Why Do We Fall Out of Love?
We all know what love is like, the phases we go through, and what we need to do to keep it alive….but, what happens when we fall out of love?
People fall in love, but they also fall out of love. The question is why and how this occurs. Can we avoid it? Is falling out of love inevitable?
“We were a short story I read a thousand times.”
Physical and mental attraction
When we fall in love we feel attracted to another person. So, why, all of the sudden, do we stop feeling this attraction. Have we become “tired” of our partner?
Attraction is one of the first phases of love and it fades over time. Those butterflies you used to feel when you got a phone call or asked out on a date, where did they go? Since attraction is, at least in part, based on physical phenomena, as our bodies change over time, attraction can diminish.
The power of habit
Boredom and monotony: two things we don’t like at all. Before everything was new and now everything is the same. Where is that feeling of pleasant surprise? We never make plans together anymore. There’s no spontaneity.
When relationship becomes habit, one of the things that often disappears is physical contact. We start to refrain from publicly displaying our affection and we no longer use caring words and phrases when talking to our partner. We fall into a routine that’s comfortable but over time we start to feel bored with our partner and, most importantly, we start to see faults we never noticed before.
Why was our partner perfect at first and now they’re not? How can these faults suddenly appear? Were we blind? Another well known phase of falling in love is believing that our partner is flawless and perfect. As time passes, however, we start to see them as they really are.
We start to get sick of behaviors that we used to tolerate, and we begin to tell our partner everything that’s on our mind, without thinking about whether or not it might hurt them. Before we were empathetic and understanding but all of the sudden all we do is complain and fight.
Lack of communication
Communication is essential to every relationship. If you lose the ability to communicate with your partner, the relationship is doomed.
We need to interact with our partner, but take note: we need to talk, not argue. It’s important to share dreams and emotions, and confide in the other person. We lose the desire to do this when our attraction disappears. We start to see our partner as a stranger.
The fine line of caring
Surely you’ve heard the phrase, “I’m not in love with you but I care about you.” Everything mentioned above culminates in something similar to this phrase. It’s at this point that we become aware of the fine line dividing love and caring.
Even though we’re no longer in love, we appreciate this person we’ve shared our live with. There have been good and bad moments, and we’ve enjoyed them all. They’ve been an important part of our life and we wish them all the best, but, the love is gone.
As mentioned above, force of habit and the passing of time leads to disenchantment and a lack of communication. All of this contributes to love turning into caring.
And now the big question: can we avoid falling out of love? It depends. Not all couples are able to preserve their love long term, and sometimes it’s said that love has a expiration date. Perhaps personality plays a role in whether relationships can last. Humor, positivity, shared interests, having fun together — all of these can help but ultimately it depends on who we are and how we feel.
Does all love turn into caring? Do you think falling out of love can be avoided?
Main image courtesy of villorejo