No, it’s not cheating.
Sometimes, it’s as simple as not being present (enough). Not making a difference if they’re not in your life. Not giving as much as receiving. Not making you feel less lonely. Not being honest (and this doesn’t have to be about major things like seeing someone else).
After years of being with my fiancé, I realized something I haven’t noticed before. I never worried about us. Being the worrisome, obsessed-with-planning partner that I was and still am, I always worried about future plans and the turns and twists in our lives, but never about us.
And that’s something that a lot of couples fail to feel or realize.
I’ve heard women in relationships say, “No man can be trusted,” or “I don’t even trust my shadow.”
And I even heard men and women say, “Yeah, it’s normal to fall out of love after marriage, and it all turns to respect and good treatment.”
Some even told me and my partner when we first started dating that our passion is because of the “honeymoon phase.” Well, it’s been five years of the most amazing and the worst of times, and yet, our love is growing more passionate and fiery with the passing days.
So, falling out of love is a possibility, not the determined end of every relationship, and most importantly, it’s the consequence of decisions made by one of the partners (or the two of them).
Here are five (of many) reasons why we sometimes fall out of love:
1. They’re not being present (enough).
Not everyone is accustomed to putting someone else first, especially if they’ve been living solo for a long time, and they become their own priority.
And before anyone feels offended by that, it is a good thing to care for ourselves and needs, but when we’re in a relationship, we have to think of our partners and their needs as well. It’s not just us anymore.
We have a companion now. And we have to care for them and let them know that we do.
Not being present enough will make them feel that they’re not cared for, that they’re not on our minds, that we simply care about less important things more than them.
2. Our needs become different.
Blame doesn’t fall on either partner. Sometimes, with time, our interests and needs slowly become different, and finding a middle ground amidst all the decision-making turns into an unsolvable math equation. In this case, as major as the needs become, as important as it is for the partners to assess whether sacrificing that need is worth it or if it’ll lead to resentment later on.
Because in a healthy relationship, leaning toward compromise rather than sacrifice will stir us away from possible future resentment.
3. Their behavior changes when you step out of the bubble that’s only made for you two.
When we fall in love with a person, it sometimes happens when the two of us spend most of our time alone…at the start. But eventually, for most people, that person ends up meeting the family, the group of friends, and well, our own people.
They may get along with our family and they may not. And based on their behavior with other people, we get to discover parts of themselves that we couldn’t see before.
In a Buzzfeed article, Morgan Murrell writes the experiences of some people and how they fell out of love with their partners. One of them said, “Where do I start? He called my niece fat (she’s five) and he basically told me he wouldn’t be with me unless I used my engineering degree. Ultimately, he just loved the idea of what I could be, not actually who I want to be.”
I mean…you get the point.
4. We suffer from emotional bypassing.
We all have negative feelings that we need to process and deal with, including in relationships. If our partner doesn’t allow us to express ourselves until we are able to make sense of those feelings, then we may start restraining ourselves from being truthful to who we are.
And eventually, when we pour water into an already full cup, the water’s going to overflow. And so will our negative feelings.
5. They project their problems onto us.
Defensiveness. Sensitivity. Overreacting. Accusations.
These are all signs of projection. When our partner starts accusing us of things they are feeling, it is time to be honest with them and ask them what’s going on.
But with some people, even honesty and an open conversation aren’t enough to help them step out of this “projection” phase, which turns out not to be a phase at all.
Is there any sign you would like to share?