Every relationship has ups and downs, but some people fall out of love with their partners.
If you suspect that might be happening to you, read our falling out of love signs to evaluate where your relationship is before you decide what’s going on in your relationship.
- Experiencing your spouse solely as a partner and not as a lover may signify that you are drifting away from love.
- Failing to take care of yourself makes it harder to have love to give to someone else.
- You may no longer be in love if you aren’t excited to be around your spouse or are apathetic about them.
- If you have no interest in sex, you may no longer love your spouse.
- When you cannot communicate well with your spouse, remaining in love with them is difficult.
- If you are falling out of love, you can choose to part OR take steps to rekindle the love respectfully.
Viewing Your Spouse as a Partner, Not a Lover
A good marriage requires you to have a steady partnership and continue feeling that romantic spark.
Most relationships begin with romance and a feeling of falling in love.
As the couple goes on to create a life together, they must work together to manage a home, a shared life, and possibly children. This requires cooperation and division of labor. In other words, love becomes both a feeling and an action.
Romance can take a backseat because of all this.
One study suggests that romance exists in long-term marriages, but it changes. According to the study, the romantic aspect at the beginning of a relationship is highly compelling and almost obsessive.
As a successful marriage progresses, that romance changes from being extremely compelling to being less obsessive and often morphs into different forms, but it generally must remain for the marriage to be successful.
If you no longer experience your spouse as a lover and only experience them as a partner in life, you’ve lost the romance and spark that keeps the relationship going.
Romance Is Replaced with Routine
As a marriage progresses, routine is usually a necessary component. You both need to get to work, food needs to be bought, clothes need to be washed, and if you have children, they have schedules that must be maintained.
It can take a lot of energy and work just to maintain these basic routines. It is easy for romance to get sidelined, and it is possible for routine to replace romance completely.
A study compared perceptions of marriage among three different groups. High school students and people married for more than twenty years believed that romantic love was inherent in marriage.
People married less than five years had a more realistic view, indicating that people expect marriage to be full of romance, but once you are in a marriage, you realize it is not roses and champagne every day.
The study also shows that people who make the marriage last tend to continue to find a common romantic component and make time for it. If your marriage has become routine, without romance, you may be at risk of falling out of love.
You Don’t Practice Self-Care
A successful marriage requires carefully balancing individual and couple/family needs.
It can be very easy for an individual spouse to lose sight of or sacrifice their self-care to make a marriage work. However, when self-care is sacrificed, it can end up hurting the marriage and cause you to no longer feel love for your spouse.
A study found that good mental and physical health predicts a successful marriage. People who do not practice self-care are less likely to remain married.
It’s the airplane oxygen mask situation: you must care for yourself before you can care for someone else (put your mask on before helping others with their masks).
If you do not feel healthy, it’s very hard to have loving feelings for someone else.
It’s also important to note that if a marriage makes it impossible for you to maintain self-care, it is not your fault the relationship fails. Still, it further supports the idea that self-care is necessary for a marriage to last.
A vicious circle can occur where you have trouble managing self-care, which makes the marriage worse, it harder to practice any self-care, and on and on.
You Don’t Have Self-Confidence
Self-confidence and self-esteem are vital components of a happy relationship. You have to feel good about yourself to stay emotionally attached to someone else. If you don’t have good self-esteem, you may doubt that your partner could actually love you and then start to feel like you’re falling out of love with them yourself.
Lack of self-confidence also makes it challenging to communicate effectively in a relationship. If you don’t trust yourself and feel good about who you are, it is hard to speak up about your needs and effectively say what you feel.
This can lead to disconnection. When you feel disconnected from your partner, you may feel as though you are no longer in love.
You Aren’t Excited to Spend Time Together
When your relationship began, you most likely could not get enough of each other. But as time passes, you might find you aren’t interested in spending much time with your spouse.
It is normal for couples to have individual interests and activities and even have seasons where they aren’t crazy about the other, but if you don’t make time to do things together, the love may be gone.
You Have Contempt or Apathy for Them
All couples argue and get annoyed with each other, but if you feel real contempt for your spouse, that’s a sign that you are no longer in love with them. Contempt is a deep, insidious disgust that can rarely be overridden.
Similarly, if you don’t care about them or what happens to them, this is another sign that you have fallen out of love. You have to care if you want to resolve conflict or to want to engage in romance. If you don’t care at all about your spouse, you’re no longer in love with them.
You Are in Love With Someone Else
While you and your spouse will likely not always be as hot under the collar for each other as you were in the beginning, if you fall in love with someone else, it’s a clear sign you’re not deeply in love with your spouse in a romantic way.
It is normal to have harmless crushes on other people occasionally, but if you find that you are romantically in love and deeply involved with another person, that is far past the harmless stage. It’s like you’ve fallen out of love with your spouse.
You Cannot Communicate
If you and your spouse can no longer share your thoughts and feelings or understand each other’s spoken expressions, it’s likely you’re falling out of love.
Love requires communication and connection.
If you don’t talk or just can’t connect when you do talk, the spark between you has likely faded, though it does not necessarily mean the spark is dead.
There Is No Sex
It is definitely possible to remain in love with your spouse if sex is not possible or you both agree you no longer want it, but for most people, sex is a necessary component of marriage and love.
If you avoid having sex with your spouse or simply have no interest in it at all, this can be a sign that you are falling out of love, especially if you don’t have a decreased libido otherwise.
Avoiding sex can be related to age, medications, stress and other things, though, so it is important not ever to take lack of sex in isolation to define your state of love.
Your Spouse Is a Burden
If you reach a point where you are constantly annoyed at your spouse or feel as if they are a huge burden to you, you’ve likely lost your love for them.
When you are in love with someone, you can get annoyed with your partner and, at times, be frustrated by them, but if this is how you feel all or most of the time, it’s a red flag.
What You Can Do About Falling Out of Love
If you realize you are falling out of love, all is not lost. There are things you can do to repair your relationship and rebuild the love between you, such as:
- Work on yourself. It may seem counterintuitive that you have to heal yourself first to repair your relationship, but it’s true. You may have your own issues you need to work on in therapy, or you may need to make time for exercise, meditation, or activities you enjoy to feel better about yourself and have the personal resources to engage in a joyful relationship. Be willing to see a doctor if lack of libido is the biggest issue.
- Go to counseling. Working with a marriage therapist or counselor can help you rebuild your relationship and rediscover love for each other.
- Work on communication. Spend more time talking with your spouse. Ask questions. Share what you’re thinking about. Make space for conversation by putting down the phones and turning off the TV.
- Prioritize each other. Plan date nights. Do things you both enjoy together. Rediscover what brought you together in the first place and allow that spark to reignite.
- Be authentic and vulnerable. Let down your barriers and be authentic with your spouse, baring all of yourself. If you are to have any chance of falling back into love, you have to truly dive in and try to connect on the deepest level.
- Be realistic. There are circumstances in which you can’t get back what you’ve lost. Infidelity, personality changes, shifts in needs, and more happen, and if a relationship has no love left, it may be time to leave it.
- Practice Forgiveness. If past issues are affecting your feelings, work on forgiveness. Letting go of grudges can open the door to falling in love again.
Review these falling-out-of-love signs if you think you’re no longer in love with your spouse. Take action to try to repair your relationship before completely giving up.
Recognizing signs of falling out of love is a brave step towards understanding and nurturing your relationship. It's a chance to deepen your connection or thoughtfully move forward separately.
Reflect on your relationship's value and what might be missing.
Whether you choose to rekindle your bond or part ways, always maintain honesty, respect, and care throughout this journey.