We’ve grown up hearing “till death do we part.” We seek “love at first sight” and feel entitled to “happily ever after.” Vows, myths, stories, and dreams help craft our collective culture. However, they do little to prepare us for relationships. Do you feel as if you have fallen out of love?
Falling in love may be easy. Sustaining that love is no fairy tale.
Outside of issues like abuse and infidelity, we may not be able to decide: Should I stay or should I go?
What is Love?
Love is obviously a major, essential part of human life. Yet, how many of us can define it? We crave it, we seem to experience it, but we can’t actually decide what it is. “We” includes scientists, philosophers, poets, and well…all of us.
But ask anyone what it’s like to fall in love and they can likely talk for hours. Love is an undefinable feeling that manifests differently in each of us. Thus, you may not always realize when you’ve fallen out of it.
Two Important Factors We May Mistake for Fallen Out Of Love
Anger and/or Resentment
Strong emotions can temporarily block out underlying truths. When you are angry — truly irate — at your partner, it may feel like you can never love them again. Rarely is this accurate.
The opposite of love is not anger, it is indifference. Anger shows you still care and are hurt.
This is the proverbial 800-pound gorilla in the room. Love can — and often will — endure. It can feel eternal. Compatibility? Well, that’s a drastically separate concern. Reminder: You can still be in love but no longer be compatible romantic partners.
Have You Fallen Out of Love?-6 Clear Ways to Know
- Loss of Healthy Communication
No, social media likes don’t count as healthy communication. If your current language is silence, passive-aggressive snark, or biting insults, it could mean something much bigger. Counseling could help parse this out (see below) but rest assured, unhealthy communication can be a sign of resentment and lost respect.
- You Find Ways to NOT Be Together
For some couples, the default setting is avoidance. You may be sitting on the same couch but your attention is aimed at phone or computer screens. Take stock here. Realistically assess how often you plan or avoid together time.
- No More Intimacy, But Plenty of Interest in Others
Intimacy can take many forms. Lack of intimacy is not one of those forms. Aiming your intimacy needs elsewhere is definitely not one of those forms!
- Quirkiness Transforms Into Annoyance
Her laughs were once so cute. His forgetfulness was adorable. Now, well…not so much. The honeymoon is over and it’s high time for a re-evaluation of your feelings.
- Disagreements Become Fights, Fights Become the Norm
As mentioned above, anger doesn’t automatically signal the loss of love. When screaming is the norm, however, something must change.
- Lack of Planning for a Shared Future
Some of the most exciting relationship moments involve making mutual plans. If you’re not planning beyond tonight’s dinner delivery order, it’s time for a sit-down.
Seek Clarity and/or Closure
By now, you may have an idea of just how complicated this topic can get. We are conditioned by unrealistic expectations. Countless variables influence what we feel. And the concept of “love” is virtually unique to each individual. It’s no wonder that so many couples seek counseling. If you think you may have fallen out of love perhaps it’s time to get some support.
Committing to therapy together gives you a chance for resolution. For those who are truly ready to go their own ways, counseling may provide closure. Couples still in love but struggling mightily can discover the clarity they need to make necessary changes. Either way, this process is made far more productive within the safe space of counseling.
Posted by Counseling Wise on March 11, 2019