Why Falling Out of Love Can Be a Good Thing
Marriage and Family Therapist Kelly Hoffman had advice for what to do if you fall out of love.
Believe it or not, falling out of love can be a GOOD thing. Too many people think that when the "magic" dies, the relationship is dead as well. This simply is not true. Believe it or not, relationships can become more wonderful, more gratifying, more fulfilling, and more intimate after partners fall out of love.
Most people when they meet and fall in love are "projecting" their very best selves, trying their hardest to do everything right, to "make it work". We are not lying to one another when we do this, those best parts of our self are truly who we are.... when we are being our best self. The problem is the more you live with someone, the harder it is to always be your best self around them. We start slipping, and the less pretty parts or our personalities start showing. Instead of feeling angry or betrayed, make the decision to learn and grow from this experience.
1. I hear it all the time "I want/need the chemistry". While I agree people need to feel attracted to one another, I do not believe it is a 24/7 pre-requisite to a good relationship. Often the Chemistry is produced by being good at the "seduction" part of the relationship, but after a while, everyone needs more than chemistry to keep a relationship vibrant and alive. I agree that chemistry should be part of the relationship, but I know from professional and personal experience that periods of "low to no" chemistry do not mean the relationship is over. On the contrary, this is where the relationship is actually FORGED! Anyone can be a fair weather friend or lover, but it is someone worth keeping that can ride out the low points of the relationship. That is the type of person you want, and the type of person you want to become if you want a shot at a long term happy relationship.
2. Instead of freaking out or detaching because you have lost some of the spark, its time to shout HOORAY! You are now capable of seeing your partner as they really are, not as you want them to be or as you think they are. Sometimes this can be a delightful surprise. Sometimes it is a real shock and disappointment. Remember, you can not be mad at someone for being who they really are. They didn't try to fool you on purpose, just like you weren't trying to fool them. You're both human, and you are now looking right in the face of one another's humanity. Its unsettling, but imagine, if this person can see your worst side and stick with you, remain loyal, what an amazing friendship that can become. And if you return the favor, I DARE you to try not to have chemistry with one another. If you think the initital heat and passion is good, just wait until you feel completely loved, safe, and cared for by the most loyal friend you've ever had. Its hard to keep your hands off each other with that kind of commitment. People who have learned how to love each other after they fall out of love have incredibly fullfilling sex, and they get a best friend in the bargain! What a win.
So how do you do it?
So how do you do it, how do you know that this is something to ride out, and not a sign that you're not meant to be together? First requirement:
2. Are you both still trying? (you had better be)
3. Are you willing to listen to one another? (not nod angrily, really listen)