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When you first fall in love and everything is new and exciting, it’s hard to imagine that spark fizzling out. In the beginning, you may idealize your partner, and it may seem like everything your significant other does is amazing. Unfortunately, the hard truth is that no matter how strong the emotions were, there is a chance they may disappear over time and that it may turn into a dead-end relationship. Maybe you're in a long term relationship and noticing signs he doesn't want to marry you, which is affecting your perception of him.
If you are wondering what to do when the love is gone or how men fall in love in the first place, here are some ideas.
Decide For Sure
Not every low point in the relationship means it is necessarily the end. Almost all couples go through phases where both partners feel less connected than they used to. This can happen for many reasons, including stress, illness, work, and day-to-day obligations; but time tends to bring the relationship back together. However, sometimes it may take more effort to get things back on track. And sometimes the relationship may have run its course. If you are unsure whether the love is gone in your relationship, below are some telling signs that you may need to work together to fix things or decide whether you want to continue the relationship.
You Are Indifferent
When the love is gone in a relationship, it may be more difficult to stay interested in the things your partner is doing or who they are. If you hardly know anything about their job, what they do in their free time, or their current likes and dislikes, and you aren’t interested in being a part of their life, it is possible you may no longer be interested in staying in the relationship. Relationships take effort to stay connected. People may change over time, and that is perfectly natural, but sometimes people grow apart. If you don’t feel excited about your partner and their interests anymore, that may be a sign the love is dissipating.
You Only See The Bad
When love is new and exciting and we’re in the honeymoon stage of the relationship, we may tend to idealize our partner and ignore their flaws. With time, we may reach a stage in our relationship where our partner becomes a real individual, flaws and all. If you begin to dislike things about your partner, or it seems like every good characteristic they had when you first met is gone, there’s a chance the love is gone too. They may have changed into someone you did not fall in love with, or you may have changed and want something different.
You Live Separate Lives
Do you sleep in separate beds? Spend your downtime in different rooms? Go on trips or vacations without one another? These are possible signs the love may have faded out, especially if there are no attempts at intimacy in your relationship. Although every relationship goes through periods where partners need their space or may not be as connected, a relationship where partners spend almost no time together or don't enjoy spending time together may have run its course or need quite a bit of improvement.
The Temptation To Cheat Exists (Or You Have Already Done So)
While it’s possible to love someone and still be attracted to others, if you are constantly wondering what a love life with someone else would feel like, there is someone else you think about often, or you have an emotional and/or physical relationship with another person, the love may be gone from your current relationship. Cheating is usually a red flag that the love is gone, you are disconnected from your partner, or there is another underlying issue, either personally or within the relationship. Cheating can be a major betrayal in relationships and will likely damage your partner’s trust. If you’re seeking emotional or physical intimacy outside of your relationship, it may be that your needs are not being met. If this is the case, it can be beneficial to sit down with your partner and have an open and honest conversation so you can try to improve your relationship and better connect with one another.
If there seem to be signs that the love may be gone, but you are not ready to give up, there are many things you may be able to do to get it back and save your relationship. However, it may take some effort to work through the situation. Here a few things you can try to reignite the flame.
One of the most important things you can do to save your relationship is tell your partner about your feelings. You might learn that they, too, feel the relationship slipping away. When you have an open and honest conversation with your significant other, it may help to try to find a common goal that you both feel could save things. Maybe you will agree to spend more time together, be more intimate, or make more of an effort to show respect and appreciation to one another. Honesty is important during this conversation, even if it seems difficult.
If you want to reignite the spark in your relationship and have the chance to fall in love again, it may be helpful to think about what your relationship was like when you started dating. What situations did you find yourself falling for your partner in? Did you travel a lot together? Did you have a certain hobby you enjoyed doing together? Once you discover what you were doing when you were at your best, you can try to recapture those good times from the early relationship. One of the easier ways to do this is to recreate your first or best dates together. By putting yourself in the shoes of your past self, you might unlock feelings you forgot you had.
Write Love Letters
Sometimes in a long-term relationship, it may seem difficult to connect with your partner. Daily responsibilities and stressors can often get in the way. In a relationship that may need some support, sitting down face to face to talk can sometimes turn into conflict or arguments. Instead of saving your thoughts for unpredictable in-person conversations, it may be helpful to write out your thoughts and feelings via love letters.
Writing your partner a love letter can be a fun and easy way to spend time thinking about them and expressing your feelings. They can be especially rewarding when both parties write to each other. Not only will you be able to catch a glimpse into your significant other's true thoughts about you, but you might also find yourself sharing things you should have told them long ago. Even if you decide to keep the letter for yourself, journaling has been shown to be beneficial for your mental health and an effective way to express your feelings and analyze them. Writing down how you feel may bring clarity to the situation at hand and help you better understand any conflicts you may have within your relationship.
Go On A Couples Retreat
Think of a couples retreat like a vacation, only better. These romantic escapes offer opportunities to work on skills that create strong, healthy relationships, like conflict management, communication, and intimacy. During these retreats, you will often get personalized attention from a relationship expert and enjoy activities that help you and your partner bond, like hiking, sailing, or whale watching, depending on the location. Leaving everyday life behind can re-energize a tired relationship. The ability to focus on one another in a place that inspires romance can potentially open new doors as well.
Try Relationship Counseling
No matter how you try to save your relationship, working with a relationship therapist can be incredibly beneficial. Relationship counseling can provide tools, strategies, and guidance that can help you rebuild the foundation of your relationship and improve it. A licensed therapist may be able to help improve vital aspects of your relationship, like communication and intimacy. They can teach you healthier ways to resolve differences and facilitate a better understanding between the two of you.
If personal responsibilities make visiting a therapist's office every week difficult, do not worry. With flexible online options like ReGain, you can connect with a couples therapist from almost anywhere. An online therapy platform like ReGain matches you with a licensed therapist who best suits your needs. With an experienced ReGain couples therapist, you can work to identify and address relationship concerns and strengthen your bond.
When The Love Is Gone, And You Do Not Want To Fix Things
There may be many reasons why you do not want to fix things when the love is gone in your relationship. Perhaps you and your partner agree it is for the best to go your separate ways, or the current state of your relationship may be too hard on you mentally or emotionally. No matter your reasons, there is usually a right way to go about separating.
If you have firmly decided that the lack of love means you want to end the relationship, it’s important to be honest with your partner. This discussion can be difficult. They may have questions for you that you do not want to answer. It may help to stick to why you need to leave the relationship and not turn the conversation to things you feel they’ve done wrong. Remember, although you no longer want to continue a romantic relationship with this person, you should still respect them.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
What do you do when the spark is gone?
If you believe that the spark is gone in your relationship, a good first step is to acknowledge that your relationship may need some effort and improvement; or you may need to make a decision about whether you want to continue it. It may help to spend time processing how you are feeling about your relationship and what you ultimately want to happen. If you are committed to making the relationship work, it is important to have an open, honest dialogue with your partner. During this conversation, share your concerns about the relationship and any areas in which you feel disconnected.
It may be beneficial to practice active listening as your partner expresses their perspective and feelings as well. Take the time to explore potential causes of disconnection, using this to come up with a plan to reignite the spark in your relationship. For some couples it may be making more effort to spend more quality time together or creating rituals to strengthen the connection.
If you and your partner continue to face challenges around intimacy and connection, seeking out the support of a couples therapist may help you navigate these issues constructively.
Is it normal for the spark to go away?
It is normal for some couples to feel like the spark is gone after a significant amount of time in a committed relationship. Relationships often get comfortable after a while, and partners may stop putting as much effort to keep the romance alive compared to when they were first together. A recent study found that the spark fades roughly five years into a relationship. Various factors may contribute to losing the spark in your relationship, such as starting to take one’s partner for granted or becoming settled into the monotony of daily routines. However, it is possible to reignite the spark in your relationship. Even if there is currently an absence of intimacy and affection in your relationship, that does not mean the spark is necessarily gone forever.
How do I get the spark back?
Even if you feel like the spark is gone with your partner, that does not mean it cannot resurface. The spark sometimes fades in a relationship due to getting stuck in the same routines and becoming overly comfortable, leading to taking one’s partner for granted. Strategies to reignite the spark in your relationship include trying something new to add variety to your routine, increasing physical touch and sexual intimacy, and cultivating appreciation within the relationship.
How do I know if the spark is gone?
Common signs that the spark is gone include decreased sexual intimacy, sleeping in separate beds, no longer spending quality time together, and an absence of physical affection such as cuddling or holding hands. Many couples find that the spark fades as daily life begins to crowd out the initial excitement of their romance. Thankfully, even though the spark may be gone at a given time, a couple can still put in the effort required to generate new feelings of love and excitement.
Can love fade away and come back?
It is possible to feel as though the passion and spark have faded within a relationship, especially after a significant amount of time passes. There are many ways, however, to rebuild intimacy in your relationship with a bit of time and effort. If the spark is gone, having an open conversation with your partner about how you might re-establish the emotional, physical, and sexual connection in your relational dynamic can