7 signs you’re no longer in love with your partner, according to psychology

Falling out of love is never easy.

It might not always be a messy affair, but regardless of how calm, it’s still difficult.

Imagine waking up one day realizing that the person you loved is slowly turning into a stranger again.

That’s a dramatic way to put it but falling out of love feels like that sometimes.

You think you know them, but you don’t recognize the love anymore. 

You think you can love them through everything, but everything apparently has an ending.

And the same way falling in love changes us, falling out of love does, too.

There is impatience and a lack of effort. Perhaps even a little meanness.

What you used to love about them becomes the thing you despise.

But is falling out of love as sudden as 1-2-3? Or is it a gentle descent? Is it a case-to-case basis?

Let’s find out.

Here are 7 signs you’re no longer in love with your partner, according to psychology.

1) The relationship exhausts you

A healthy relationship should fulfill you.

It should not cause you unnecessary stress and pain.

It should not just take and take and take from you.

What you give in your relationship should be freely given, too.

Making an effort should not be a burden but an act of love. 

Even the day-to-day acts of love should not feel forced.

“Grand gestures of love can bring surprise and joy to your partner, but the little things in relationships may consistently strengthen your bond and increase emotional security.” says this article on Psych Central about why the little things in a relationship mean everything.

However, if you’re falling out of love with your partner, all of these will just feel exhausting.

The entire relationship will just feel like dead weight.

Look at it this way: A relationship going downhill is stressful, yes, but it’s still a relationship worth saving to someone who is still so in love with their partner.

Meanwhile, even a “perfect” relationship will be exhausting to someone who’s falling out of love.

You don’t put any effort anymore because you don’t see the point.

Everything about your relationship is just tiring to you.

2) You don’t enjoy their company

“When you make time for enjoyment and recreation together it can strengthen your connection and build positive perspective in your relationship. Positive perspective is when you are able to see your partner in a positive way and feel more optimistic about the future of your relationship.”

-Kari Rusnak, MA, LPC,CMHC | Having Fun Together Is a Key to Relationship Satisfaction

Adding to the previous point of the relationship being exhausting, when you fall out of love, their company is also not enjoyable to you anymore.

In fact, you dread spending time with them. 

But it should be a bare minimum, right? To want to be with them.

To find comfort in being with them.

To be excited over dates! To want to plan ahead (spoiler: that’s #4) and enjoy sharing moments of your life together.

But when you fall out of love, being together feels like a chore.

Even worse, it might even feel like punishment. 

3) You don’t want intimacy with them

When we talk about romantic intimacy, most of us automatically think of physical intimacy. Sexual, even, but intimacy is more than just sex (although that’s a good point to include here.)

Psych Central says this about intimacy, “Intimacy, in general, refers to the level of proximity between two people. It requires vulnerability, openness, and trust.” 

Adding that the 4 types of intimacy are physical, emotional, mental or intellectual, and spiritual.

When you fall out of love with someone, those intimacy requirements of vulnerability, openness, and trust will feel difficult. And that’s mostly because you don’t want to do it.

You don’t wish to be close to them, you don’t wish to be vulnerable around them. 

It’s the complete opposite of the honeymoon phase where you can’t help but be all over each other.  

4) You no longer see a future with them

You no longer see a future with them 7 signs you’re no longer in love with your partner, according to psychology

Another sign of falling out of love with your partner?

You’re uncertain about the future or you don’t see a future with them at all. 

You might even be thinking of being in a relationship with other people. (Side note: falling out of love with someone is not an excuse to cheat, besties.)

Anywhere else, any other relationship can feel like a better place to be in if your current relationship doesn’t satisfy you.

The future will seem bleak if the present already feels lonely. 

5) Their presence or absence makes no difference to you 

The statement “absence makes the heart grow fonder” doesn’t apply to you anymore.

You don’t miss them when they’re not there, and you couldn’t care less if they are.

It’s borderline apathy—no, scratch that, it is apathy.

This study on the role of gratitude in relationships no longer applies to you.

You no longer have such feelings for your partner.

When you’ve fallen out of love with someone, this period in your life will feel like limbo as if there’s no resolution in sight.

They are just… there.

And you’re also just there, waiting for the other to make the first move to leave.

Which, if you think about it, is just like staying in a sinking boat.

Who’s going to sink first?

6) You disregard them

“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. What then kills love? Only this: Neglect. Not to see you when you stand before me. Not to think of you in the little things. Not to make the road wide for you, the table spread for you. To choose you out of habit not desire, to pass the flower seller without a thought. To leave the dishes unwashed, the bed unmade, to ignore you in the mornings, make use of you at night. To crave another while pecking your cheek. To say your name without hearing it, to assume it is mine to call.”

– Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body

I keep this quote in my back pocket as a constant reminder of what love isn’t. 

I keep it as a reminder that if my relationship ever reaches a point of neglect and blatant disregard, then it must be best to not be in it.

In this article from Cosmopolitan Magazine, sex and relationships therapist Karen Washington, PhD, LMFT notes that “When we love, we take others into consideration and do not intentionally cause them hurt or harm.”

The difference between this and the previous point of apathy is the active disregard of the other person’s feelings.

When you know it’s not working out anymore but you still go out of your way to do the motions, not taking into consideration if this is the best course of action.

Disregarding if this is fair to the other person. Disregarding if this is fair to both of you.

When you fall out of love, you disregard kindness in conflict resolution, too.

Compromise becomes difficult because you have no incentive to fix the problems. Disregard can be cruel, it can be ice-cold in its silence. 

7) Their quirks annoy you now

Remember when you thought their “weirdness” was cute? Their little “quirks”?

Maybe it’s the specific way they say certain words, all cutely or with fanfare.

Perhaps it’s their unusual coffee order or a fake accent they do to make you laugh.

Well, used to make you laugh.

Not anymore. Their quirks annoy you now.

Their unusual coffee order that used to look so special to you just seems unnecessarily complicated now.

You no longer find their laughter endearing.

The magic is gone. 

This might seem like a minor point, but personally, I think seeing the things you fell in love with become the reasons you fall out of love is heartbreaking. 

When you fall out of love, your patience dwindles to dissatisfaction.

Anything you can nitpick will be magnified. Every single thing becomes fuel to the fire. 

One last thing

I remember this song from James Ingram, he sang, “When it falls apart, there’s no easy way to break somebody’s heart.”

It’s true. 

Falling out of love can look different from one person to the next, yes, but all of it can be difficult to navigate just the same.

There seems to be no right or wrong when you’re deciding the next steps, doesn’t it?

In the end, hearts will be broken, no matter if you choose to try to fall in love again or if you choose to leave.

So that’s why, I hope that if this list resonates with you, if you find yourself agreeing, I hope you decide in a way that will make you happy.

May the answer arrive to you at the right moment that you need it. May you find what you seek.

Picture of Michelle Marie Manese

Michelle Marie Manese

M Manese is a part-time creative writer, illustrator, and full-time fangirl hoping to find her way within the Content space. She makes art here: @michellemmanese

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