What It’s Like Falling Out Of Love With The Person You Thought Was Your Forever

Couple holding hands in front of sunset
Ryan Holloway

It happens. Somehow, over time, you fall out of love with the person you thought you were meant to be with forever.

It starts with everything that once fascinated you about them, that drew you to them – it begins to repulse you, annoys you, sometimes even infuriates you. You become frustrated and start thinking that maybe you are just too different now, maybe you were too young when you fell in love with them or maybe, over time, the person you are has changed.

Whatever it is, it doesn’t make the pain hurt any less.

You can’t explain to anyone what has changed. All you know is that there is something in your heart that feels different than how it used to.

People ask you how your relationship is going and you don’t know what to reply with, because on the outside everything seems fine, but you know things are definitely not how they once were. You can be in the same room as them and not even care that they are there. You go to bed lying next to them, with them inches away from you, but you’ve never felt so alone. They ask you “what’s wrong?” but you don’t even know where to begin, so you respond with “nothing.”

You know they don’t support your career aspirations, and that hurts because you’ve been working so hard for it, so you can be the best at what you do. You know they rarely consider your feelings regarding things, and when they do it’s to prove a point, or because you lost your temper with them the last time they didn’t. They don’t do it out of respect for you, they do it to avoid an argument.

You can feel that they have no sexual interest in you, and at the beginning that hurt, but now you’ve come to accept it, now you don’t want them to touch you. You used to think these feelings were all normal, that it was something everyone experienced eventually in a relationship, that one day it would just go away and everything would be back to how it used to be, but the longer it goes on the more you realize this is not normal, that you have emotionally switched off from them, that you need to escape and live your life.

It doesn’t matter what they do, they’re trying everything to get you to fall back in love with them, messaging you more often, asking you every day how your day was, saying all the right things, but it’s too late, you’ve moved on and your feelings for them have gone.

And it’s not that you’ve fallen for someone else – it’s that you’ve learned to love yourself, you know what you want, you know that what you want out of life and what they want is so different that you cannot see how you can possibly make this relationship work anymore.

You’re done fighting, you’re over putting yourself second, and suddenly you just know what you need to do, you know you can survive without them, you know that you will be okay.

You look back over your relationship and maybe you can pinpoint where things started to fall apart, and maybe you can’t. Every good memory you have with them you hold so close to your heart and maybe that’s the problem – you’re more in love with your memories than with the person that is in front of you. The thought of going on in life without them hurts, it really does, but it doesn’t break your heart as much as you thought it would, it doesn’t leave you breathless and gasping for air; if anything, the idea of it makes you feel free, it makes you feel alive, and suddenly you don’t feel as suppressed as you have been feeling.

You can breathe, you’re excited at the prospect of following your dreams, of chasing and fighting for what you want out of life, at the idea of meeting other people and hopefully one day meeting the person who makes your heart skip a beat, for the person who grounds you, the person who can see right through you, the person who wants to see you succeed for no other reason than to see you happy, the one who you can see a future with, the one you won’t fall out of love with.

You used to think a relationship was something you had to work for to make it work, something that when the hard times hit you kept going, pushing through to make it work, and you still do believe that, to a point. But sometimes when you have to work too hard at a relationship, you start to lose the enjoyment of it, spending time with them starts to become a chore, something you do out of habit rather than something you want to do.

I think that’s how you know it’s over, how you know it’s time to move on. When you’re unsure about saying “I love you too” but know it’s what is expected of you.

That’s when you know you’ve fallen out of love, when the person you used to love still means the world to you, but you can’t say you’re in love with them anymore, when you’re heart doesn’t skip a beat, when you’ve lost the excitement from your relationship because it’s lost it’s intimacy, you feel more like best friends than you do lovers, you know each other’s habits and pet-hates, you know you will always care for that person, and you want to see them happy, always, but you know that happiness isn’t going to be with you. That hurts a little, it really does, but you also know that you deserve happy and that person cannot give you that level of happiness either. That’s when you know it’s over. TC mark