How To Know If Your Partner’s Falling Out Of Love, According To Experts
One of the scariest and most heartbreaking moments in a relationship is when you realize that your partner's feelings for you have faded or disappeared completely, and you feel powerless to do anything but let them go. It’s happened to me once before and it was one of the hardest experiences of my life. To me, knowing how to know if your partner’s falling out of love with you is a lot like catching a cold. There are some initial symptoms you ignore, but then, suddenly, a light bulb goes on and you can feel it in your bones that you are getting sick. Realizing that the love has left your relationship can be a lot like that. Early signs are ignored, leading to a moment of heartbreaking epiphany.
While no advice can completely prevent the the pain of someone falling out of love with you, there is some real power in knowledge. That’s because not only will knowing how to recognize the signs early on give you back some control over you own destiny, but it may even offer you a window of time when you can address the problem, resolve it, and get the relationship back on track again. So, to help identify the clues that your partner's feelings are fading, I reached out to Grace Lee, co-founder of A Good First Date Online, for her expert advice for what to pay attention for. Here's how she says you'll know if your partner is losing that loving feeling.
1. You have a gut feeling something is off in the relationship.
If you sense that there may be a problem in the relationship, but you’re not totally sure, that may actually be the first sign that there is a serious problem. “A weird pit in your stomach, feeling distant from somebody for no apparent reason, tone of voice, body language, emotional availability,” are just some of what Lee tells Elite Daily could be signs your partner is pulling away. “[That’s because] when two people are in love, the intuitive energy between them is very strong. You might explain to your friends some signs that he has been exhibiting, but chances are, they won't get it,” explains Lee. “We frequently hear people say, ‘I knew something was wrong after our phone conversation that day, it wasn't what he said, but something in his voice… so, listen to your intuition and gut, but don't react to it, because ultimately you want to pair these feelings with a conversation and more fact-based information.”
2. Your partner’s behavior has changed.
Is your partner starting to exhibit odd or suspicious behavior? Again, Lee says not to ignore this. She says if they begin doing things like checking their phone more than usual, they become increasingly guarded, moody, or “just not like themselves,” it may very well be that something else is going on. “A common reason that people fall out of love is because they have fallen for somebody else. It doesn't necessarily mean that they are in love with that person. On the contrary, jumping from one serious committed relationship straight into another is a great way to ensure that the new relationship will not work out,” says Lee, adding that it doesn’t automatically mean the end of the relationship, so long as it’s addressed early. “Whether or not infidelity has occurred or if it's just a crush, there are issues between the two of you that can be exposed and informed your SO's wandering eye. If you're willing to look past the feelings of hurt, betrayal, and jealousy, maybe there are things you both can address to make your relationship stronger.”
3. They seem indifferent or disconnected.
One of the clearest, and yet potentially most confusing, signs that your partner’s heart is no longer in the relationship may be that they just go cold. “They say the opposite of love isn't hate, but indifference,” says Lee. “Suddenly the other person stops caring or being involved — in other words, they've checked out. It becomes harder and harder to get their attention, which may trigger a response that pushes them even farther away.”
What to do if this happens.
This is all very depressing, I know, but here’s where I give you some good news. Lee says that there are some things you can still do to hopefully revive those lost feelings and get the relationship back on track — but it’s going to take hard work. “If this is a relationship that you value, then stop reacting to what you feel and observe and start thinking,” Lee advises. “Enlist the help of the right friend, somebody who has given you constructive relationship advice in the past or a third and neutral party, like a dating coach or therapist. Assuming that this is a relationship that is worth keeping, here are some things you can do about it.”
The first step, Lee says, is, of course, “Communication, communication, communication followed by committed conscious action.” Her advice: “Find a neutral time to talk. Do so by asking open-ended questions and sharing non-judgmental observations and feelings in a non-accusatory way.” The goal in these conversations is to try and discover the root cause for the growing distance. “Depending on how long you've been together, patterns either destructive, unpleasant or hurtful in nature, have a way of developing,“ explains Lee. She does warn, however, that you need to prepare yourself to hear things you won’t want to. “They will probably point to patterns and behaviors that you've long doubted between you,” Lee says. But once you know the root cause of the problem, you can start taking actions to correct it. “If the relationship is worthwhile to you, then change!” says Lee. “Agree upon necessary action needed to put your relationship on a different course and stick to it.”
While none of this will be easy, nothing worth having ever really is, right? Perhaps Lee puts it best: “Being in love is fun. Being in love is also work.” While you may decide in the case of your relationship that it is too much work and it’s better to move on, the key here is that, by knowing how to recognize the signs of trouble in the relationship, you have the power to make that decision. That just on its own is a step in the right direction, and will help you in future relationships and make it all the more likely that you’ll find the right one for you — and keep that relationship strong and healthy through all its ebbs and flows. So hang in there, you’ve got this.