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Posted September 14, Reviewed by Ekua Hagan. There is almost nothing more tragic for intimate partners than to watch their once-hopeful relationship fall apart. Many times, the stressors that caused the ending did not even come from within the relationship.

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Posted May 14, Reviewed by Kaja Perina. We know a lot about falling in lovebut what about falling out of love?

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Falling out of love is like losing a part of ourselves that was once illuminated. Not only are we losing something valuable, we are also caught up in the mystery surrounding that loss. The period in which we realize that our feelings have changed tends to be riddled with confusion. What happened to that excitement and admiration that once made us come alive?

There are real reasons people find themselves unhappy and wanting to move on. Some people change in real ways that make them grow apart. Others get to know themselves better and realize they were never really in love but in fantasy. No one should ever force themselves to stay in any situation in which they feel miserable and less like themselves. However, when we talk about why so many people experience falling out of love with someone who once lit them up and filled them with joy, we have to question what goes on that creates this shift.

Do we fall out of love for the right reasons? Is it possible to stay in love for the long-haul or fall back in love after falling out of it?

You may be surprised that the overwhelming answer for many in the scientific community is YES. Real, lasting love is possible. However, it involves some effort, avoidance of certain relationship trappings, and a willingness to overcome some of our own defenses and fears. Many of us question our relationship when our feelings start to fade.

To understand our own experience of falling out of love, we should consider three things:. As I said, one of the most challenging mysteries we encounter in life is where all those feelings go when we fall out of love.

After conducting a year longitudinal study from Harvard University, researcher George Vaillant and his team concluded that the keys to happiness were 1. Love, and 2. Giving and receiving love actually challenges our core defenses, early adaptations we formed to protect ourselves against the ways we were hurt. For example, it may be hard to stay connected and trust someone completely when we grew up feeling insecure and neglected.

It can be difficult to be vulnerable and consistently kind when we grew up with people who were cold, punishing, or had their own difficulty giving and receiving love. Our unique upbringings and early attachment styles come to influence our defenses and behavior patterns.

They can also create insecurities and fears about love. Robert Firestoneauthor of Fear of Intimacy. Contrary to what one people assume, our fears around intimacy tend to get bigger as we get closer to another person. Robert Firestone. In their research, Drs. Robert and Lisa Firestone, have listed common psychological reasons that love scares us without us being fully aware:. We may list all the issues our partner has, the way he no longer looks at us or she no longer treats us.

Or, we may notice our own behavior changing, and chalk that up to no longer feeling the same way toward our partner. However, the real question to ask is why did these dynamics shift in the first place? The answer to that often has to do with fear and fantasy. Robert Firestone, which describes how couples forego real love for a fantasy of connection. A fantasy bond is created when a couple replaces the substance of real relating with the form of being a love.

This type of relating naturally diminishes attraction, and there is usually less physical and personal relating. Ultimately, engaging in these patterns can fall a couple further and further not only from each other, but from themselves and their loving feelings. Learn more about the Fantasy Bond here. Out a relationship becomes less vital, there are often a lot of elements at play. When we first fall in love, we tend treat our parter with a level of respect and kindness that connects to our own loving feelings.

We should always try to think of love as a verb.

It requires real action to exist and thrive. Lisa Firestone to help evaluate the situation and determine whether the relationship itself is not working. Every relationship will face challenges, because no person is perfect.

These problems exist along a continuum. The short answer to the question of whether we can stop ourselves from falling out of love is yes.

Staying in love is possible, but like most good things in life, it usually takes some effort. When couples maintain intensity, engagement, and physical connection, they can keep their brains firing and enliven their loving feelings for each other for decades. This led Dr. This brings us back to the idea that love is a verb.

Connecting to our own loving feelings often involves taking action.

Can we commit to coming fully alive in ourselves before calling time of death on our relationship? Lisa Firestone. Robert and Lisa Firestone developed the Couples Interactions Chart to distinguish characteristics of an ideal, loving, romantic relationship and a fantasy bond.

They found these qualities were most important to maintaining lasting love. This is a process that can alter the course of our lives. We must know ourselves in order to truly fall in love with someone else. Only when we realize who we are can we fully know what we want.

We can use the experience of falling in or out of love as an opportunity to know ourselves better, to understand our tendencies, our fears, and our patterns. We can recognize the behaviors we fall into that may create distance in our relationships.

And, we can meet the challenge of changing these behaviors with self-compassion.

Whatever lessons we learn, we can carry into any relationship. In this Webinar: What prevents most people from being able to sustain romantic, meaningful relationships that satisfy their needs and desires?

Why do…. But he still loves me.

We used to be so close and understanding and we could talk and conmunicate abiut everything. We used to tell each other that we were best friends. And now it is the complete opposite. For months now, all we seem to do is argue, bicker, put each other down.

Its never ending, i love him so much and its so hard to met him go. I will do my part snd try and change for the better and sake of us. I love him so much imwilling to do anything for him. I hope and pray that it works out.

The truth about falling out of love

I know exactly how you feel. Like the cute little kisses, the jokes, the laughter. But, you never know what God has inspired for you. Once you pray, let it be, give it to God! I know the feeling. Stay strong!! The truth will be revealed soon, and God will answer you.

7 s you might be falling out of love (and how to navigate the process)

My boyfriend of three years have fallen out of love with me because I was gone for the summer to work. He broke this news to me the week of my birthday.

I do not know how to react. Thank you so much for this article. I was crying throughout and wished it would never end.

Thank you! I very much had a similar reaction throughout this piece Lola. This article was exactly what I needed to read right now to learn how to better myself and address my past and how it affects my ability to maintain a relationship. I hope things get better for the both of us. We had such a good and healthy relationship and I feel completely blindsided. He started eating less, having sleeping problems, loosing interest in any activity and our intimacy started to be affected to the point we stopped any contact apart kisses and hugs.

He started to focus only on his job and nothing else. He started to avoid to stay alone with me and started to spent more time with a colleague and I started to be jealous of their relationship.