Kathryn Lindsay
September 05, 2015 7:12 am

Falling out of love is a slow, painful process. So slow, in fact, that sometimes you don’t realize it’s happened. Once you’re complacent in a relationship, you become complacent in a routine, and it takes a shock to the system for you to realize if your heart’s just not in it anymore. There’s no tone of a gong to signify the end of those feelings. Sometimes it’s just a bunch of little things that end up meaning a whole lot more.

You just want to fight. Picking fights is like picking a scab. You can’t stop because it feels weirdly satisfying, but once it’s over you’ve only hurt yourself. The occasional fight in a relationship is healthy, but if you’re constantly finding reasons to make digs at your significant other, and finding reasons to snap at them, then maybe you should step back and think about what’s making you so bitter.

You can’t think of anything to talk about. When you’re not fighting, you’re just…sitting. Those coffee dates and movie nights used to be filled with laughs and banter, but now it’s just one long evening of “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” while you both look at your phones.

Spending time together has become a chore. Because hanging out is just no fun anymore, you stop wanting to do it. But because your relationship was built on spending time together, you force yourself to do it.

You forget to keep each other updated. Things are happening in your life, but they’re no longer your go-to person to share the news. Suddenly it’s like, “I didn’t know you got promoted!”

You need “me time”…all the time. One night, you decide that what will fix things is if you just give yourself some space. And then the next night rolls around, and you just need a little bit more alone time. This keeps happening until it’s been a full week and you’ve canceled on your significant other three times so you can sit with your cat and watch Gilmore Girls.

Thinking about your partner makes you anxious or grumpy. You spend so much time pushing your significant other away that thinking about them bothers you. Probably because you feel a little guilty, but mostly because they’ve stopped being a positive thing in your life.

You fantasize about the break up. Not flat-out. It’s more like, oh, wouldn’t it just be easier if they ended things? What if they got a job that meant that had to move really far away? That would make things so much easier.

You stop inviting them to your favorite things. More and more, you’re catching the latest Pixar movie with your buds and trying out new restaurants with your coworkers. Your partner isn’t the one you want to share these things with anymore.

You start putting all your trust into another person. Because you no longer feel that connection, you start dumping all your feelings onto somebody else. Soon, all the things you could never tell your partner are in the hands of Jeremy, your cubicle buddy who you just met last week.

Your inside jokes aren’t funny anymore. When your significant other tries to joke around like old times, you don’t have it in you to laugh. It’s just not the same and you can’t figure out why.

You are embarrassed or uncomfortable to be with them in public. On the rare nights you do go out with them, everything they say feels annoying or wrong and you don’t want to be associated with them.

You’ve started thinking about your future and and realized you forgot to clue them in. You’ve already switched into solo mode, so you’re making plans without checking with them, because they’re no longer a big part of your life.

You no longer bring them up around your friends. If you bring them up, then your friends might ask questions, and the one thing you don’t have is answers.

You ignore their calls. “Ugh, I’ll call them back later. I just can’t do this right now.”

You still care about them, but no longer feel a spark. And this is the worst part! Your feelings for them haven’t disappeared all together, but you know it will never feel how it did before. It’s sad, but it’s a part of life. What you had was special but after a while, you both know it’s time to move on.

(Image via Shutterstock.)

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