Sometimes when you’re settled in a relationship, things can feel like you’re running through the motions. Maybe you can’t pinpoint when it started, but your partner is beginning to annoy you. They’re not trying to, but you can’t help rolling your eyes at them. The hard truth is that you might be falling out of love. It’s a hard realization to come to, but it may be that you don’t feel the way you once did.
If you’re unsure of how you’re feeling, here are seven common signs you’re falling out of love that may shed some light on where you are in your relationship.
1. The fighting never ends.
Fighting is never fun, but it’s an important and necessary way for couples to resolve disagreements. That said, if fights occur frequently or your intent is to heap blame on your partner, they’re a problem. Reflect and see if you can understand why the fights are occurring. Are you trying to resolve the issue at hand or are the fights a way to stir up emotions that you aren’t verbalizing?
2. Saying “I love you” hurts.
When you first say “I love you” to a partner, the phrase has a way of becoming your every other sentence. Now, when your partner says it to you, you say it only out of obligation or to avoid awkwardness. The phrase feels like a lie. Verbal affirmation of love is so ingrained in our culture it’s unavoidable. If you feel the need to withhold this affection, it’s likely indicative of something deeper happening in your relationship.
3. Your partner’s habits and quirks annoy you.
When you started dating, you found the high pitched squeak in your partner’s laugh adorable. Now, it’s the most annoying sound imaginable. When you’re falling out of love, it’s easy to see everything your partner does as a personal affront. Most times when we have a judgement or annoyance, it’s an unresolved feeling that we ourselves are carrying. If you’re having a hard time being around your partner, see if you’re projecting these feelings on them.
4. Anything takes priority over spending time with your partner.
It’s healthy and normal for you to have friends outside of your relationship, but it’s also important to prioritize spending time with your partner. During relationship burnout, some people will keep every inch of their schedule booked with an activity to avoid hanging out with their partner. If you’re intentionally excluding quality time with your partner, there’s something going on.
5. There’s a lot less physical intimacy.
After the honeymoon phase is over, usually couples have less sex. That’s totally okay, as long as it serves both of your libidos. If sex stops altogether, that’s a different story. Sexless relationships are a pretty reliable sign that the love is fizzling. Beyond sex, nonsexual physical contact is also an important way that couples bond. Shrinking away from your partner’s hand on your shoulder is also a sign things are going sour.
6. You’re not sure if there’s a future together.
Sometimes when a partner falls out of love, they’ll avoid making future plans, because they fear breaking a promise or investing money in anticipation of a breakup. A good litmus for this is the concert ticket test. Would you spend $100 dollars to go with your partner to a concert three months out? If the answer is no, you might be harboring some unresolved feelings.
7. You’re attracted to other people.
It’s perfectly normal to be attracted to other people when you’re in a relationship. Attractive people don’t stop existing, because you’re in a committed relationship. However, if you regularly fantasize about romantically engaging with people you cross paths with, you might be treading into dangerous territory. Take a look and see whether there has actually been an increase in attractive people in your orbit or if it’s a deficiency in your relationship.
While these are common signs that you may be falling out of love, there’s only one way to tell for sure—take a deep look at yourself and your relationship. After the honeymoon phase ends, there’s always a lull in the relationship. It’s up to you and your partner to decide if the relationship is worth pursuing once the rose-colored glasses are off. Sometimes, the correct answer is to move on. Other times, you’ll have to work to keep the love alive. Remember: no relationship is perfect, and you only get what you put in. Only you can make the call if your relationship is in a lull or it’s something to move on from, and only you have the right answer.