Every time we fall in love, some part of us is always hoping that this could be the one, that we’ve finally met the person we’re going to spend the rest of our lives with. That’s why it’s so hard for us to make up our minds about whether or not we should leave a relationship when we no longer feel happy. We’re always holding out hope that things might get better somehow and that we just need to give it a little more time, a little more effort to work itself out.
But staying for the wrong person is only going to fill you with more doubt, regret, and discontentment as time goes on. On the other hand, however, it’s difficult to know for certain if your feelings for someone really have changed or if you and your partner are just going through a rough patch. After all, you wouldn’t want to give up on someone and throw away everything you have with them, just to spend the rest of your life wondering if you made a mistake.
With that said, here are 7 tell-tale signs that you are falling out of love with your partner:
1. You notice more of their flaws.
When you first fall in love with someone, it’s hard not to look at them through rose-colored glasses. You can’t help but adore all the little quirks that make them who they are and you’re more than willing to overlook their shortcomings. But as your feelings start to fade, so too will your fondness for them. All the things you used to find so endearing — like their need to win at everything or correct other people’s grammar all the time — are now starting to get on your nerves. Their flaws become harder to ignore and you find yourself feeling more irritable around them. It’s a subtle shift in your attitude towards them, but it’s also an early warning sign that you may be falling out of love with your partner (Sailor, 2013).
2. You don’t communicate as much.
Whether you’re having a bad day or just received some great news, your boyfriend/girlfriend is always the first person you want to tell. They’re your favorite person to talk to and some days you feel like you could just sit and chat with them for hours on end about everything on your mind. But lately you’ve noticed that things just don’t feel the same. You don’t feel like talking to them much anymore and you’re not as open as you used to be with each other. You talk to your friends more than them because you feel like you can’t speak your mind anymore around them. Take this as a definite sign that you and your partner may be growing apart (Lopez-Cantero & Archer, 2020).
3. You spend less time with them.
Aside from diminished communication, you may also find yourself wanting to spend less time with your partner once you’ve fallen out of love with them (Shah, 2009). You stop enjoying their company and stop trying to make plans with them because, honestly, you’re starting to love being away from them more than being around them. You hardly go on dates anymore because of how dull or uncomfortable things have gotten between you two. And though there was once a time when all you wanted to do was spend time with this person, you just can’t seem to remember what that felt like.
4. You feel more attracted to other people.
It’s normal to feel attracted to certain people even when you’re in a committed relationship. But if you find yourself feeling more attracted towards them than you do to your own partner, then it’s time for you to re-evaluate your feelings for this person. Is it just an innocent little crush? Some harmless flirting with someone you find attractive? Or is it giving you more joy and excitement than your current relationship? Because when you’re really in love with someone, they are the only person you want to be with. You don’t find yourself thinking about anyone else when you’re with them, and you certainly don’t nurture a casual flirtation more than your own relationship (Lee, et al., 2010).
5. You stop picturing a future with them.
One of the greatest things about falling in love with someone is that you look forward to building a future with them. You think about how you’re going to celebrate your anniversaries, what trips you should go on together, and ask each other serious questions about commitment and even marriage when you reach a certain age. So if you find yourself suddenly no longer able to picture a future with your partner in it, then there’s definitely trouble in paradise. Because it shows that you no longer feel like this relationship is meant to last and that you are entertaining the possibility of no longer having this person in your life in the years to come.
6. You stop prioritizing your relationship.
When you stop making your relationship a priority in your life, it means that you no longer value it (Rodriguez, Hall, & Fincham, 2013). You frequently forget about your dates and other important plans with them. You cancel on them at the last minute and spend all your time focusing on your work, studies, or other relationships. You’re not willing to compromise with them, make sacrifices for them, or set aside time for them because you’re already falling out of love with them. You don’t feel lucky to be with them anymore and you’ve stopped seeing your relationship with them as special.
7. You’ve lost respect for them.
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, losing respect for your partner is another tell-tale sign that you’ve fallen out of love with them. In any relationship, respect is every bit as crucial as love because it often comes hand-in-hand with trust, care, and support. Maybe you found out that they lied to you and betrayed your trust, or broke one promise too many. Whatever the reason may be, it’s made you apathetic towards your partner and driven a wedge between you you fear you might never recover from. Because the moment you lose respect for someone is the moment you realize you no longer have any second chances left to give them.
If you relate to any of the signs mentioned here, then you can do either one of two things: leave the relationship or try to patch things up between you and your significant other. Whichever choice you make, it helps to understand the problems between you two and figure out what caused you to fall out of love in the first place.
- Sailor, J. L. (2013). A Phenomenological Study of Falling Out of Romantic Love. Qualitative Report, 18, 37.
- Lopez-Cantero, P., & Archer, A. (2020). Lost without you: the Value of Falling out of Love. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 1-15.
- Shah, M. (2009). Falling Out of Love?. Berkeley Scientific Journal, 12(2).
- Lee, B., Dove, N. L., Agnew, C. R., Korn, M. S., & Mutso, A. A. (2010). Predicting nonmarital romantic relationship dissolution: A meta‐analytic synthesis. Personal Relationships, 17(3), 377-390.
- Rodriguez, A. E., Hall, J. H., & Fincham, F. D. (2013). What predicts divorce and relationship dissolution?. In Handbook of divorce and relationship dissolution (pp. 101-128). Psychology Press.