DOES LOVE FADE AWAY OVER TIME?
By Guy Stuff
Yes, love does fade over time. Like anything, love needs to be nurtured and cared for, much like a garden. While it may have arisen when you first met your partner seemingly without effort or intent, it doesn’t stay that way.
People contact us frequently asking, “Why is this person I love with all my heart drifting away?”
The feeling that the love in your relationship is fading, or that the love is gone altogether, is one of the toughest circumstances you can find yourself in. And although it may feel like it, it doesn’t happen all at once. Change in the love between two people, or the fading of that love, is something that occurs over time, gradually.
Because life is busy and the symptoms can be subtle, it can feel as though it has snuck up on you and seemingly out of the blue, he says, “The love between us is gone. I’m not in love with you anymore. I’m leaving.” Just like Darin did to Amara.
People often ask if the love in a relationship always fades, or if love in a marriage is destined to fade away. No, love in a marriage or any relationship changes over time, but it doesn’t have to fade or go away altogether. Keeping it strong, however, takes regular work and effort on the part of both people. And it takes an understanding and acceptance of the natural changes of love. Beliefs that the love will always be there, never change, and not take any work are the primary causes for love fading over time.
Changing false beliefs about love and learning how to keep it alive and vibrant are keys to having a happy and successful relationship. Unfortunately, most of us were never taught how to do this. The good news is that you can prevent the love from fading or rebuild it if it’s already fading by learning a few important strategies for keeping love strong.
Is He Falling Out of Love With Me?
If you’ve found yourself asking – “Is he falling out of love with me?” or “Are we okay?” – you aren’t alone. Relationships naturally go through ups and downs, and the level of passion changes, so knowing when your partner actually is falling out of love with you can be tricky. Until he comes right out and says it, you’ll have to rely on what you know about him and your relationship to interpret his feelings.
Asking him directly is an option, but most partners who’ve fallen out of love will avoid answering that question honestly when directly asked until something pushes them to the point where they feel they have no other choice. Ironically, their thinking is that they don’t want to hurt you by telling you the truth, so they hurt you by not.
Looking at the differences in your partner and relationship over time can help give you an idea as to whether he may be falling out of love with you. What’s different now from earlier on? Consider also whether he seems, and the two of you as a couple are, truly happy. If you’re wondering if the love could be gone then you probably aren’t. So what’s changed? Can you point to a possible source of unhappiness?
Be careful not to compare how things are now to how they were at the very beginning of your relationship. At the start the love can be pretty intoxicating, and produces behaviors that are unique to that stage of the relationship. Love and relationships change over time as they mature. This is natural and normal.
When you’re wondering if he’s falling out of love with you, spend some time considering what things are like now compared to after the honeymoon wore off (typically two to three years in).
These things will likely not give you a concrete answer, but they’ll give you a start in figuring out if your partner is falling out of love with you – or perhaps already has.
Are There Signs He’s Falling Out Of Love?
Yes, there are warning signs in a relationship when he’s falling out of love with you. One of the biggest is the interest each partner has in the relationship itself. A common red flag is when a partner no longer seems to care much about their partner or relationship and shows no interest in doing anything to make that change.
Although people like to look for things they can check off on a list, the signs of falling out of love can vary greatly from couple to couple. There are, however, some signs that clearly point to the possibility that he may not love you anymore. Here are a couple of big ones:
- You no longer talk. Simply orbiting each other each day and never really having conversations of any depth is a red flag. When the love is strong couples talk and stay connected. A sign your partner has fallen out of love with you is that they won’t engage in conversation or avoid it all together.
- He’s hyper-critical and almost never complimentary. A constant pointing out of everything that’s wrong and nothing that’s right is a sign of a relationship without love.
- There’s no laughter in your relationship. Having fun together and sharing mutual enjoyment is one of the biggest reasons people start relationships. When that’s gone it’s a sign that he may not love you anymore.
- The sex has stopped. Although this can happen for a variety of reasons, it’s almost always absent in relationships where the love is gone. This is a big warning sign for men, most of whom want and feel the need for regular sex.
- You live separate lives – and that doesn’t bother your partner. Work, family and other obligations can take couples in different directions, but in a healthy relationship partners make the effort to come together and reconnect. When that isn’t happening and one or both of you aren’t interested in changing that, there’s a problem. If your partner prefers or is even seeking out even more time apart that’s a red flag the love is dwindling.
If you recognize even some of these elements in your relationship, you have a problem. While this could mean he’s fallen out of love, it doesn’t always. Each couple is different and the signs that your husband or wife is falling out of love with you can be different too.
There can be a number of reasons for any one of these and it doesn’t have to be because the love is gone. However, if these aren’t a result of the love fading they’ll certainly cause it. If you’re seeing changes in your partner’s behavior toward you, or are noticing changes in your own feelings toward him, then it’s definitely time to explore more about the health of your relationship.
Why Do People Fall Out Of Love Suddenly?
“We were fine and then out of nowhere my husband suddenly decides he’s fallen out of love with me. How can that happen?”
Despite how it may seem, people don’t suddenly fall out of love. It just isn’t something that happens overnight, although it can feel that way. Much like how a slow drip of water will erode the ground beneath it, a lack of attention to your relationship combined with the stressors of life can wear down the love and cause it to fail.
Often people rely too heavily on the love that brought them together in the first place. They assume once in love, always in love. This simply isn’t the case. Nothing stays the same. In love we’re either growing closer or growing apart. Long-term relationships that are happy and healthy take effort by both partners, every day, to keep the love strong.
It can be easy not to notice the slow drift apart since it’s often just like that small drip of water without an obvious, immediate effect. And then one day something happens, like a fight over who knows what, and then one partner says seemingly out of nowhere, “I’m not in love with you.”
Did the spouse fall out of love suddenly at that moment? Most likely not – they probably had been feeling that way for a while and mulling over what to do about it for months, possibly even for years. The fight just happens to be the spark that gave them the courage to finally say it out loud.
Few people are so coldblooded that they enjoy telling their partner they don’t love them. Instead, most people dread having to do it and don’t even know how to. This struggle can be compounded by the fact that most couples don’t communicate well, especially regarding difficult subjects they disagree about. Being busy, growing apart, and losing the connection you once had means you don’t communicate the way you used to as well.
It’s the perfect recipe for avoiding telling your partner when you’re falling out of love and then to do it suddenly with, “I’m done.”
This is the story of Darin and Amara. For her, it felt like he fell out of love suddenly because of how it came out, but there had been signs for quite a while. Amara just ignored them or told herself it would get better with time. While Darin was never honest with her that he was struggling with their relationship, he blurted out in frustration, “I’m not in love with you anymore.”
The truth is that people don’t fall out of love suddenly, it occurs over time. It’s important to know that this doesn’t have to mean the love can’t come back, however, but bringing it back will take some time too. And it can come back even if your partner says it isn’t possible for their feelings to change (we’ve seen it happen).