You remember like it was yesterday: that carefree, all-loved-up, excited to spend every moment with each other phase (or as some like to call it, the honeymoon phase). However, as the months and years pass, you notice that your once exciting date nights have turned into Netflix on the couch with one of you snoring before you even choose a movie. This often warrants the question: Are we falling out of love or just becoming comfortable?
The experts at Ritual have compiled a list of signs that may indicate you’re falling out of love and signs that you are simply settling into a comfortable routine - plus tips on distinguishing between both.
Understanding the honeymoon phase (and why it eventually ends)
Love is complex! Most experts describe it as a multifaceted experience encompassing a whole variety of dimensions including passion, intimacy, and commitment. From the outset of a relationship, passion usually dominates - creating a euphoric, intense, almost intoxicating connection. As time passes, the focus tends to shift towards intimacy, commitment, and building a foundation for a more long-lasting relationship.
This means that the initial ‘spark’ might dim over time and it is completely natural for this to happen - you’re simply just making way for a deeper bond with your other half. Still, this doesn’t always make it easy to know whether or not your fading passion is a sign that you’re falling out of love or naturally progressing to a deeper and more comfortable bond with your partner.
How to know if you’re falling out of love
Recognizing the signs that you’re falling out of love can be challenging, as more often than not they can overlap with the natural evolution of a relationship. With that said certain red flags may indicate you or your partner are falling out of love.
- Emotional distance: Finding yourself emotionally detached from your partner, unable or maybe even uninterested in sharing your thoughts and feelings, and experiences may be an indicator of diminishing love.
- Lack of interest: Are you no longer interested in your partner's life and well-being (or vice versa)? This may be a sign of a serious disconnect between you both.
- Increased irritability: Small things that you once found endearing might start to irritate you, this can be anything from how your partner loads the dishwasher or the way they command a room.
- Daydreaming about other relationships: If you find yourself fantasizing about being in a different relationship or romanticizing past connections, it might be an indicator that you are dissatisfied with your current one.
- Reduced physical intimacy: A significant decrease in physical affection and intimacy can indicate a deeper emotional shift.
It’s important to keep in mind that these signs can also be symptomatic of other challenges or personal issues. Open communication with your partner is key to understanding the causes of any of these changes.
How to know you’re comfortable in your relationship
Remember, the transition from the honeymoon phase to a more comfortable phase is a natural and entirely expected progression in almost all long-term relationships. Comfort doesn’t always signify a lack of love, in fact, it often indicates a deepening of your connection! These are the signs that you are comfortable with your partner.
- Stability and security: Do you feel safe and secure when you are with your partner? This is often an indicator that your love is maturing. The intensity of your initial connection has simply given way to a more grounded sense of companionship.
- Shared history: You have a shared history filled with memories, challenges, and triumphs along the way! Couples who have been together for a long time have a shared narrative that can foster a sense of unity and understanding - building a binding force.
- Unconditional support: If you are comfortable in your relationship, you likely experience an unwavering sense of support from your partner. You have both become pillars of strength for each other and have learned to navigate life's ups and downs together.
- Mutual growth: As well as growing as an individual, you are focused on mutual growth. This means you are interested in building with your partner - your relationship has become a journey of self-discovery and shared goals.
Falling out of love or just comfortable: Knowing the difference
We get it - no matter how many expert articles you read or lists you skim through, it can still be difficult to distinguish between falling out of love and embracing comfort in a relationship. These are some things to consider to make the distinction a little easier.
- Reflect on your feelings: Take time to reflect on your emotions. Are you experiencing a genuine disinterest and detachment, or are you merely adjusting to a new phase in your relationship?
- Communicate with your partner: Engage in open and honest communication with your partner. Share your thoughts and feelings, and encourage them to do the same. Understanding each other's perspectives can provide clarity.
- Seeking professional guidance: If doubts persist, seeking the guidance of a relationship counselor or therapist can offer valuable insights. If you and your partner would prefer guidance that works around your schedule, consider online relationship guidance with Ritual.
- Recapturing passion: If you are primarily concerned about a loss of passion, why not consider ways to reignite the spark? Plan new experiences together, explore shared interests, and prioritize quality time to nurture your connection.
Ritual is on a mission to make good relationship care accessible to all. Our model was designed to remove barriers like cost, tight schedules, and partner participation. We do that with scientifically validated methods, supported by the most up-to-date research from the strongest names in the field.
Here’s how it works:
- You will work with a trained professional who can offer a wide variety of evidence-based interventions.
- In between your sessions, you will receive weekly videos with tried-and-tested knowledge and exercises focused on your specific needs and goals.
- The sessions with your dedicated expert will help you integrate what you learned into everyday life.
Start your journey with Ritual today.