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Falling Out of Love: Why It Happens, 23 Reasons & Signs to See It ASAP

Falling out of love and losing intimacy happens more regularly than you might think. For every couple that stands the test of time and always manages to fall back in love, there are ones who simply need to move on. 

falling out of love

We’re taught from an early age to believe in the romantic magic of love. We read fairy-tales and watch Disney movies, assuming that love is going to come along and sweep us off our feet. The reality? Sometimes you find that grand romance only to then realize that after a few years, you’re falling out of love a little faster than you anticipated.

The truth is that not every relationship is meant to last. If it were, we would only ever meet one romantic partner and that would be it. It’s important to see every relationship as an experience and a learning curve, giving you the emotional tools to deal with relationship issues when the right one comes along.

It can be difficult to realize what falling out of love feels like, but it’s vital that you take action to either stop the relationship from falling apart or to realize you need to move on. [Read: Tips to find your soulmate the right way]

The first flourishes of love aren’t meant to last

Falling in love with someone is easy, but falling out of it is even easier.

The start of a relationship is always the finest hour of romance. It’s the magic of first moments, the time when you love every little thing about your partner, including their annoying habits.

Romantic gestures, soft whispers of undying love, and the compelling need to be with each other are all the symptoms.

But it doesn’t last long, and you’re left wondering how it all changed. Where is the love that was once so prominent? Where has it vanished? [Read: The real truth about love at first sight]

The real truth about the first few months of love is that we’re only infatuated be each other. It’s only the first phase of what we identify as love. 

While it’s true that the honeymoon phase doesn’t last forever, it’s normally replaced by something calmer and deeper. That’s when true love arrives. However, in some cases, the love simply disappears altogether and you’re left with the sinking feeling that perhaps you’re not meant to be after all. [Read: Women’s relationship issues that all men must know]

What does it mean to fall out of love with your partner?

Falling out of love can mean a lot of things.

You can fall in and out of love daily. There are some days you may be angry with your partner and can’t even find the slightest bit of love within you. But by the next day, that could be back.

It’s just a quick response to heightened emotions and doesn’t mean you don’t love them. 

You may feel like you’re falling out of love because you’re in a bad space. Maybe you’re overwhelmed with work or kids and don’t have time to focus on love. That could make you feel like it isn’t there. In fact, it is; you’re just too distracted and need to reconnect with your partner. [Read: The real facts about relationships and love no one talks about]

You can also fall out of romantic love while still carrying love for someone. You can stop loving someone in the intimate way you once did but still love them as a friend, a co-parent, or someone from your past.

Falling out of love doesn’t mean you simply lose all feelings for someone. When you’ve shared moments and memories together, it is difficult to truly lose all the love you have for them. [Read: How to face relationship challenges and overcome them as a couple]

Reasons people fall out of love

There are many reasons why couples don’t stay in love or end up getting attracted to another person. But almost always, it starts with these reasons:

1. Falling in love too fast

It takes time to fall in love. But some people tend to fall in love too easily. It usually takes less than a minute to determine whether we like a person or not. But a lot more time should be taken to decide whether we truly love a person.

Falling in love should include getting to know the core of the person and building a compatible equation between each other, and shouldn’t involve just the simple act of being attracted to each other.

Just take a look at a few celebrities. True love is announced within days of spending time with each other and a whirlwind romance starts until it ends in divorce, sometimes less than a few months later. [Read: How to have a perfect start to any new relationship]

2. Great expectations

We all desire to find partners with the perfect qualities. But when you seek perfection in a relationship, you’re only building that relationship up to fail. The more we expect, the more we’re disappointed when those unrealistic expectations aren’t met.

It’s human nature to never be satisfied and to want more. Besides the physical quality, there are a whole lot of things we look for in a mate. And when you don’t find those qualities in your partner, you still may love your partner, but just not as much.

But that doesn’t mean you should accept mediocrity. It only means you get what you give. If you expect a perfect partner, you have to be willing to be the perfect partner in all ways too. [Read: 20 healthy expectations in a relationship that define a good love life]

3. Getting back to reality

Once the stage of infatuation is over, you begin to realize that the world isn’t all that rosy and your love isn’t as pretty as it once seemed. When your intense feelings for the new person begin to wear off, you see what is underneath the facade, and most times, it’s not a pleasant sight.

Besides love, relationships require work, effort, and action. Many people just aren’t prepared for that. [Read: The real truth behind why you’re not finding happy love]

4. When priorities start to change

As time passes by, people in relationships change. In addition, priorities also start to change, and we begin to put other things before love. When you’re with somebody for a long time and you don’t get the same attention from them as you used to, problems will begin to arise.

When you resent change, you start to resent your partner. And ultimately, the love starts to crumble away.

5. Loss of chemistry

Chemistry is what makes a relationship so exciting. In the beginning, every relationship is full of creative chemistry! Work and other commitments sometimes take a backseat at this time, and you have a hard time thinking of anything other than your sweetheart.

But this doesn’t always last forever. As chemistry fizzles out, the good feelings start to fade, and most relationships follow suit too. [Read: When should you take a break in the relationship to make it better?]

Signs you’ve stopped loving someone

Are you confused about whether you’re in love or falling out of love? Sometimes, you may assume your partner is falling out of love when they really aren’t. And at other times, you may need a few signs to realize that you’re not in love anymore.

1. An outside force is causing constant problems

An outside force can be a problematic issue. This can cause you to argue and resent one another. It could be a frustrating mother-in-law, a stressful job, or issues with money.

These things can arise without any input from either of you. They can also overwhelm you as a couple and take your attention away from focusing on the relationship.

That said, these things may be temporary. Is your mother-in-law staying with you to recover from surgery for a few weeks? Is your partner up for a promotion? If these things are temporary, you can find ways to work through them. But if they aren’t, it could be a sign things aren’t working out. [Read: The right priority in your relationship – How to find and focus on it]

Do you feel like your partner may be spending a lot of time at work because they’re avoiding you? Do you feel like you’re falling out of love because of your partner and your relationship or something else? You really need to pinpoint the reason and work out whether it’s transient or permanent.

2. You feel bored a lot of the time

In most long-term relationships, the excitement fizzles out, and security and safety take over. But that doesn’t mean all the passion is lost.

If you feel like you are more like roommates than a couple and don’t spend much quality time together anymore, you two could be in a rut. This feeling is very normal, regardless of how madly in love you were in the beginning.

You may not be falling out of love, just losing some of the excitement from the beginning of the relationship. This doesn’t mean things are doomed, just that you two must make an active decision to reignite the excitement in your relationship. [Read: 15 common reasons why you’re getting bored with your relationship]

3. You don’t really think about them when you’re apart

When you first start dating someone, you tend to wonder what they’re doing when you’re not together. As you develop your bond, you think of them while you’re at the store and wonder what they’d like. Or you send them funny memes throughout the day because they’re always on your mind.

But when you don’t let them know what you’re up to, you don’t miss them when you’re apart, and find that your mind never wanders to them or how they’re doing, it could be a sign you’re falling out of love. Sure, sometimes you’re busy, and you don’t need to be together all the time, but this is different. [Read: How to recognize the signs a relationship is over and move on]

4. Intimacy is dwindling

Physical intimacy is very important in romantic relationships. Not just sex, but cuddling, kissing, and gentle touches to show affection. It is one thing to go through a rut where you don’t have sex for a while, but if you’ve lost intimacy, that is a step toward falling out of love.

You can come back from this with a lot of open communication, but it can be a sign that things aren’t going in the right direction. If you don’t touch when watching TV, if you don’t hold hands or kiss goodbye in the morning, something is off. [Read: How to fix a relationship that’s falling apart and rebuild it again]

5. You’re not sure of what you want

Look at your future to find out if you’re falling out of love. If you no longer picture your future with your partner one year, two years, or five years from now, you could be falling out of love with them. This shows that you aren’t calculating them into your plans nor do you know where the relationship is going.

If you are thinking about traveling for the next five years and they want to settle down in a house with kids, you may be drifting apart due to a desire for different things. [Read: Problems that will make your relationship stronger]

6. You don’t trust them

Trust and love go hand in hand. Yes, you can have one without the other. But when one lessens, the other cracks. If you have lost trust in your partner, your love is going to weaken. 

If you really don’t trust them, ask yourself why. Is it something they’ve done, or is it baggage you’re carrying from a previous relationship? If you need to work on something, do it.

But, if after that you still feel the same, you’ve lost trust and that’s the sign of something more serious in your relationship. [Read: How to build trust in a relationship and make it last]

7. You’re tired of not receiving love back from them

If you don’t feel real love from your partner, your love for them will dwindle over time. It’s perfectly natural to fall out of love if you aren’t feeling like they love you.

When one partner in a relationship is losing love, the other will eventually catch up. For instance, if you’re doing all the giving and they’re just taking, you will eventually feel taken for granted. Then, you’ll start to resent your partner. [Read: What is one-sided love? How to cope when you’re not loved back]

8. You’re always upset

Whether your partner is causing you pain or your feelings for them are causing you pain, you can only sustain so much. When you’re struggling with your emotions, whether it be sadness, anger, or contempt, it can be hard to continue loving someone through that. If anything, you might start feeling resentful towards them.

If your relationship is filled with pain, it’s likely that the loss of love isn’t far behind. In the end, you’ll realize that taking a step back for your peace is far more important than constantly feeling emotional agony. [Read: Why does love hurt when it goes bad? The truth you need to hear]

9. You don’t feel excited to see them

Even if your partner has been gone for a couple of days, there’s no sense of anticipation for the moment when you finally reunite. If you love the person, absence makes the heart grow fonder, as they say.

If you’re completely apathetic about your partner’s return, it probably means that you have lost most, if not all of, your passion for this person. [Read: Top 20 reasons for divorce most couples overlook]

10. Your partner annoys you a lot

When you are really in love, the little annoying things that your partner does tend not to bother you as much. So if you find yourself being more and more annoyed by them, it’s a warning sign that something is going wrong.

Most likely, it means that his or her positive aspects have stopped canceling out the negative aspects. Perhaps you once thought that their humor was endearing or that their little quirks were cute, but you now think they’re extremely irritating. [Read: 16 practical tips for how to save your relationship]

11. You don’t feel attracted to them anymore

It could be because your partner has gotten out of shape or gained a lot of weight. Perhaps your tastes have just changed or your partner underwent an entire overhaul of their entire personal style.

Whatever the case may be, a loss of attraction is definitely a warning sign. [Read: How to tell your partner they’re gaining weight]

12. You’re interested in other people

If you can’t stop checking out other people wherever you go and don’t feel guilty about it, it could definitely be because your own partner just isn’t cutting it for you anymore. When you once had eyes only for your partner, you’re now looking at a bunch of other people to give you that spark.

While it’s normal to appreciate when someone is attractive, it’s not normal to think about acting upon it or even fantasizing. It may be time to call it quits before you start to consider infidelity.

13. You’re arguing a lot

If you are arguing all the time with your partner, it may actually mean that there is a deeper problem. A certain amount of arguing is normal. But, if you find that you start to get into petty fights that blow out of proportion, it could mean that everything your partner does irks you.

This may be because you’re no longer in love. [Read: Are relationship fights normal? 15 signs you’re fighting too often]

14. Your gut is telling you something isn’t right

It can be difficult to fully accept it if you are falling out of love. After all, it could mean that a lot of changes are potentially going to come into your life. It could also mean that you may devastate your partner if you tell them.

Your mind may be trying to push the problem out of your focus. And as a result, you may just have a general feeling that something is off. If you do, you may want to pay attention and try to get to the bottom of it, even if it’s difficult. [Read: How to listen to your gut and give strength to your inner voice]

15. You’re not fully happy

If your relationship started out really well, then it was probably making you happy. Sometimes, happiness can act as a barometer for how in love you feel.

Suppose you notice that you can’t find happiness in the relationship anymore; even though there aren’t any major issues in your relationship, pay attention. It may be because you feel like you’re being tied down to a partner you no longer love. [Read: Steps to tell your partner that you’re unhappy]

16. You look for things to distract you

It’s not necessarily bad to spend a ton of time on your hobbies, as it is healthy to have activities you can do without your partner. But if you spend all your time on your hobbies, even when your partner wants to hang out, it may be time to rethink your relationship.

If you use your hobbies to avoid dealing with your relationship problems, you should be honest with your partner about how you feel.

17. You don’t feel the urge to keep yourself attractive for your partner

Keeping yourself in top shape is a great way to help maintain your partner’s interest in you over the long term. And even if you are already in shape, there should still be that desire to dress up and look nice for your partner every once in a while.

If you suddenly stop feeling the need to do this, it could be because you no longer care if they desire you on a physical level. [Read: How to look fabulous and appealing when trying to get attention]

18. You don’t really care if they flirt with other people

If you are at a party and you see your partner flirting with someone, and it just doesn’t bother you at all, something is probably not right.

A little bit of jealousy lets you know that you still value your partner’s attention. Not getting jealous at all when they flirt with someone else means that you’ve stopped caring if someone else snatches your partner away. [Read: Could it just be one of the 9 relationship stages couples go through?]

What should you do next?

If you really think that you’ve fallen out of love, you have a decision to make.

Are you going to try and fight for it, or will you call it quits and call for a breakup? It’s certainly worthwhile trying to fix things if you can. That way, you can be sure that your relationship didn’t just fall into a rut when you look back in a few years. There’s nothing worse than regret.

Maybe take a break for a short while. Remember to be honest and open with your partner about how your feelings have changed over time. Otherwise, they could be very confused about why you want to spend time apart. For many couples, having a little clarity is all it takes to do the right things and to start making an effort in the right places again. You might also want to consider talking to a marriage and family therapist who can help couples maintain a healthy relationship and rekindle their feelings of love.

However, if nothing changes after taking a break and talking about things honestly, perhaps the love really has gone and it’s time to walk away from someone that you love.

[Read: How to have a long term relationship that lasts]

Falling out of love is natural and something all of us may come to face. But it’s still a choice. You can choose to save your relationship. Or give it up and move on in the hope of greener pastures. 

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...