When it comes to relationships, there is nothing more magical or fulfilling than falling in love. It’s the ultimate in emotion, the prize, the best part of being with another person. It’s not surprising, then, that falling out of love is one of the most confusing feelings we can experience in life. Yet many women, for many reasons, find themselves in this unexpected place – feeling as if the magic of love has taken a nosedive. But evaluating the relationship midflight can be a tricky proposition. Before you decide if you are fully out of love, read on to see what matters can be changed.
The notion that the grass is greener is notorious for creeping into, and destroying, relationships. Just because you’ve settled into a comfort zone with your partner doesn’t mean there is excitement around the bend with someone else. The devil on your shoulder may tell you differently, and listening to that voice will pull you away from listening to your partner.
Communication is critical if a relationship is to grow, and it becomes even more important when there are bumps in the road.
Concerns that love may be diminishing will start small, with subtle changes in the way you think. The following are all indicators that you need to work on your relationship:
- You no longer enjoy thinking about your partner throughout the day like you once did.
You don’t look forward to your time together.
You don’t share the same goals and plans for your future, and you avoid talking about them.
The little “things” are beginning to annoy you in a major way.
You no longer think of new ways to please him.
You are thinking of someone else.
Evaluating your feelings
There may be valid reasons for the way you feel, especially if your partner is not giving you what you need. But before you throw in the towel, take a good look at where you’ve been together, and take some time to decide if the relationship is worth saving. Feeling as if you’re falling out of love may simply be a wake-up call that you need to catch each other and take the stairs – together –one by one.
Before your relationship turns from passionate to lukewarm, notice the warning signs that trouble may be ahead. Has sex become a distant memory for you and your partner? Is there only an occasional physical reminder of the passion you used to share? Sex is an important part of any relationship, so if your sex life has diminished, there is likely some underlying emotional reason for it.
Communication issues and unrealistic expectations are two of the main reasons people find themselves falling out of love. But there are things that can be done to stop the fall. Relationships are hard work; they should be viewed as investments, particularly if there is a marriage.
Take stock of your feelings, and do it often. Ask about his feelings, and do it regularly. Growing apart can happen quickly and unexpectedly, particularly if your lives involve changes in kids, work, hobbies, goals, and values. In marriage, falling out of love can have particularly devastating consequences.
It may be more difficult for women to come to terms with, or even admit, that they are having problems maintaining the feelings of love for their spouses. They have to make a decision to dissolve or save the marriage while battling conflicting emotions.
Men seem to be getting all the attention when it comes to relationship muck-ups and falling out of love. Bestselling book, Why Men Fall out of Love(2005), by Michael French, was a big hit with readers, but no such book has been written about women. Women, meanwhile, often think they are the “fixers” of the relationship, and tend to seek out information to remedy the problem. They may perceive men to be indifferent and construe their lack of communication as cruel. As the women feel more neglected, the slow process of falling out of love begins. Neglect isn’t as concrete as infidelity or physical abuse, so it is a tougher area to discuss directly.
See your partner for who he is. If he treats you poorly now, he will later. If he has a bad habit of putting you down in front of his friends, see it as a red flag. These actions may not make you feel like falling out of love now, but soon enough they will wear on you.
Looking at the Numbers
Many marriage counselors advise waiting until after the age of 25 to tie the knot; others say waiting until at least 30 is best. Of course, the level of maturity is certainly more important than the calendar years, but give these numbers a little thought.
Are you on the rebound? If so, beware of getting involved with a new partner too quickly. Regardless how right or perfect he seems, your heart needs time to mend, and your brain needs time to make rational decisions. Rebound romances tend to be hot and heavy at first, but you could find yourself in a sticky situation if things get out of hand. If the relationship is strong and worthy of going the long haul, a little caution is necessary. The same goes if he is the one nursing a broken heart.
This leads to the topic of second marriages. Despite the notion that you learn from your mistakes and won’t make them again, second marriages are not always the lucky charm. The added pressures of stepchildren and ex-spouses is one of the major stressors on relationships. Those who enter a relationship where children already exist face an even greater potential for problems down the road. Setting ground rules right away is necessary for the relationship to grow and succeed. Without them, falling out of love is an unfortunate possibility.
4 Reasons We Fall in Love, Falsely
Some of the reasons why women fall out of love is because they never fell in love for the right reasons to start. Check this list and see if you are a culprit.
- The biological clock. That biological clock’s tick-tock may be driving you nuts, but you’re better off finding something to drown out the noise than give in to its chimes. With all of the technological advances we have seen in recent times, age is much less a factor today than it was a generation ago. If a family is part of your plan for the future, make yourself happy first. If that involves being in a healthy relationship, focus on making good choices; the rest will follow.
- Social acceptance. Don’t just date someone because having a boyfriend makes your mother happy. Figure out what makes you happy and go with it. Take a class, participate in a new activity or take a trip by yourself. Whether you are hoping to meet a man or a friend, there are many great ways that don’t involve bars.
A growing number of women are finding that being single is fun. In fact, the 2005 census shows that there were more single women, 51 percent, than married women.
- Sympathy. Who hasn’t dated a guy because he had those sad puppy-dog eyes and looked like his heart would break if you said no? The problem is that one date turns into another and the next thing you know, he has moved into your life, your apartment and your checkbook. Don’t play the martyr; it can lead to disaster.
- Sex. Come on ladies, this isn’t a reason to fall in love. If sexual intimacy is tops on your list of priorities, there may be other issues you need to work on first.
Many women fall in love for the wrong reasons. That doesn’t mean the love is any less passionate or meaningful; it just means women set themselves up for disaster by not paying close enough attention to the details. Wanting to fall in love is a normal, natural part of our social makeup. But if you are desperate to find love, for whatever reasons, you risk productive future relationships and your own happiness.
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