be lost and found. It can fade and come back, it can be 'fixed,' but because love is a feeling, it is not a guarantee that love lost will return."
That idea that love lost won't always return can be a tough one to wrap your head around, but it's important to remember that falling out of love doesn't happen overnight. If you are keeping your finger on the pulse of what keeps your relationship going, and noticing that it just doesn't feel the same, there may be steps you can take toward getting back on track. Talking about it honestly is a great place to start, as is seeking help from a therapist, whether as a couple or as individuals.
"When we fall out of love, we lose a deeper feeling of connection with our partner," Dr. Klapow said. "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."
Perhaps the biggest indicator that you've fallen out of love with your partner is that you no longer see them as part of your future. "A huge element of relationships is hope and excitement for the future: You both want similar things, and share common dreams and goals," Alessandra Conti, celebrity matchmaker at Matchmakers In The City, previously told Elite Daily. "If when you close your eyes and think about the future, if you are more often fantasizing about being with another man, or being alone, these are signs that you have fallen out of love."
If you and your partner have broken up, it's only natural to wonder how long it'll take for your feelings of love toward them to fade. After all, not all relationships end poorly, and in some cases, there may still be a lot of love between the people in the relationship. There is no wrong or right answer — no "standard" timeline, if you will. But know that ending a relationship, especially a long-term one, can feel really intense.
"When a couple goes through a breakup, the brain experiences massive withdrawal symptoms almost identical to a heroin addict quitting cold turkey," licensed psychologist Dr. Wyatt Fisher previously told Elite Daily. As for how long you can expect those feelings of love to fade? "After a breakup, people should expect withdrawal symptoms for roughly six months and increase their self-care and social support during this season," Fisher added.
Falling out of love takes time, and it's only natural, as Fisher says. But if falling out of love with your ex is taking longer than you consider "normal," it might be worth it to check in on yourself. "The best question you can ask yourself to test your recovery from the breakup is, 'When was the last time you thought about your ex?'" April Masini, relationship and etiquette expert of Relationship Advice Forum, previously told Elite Daily. "As you get over an ex, it will be longer and longer between thinking of that person.” And if you still find yourself with lingering feelings that are stopping you from moving on, do not be afraid to seek therapy or help from a professional.