Have you noticed that it is currently difficult for you and your partner to maintain a loving feeling in your relationship? Do you feel like your level of intimacy has decreased and, over time, your love is beginning to fade away?
If this sounds familiar, you should know that you’re not alone. It turns out that “falling out of love” is common among couples that have been together for years. Disrupting the loving feeling in relationships, as people describe, feels like losing a significant part of themselves. Needless to say, this situation often leads to loneliness, pain, and confusion.
At some point in every relationship, having a change of feelings toward your partner is completely natural. However, instead of adapting to these changes and embracing them, people often start to look for reasons why their feelings have changed. Usually, this leads to self-blame, lowered self-esteem, and depression (Lopez-Cantero & Ancher).
Considering these negative consequences of losing a loving feeling in your relationship, sometimes it’s important to reach out to professionals and receive personalized advice about specific situations in your relationship. Luckily, studies have shown that relationship-focused therapy can help people with this issue.
In this article, we’ll discuss how therapy can help restore the feeling of love in relationships. But before that, let’s explain what can lead to the loss of love itself.
What is Disrupting the Loving Feeling in Your Relationship?
Simple arguments and disagreements with people you’re in love with are perfectly normal and common between couples. In fact, a study conducted at the University of Tennessee shows that happy couples do argue. However, their patterns of fighting are different, which is why their relationships often continue to last (Rauer et al., 2019).
Nevertheless, there are some common types of behavior that might risk disrupting a loving feeling in your relationship. While the reasons for arguments in relationships vary, the following issues are likely to harm your relationship more quickly than others:
- Trust issues & infidelity
Cheating is indeed one of the most common reasons why people tend to “fall out of love” with their partners. According to the latest statistics, about 20-25% of married men and 10-15% of married women have admitted to having cheated on their partners at least once. The reason why infidelity leads to disrupting love is that it causes trust issues. And people who have trust issues struggle to maintain loving feelings in their relationships.
- Maladaptive communication style
Psychologists often consider communication between parties as “the heart of a relationship” (e.g., De Netto et al., 2021). Indeed, couples who fail to communicate effectively with one another, or fail to openly discuss worries are likely to lose the feeling of love.
This can be explained by the fact that communication helps people remain emotionally connected, set clear expectations, and avoid miscommunication which often causes arguments and breakups.
- Neglecting your partner’s needs
Being unable to consider your partner’s needs and look at the relationship chiefly from your own perspective is another common issue that disrupts love and intimacy in relationships. The reason behind this is that romantic relationships rely on caring for one another in order to be sustained.
Besides, most people who’ve been together for a long time also develop a sense of compromise and base their relationship values upon it. However, if partners are neglecting each other’s needs, chances are that this will destroy the tendency to compromise and lead to unhealthy communication styles.
- Focus on negative aspects exclusively
People often say that negativity ruins relationships. What is meant by this is that expressing negative emotions and focusing solely on them while communicating with your partner may cause them to reciprocate your emotions and also focus on negativity. As a result, couples find it hard to overcome negative thought patterns. If this continues for the long term, the loving feeling in your relationships is likely to be disrupted.
Signs That You’re Falling Out of Love
After discussing the reasons why people fall out of love, it’s important to point out that people often mistake short-term confusion, lowered mood, or decreased sex drive as a disrupted “loving feelings” in their relationships. However, you should know that losing interest in your partner from time to time is totally normal.
In fact, the strength of your emotions depends on a wide range of factors, including cortisol, testosterone, estrogen, and other hormones in your body, the level of stress you experience, satisfaction from daily activities you perform, your physical health, and more. Your mental health is one of the most significant factors that determine how close you feel to your partner at any given moment.
That’s why you should be aware of specific signs that can tell you that you’re really falling out of love.
- You avoid spending time with your partner.
- You often criticize your partner — blaming and attacking them and later, you realize they didn’t deserve this attitude or treatment.
- You’re not open to receiving feedback from your partner anymore and tend to defend yourself whenever they try to give you advice.
- Your body language has changed toward your partner and you don’t feel the need to be physically close to them.
- Your partner’s behavior is annoying you. For example, it might be something as tiny as their eating habits.
- You can’t remember when was the last time you and your partner had a meaningful conversation.
How to Revive Love in Your Relationship?
If you notice that the signs of falling out of love are present in your relationship and you’re worried that it might be too late to save your loving feelings, you should know that it’s never too late to revive love if you try to build a healthy relationship with your partner.
Here are some of the ways that can help you to restore the loving feeling in your relationship:
- Communicate openly
Talk to your partner openly. Express your feelings, let them know your concerns, and discuss everything that worries you out loud. Make a space to listen to them as well, and try to come up with solutions to the existing problems together. According to the research, openness, and communication positively affect the level of relationship satisfaction (Kiełek-Rataj et al., 2020).
- Remember things you love about your partner
What are some things that made you fall in love with your partner initially? Is it their creative nature? Empathetic personality? Sense of humor? Or maybe the fact that they care for you. Try to reflect on the qualities you enjoy the most in your partner and focus on these small things instead of remembering the negative aspects of their behavior or personality.
- Try to be more empathetic
If you haven’t tried to look at your relationship from your partner’s perspective, you should definitely try to do so. Getting their perspective, feeling what they feel, and attempting to address your relationship from their perspective may help you become more empathetic toward them.
- Seek Counseling or Couples Therapy
If you feel that the problem you’re facing in your relationship has a serious impact and you can’t handle overcoming this issue by yourself, receiving help from a professional counselor is recommended. In addition, couples counselors can help people identify the problems in their relationship, develop healthy communication styles, and learn specific strategies that can improve the intimacy level in the relationship.
How Can Therapy Help?
Couples who feel hopeless about restoring loving feelings in their relationships often reach out to professional counselors. In fact, a wide range of studies proves the effectiveness of couples counseling for relationships.
For example, findings in a 2016 study suggest that psychodynamic couple therapy effectively improved the condition of couples who were facing individual and relational distress (Hewison et al., 2016). The same applies to using the Gottman method in couple-centered counseling to enhance marital intimacy in infertile couples (Hosseinpoor et al., 2022).
Couples therapy and relationship counseling at Health for Life Counseling in Grand Rapids, MI, and Ada, MI is focused on helping individuals and couples restore the loving feeling and revive the intimacy level in their relationships. Our licensed counselors can help you identify the problems you’re facing with your partner and build a safe attachment with them to revive your old emotions.
Keep in mind that the effectiveness of therapy highly depends on the willingness of people to invest their energy and efforts to improve the relationship and build a healthy communication style. So if you’re ready to take the necessary steps and take advantage of couple-focused therapy, reach out to our professional therapists in the West Michigan area or meet with them online. They’ll help you work on restoring that loving feeling in your relationships.