(PhatzNewsRoom / BlackDoctor.org) — Love. Most of us remember, or are at this very moment, feeling the raptures of new love. But what about the other side? Many of us who’ve experienced the joys of love have also experienced the unfortunate fact that love doesn’t always last.
Even if you were raised on a rich diet of fairy tales, you know that “’til death do us part” and “forever” can actually be pretty rare things. Even staying with someone forever is no guarantee of experiencing lasting love.
The ending of love leaves us sad. Depressed. Angry. Confused. Swearing that we’ll never fall in love again. And wondering many things, such as why do people really fall out of love? Is there anything we can do to make love stay? Do some of us give up too easily?
Here are what relationship experts have to say about some of the common reasons people fall out of love:
Emotional Distance. A sudden need to distance yourself can topple a good thing if you let it. Ken Page, psychotherapist and author of the Finding Love blog for Psychology Today and founder of the Deeper Dating website, has identified a phenomenon that can destroy new love: Sometimes we unconsciously push a caring and available person away by inwardly diminishing his or her worth.
“When someone is available and decent,” Page explains, “something inside us knows that this person can get to our nest, our soul — the place where we care the most and can be hurt the most. And our unconscious gets panicked.”
Lack of Effective Communication. Unwillingness to discuss relationship problems can kill a relationship. Once people start a great new relationships, many forget to communicate with their partner regularly. Guy Winch, Ph.D., author of The Squeaky Wheel: Complaining the Right Way to Get Results, Improve Your Relationships and Enhance Self-Esteem, says that people fall out of love because they don’t talk through their relationship peeves with each other.
“Research shows that couples who are able to voice complaints well and discuss them productively have greater marital satisfaction and much lower divorce rates than couples who are unable to do so,” says Winch.
If you’re in a newer relationship, iron out the kinks early on to keep love alive over the long haul. “It is much easier to address issues earlier in a relationship than later, just as it is much harder to mold cement once it has dried and hardened,” Winch adds.
The key word here, however, is “productively.” It usually doesn’t help to fight and blame your partner for all of the relationship’s problems. Couples fall out of love when they can’t find a way to make the partnership good for both people involved. Creativity and open minds are the stuff of lasting love.
Couples Grow Apart (or think they have). People change or get bored with each other. April Masini, the relationship expert behind AskApril.com and author of Romantic Date Ideas, says:
“Over time, people can change — or more often, they become who they really are. Someone who loved his steady business career may suddenly realize he always wanted to be a stand-up comedian and throw caution to the wind to chase his dreams.”
People evolve; circumstances change — and sometimes, relationships can’t be sustained as a result. But if you really know your partner down to the core, the changes won’t be as shocking.
“The kind of change that leads to love lost is always about a buried desire to be someone that’s repressed inside,” continues Masini. “It’s important to really know your partner to avoid this lost-love syndrome.”
In other words, don’t neglect someone you care about. You cannot get to know a person thoroughly right away — rather, it’s a lifelong journey. If you find yourself perusing faraway rental homes and thinking, “He’s changed!” or “I’m just so bored with her,” think about holding on and digging a little deeper first. This can be the beginning phase of an entirely new level of intimacy, if each person decides to learn to grow and try to give that partner what he or she needs most.
Love Does Change
Then again, love doesn’t necessarily have to last decades (or a lifetime) to matter. Romantic relationships can also evolve into dear friendships — and that’s perfectly fine. Dr. Lissa Coffey, author of the book, Closure and the Law of Relationship: Endings as New Beginnings, agrees.
“We may come together for a certain period of time to help each other learn and grow, and when that has been accomplished, we’ve gotten everything we were meant to get out of the relationship. Then it changes,” Coffey explains. “It doesn’t have to end; it’s just redefined.”