It’s said that love is a fickle thing.
It comes without warning and can go just as suddenly, leaving no forwarding address.
Where does love go when it goes, and can it ever come back?
Sometimes, you can go through rough patches in a relationship or even just with your own feelings, and this can feel like love is fading away, only to suddenly spring back again.
But other times, the feels simply disappear, never to return again.
So how can you tell if what you’re experiencing is simply a lull or if it’s the end of your love as you know it?
Well, if you recognize these eight feelings, you’ve probably fallen out of love or at least are well on your way.
Let’s look first at these clues and then what to do next if that’s the situation you find yourself in.
Remember those first few weeks and months when you were first falling in love?
Days and nights swirled into each other as the rest of the world fell into a blur.
There were only the two of you looming so large in each other’s lives.
You wanted to be with each other every waking moment and all the sleeping ones as well. You wanted to breathe the same air and eat the same food and just be with them all the time.
So what changed?
At some point, the incredible rapture of that infatuation started to fade, and that’s normal. But why is it that now you don’t even feel interested at all?
You no longer hang on their every word or feel that need to be together all the time. You can basically take them or leave them most of the time.
Well, if you’re feeling that disinterested, chances are that you’ve already fallen out of love.
When you got together, there were sparks, but there was also an intense feeling of connection.
I mean, there was, wasn’t there?
Didn’t you have that euphoric feeling that someone finally really got you – that they understood and accepted who you truly are?
But now you feel like a lamp that’s been unplugged from the wall. That incredible light has gone out, and you feel like you’re fumbling around in the dark.
You say things, and they misinterpret them. You drop hints, and they leave them lying all over the floor.
There’s just a very palpable feeling that the connection you once had, that thing that made your relationship feel so special, just isn’t there anymore.
And if you’re feeling this way, it’s quite possible that the love just isn’t there anymore.
Boredom in life can come in waves, and it’s usually due to your own state of mind.
There are times when nothing seems to appeal, and nothing really lights your fuse.
Sometimes, this is caused by a period of sadness or depression. Sometimes, it’s just from feeling stuck in a rut.
But boredom in a relationship is a different thing altogether.
Did you get together with this person because you found them dull?
But something changed, and now they just don’t seem to interest you as they once did.
I know because this happened to me, but as the borer, not the boree (are those actual words?).
My serious girlfriend in college was a year ahead of me in school and graduated while I was still finishing my last year.
She moved out of town and started working at a very dynamic outdoor adventure center while I was still doing the same old thing.
When you’re in college, your world is still insular and small, but she got to experience the whole world outside. And you know what? It seduced her.
I think this was the beginning of the end for us because she lost interest in me, and there wasn’t really anything I had done wrong. Don’t get me wrong, it was a terrible blow for me, but I do understand, and I don’t blame her.
Even worse than a lack of connection or boredom is the feeling that your partner is a burden.
Where once they were a joy to have in your life, now they are weighing you down.
What happened to get you to this point?
When people meet each other, it’s normal under circumstances where they’re independent of each other and their lives aren’t interrelated.
Well, unless you fall for a friend or start up a work romance.
So you meet each other when you have independent, separate lives.
But when you come together, your lives interweave, and for some people, that can be like a vine slowly covering and choking out another tree.
A friend of mine is a really successful graphic artist who has always done well for herself. She fell head over heels for a woman she met at an art show, and things were great for about a year.
But over that time, this woman moved in with my friend and was mostly unemployed. She was also a total homebody, so not only was my friend supporting her financially, but she was also cutting back on social activities that were an important part of her life.
As you can guess, things eventually fell apart.
Rather than feeling her partner was a support, she now felt more like a crutch.
5) Attraction elsewhere
Look, I’m not the rosy-eyed romantic that I once was.
I used to think that once you found the right person, you’d never look twice at anyone else for the rest of your life.
And while this may be true for a select few, it’s probably a fairly unrealistic expectation to place on yourself.
But at least when you’re happy in a loving, committed relationship, while your eyes might wander, your heart doesn’t.
So if that starts to change, it could be a sign that you’ve fallen out of love.
If you catch yourself fantasizing about being single, that’s a pretty big warning sign.
And, of course, so is actual infidelity, especially if it’s about more than just sex.
As we well know, intimacy can be physical, emotional, or indeed both.
It’s that feeling of wanting to be so close to the other person that you’re basically one being.
So, when you notice yourself creating distance, it can be a sign that you’re not in love anymore.
This can be about physical distance.
Maybe you used to always spoon or cuddle on the sofa, and now you don’t. Maybe those pats and strokes and squeezes that always felt so natural have disappeared somewhere.
And if you’re not interested in sex with them like you once were, it could be a sign of something serious.
The same goes for emotional intimacy.
Can you see that you don’t open up like you once did or don’t feel any desire to share things anymore?
If you’re no longer in touch with each other like you were, it could be because the love has gone away.
If there’s no passion, no spark, no intense emotion, not even fights in your relationship – if everything is just…flat – then that’s vanilla.
It means that your relationship has gone from interesting, exciting, passionate, and electrifying to just blah.
Could that mean you just need to shake things up a bit, make some changes, and stir in some spice?
It’s natural for things to sometimes get predictable, and that can water a relationship down. That doesn’t mean there’s no way to improve it.
But it’s different if you feel like there’s no passion there anymore at all. If all you have is indifference, that feeling could be letting you know you’ve fallen out of love.
Familiarity can breed predictability, but it really should never breed contempt in a relationship.
If your partner has somehow turned into someone you don’t like, it’s probably because they were always that person, but you didn’t realize it when you were love-blind.
Do you recognize the feeling of resentment in your relationship?
Maybe you’ve been pushed into making choices and sacrifices in your life, and now you regret them and resent the person you’re with.
This is a serious sign that love has very likely left the building.
So now what?
What do you do if you recognize these eight feelings and think you’ve probably fallen out of love?
The best thing to do might be to give it a little time to see if you can turn things around.
You also need to decide if this is a relationship that needs to be saved or if you’re better off moving on.
Either way, you’re in for some deep soul-searching and some tough decisions, so look to your support system to help you through the difficult times ahead.
And don’t forget to keep up that all-important love for yourself.