Falling in love is one of the most amazing feelings in the world. Falling out of love, on the other hand, can be one of the worst. And it begs the questions: What causes us to fall out of love? If your feelings for your partner have started to fade and you’re wondering why, these 6 reasons might help shed some light on the situation.
1. You realize that you and your partner are incompatible
eHarmony knows a thing or two about compatibility. According to an article published on the site, compatibility is paramount in a relationship. Sure, this sounds incredibly obvious, but it’s easy to overlook when you’re in love. It’s possible that you could be avoiding facets of your personality from your partner, because you’re worried about what will happen.
Another warning sign is if you find yourself avoiding discussing certain topics with your significant other. But eventually reality sets in, and you begin to clearly see the differences between the two of you. Things such as political views, different levels of messiness, and thoughts on starting a family can cause a rift in your relationship.
2. Passion in the relationship diminishes
Passion, attraction, and sex are three incredibly important components to a relationship. Best selling author and relationship expert Margaret Paul, Ph.D, writes in the Huffington Post that passion changes when you both “get caught up on your protective, controlling behavior, your excitement and passion for each other may start to diminish. You might not feel turned on by your partner if he or she is angry, blaming, resistant, compliant, needy and so on.”
Paul notes that learning feeds liveliness and newness in the bedroom, which ultimately affects the entirety of the relationship. Without the curiosity and discovery the relationship can become boring, which “can affect the vitality of the sexuality” between partners. Ultimately, this all leads to the loss of that loving feeling because you’re not even interested in making love anymore.
3. Your partner has become a complainer
A man may not realize the extent to which it affects his loving feelings toward his significant other. Relationship expert Debra Macleod writes in the Huffington Post that if your significant other is a nag or likes to complain about the things you do and don’t do around the house or if they text incessantly to see where you are and what you’re doing, your partner can come across as an annoying parent or boss — and seem less like your lover. This can cause you to view your partner in a completely different way.
4. As a couple, you avoid conflict
Alternatively, avoiding conflict altogether can be detrimental to your loving feelings toward your partner. The reason? Keeping things inside is a breeding ground for resentment. Susan Orenstein, a licensed psychologist and relationship expert, tells Psych Central that some couples swallow their feelings because they’re afraid of stirring up conflict. The consequences though mean that over time, frustration and hurt builds to resentment, which “crowd[s] out the love and joy that they used to feel.” This all equates to a loss of love toward your partner.
If you’d like to save the relationship, Orenstein suggests that instead of getting defensive, thank your partner for their feedback and learn about their needs in order to ultimately satisfy him or her.
5. If you do fight, you fight really dirty
So many couples don’t know how to work together and struggle for control of the relationship instead, says Orenstein. “These couples are in high-conflict relationships, often finding themselves yelling, saying hurtful comments to and about their spouse, and even becoming physically aggressive.”
When this happens, you can begin to view your partner as the enemy, leading to feelings of insecurity and not feeling safe. Orenstein adds that any warm feelings of affection you have for your significant other are taken over by feelings of shame and anger.
All my not be lost though. Orenstein recommends that both partners “Go see a trained couples therapist who can help you and your partner establish ‘rules of engagement’ to stop the dirty fighting and instead share your frustrations in a constructive manner.” In addition, Oprah suggests that when you’re feeling upset, you should take 15 minutes to calm down and then discuss with your partner. This could prevent you from saying something you’ll regret.
6. Your partner stops trying
This can definitely be considered one of the more common, superficial gripes that can lessen your attraction to your partner. When you first started dating your partner, your significant other made it a point to look their best — he or she exercised regularly and paid attention to his or her appearance. However, when you’re in a relationship for a long time, those efforts may go down the drain, says sex and relationship/Your Tango expert Heather Baker. Encourage your partner to take care of themselves — not for you, but for them.