There will come a moment in your life, if it hasn’t happened already, where you’ll realize you have stopped being in love with someone you were once in love with. Maybe it was someone you dated briefly or for several years. Maybe it was someone you were married to. Maybe it’s someone you never even dated: your best friend, someone you hadn’t come out to yet, or someone who, for whatever the reason, you just couldn’t be with. No matter who it was, something will happen where you will say to yourself, “Oh, I don’t feel the same about this person anymore. Hm. Interesting.”
Falling out of love is a very complicated, personal process. For some people, it happens out of nowhere. They literally wake up one morning and suddenly realize they’re over it. For others, it happens slowly or over the course of several years. The process isn’t usually linear — it can be interrupted by hearing a song on the radio or seeing an unexpected text message or a surprising photo on an Instagram feed — but it is inevitable for all couples (unless you, like, get married and eventually die next to each other in the hospital).
Here, 14 men and women explain how they knew they were falling out of love with someone and the feelings that accompanied that process.
She knew when she could smile at their memories.
Whenever I was able to smile thinking about them. Like, when I don’t cringe at a memory, but I can appreciate it for what it is.
— Sarah, 25
He knew when he felt like they were roommates.
We basically became roommates who occasionally had sex. There was hardly any physical or verbal affection anymore.
She knew when everything he did annoyed her.
Everything he did that used to be charming started to annoy me — from the way he sang everything to the way he’d drum on his steering wheel in the car, things I used to find endearing and quirky turned into annoyances. I was always assuming the worst of him and didn’t know why. I thought he’d changed, but I think I’d just fallen out of love.
— Krissy*, 24
He knew when he had no desire to be intimate.
One of the bigger feelings for me has always been when I no longer feel intimate toward the person. If I don’t want to have sex and passion with a person anymore, I think it shows my lack of interest
— Jim*, 30
She knew when she started feeling grossed out by him.
When it felt like he was sucking my energy and soul, when the thought of kissing made me feel nauseated, and when his little quirks that were cute were overly obnoxious
He knew when he wanted to do literally anything else besides spend time with her.
Because I wanted to do literally anything else other than spend time with her or even speak to her. It was pretty easy for me to tell I was completely out of love with her.
She knew when she started liking someone else.
I developed crazy feelings for someone else!
— Kait, 25
He knew when he realized he wasn’t as hurt as he should have been by the breakup.
[When] she dumped me.
It was the subtle signals she was sending that I didn’t realize. When I thought about what went down [at] the end of my relationship and the signs I missed, I wasn’t so sad. I realized then, belatedly, that I really didn’t love her. Because if I did, the hurt would have been so much worse.
— Dave, 29
She knew when she felt numb to everything the girl did.
I knew I wasn’t in love with her anymore when I started feeling numb to everything she did.
Before, everything she did was amazing to me. I’d drop everything to respond to a text. I’d go out of my way so we could hang out. I’d help her with anything she needed. But after a while, when those feelings weren’t being reciprocated, I naturally felt sad in individual moments, but as a whole, I knew the love had faded when I didn’t light up when she texted me, or when I didn’t feel the need to go out of my way to make sure we could spend time together.
It wasn’t that I felt particularly depressed or particularly angry. I just didn’t feel anything about her anymore.
— Theresa, 23
He knew when everything felt minimal.
Minimal excitement to see her, only minor interest in sex, and small annoyances being really amplified.
She knew when she felt sad, then guilty.
Sad, then REALLY guilty. We had been doing long distance for over a year, and it was really difficult. I later understood that many of our problems came from him being controlling and jealous… but at the time, I just felt selfish for wanting to live my life again.
— Emily, 31
He knew when she started to feel like a chore.
It felt like a chore doing things with her.
She knew when she wasn’t excited to see him anymore.
Well at first I was in denial but you just don’t get as excited anymore when seeing each other, certain things he did I thought were cute before slowly started to become super annoying until at one point i just couldn’t stand him anymore.. it wasn’t even his fault, he was an amazing boyfriend. I don’t know what’s wrong with me
He knew when he didn’t want to get physical.
I didn’t want to kiss, cuddle, or have sex.
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