For many, love is a fantastical thing that erupts sweaty palms, butterflies in the stomach and more than a few uncomfortable boners. But

Falling in love can be magical. Falling out of love can suck.

Here are 10 telltale signs to look out for:

Cute Habits Turn Into Annoying Pet Peeves

All those sweet enamoured things they used to do, like holding open doors for you or putting their arm around your waist when you walk, slowly but surely become mind-numbingly infuriating. The little things that used to make you swoon now make you groan. More so, you find yourself actually looking out for these little ticks that fuel your anger and frustration rather than turning a blind eye.

You Seek Out Conflict

Picking fights used to be this grand, scary event that you’d mentally prep yourself up for beforehand. Now? Not so much. Bickering and arguing are practically the bread and butter of your relationship. The slightest of inconvenient occurrences can feel like the heaviest of set-backs. Did he forget to tell you he was seeing his friend tonight? Of course, he did, he’s so inconsiderate. Sound familiar?

Other Couples Highlight Your Insecurities

Double dates or group hangs just remind you of what’s missing in your relationship. You can feel the palpable envy in the air when a couple who can’t keep their hands off each other begin sucking face in front of you. It’s a gut-wrenching feeling to realise the infamous spark is gone and it feels better to stick your head in the sand than have your nose rubbed in it. Chances are if you’re jealous of another couple, it’s because they have something you don’t.

A Future With Them Is Unrealistic

Planning stuff together a week in advance makes you iffy. Thinking about a long-term future plan with a picket fence and kids makes you nauseous. It’s just not realistic to daydream about backpacking together or lounging on a matching set of towels together and still have it be fun. Or even tolerable. If that much time away, with only the two of you, makes you shiver then what’s the point in being with someone?

Saying Empty “I Love Yous”

Once more, with feeling. Three words that tingled your spine the first time you dared to whisper them into his ear. Your friends made such a big deal out of it. Truthfully, when you mumble them into the phone now it’s more out of habit or courtesy than love. They ring hollow, devoid of the fiery passion they once held. If they say it back in the same monotonous tone, odds are they’ve probably fallen out of love too.

A Relationship Just Isn’t What You Need Right Now

Perhaps other priorities have risen, be it a new career opportunity or needing to take care of a sick relative, and the sad yet honest answer is simply what’s written on the tin. A relationship isn’t your priority or necessarily even what you need. We all know how we love to think we know what’s best for ourselves. But it can be a bitter pill to swallow and admit. Maybe you rushed into things. Maybe you didn’t consider what you wanted out of the relationship. Maybe you don’t need to be in a relationship right now and that’s okay if you communicate it to your partner and not let it fester up and snowball.

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You Care About Them… As A Friend

Attraction is important in a relationship. It’s not everything but it does play a pivotal role. If that attraction were to burn out, what’s supposed to be left is mutual respect and trust… right? So where do the distinct lines of friendship and relationship end? Attraction is a pretty good indicator. If you’re lucky enough to have a partner that ends up feeling like both a friend and a lover, congrats, but if it leans towards platonic (and let’s be honest, you know when it does) rather than romantic then that’s pretty self-explanatory.

The Thought Of Breaking-Up Isn’t Heart-Breaking

A long time ago, losing your significant other would absolutely crush you. Three to four months of mourning, minimum. Ice cream and tears galore. What springs to mind when you think about it nowadays is… meh. Not only do you find yourself caring less and less if you’re with them or not, seeing them doesn’t make your heart pitter-patter anymore. It wouldn’t shatter if he left for good, either, and if that’s the gospel truth well then that’s a pretty darn good sign.

He Doesn’t Satisfy You Anymore

There are plenty of things to do to spice up your sex life. Whole books are written on the topic. But if your relationship is suffering its very own mid-life crisis, it’s very likely that what used to be there isn’t anymore. Perhaps that’s where the jealousy of other couple stems from; sex is no longer pleasurable or as exciting or fun as it used to be. Tearing each other’s clothes off used to be common practice. If you’ve scheduled out a mandatory coitus sesh every Sunday night, and the thought of snacking afterwards is the only driving force to your climax, then it’s a pretty clear indication that the love part of your love-making is existentially dead.

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You’ve Fallen For Someone Else

The ultimate sign that you’ve fallen out of love: being in love with someone else. Of course, this last sign only applies to monogamous couples. To have someone’s undivided devotion is wondrous. What can end up stinging the most, however, is finding out the hard way that’s not the case. People don’t like hearing it but there’s no easy way around telling someone you’re in love with someone else. Coming to terms with it yourself is a good starting point.

If any of these ten signs ring true, maybe you have a few things to consider. If not, cherish your love (or your singlehood!) and let’s all agree that love is simultaneously the biggest mystery and wonder of the world.

This article was first published in Sept 2017

About the author: Lee Henriques
Just a Gemini who likes long walks on the beach.