Falling out of love is like a perfume that gradually loses its fragrance. We don’t know why, but every day the laughter is less ticklish and the looks stop looking for each other with desire. Knowing when it’s time to end a relationship isn’t always easy, but doing it on time and properly avoids painful and unnecessary emotional costs.
We could develop this article as most people would hope, which is by offering advice and strategies to recover lost enthusiasm. Because everyone deserves a second chance. Because there are things worth fighting for. However, there is an obvious and common fact in couples therapy counseling regarding falling out of love : Many people who eventually decide to end their relationship have known for a year or so that they have stopped loving their partner.
Although it seems strange to us, the same happens with friendships. We often insist on squeezing from a lemon what it hasn’t offered for a long time. However, we choose to keep those constraints for several reasons. All issues that can be summarized in the same dimension: fear. We are afraid to leave something that until recently gave us happiness, satisfaction and well-being.
We are afraid to be alone. We are afraid to be honest, to tell the outspoken partner that “I don’t want to continue anymore because I stopped loving you”. We are basically afraid of hurting the other person.
When we remove the partner from our priorities
The world of psychology has been dealing with broken relationships and falling out of love for more than three decades. Relevant figures such as John Gottman or Harville Hendricks have taught us forms and strategies to save our emotional bonds. We have learned what to do to make love last, we know which are those “horsemen of the Apocalypse” who, according to Gottman, can anticipate a breakup or how to distinguish healthy relationships from those that only cause suffering.
That said, there is a more than evident fact. There are relationships that end and in which there is no turning back. Continuing to invest time, effort and emotional adventures makes no sense when there is neither enthusiasm nor spark to revive them. When different opportunities were given, the results were always the same. When the barriers are insurmountable and only distance is perceived. When inside us there is only the slime of disillusionment that covers everything with chiaroscuro and discomfort.
The truth is that few sciences are as inaccurate as the one that governs the world of enthusiasm. We could say that habit is his enemy and the ill-acting of those who do not love as they should, of those who do not know how to take care and take things for granted is their kryptonite. When it comes to the heart, sometimes we are not able to decline its cases, its times, its norms. However, falling out of love is not a spelling mistake; it often happens, that’s all.
The disillusionment, the disenchantment, discovering the partner without the blindfold that we wore … We could give a thousand reasons and formulate as many theories of why that unexpected emptiness takes over in our relationships. However, in most cases, falling out of love is not a consequence of what the partner does or stops doing. Often it is we who change, we no longer vibrate at that frequency, we do not find reasons in the other person’s reasons.
What to do when falling out of love?
In love, as in friendship, waiting rooms are not pleasant, much less apologizing or letting time pass to see what happens. Either you fight for what you love or you let go of what you loved before so as not to hurt. Nothing is resolved by magic and the enthusiasm does not return by itself if we do not promote changes, if we do not commit ourselves to take the relationship to another level, to transform the bond so that it is enriched.
That said, if the excitement is already waning, it’s best to act accordingly. Stretching the inevitable generates suffering. Living with false illusions means nourishing ourselves with a substitute for love that causes indigestion, which, like a contagious virus, passes to the other to make him sick too. When everything has been done about the relationship, there is often the healthiest thing left to do: walk away.
Enthusiasm, at times, has the strange property of transforming itself over time. We can’t always dominate him, we know, we can’t always keep him forever in our bonds with other people. Sometimes it goes out, it is a law of life. However, the important thing is that it continues to appear in our path, close to someone or in solitude, but always there, present, constant, exciting.